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Friday, July 20, 2012

Remembering My Dad

New York City

I’ve been thinking about it a lot and there are so many things that I could say about my Dad. Certainly, what people will tell you is that he was a jokester and he like to make people laugh. But, what I want to talk about is one perfect day where he was just being a dad.

My mom and dad took me traveling a lot. My siblings were older than me, so they stayed home, and the three of us would go on trips in our trailer or motorhome. By the time I was twelve years old, I had seen most of the eastern seaboard from Miami to New Hampshire. We would take a trip about twice a month. Friday, we would set out on our way, and we would select a place. Where we would go only depended upon how far we wanted to drive.

If I were to ask you what my favorite place is of all of the places that I visited with my dad, you would probably expect  me to say somewhere amazing. Maybe New York City, where we climbed the Statue of Liberty on Fourth of July weekend. Maybe you’d expect me to say it was when we visited every lighthouse in the Outer Banks. Maybe, you know us well enough to expect that I would say one of our many trips to Walt Disney World.
Disney World
But it’s none of these.

My favorite trip of all with my dad was a short weekend trip to a campground in Louisa, Virginia. My dad had been away, so I hadn’t seen him for a while. It was September or October, and I was 6 years old.

Louisa is in the middle of nowhere, between Charlottesville and Fredericksburg. We went to this tiny campground that had a lake, and the place was empty. No one else was there. It was fall, but it was still warm and beautiful outside. Since there was no one else there, we convinced them to allow us to park our trailer right at the lake. We were suddenly waterfront!
Our trailer at the Lake in Louisa
My dad and I spent an entire day playing at the lake together. We swam in the lake, and played with the fish. I threw marshmallows into the water and the fish would bounce them up out of the water as if we were playing volleyball together.

We went fishing, and that day is still the only time I’ve ever fished. I caught one small fish, and then my dad cleaned and gutted it and we gave it to my mom to cook. We ended up splitting this one little tiny fish three ways. I absolutely hated fish at the time, but I loved one that I had caught myself.

That Saturday was simply the best day ever. A whole day spent with my dad. From then on, whenever we’d start driving, when my parents asked where we should go, my response would always be “LOUISA!”

They would never take me back, because there was just no way of recreating such a perfect, magical time, especially because in all honesty, this place wasn’t all that magical. I’ve decided never to go back because they were right.

So, thank you dad. Thank you for Louisa, and thank you for introducing me to travel. No matter what, I will always have those memories, and they are more precious than anything else that you could have given to me.
Cleaning the fish (there's a fish there)
Miss you, dad. 

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1 comment:

lindsay said...

Love this. It is the simpler things that mean the most! Hope you are doing well.

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