Once Upon A Memory
For some reason, fishing has come up in a lot of my conversations this week.
Times that this happens, I can’t ignore it. And so, I have to tell you a story.
When I was young, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. As the Universe had it back then, they used to watch me every Tuesday. And since they lived on the Fox River, when the weather was good, my grandfather and I would go down to the river and go fishing.
He had a digital watch that had fish on the bottom of it that would light up when there were a lot of fish nearby. One fish meant no good, four fish and we grabbed poles and worms and headed on out. 9-year-old me thought this was magic, 33-year-old me is skeptical that 90s technology could be that efficient. But, I digress🤷♀️ So down to the river we went.
We’d spend hours down there, worms on hooks, rolled up pants wading in the water, skipping rocks, and waving at boats passing by. Not a bad way to spend time. While we caught a lot of different types of fish, by far the thing we caught the most was catfish.
Just after my thirteenth birthday, my grandfather passed away. We knew it was coming, but that didn’t make it any less harder to go through. And I never went fishing after that.
Last year I decided to make some changes in my life. One of those was that I want to do more things, LIVE more. And so I made some different decisions.
One of them was to go fishing again.
Now, to do this, I needed some help. I had long ago gotten rid of my Mickey Mouse tackle box and my fishing pole. So I needed some gear. It had also been two decades; I needed someone to go with me that loved and knew how to fish, and I wanted it to be someone who I was close with that was also there on that day in 1999 when my grandfather left us, someone who loved him in the same way I did and who understood how important this was to me.
Luckily I have a cousin who fit that description perfectly. So I asked, and he was more than happy to oblige.
We took one day last summer and went out to a lake. Set up everything from the shore, and sat in chairs and chilled and talked about lures and life, as one does when you’re fishing. He had to reteach me a few things, but it’s kinda like riding a bicycle, when you spend that much time doing something, you never completely forget.
So on a grey day in June, the first time I went fishing in twenty years, hanging with one of my favorite humans on this planet, as the Universe would have it, suddenly, I had a bite on my line.
And. Wouldn’t you know it?
I caught a catfish.