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Let’s Go Fishing!

A Father’s Day memory

Dad said let’s go fishing when Mother asked what he wanted to do on Father’s Day.
    He bought fresh fishing supplies the day before. We also packed a lunch because we were going to get up early.
    At 4am, Mom was fixing a thermos full of coffee for the two of them as I got myself ready. We ate a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast to hold us over until we could get in the boat and snack. Dad planned to pick up the rented boat and a trailer to haul it at 5am.
    Dad parked right on the beach, and we all helped slide the boat off the trailer.
    “Where is the motor, Daddy?”
    “I didn’t get one,” he said. “I thought I’d just row the boat out a little ways and we can fish not too far offshore.”
    Dad got Mother into the boat, and I jumped in behind her. She took the back seat, Dad the middle seat to row the boat and I the bow. The water was a little rough, showing white caps on some of the tops of the waves.
    About 500 feet from shore the wind was picking up and pushing us out from the beach. Pulling my baseball hat down to keep it from flying away, I asked Dad where were we going to stop and fish.
    “Oh, a little more ways out, I guess.”
    He and my mother laughed.
    “Why are you laughing at me?” I asked.
    “Because we are just getting going,” said my mother.
    “Well, I’m just asking. I’ve never been fishing before.”
    That’s fair enough, you are right,” Mother said.
    “Why is the sky is getting darker out there?” I asked.
    “The clouds should blow away soon. Everything is fine, honey.”
    The wind was behind my mother in the back seat, blowing us farther out from the beach and feeling colder.
    “Daddy, where are we going to anchor to fish? The sky is getting real dark behind you, and now I can’t even see the beach.”
    Stopping rowing and turning around, he saw how dark it had gotten.
    “Maybe we should turn back. It’s much darker — and quicker — than I had thought,” said my dad.
    Within 10 minutes, the waves became rougher. He had to row harder as the wind was blowing from the beach against him. Shortly rain began, the winds whipping at us.
    It wasn’t too long before my mother began to cry, and then me. It got scarier with every passing moment. Rain was coming down in torrents, and we were getting a good soaking. It was even tough to see the beach because of the hard rain.
    We did finally reach that far-away beach. Our car was still there, but water was almost halfway up the tires. We still had to get the boat back on the trailer.
    A red-headed boy ran down to the beach and helped us to load the boat. Starting the car, my father told me to steer it as Mother, the boy and he pushed the trailer onto the road to hook it on to the car.
    That day was my first driving lesson, as well as my first fishing trip.
    I’ve always believed that we had someone else in the boat with us. I think my Dad must have had an angel on his shoulder or we would all have drowned in that quirky storm.