Friday, June 15, 2012

Thanks Dad!

As I sit here at my desk , it almost seems like yesterday that dad and I were on the river , just the two of us , checking a trot line we had set in the New River the evening before. I was probably 7 or 8 years old , if that , and it was a rare trip to the river for just dad and I , due to the absence of my older sister.

Sure , we set plenty of trot lines on weekends , but normally sis was with us and I was restricted to doing the most menial tasks since I was the youngest. Not so on this trip. I was the one who got to help and it made me feel like a grownup when I got to help sort the hooks that dad was taking off of the trot line. That's pretty serious stuff to any kid.

That's not what really makes this trip stand out in my mind , though. The one thing that never fails to bring a smile to my face when I look back on that cool Saturday morning so many years ago was when dad grabbed the line in the water , turned to me with a big grin , and said " Hey Joshie , I think we got a big one! ". That was followed by my own turn with my hand on the line , with dad's help of course , and dad's explanation that " You can feel him pulling ". I wasn't quite sure what I felt on the line , but dad's excitement certainly fed my own.

As we worked our way down the trot line , I know I drove dad crazy. His confidence that we had a fish was killing me , and of course the big fish wasn't anywhere near where we had started. It was halfway across the river on one of the last half dozen hooks. If my memory is correct , I think we found something else on the line first - either a small catfish or a bass , but dad said that wasn't the fish we had felt earlier , so we kept going. Finally , we came to the fish and it was a monster. Probably almost 20 pounds of catfish and we were both giddy with excitement as we wrestled it into the boat. It was the biggest fish we had ever caught together and one of the biggest fish I had ever seen.

I'll admit that time may have added some weight to that fish , but it hasn't changed how much fun I had out on the river with dad. You see , dad wasn't (and isn't) a big fisherman. He likes to fish , but would rather work on other hobbies. That's fine with me , but what matters most is that dad always made time for me , time to do what I liked most , and for that I will always be grateful.

Thanks Dad! Happy Father's Day!

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