What’s For Dinner?
Since I decided to take on the Family History Writing challenge I thought it might be wise to mix things up a bit. I will be writing up some of my memories of my family, starting with my grandparents. I do plan to continue the chronology of my grandfather and as I have those sections completed I will post them but my memories will act more as filler between the main story.
On one of our annual summer vacations with my grandparents we went camping at Idyllwild Park in Riverside county. My grandparents owned a huge motor home so even though we were camping we could sleep in beds, use a bathroom and play games on the fold out table.
One morning I decided to walk to the lake (really a pond) and came upon a young man fishing. I watched him for quite a long time and he eventually asked if I wanted to fish. I told him that I had never fished before and he reassured me that it wasn’t too hard to do. I was nervous about taking the fish off the hook and asked him if he would do it for me if I caught a fish. When we had agreed upon that, I was fine on trying out fishing. I took the rod and tossed the line in the water and within seconds, I had a fish on the line. The boy was surprised I had caught something because he’d been out there for some time and hadn’t caught anything. As promised, he took the hook out of the fish and I helped hold the fish while he did it, It was really slimy and slippery but it had inspired me to do some more. So I headed back to camp in search for some fishing equipment.
When I told my grandmother I was going fishing, she gave me a bit of money so I could buy some fishing line at the bait shop. I didn’t know what to use as bait but had noticed some Velveeta cheese in the fridge. I think my grandparents were tickled about my new found adventure and so when I asked if I could have the cheese, grandma said yes.
Off I went to the bait store to buy some fishing line and a hook. I headed back to the pond and looked around for a long branch. As luck would have it, there was a perfect sized branch right in front of me. I don’t recall how I tied the line to the stick but I did and then I rolled a bit of cheese into a ball and stuck it on the hook.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself as I walked to the edge of the pond. By this time there were a half dozen men fishing off to the right of where I was. I must have been the cutest sight to see because everyone was watching me and encouraging me the whole time I was there. I took my pole and dropped the line in the water and within a minute or two I felt the tug on the line. Since I didn’t have a reel I had to drag the fish out of the water by backing up.
I hadn’t thought as far as what I would do once I caught the fish but the young man who had shown me how to fish earlier that morning was still there. He helped me and said I could use his chain. It was staked to the ground and allowed the fish to swim in the water while he was fishing.
Once that was settled, I baited the hook again with Velveeta cheese and threw the line into the water. Again, the fish just went for that cheese and I had another fish on the line. I pulled it in and helped to take the hook out and put it on the chain.
It seems I was drawing the attention of the other fishermen because they weren’t catching anything. They offered to trade their pole for my stick and some even joked about going back to camp to get Velveeta cheese. Meanwhile, I continued to fish and caught one more. By this time, I was pretty much done with fishing and was ready to go play. The young man helping me said I could take the fish on the chain since they were all mine and I could drop it by his camp later on.
With chain in hand I head back to camp. Big smile holding up my prized catch for everyone to see. I think I took them by surprise when I actually came home with the fish. My grandfather stepped right up and admired the fish I caught, telling me that they were rainbow trout.
He then threw them on the table and started scaling and gutting them. It was really gross to look at, yet I was fascinated with the procedure. Once they were all cleaned he got out a frying pan and heated up the burner right then and there so that we could eat the fish right away.
To this day, I have always loved to go fishing, whether I catch or not. It just brings back great memories of camping with my grandparents…and I love trout more than any other fish!