This picture resides on the top shelf of the black living room bookcase;.
it rests against the Audubon nature books, and behind some Geodes that Clay brought home from Kentucky.
My first fish - the one that made me catch "the fishing bug" - was this Rainbow Trout I caught with my daddy.
At least, he says I caught it. But he's never actually told me if the trout was already on the line
when he handed me the pole.
No matter. I was hooked. From that day Dad had himself a partner!
Most fishing expeditions required an ice chest with some fruit, crackers, a block of cheese and knife.
Sometimes we brought bate, sometimes Dad turned over rocks until he found something small and creepy
he thought the fish would love to eat!
Sometimes the fish bit. Sometimes they didn't, but looking back I'm pretty sure Dad just wanted
to be outdoors taking in the sounds, the sights, and even the smells of the river, the creek, the water and mud.
Our outings were really for the purpose of enjoying the beauty in God's creation
while reveling in good company.
It was an excuse to be together.
I remember those times as discovering times. Dad had an eye for critters, footprints, lost lures;
snakes, blackberries, and mosquitoes were often part of the package too. I loved it!
Those times are dear to my memory. I'm sure that much of my appreciation for all things wild and green
was instilled gently and over the course of my years by him.
In time I even learned to bate my own hook and and clean my own fish!
Truth is, fishing is in the blood. My dad learned from his, and my grampa was master of pole and bate. My dad's dad (as I remember it) rarely took his eye off the ripples or his fingers from the line.
He was ever ready to set the hook at first feeling of tension, the slightest tug.
My dad enjoyed those things too, but I believe he had a greater love for the adventure itself!
He never came home from those excursions without a story - even if it wasn't a fish story -
because he was paying attention to and looking for so many other things. So what if toes were numb from icy mountain runoff, so what if legs were scratched up by the berries growing at the rivers edge, so what if the mosquitoes got their fill for dinner!
And so what if there were no fish for dinner this time.
Look at that picture.
Does he look like a man who needed to catch fish in order
to be proud fit to bust?
I'm smiling as I write.
Dad, you did well. I loved it all. Every moment of muddy tennis shoes, scratched up legs, bug bites...
to be with you.
I had a lot of fun!
Now I cherish a lot of pretty unbeatable memories. Thanks!
When I thought of being a mom, I never dreamed of THIS! ~Five heart melting smiles ~never getting tired of midnight feedings ~having all the answers ~not minding dirty faces ~enjoying watching the boys eat! ~falling in love with pigtails ~appreciating overalls ~appreciating a washing machine! ~wanting to do everything better ~falling in love a million times