I heard him coming before he rounded the corner to my office.
"I'm just coming to see if he's doing any work," my grandpa says.
He likes to talk tough, but at his core, he's a tender, Hallmark-watching, grandpa.
At 89 years old he's slowing down but struggling to admit it. Drive by our church and you'll find him doing small jobs. Both helping and harassing people whenever an opportunity presents itself.
Growing up grandpa was my pastor, but in my childlike mind was also a professional fisherman.
It felt like we fished together hundreds of times, but in reality, it was probably only a few. Every story he told made me feel like I had experienced the catch myself.
He took me out on a boat. He taught me how to tie a hook. He showed me how to set a trot line and limb line. Every adventure on the lake was exciting.
As life goes, I grew older and busy with other interests. Before long I was an adult engulfed with multiple responsibilities and hobbies. Fishing wasn't at the top of that list, but still every summer (the worst season for fishing) I'd get the itch, dig out the poles, and spend a day fishing.
Every time the love of fishing and the stories flood my mind, but responsibilities and life always seemed to push fishing back to a memory.
This summer that love for fishing has returned and as my grandpa, the man who introduced me to fishing, walked in I had stories to tell.
What made this summer different was my boys, Jeremiah and Elijah. They have become obsessed with fishing.
I've improved my ability to tie hooks with every snag and broken line and discovered my selfish impatience as I spend more time baiting hooks than fishing, but the bond and stories created with the boys through this love of fishing has made this summer one of the best in years.
Grandpa's face lit up as he looked at our pictures. He immediately went into fishing lessons I've heard him say many times before.
As he stood up to leave grumbling over some "work he has to go do for people" I realized I'll probably never have another fishing trip with him. Our days checking trot lines for big catfish have passed and live on in the memories and stories I tell, but he planted a love for fishing in me that now is being spread to my boys.
Life is busy with responsibilities and full of struggles and worries, but there's something peaceful about the sound of running water and your child yelling,
"Dad, I GOT ONE!"
Thank you for being subscribed to these emails and my blog. This email is my long excuse as to why I haven't been writing as much.
I've been fishing!
The itch to write is still there and I plan on continuing to write about faith and family and where those two intersect.
For those of you following along on the reading journey–we are over 200 days in!! I know Isaiah is a difficult book, but don't give up!
Have a great week and end of summer!