This past weekend, we went to the Adirondack mountains for our annual family trip. There was lots of reading and relaxing, hiking and golfing, sitting and fishing.
My father went along with us, and even though the fish weren’t biting, he spent quite a few hours waiting for a nibble. I went down to the shore with him a few times, and felt myself returning to my childhood, when often, I would go along with my dad. Sometimes I would fish, sometimes I would read, and sometimes I would do both things at once.
I was never all that into the fishing itself, but it was always great to sit outside, read a book, spend some time with him. And this weekend was no different. He fished, I read, wrote, soaked up some sun (the weather we had was just glorious). The forty or so years in between then and now dropped away and it was just the two of us sitting there, mostly silent, watching, waiting, reflecting.
At one point, he totally cracked me up by saying, “Hey, Kelly, I’ve been meaning to ask you…. do you want to go ice fishing?” A reference to the time when I was maybe 8 or 10 and went with him and my two brothers… (another day when no fish were caught) and for some reason my older brother thought it would be funny to fill in our holes with chunks of ice before we left. By the time we had packed up and started for the car, you couldn’t really see where the holes were, or at least I couldn’t, and promptly fell in one… fortunately one leg only, and fortunately my dad reacted quickly and grabbed me right back out as quickly as I went in.
But, oh my, was I cold. We laugh about it now, but I remember being so mad at my brother that day. We had to stop at my grandmother’s house because she was much closer than home, and I had to get out of my freezing wet clothes and be outfitted in oversized adult apparel. My brother, who was always teasing me anyway, kept insisting that it was my own fault, taunting me for literally falling for it. I was furious.
Oh well, I’m sure that helped me warm back up anyway.
And now I have yet another fishing memory to add to all the others, this one quiet and uneventful, but quite special just the same.
Sunshine and nostalgia and the one that got away.
We caught up with each other, and that was trophy enough.
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