While I have been working from home for six weeks now and almost no outside time, you would think I would be going stir crazy by now. I’m not; what I do find myself doing is reflecting on my life. I continuously keep thinking of things I was doing as a kid and, more specifically, fishing. Maybe because it is a solitude activity and being home quite a bit has a lot of solitude. The funny thing is I have these thoughts while lying in bed and before I fall asleep.
The one constant in my thoughts was not so much the actual fishing activity but the complete solitude with my dad. Most kids today relate to celebrities or athletes, youtube sensations, or social influencers (whatever the hell those people are) as people they aspire to or consider idols. My dad was the person I aspired to, my hero.
We did quite a bit of fishing locally, usually a Saturday or a Sunday, but once a year for many years on memorial day weekend; we would pack the car, drive north into Maine and take a puddle jumper (small seaplane) into a lake deep in the woods. Once we unloaded the plane to set up camp, we were alone. When I mean alone, I mean nobody else around, the lake was empty except for us, and the only way out was five days later when the plane came back to get us. I’m talking about the movie Deliverance here! It was just the two of us. These are some of the best memories I have.
There is a reason it is called fishing and not catching dad would say, it takes patience. My dad had that in abundance; he could watch paint dry, me not so much. 😊 Once our camp made, the tent, sleeping bags, some wood for the fire gathered, the supplies arranged, and of course, finding a spot where you will leave your mark (poop), it was time to go fishing!
As I mentioned, we are on a lake in the middle of the woods; there is not much to do but fish and talk. For five days, we would fish from sun up to sundown. Here is the best part, and it was not really the fishing as fun as that was. If fact, I can only remember a couple of times we caught fish. What I remember most. Talking, we talked sports, school, what was going on in the world, me, and the elusive woof-n-poof ( the make-believe fish dad made up)
When the fishing was slow we would take a walk in the woods, and you can see some beautiful nature and wildlife, maybe it is why I love animals so much. We saw deer, rabbits, and we are pretty sure a bear came by at one point since the tent was knocked down. It is the deep woods of Maine, and bears are around. At one point, a moose walked within 10 feet of us into the water, swam to the other side. There is nothing quite like seeing a wild moose 10 feet from you.
Here is the best part, at the end of the day, we would cook outside and eat by the fire. As it got dark, we would lie in the tent with a tiny am radio listening to a hockey game in French from a Canadian station. It was even better if it was a Canadiens and Bruins game. These were the best times, and I am very fortunate I had a dad to share these memories. I would never trade that time for anything. There is no greater influence on who I am.