I went fishing, Monday, with Travis & Jase. (First time ever saltwater fishing!) While we were leaving, near dusk, a couple guys in a boat caught my eye. They were shoving long poles into the water and into the pluff mud beneath so that the poles stood erect out the water in a line. For the moments before Travis and Jase knew I was no longer walking with them and approached me, I was time traveling back to my childhood. I seemed to be the only one there that knew what those guys were doing...
When I was little, my dad would take us out to a secluded road that seemed to go on forever. (As an adult, it still seems that way! I avoid it like the plaque to keep myself from "time traveling.") We would get to a place where there were huge clay mounds. We would fill some buckets with clay, then we would go home. At home, we had a big tub that we used to keep a Christmas tree in (...I'll get to that in a minute...) We would mix clay, some water, and lots of fish meal in the tub by stomping on it with our feet. (That was fun for us as kids!) Dad would always let me have some of the clay that I would sculpt and we'd fire later in a campfire. So anyways, we would mold the mixture into huge balls that we would put back in the buckets. Then off we went at late/early hours on a ride. We would finally get to salt water and put in our boat. We would hunt for the right spot and then he would start shoving long poles into the water and into the pluff mud beneath so that the poles stood erect out the water in a line. Then we would throw a few of our mixed balls around the poles. We would take a short little ride, enjoying the scenery. When we got back, he'd throw this huge, round, circular net out and pull in gazillions of shrimp! (I mean gazillions as a child's number not an actual one! LOL) A law was passed that we couldn't remove the heads on the water, but I would always "sneak" some off to feed the birds that would follow us around. I remember him trying to teach my mom, sisters, and I how to throw the net. I was the only one to get it right on the first try! :)
It isn't often that a positive memory pops up from my childhood. And when they do, they are always bittersweet. My dad died in a house fire when I was 11. (I married a fire captain's son by coincidence!) Mom never took us shrimping, camping, or anything else that we used to do, since. She had moved on (as did my sisters) but I will always hold on to him.
About the Christmas tree. I was always the nature-loving one of the family. One year, when we went out into the woods to cut down our Christmas tree, I got real upset and told them they were "killing Christmas!" On Dad's call, we walked home and he traded his saw for a shovel! He went back and dug up the tree instead! He had to buy a huge tub from down the street to keep it in. (Which made the perfect shelf for a train!) After the holidays, we planted it in the front yard, where it lived until Dad died.
Here's a good memory for me to leave you with:
I have always been Miss Halloween! Halloween started around August/September ish and didn't end until I said it did! LOL Sometimes it would be Halloween for years on end! And I actually married Mr. Christmas! LOL Our first year together, Travis approached me with "Isn't it time to put away the Halloween and bring out the Christmas? I mean, it's already December!" So the next day, he came home from work to find a Scarecrow with a Santa Hat, a talking skull with antlers, and various other compromises! LOL He has never fussed about it since! :)