by Pastor Mark Fisher
October 23, 2017
I was chilled to the bone and this was the last place on earth I wanted to be; reaching down into the freezing water pulling fish out of the net.
Late fall in northern Minnesota was Whitefishing season, and my dad relished it. He loved to net fish. As a teenager, to put it mildly, I loathed it. I loved fishing with a rod and reel, but literally, netting fish was poles apart. Consider the typical afternoon…
After release from eight hours of captivity which others called school, I was still not free to play football, which was my first love, with my buddies. Dad would say, “It’s time to go home and check the nets.” And I would say, “But dad, it’s cold and rainy and my buddies are playing football.” It didn’t seem to matter, he could always out-muscle me. So we hurried home and began the process.
After a cold half hour boat ride to our spot in the Boundary Waters, right above some wild rapids, the fancy oaring began. My dad took first turn at removing the fish from the net, while I manned the oars. I was hoping it would be a poor catch so I could get back to more important things. Instead, a twisted up net appeared! What frustration! It was another northern pike. This ravenous fish got caught seeking a whitefish, but instead of simply dying, he got terribly tangled up in the net trying to escape. Then dad said, “Well son, it’s time to switch places.” Manning the oars wasn’t fun, but hanging over the side of the boat reaching into 33 degree water was far worse! Anyway, we finally got home after dark and cleaned yet another catch.
With my last name being Fisher, and growing up on a remote boundary lake in northern Minnesota, one would think I would have taken to netting fish like a fish takes to water. But it was not to be. What I do have, though, is wonderful memories of my dad and those times we spent together. We laugh about it now 35 years later.
The special memories I now have of my own children are worth far more than riches! For MEMORIES ARE NOT FORGOTTEN! “Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father,” Proverbs 17:6.