So, this blog entry is my submission for the Red Tuna Shirt Club and Outdoor Blogger Network Writing Contest.
My dream trip would take place at a non-specific location, for a non-specific species, with two very specific people, my wife and son. I know, this sounds like another one of those , "Oh I am just happy to be fishing" tales, but it's more than that. It's inspired by an identical trip that has already happened for me.
Confused? It's OK...sit tight, grab some popcorn, and I'll explain.
I think I was 11, maybe 12, at the time. My family took a week long vacation to Lake Poygan in Wisconsin. My dad's foreman at the time, had a cottage right on a small channel off the lake. Well, every night, I would cast out every one of our lines, baited with night crawlers, into that channel before we would go in for the night. Then, every morning, I would wake up at the butt crack of dawn, throw some clothes and shoes on, run out to the channel, and see what I had caught. Every single morning, I would have at least one fish on, typically a channel cat.
Around the fourth morning, my mom decided that she wanted to see what I was up to every morning, so she came down to the channel with me. With four fish on, this was a great morning! I told my mom to grab a particular pole and bring the fish in. As she picked up the pole, the fish started going the other way...and HARD!
Now, my mom was not really a fisherman. As a matter of fact, the whole concept of "reeling" seemed to have been lost on her. It wasn't until I watched her start running the opposite direction that I realized this. Finally, after about 20 feet of running, a big old channel catfish came to shore, she quit running, and started jumping in excitement!
I can not tell you how hard I was laughing the entire time at her, her reaction, and her methods except to say that it was hard enough for me to forget about fishing for a few minutes.
OK...so this is a pretty funny story, right? But what's the point?
Once again...sit tight
About ten years ago, Mom passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 42. This loss was devastating to me and the rest of the family. As time passed, I stopped focusing on how much I missed her and started to focus on the great memories I had of her. The story I just told you was one of those memories. That memory is so crystal clear in my mind, it's as if it just happened yesterday.
So in the beginning, when I stated that my dream trip would take place at a very non-specific location, for a non-specific species, with two very specific people, my wife and son...this memory is what I had in mind. God forbid, that I pass on, I want to make sure that my family gets a chance to take a trip like the one I got to take as a child, so that they, too, can have a memory like that.