Monday, July 13, 2009

Drowning Worms

My oldest son and I got up at 5am, loaded up the fishing poles and headed up to Payson to go fishing with my dad. Dad said, "Oh, be here around 7:30, we'll go grab some breakfast then go to the lake." It wasn't about "fishing" if you hit the lake around ten in the morning and don't take the boat.

When we arrived the truck was out of the garage, the extra poles, tackle box, two white styrofoam cups of worms and bottled water were all loaded in the back of the pickup and he met us on the front porch...he'd probably been sitting at the window watching the street.

The whole day was a quintessential "Dad" excursion. We left the house and went to "Tiny's" a mom and pop diner for breakfast. He knew the owners, that they were Greek, how many kids they had, yakked with the cashier about her new baby. When we went to the lake he greeted strangers as if he knew them all their life. "Any luck?" "Nothing for the last couple hours..." But we were there to fish, so we hiked in anyway...

We fished from shore for about an hour. It was just as the guy said in the parking lot, no bites.

So we left the lake and hiked back to the parking lot. We stopped about half way so Dad could catch his breath. The slight incline was too much after three triple and quadruple bypass operations. He drove us around "his neighborhood", the dirt roads of the Mogollon Rim. As we travelled around the back roads he told stories about his scout troop and how the Park Ranger Jim would let him and his scout troop camp anywhere they wanted to, even in the "no camping" areas around the lake. He knew who owned the old ranches and built this and that cabin. He mentioned my brother a few times (who died a drug addict about 6 years ago), the places along the way they hunted and camped together. We stopped at another lake and tried there for about an hour...and again succeeded in drowning a few more worms. Then, we travelled some more back roads and came out in Heber by the post office. We went to "Red's" for lunch there, and he talked to the cook about the chili he'd been watching him making.

We took the highway back to the house and while we sipped iced tea he dozed off in his recliner. When we left he loaded us up with a bag of zuchinni and crook neck squash from his garden. We didn't catch any fish, but I got a hug and a glad smile from my dad. A bad day fishing with your dad is better than a good day blogging.

10 comments:

Larry Anderson said...

What a wonderful way to spend a day--three generations of men sharing an experience in one of the most beautiful parts of America. Days like that do have a way of reminding us of what's truly important in life. It's good that you have the opportunity to do it.

My own dad has long since passed on, but at least I'll be able to spend a few days around Sedona and Flagstaff next month with my wife for our anniversary, which is about as good as it gets. Clean air, red rocks, pine trees, sunsets. Repeat as needed. :-)

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

A day to remember and treasure, that's for sure !

Cameron said...

"A bad day fishing with your dad is better than a good day blogging."

Amen!

elizabeth said...

That's really great.

Philippa said...

Awesome day!

I love to hear stories of people who have lived in a community long enough to know everyone, know all the good spots to eat and hang out, and all that there kinda thing.

Thanks for sharing this S-P!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yup. Enjoy your Dad while you can.

I didn't remember about your brother. May his memory be eternal.

James the Thickheaded said...

And a bad day on the water beats a good day in the office just about any way you think about it! Round here, we'd use clam necks back in the day... look like big honking "worms". 'Course I thought Maine was "Fly" country more than worms... but go figure.

I've got a creaky Dad and a failing father-in-law... like they said in the Blues Brothers... you're on a mission from God... without the Penguin!

DvntWriter said...

Ditto Cameron. I wish I had moments like these to relive. Treasure them. And who knows, maybe next time you'll catch the mother of all fish and have a tale for the ages. :-)

yudikris said...

Nice experience! :)

Mary said...

A precious day! Glory to God.