I remember way back when I was in middle school and my first few years of high school, on thanksgiving day my dad, my brother and some family friends would all wake before dawn and go fishing and this man made lake. We would just set up some chairs pull out the hot cocoa and begin casting out. I’ve never been good at casting out when we went fishing and it used to frustrate me. Sometimes I still try, others I just let someone else and I’ll hold on to it. One of our family friends is like a second dad to me and I remember this one year when none of us kids were catching fish but just then MM got a tug. Just when he started to realize he caught something he called me over and walked me through how to reel in the fish. It was incredible and terribly gross. I was excited to have caught a fish but was taken a back while seeing it as squirming fish. It did make me feel bad that soon we would be cutting it up and it would be tomorrow dinner. Somehow I got past that and didn’t become a vegan.
Later that morning it came time to gut the fish. MM was trying to get me to gut the fish first since I was the only girl and the rest were boy scouts around my brothers age. Naturally none of the boys wanted to dive in first. So I took the plunge and MM walked me through how to gut the fish. I remember blood, guts and slime. I then proceeded to play with the head and act as if the fish was talking. Weird, silly and goofy memories from my childhood came rushing back this morning. When once again my dad, brother and MM woke early and headed to a different lake, this time with a boat. We didn’t catch anything but being awake to watch the sunrise over the glassy water was worth it. The silly stories and valuable advice I gained out on the water today, attempting to fish reminds of the beauty in traditions even if it changes over the years. Today I’m grateful for fishing and all the fun and relaxed memories that go along with it.