Friday, June 10, 2011

Creating New Fishing Memories

Fingernails caked with dirt, worm guts and fish blood, my right hand shifted the van into drive and immediately pushed the radio power button on. After fishing with my children at the Boy Scout's Camp Aquapaug I'd rinsed my hands in the pond but I just couldn't get all the evidence of our fishing trip off.

Oh, well. At least I wasn't as grimy as my kids! Ben sported a line of dirt in the crease on the back of his neck; sweat dripped from 8 year old Will's buzz cut; and Sam's damp shorts told the story of a toddler who went wading. Even Ellie's pig tails drooped on either side of her head after our fun in the sun.

Sweaty, grimy, and tired we headed home.

In my mind I replayed Will's excited voice saying, "Mom! I caught a fish!" He looked so proud holding up his fishing pole with that little 5 inch sunfish on the end of the line. I'm glad I took the extra 15 minutes to go back home for my camera. That's a memory I want to keep for always.

Unexpectedly the country song playing on the radio broke through my thoughts, "Every day I drive to work across Flint River bridge, a hundred yards from the spot where me and grandpa fished."

Suddenly my memories leaped back nearly 25 years. Our bait cans full of newly dug up worms, my little brother, Stephen, and I loaded all our fishing gear into the back of Grandpa's old 1970s Chevy pick-up truck. We quickly followed our gear onto the truck bed, sat on the wheel hump and held on tight as Grandpa drove the short mile down the dirt road to Flint Creek.

We couldn't have been more excited. Fishing with Grandpa was always a highlight of our summer! After pulling our gear out of the truck we found a promising looking spot along the creek bank. Then we both pushed a hook through a wriggly worm and carefully cast our lines into the waist deep creek just like Grandpa had taught us.

Minutes passed as we not-so-patiently watched our red and white bobbins bounce along the top of the creek. Finally, my bobbin dipped below the waterline! I gave a hard jerk and reeled the line in as fast as my 8 year old arm would go! Grandpa stood next to me grinning from ear-to-ear and encouraging my efforts.

Finally I held up my fishing pole so the little perch dangled in the air. Grandpa reached over, grabbed the fish and pulled the hook out of its mouth. "She's a beaut," he said as he positioned the fish on the stringer.

I grinned at Grandpa and he grinned back at me, pleasure and pride beamed from his face.

Once again the country song playing on the radio claimed my attention, "If heaven wasn’t so far away I’d pack up the kids and go for the day [and] introduce them to their grandpa..."

With tears in my eyes, I smiled. Casting wasn't the only lesson Grandpa taught me that day. It just took me almost 25 years to understand. You don't have to be the one holding the fishing pole to enjoy catching a fish. Especially when the fisherman you're watching is only 8 years old.

What special fishing or Grandpa memories do you have?


Linda @ Country Road Faith said...

I was younger than you were when this one legged, short man,I called Dad, gave me my own plastic fishing rod and reel. I think it was my birthday. He, Mom, and I went down to Siloam Lake to catch us some fish for supper. I don't recall if it was a big catch, but I had the biggest time that day. He bated my hook, cast it for me, and taught me to wait patiently for the red and white bobbin to go down. That meant I caught one. Oh, how I miss that sweet man. It's been 24 1/2 yrs. since he left us for a better home-one with Jesus.
Dad loved to fish, but didn't catch many. Patience, he taught us. He enjoyed helping others fish more than himself. I'm looking forward to the time we meet again.
Linda from Ark.

Amy said...

Beautifully written! What sweet memories!

TryItMom said...

Awww I'm tearing up- and I've never fished in my life. What a great memory!

Stephanie said...

Thanks, ladies!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in to say thanks for commenting on my SITS post on body image! I used to read to my grandfather for hours--he was so patient (and often fell asleep!)

Carrie said...

Aww, I love his pride in his catch! That's so awesome. What a great shot.

And I think you are very brave. Several times growing up I was taken fishing. I never got past baiting the hook. DISGUSTING!!!

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Great post! Such sweet memories you had with your Grandpa and you are making with your kids. Love the look on Will's face - he looks very proud!

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