A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something. ~Wilson Mizner
Recently, my family and I took a mini camping and fishing vacation to Parker Dam State Park, just staying the duration of the weekend. Evidently, we are going back in a few weeks but this time Aunt Nikki is gracing us with her presence.
Going there as a child, I enjoyed revisiting the area, revisiting forgotten memories. The Schober’s, good friends of the family had a camp in that area, not far from the entrance to Parker Dam. We used to go up there along with my Uncle Sonny and my cousins as well as family friends to camp out, fish and hunt. It was always a lot of fun, camping with other kids, making mountain pies, catching fish, spotting bear and sitting by the camp fire. This time my experience included setting up our temporary residence in lot #90 with our camper, the dogs, my cat and spotting a beaver. Yep, even after all these years, still equally as fun!
The entire time, dad was reminiscing about us camping among the state park and all his hunting and fishing trips. Out of nowhere dad would comment, “I got a big bear back in that part of the woods.” or “We used to catch big trout out of that lake.” or “Ryan and I used to fish in that creek.” Actually, it was fun to hear dad comment on all the activities I was not apart of, and the ones I forgot about.
Kyle really enjoyed hearing the tails, especially coming from his pappy. Probably because it’s so unusual to hear dad go into a story, even though they didn’t include much elaboration, not like me and mom when telling stories. Still, hearing the stores shoot straight out of dad’s mouth even captured my attention. I could tell dad really enjoyed talking about Ryan, Kyle’s dad. And we enjoyed listening.
Dad reiterated a few times, (being an understatement) throughout the weekend about Ryan loosing his buck knife in the woods. This seriously seemed to bother dad greatly because he mentioned it, no joke, at least a dozen times. Apparently, Ryan went up to Parker Dam to hunt and wanted to take his brand new buck knife. The one dad got him. Dad didn’t want him to take the knife, saying he didn’t need it, however, Ryan had other plans. While moving through the woods, it fell off of Ryan’s belt and was lost forever. As Kyle and I were listening from the front seat of the truck, dad said, “He just had to take it. I told him not to and then he lost it. O, well, I guess he really liked that knife.” Kyle gave me a sideways grin because Kyle does the same sort of thing, not listen to sound advice when he has his heart set on his plans. Kyle’s notorious for taking objects on adventures that were advised not to. I guess like father, like son.
The whole weekend dad would pipe up saying, “I wish I could find that knife. I know about the area he lost it. Ryan said he looked for it but couldn’t find it, course your daddy didn’t look so good.” as he made eye contact with Kyle. That’s true too, Kyle doesn’t look so good either when he is looking for something or tracking it down. It would be right in front of his face and never see it. Just like Ryan! Later on, dad said, “Naturally I felt bad about him loosing his knife, I went and got him another one for Christmas.” Kyle shot me the orneriest grin after that comment. Dad does the same for Kyle! Good old pappy has replaced so many items Kyle lost or broke over the years, and Kyle knows his pappy will always do it. They are all peas in a pod!
So somewhere in the 968-acre Parker Dam State Park is Ryan’s buck knife, unless it found a new home. Although, dad swears he knows the general location of the crime scene, again it could have ended up lining the pockets of another. One day, I would love to trek into those woods, once hiked by Ryan, with a metal detector and see if I could find it. Dad would die happy. I could tell he would no doubt give it to Kyle with pride.
Sometimes its the little items that bring back the biggest memories and really put things into perspective. Can’t wait for our next family adventure!