Showing posts with label son. Show all posts
Showing posts with label son. Show all posts

Your Favorite Day Ever

Believe it or not, I don't get paid to fish, (inflection of sarcasm and a smirk).Very, very few fishermen do. I work in the medical field, on the bean counter side, for my daily paycheck. Doing what I do I interview lots of folks for lots of different positions. I have a pretty standard set of questions that I have developed over the last decade or so and then I have my new favorite. I ask each candidate, "What was your best day at work ever? Tell me about it." This questions tells you a lot about the person's passions, their focus and what makes them tick. I have heard some amazing stories asking this question, especially in the medical field. I have also heard some not so great answers. 

Yesterday I asked the question a few times during interviews and was told an amazing story by one of the candidates. I still can't get that story out of my head. It really showed the passion this candidate has for their job and those they serve. Today, I find myself asking a similar question.

If I asked my kids what their favorite day ever was, what would it be? 

My kids are almost 8 and 4. I know they are impressionable and prone to like new shiny things. But what is my time with them meaning to them? Do our fishing trips  even rank in the top 10 for them? How well do I know what is painting beautiful pictures in my kids' minds? 

A favorite memory is not just a picture or a smile. When you think back on it, even though time has passed, it evokes an emotional response. You might tear up a bit, you might laugh, you might just get all warm and fuzzy. Any way you slice it though, that memory is buried deep. It lives with you, with its own heartbeat, waiting to be called to the forefront so it can give you a big hug again. 

That's what I want to create. As parents, we need to strive to give our children as many beautiful paintings as we can. Planning those special outings, teaching about nature, fishing, ecosystems and the balance of life are duties we should proudly carry out, especially if we want our children to pass along our passion to their kids. 

When they someday leave the nest, I hope in a moment of sadness, they can recall one of the great memories they shared with me and feel that warm fuzzy hug, looking at a beautiful picture we made together. And then I hope they call me so I can reassure them everything is going to be ok. 

Always Have a Backup Plan

Over the years I have often needed to change from Plan A to Plan B. This weekend may have been the first time I have used Plan C.

The November Tournament for the NTKBF Club was scheduled for Saturday at Mineral Wells State Park. I had been prepping, modifying, tinkering and organizing gear for at least a month though it felt like longer. Of course, Mother Nature decided she would unleash Big Bad Wolf style on the North Texas area Saturday. The tournament directors rightly chose to postpone the tourney to a later named date. I had already planned to drive up to the Dallas area to stay with my brother so I activated Plan B. I called him and we made a plan to fish a south shoreline, somewhat sheltered from the wind, at a local lake. I would load up, follow the same travel schedule, fish and then return home. No big deal. I'm flexible.

Fast forward to a few hours later. I was attempting to load the kayaks on top of my SUV and the Big Bad Wolf made her presence known. I loaded the Coosa and strapped her down which wasn't too bad. Lifting a 70 pound kayak over your head in the wind is never fun but it went fine. The next task was to load the Cobra Tandem on top of the Coosa and strap them both down. I have done this before but never in the wind and especially not in 30+ mph wind. Four times I got the Cobra up and almost in position when out of the south a demon wind would rise up and remove the kayak from its perch. Luckily no damage was sustained but after the fourth time I just sat down in a chair in the yard. The Cobra weighs in at 80 lbs and the angles and wind and spinning and lifting wore me down. My body said no more. My mind told me this was an omen. Mother nature was telling me this trip was a no go. And so died Plan B.

I was mad. Upset. Disappointed. My wife pulled into the driveway and saw the melee in the grass. She saw the disgust in my face. I asked her to help me re-rack the kayaks in the garage and we talked about a conversation she had with my soon to be 8 year old. He really wanted to go fishing. I thought about the Leon River but the strain of the dragging and loading just deflated me. I told her I would think on it and we finished the unload.

I was reading the forums looking for ideas and then a light bulb radiated in the front of my mind so bright I could have lit the block! I know a place! It would take a phone call and a little good luck but I knew a place where my son and I could both go, the wind would be an advantage and we could make a real memory or two. I made the call and it was a go. We were going to do a Father-Son outing with one of my good fishing
buddies and his son. Plan C was alive and well.

We all piled into my small SUV and made the hour trek to a place we call Dave's. It's a lake with a few acres, hungry bass and in a valley where the south wind is a big help in casting. We all four fished for a while and then the two boys went traipsing through the underbrush looking for grasshoppers, Devil's Claws and any other insect that could be caught. We only spent three hours at Dave's but it's some of the best time I've ever spent with my son.

The time was great. Plan C worked. I learned a lesson. We ended the day with over 30 fish, a container full of finds and great times. I couldn't have asked for a better day. Sometimes, a backup plan to your backup plan is the best plan of all.

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