26 Mar

The Ol' Man & The BoatFirst off, let me begin by saying I did not write this post. This is a slightly edited version of a wonderful piece I came across while browsing the web today. I was able to contact the individual responsible for putting it on the web and asked for permission to use it on my blog. Permission was quickly granted and I have edited just a few things to put it in my eyes, so to speak. Thank you very much, RetLeo, for allowing me to use this story. It was almost like you were writing about me and my son, and, his son. I am grateful and hope that my readers enjoy this post.

The solitude, that’s why he spent so much time on his old boat. He had seen and done so much in his life that was filled with the sounds of so many different loud and intrusive noises that he relished the peace and tranquility that the boat offered him. The fish were an afterthought. It didn’t matter if he caught them or not, it was the time spent alone with his thoughts that he treasured the most. And at his age he had a lot to think about, a lot to remember.

The coolness of the lakes breeze, the gentle swaying of the waves, and the sight of geese flying effortlessly across the sky, were the only companions that he needed on the many trips that he had made out onto the lake. But things had changed for him, there was a new purpose to his forays across the water, and it surprised him.

It had been several years since he had sought company on his boat. It had been long ago, when his son was but a child. Teaching the boy to fish, to bait a hook, to steer the boat, to follow the birds across the lake. He could still see the boys face lighting up as he hooked a leaping Rainbow Trout and struggled with his fishing rod to bring it alongside the boat so that “Dad” could net it and bring it aboard. The memory brought a smile to his heart.

On this day the old man had arrived at the dock early, while it was still dark, so he gassed up the boat, and loaded the supplies that he would need for the day. There were the sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly of course, and the beverages, the iced tea and the fruit juice, as well as a bag of pretzel sticks. He had brought three fishing rods aboard today, rather than the usual one, and he had actually brought his tackle box too!

He sat at the stern of the boat, which was tied to the dock, and kept himself busy preparing the three fishing rods for the day’s trip out on the water. He tied on the hooks and sinkers, checked the bait supply, and made a few test casts off the back of the boat to make sure that all was in working order.

He started to feel an excitement building within him. It was a familiar, yet far off feeling. It was a feeling that pleased him, brought him joy and comfort at the same time. As the time slipped by he looked nervously at the parking lot of the Marina once, twice, a third time over a five minute time period. Only his old pickup truck sat in its usual space in the lot, otherwise it was empty.

The sun was just beginning to rise, erasing the shadows of the night and replacing them with warm and radiant early morning sunshine. He looked once more towards the parking lot, then he heard the noise of a vehicle approaching. He watched as the truck pulled into the lot and slipped into the space beside his own old pickup. His heart began to race, his excitement increased as he watched his son step from the truck and wave in his direction. He waved back and a smile creased his weathered face. It would be just like the old days he thought, only better.

He watched as his son removed a cooler from the bed of his truck then walked around to the passenger door. He saw his son open the door and watched as the little legs swung out over the edge of the seat and the small hand reached out for his son’s outstretched hand. He watched and he thought about how much he had been looking forward to this moment.

He watched as his grandson jumped down from the seat of the truck to the asphalt of the parking lot, and a tear came to his eye as he saw his son and grandson, hand in hand, walking towards him with happy grins on their faces.

The solitude, that’s why he spent so much time on his old boat. It gave him time to think. He had spent many hours, drifting with the wind, thinking about those early years with his son, and the joy that he had felt spending time fishing with him. Now that joy was returning to him, and bringing an added joy with it. He would now have the opportunity to create new memories with his son, and his son’s son, his grandson. He couldn’t wait for the new memories to begin!

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Posted by on March 26, 2009 in Quick Casts


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