The spring of 2012 began as a time of blessings for me, and the fishing could not have been better! I remember several times when my fishing buddies graced my life with quality time, and there were some catches to remember. One of these was with Sam and Brock! Three generations were in a canoe, and I believed God was painting a life picture of the future for me!
I enjoyed being with my friends, we put out a fishing line with lots of hooks (trot line) on the Maries River. I enjoyed my role in the grandfather’s seat and listened to Sam instruct his five year old son Brock about safety pertaining to the wobbly boat they call a canoe. Brock’s dad loves him very much just like I love my son Patrick. A father needs to protect their son and be sure they are careful with things like trot lines!
We set the line on a Friday evening and rode home with high expectations for a big catch on Saturday morning! We all rode together in Sam’s stepfather Bill’s old yellow Dodge long bed pickup. Bill cares about Sam too and has pretty much given him the old yellow truck for transporting an eighteen foot aluminum canoe. When Sam hauls the long boat it hangs out of the back of the truck, so he ties a red rag, to the end of the big canoe to warn other drivers. Brock and I had to share a seat belt because the old truck only has two seat belts. But, Brock did not seem to mind, I think he likes me, kind of like I am a grandfather person to him. I gave him the basketball goal and stand that was in the backyard and used to belong to your dad and your aunt Jenny.
I had a wonderful time with Sam and Brock fishing and getting to be their friend. Anyway, I looked forward to continuing the adventure we began on Friday night because it would be continued the next day on Saturday morning. I remember not sleeping through the night and getting up too early. I called Sam early on that Saturday morning, because I was so excited to check the trot line. I could tell he was not awake and he said politely that, when Brock woke up he would call me and we would drive back to the Maries River to check the trot line. I made some kind of feeble attempt to apologize for calling so early, something like: “I was afraid someone might take fish from our line”, that was not good of me to even think! Sam was kind and seems to be very positive ( a good example for Brock) and promised all would be OK! Later Saturday morning the weather was good and it was a beautiful day in May!
Samuel, I see now, at the end of the summer, that the beautiful weather was such a blessing and that I was perhaps not thankful enough for it!
Sorry I stopped telling the story Samuel, OK, I remember on that beautiful Saturday morning we stopped at an MFA (Missouri Farmers Association) “Break Time” and bought some breakfast. I remember sitting in the passenger’s seat with the one seat belt around Brock and me, I was eating a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, and taking an occasional sip of hot coffee, remembering a time long ago, when I was about Brock’s age, and my grandfather McKinney took me for an outing in his 1949 Chevy pickup truck. I came out of my daydream when Brock kind of sniffed out my sausage biscuit, I asked him if he wanted to eat it. He smiled and projected big blue eyes and helped me understand that he did want to eat some of that sausage biscuit! Brock ate breakfast while his dad drove the truck and talked with “Grandpa Terry”. When we got Maries River, we unloaded the big canoe and carried it to the river, Brock got in the boat first and sat in the middle, I was in the front and big Sam was the back. Sam is real strong and does most of the paddling. We paddled to our trot line up river; the Maries is a tributary of a tributary (Osage) all rivers flow to the Missouri, where I fish in Central Missouri. The Missouri River is like the mother and the Maries is a baby!
When the trotline was in sight, we could see the tree it was tied to was shaking! We were all excited and the catch was sure to be good. Sam was an expert rudder man, I checked each line, carefully unhooked some nice catfish and one turtle that day. Brock was the inspector and keeper of our catch. What a fearless five year old he is!
Samuel, this is one of many fishing memories, I have of the year 2012. This fall in September or October, I hope to take Brock fishing to conclude a memorable season. But, Samuel I never stop fishing I fish in the winter too!
By the time you are old enough to read this story Samuel, my young fishing buddy the boy Brock will be a man. I hope he can take you fishing and I am still young enough to fish with both of you!
Do you remember I said earlier in this story, Samuel, that I was “perhaps not thankful enough for the beautiful weather”? The rest of this story will explain the importance of gratitude and thanks a person must have for all their fishing seasons! I have even heard an old fisherman’s belief that every hour a man spends fishing will add a day to his life. I believe this so I will look forward to fishing with you Samuel.
I am writing this story for you but the spirit that helps me write to you and paint pictures for you also wants me to share it with others. It sort of tells me “that if I paint, some will see what I saw and if I write, others will imagine the things I have dreamed”, so I am illustrating this story for you Samuel, and others too!
As the summer of 2012 in Missouri developed, it became increasingly hot and terrible dry. I continued to fish, but I had to change my fishing ways, no longer did I enjoy all day light hours, and I started to fish very early in the mornings and sometimes late at night. As I fished I began to see how living things around me were being hurt by the lack of water. I began to pray for rain and even cursed the drought. All life around me was stressed and it caused great suffering. Early in the summer your dad, came to Missouri and your mother Amber was carrying you inside her. We had a very happy time all being together as a family. One special day while your parents were visiting your grandmother Michelle, aunt Jenny and me, your dad and I went fishing. The weather was a little hot, but we had a great day! After you all left Missouri for South Carolina, I missed you and it was like the pleasant weather went away too! During the months of July and August we had no rain in Missouri. The meteorologists (weather people) called the extreme hot and dry weather that came without warning “flash drought”. Trees, and animals suffered and it made me really sad.
Late in the summer we left Missouri to travel to South Carolina to greet you when you came into the world. You were born on July the 23 and there was a rainbow that I photographed over the hospital where you were born!
I saw the rainbow that day and photographed it, but I did not begin to thank God, enough until the day after I saw it. I went fishing with your father in South Carolina, and had a very happy day, it was when I was fishing that I stared to imagine something very special. Samuel, it is good to fish out where you can give thanks to God in the beautiful world he created and imagine God’s love. A funny thing happened by the lake, the crickets I bought for your dad and I to use for fish bait, all got away, when I dropped the container they were in; I just laughed because I was so happy. In days gone by your dad would have seen me get up set, because of such a thing, but I just thought about you and the things over the rainbow where God has created another special place for us all to live forever!
When we had to leave South Carolina and travel home to Missouri, I was sad, but I traveled with your grandmother who I love very much and your aunt Jenny, my wonderful daughter who I love too, and we enjoyed the journey together! We traveled to Missouri safely and I continued to paint pictures and fish the rest of the summer. I prayed the drought in Missouri would end and that rain would come. Many other people also prayed that rain would come! My church family at Pleasant Hill Church and my friends in the Rainbow Coffee Group prayed. On the last day of August our prayers were answered, when Hurricane Isaac touched Missouri with slow soaking rain. On the first day of September I did two things I love to do: I got up early and painted a picture I call “T.S. Isaac Touching Missouri” and late in the day I fished. I stood in the rain of Thunder Storm Isaac and fished till almost sunset! When I cam home I saw a picture of you and I was very happy it is all something I see when I remember the rainbow and give thanks to God!