Bluecats & Burglary
The summer of my final year attending college, I went canoeing one weekend, staying out overnight that Saturday. The fishing was fantastic and I returned to the tiny little house I was renting then to find it had been burglarized. The thieves took everything of value, even some frozen foods in the freezer. I was pissed but happy I had such a nice stringer of bluecat (the only type of fish biting that entire weekend) which had to be cleaned and put into the now empty freezer before summer heat spoiled them. So I worked at cleaning them while cursing loudly in anger that I now had nothing except clothing and the catfish. I cooked two of the smallest from the catch and wolfed them down, very hungry after a weekend out on the river.
Neighbors heard me cursing and asked what had happened. None of them saw the burglars, they said. The next day the police came and investigated the crime scene, but nothing ever came of that. I didn't expect they would crack the case so I continued working on class assignments, now without a computer which I would not need again until fall classes began. I was doing very well at the summer classes I was taking and wasn't concerned at all about making good grades in them, but I knew I would need to get another computer for advanced courses in computer graphics and operating systems I intended to take that fall. Both included coding projects I did not want to botch.
A couple of weeks after the insurance company paid the claim filed on the burglary I had enough cash to purchase an AT clone computer with the newest Intel 286CPU/287FPU chipset which helped me earn good grades on the programming projects to wrap up my degree plan and graduate that winter. None of my stolen property was ever recovered, as far as I know, and my anger rapidly subsided as fall classwork began, consuming most every thought cycle. The stringer of bluecat provided plenty of protein sustenance through fall and into winter, each meal instilling deep happiness overriding dwindling anger. Before xmas holiday began, I received my diploma, landed a programming job and moved to a large city to begin working as a professional. The market for computer programmers was hot at the time, allowing me to quickly move up and around working for companies needing people with my skill set and growing experience. Pleasant memories of that final fishing trip before graduation eclipsed the harsh memories of the burglary and persist with clarity to this day.