As our children grow up and leave home, we like to think back on the perfect memories we created with them when they were younger. Recently the Grass Stain Guru really made me think about days gone by. And, I wonder … when did it become normal for me to hand my truck keys to the baby and ask, “Do you wanna drive?”
I remember this day outside like it was yesterday. Our “baby boy” was home after school on a gorgeous autumn afternoon. His dad was out of the country.
I threw out an invitation for our son to go fishing with me at a nearby trout park.
He accepted and that’s when I handed him the keys.
Our son found the tackle box and the right rods. I grabbed my camera bag. We took the back route in our old truck on dusty county roads to get there. The leaf colors almost registered perfect – or as good as they could get that fall – on my gauge.
We bought our trout tags at the country store onsite and headed out to the stream. To our lines, we tied on a few feet of lighter lines, treble hooks and then attached cheese balls (not the type from the grocery store, trout cheese snacks.)
We spent a while casting there. Our son said, “I don’t think I’m patient enough for fishing today.” Since the trout were not interested in our snacks, we decided to drive up to find the lookout tower and the cemetery.
Little white crosses filled this cemetery, circa 1858-1882. On closer inspection, the crosses were made of PVC pipes.
We never could remember where the lookout tower was located, and later found out that it had been taken down a few years ago because it was rickety.
We went back to the stream, and walked from the parking lot to the swinging bridge. We passed the playground, where just a few years ago, he would have run toward faster than his guardian angel could fly.
We cast a few times, and he got a nibble.
Since we did not have fresh catch of the day to grill at home, we decided to stop at a diner in a little town, where we enjoyed our meals – the catfish platter and a robust hamburger. It was almost like being in Mayberry.
That night I started wondering about where time went, and how when life deals the cards of having the perfect afternoon, the perfect park and the opportunity to spend time with someone you love – well that’s a combination that just does not come together all that often. And, it makes for the perfect memory.