Thanks Dad

In Digital, Family Bonding, Nature
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It was my father who taught my three boys to fish. From the time they were old enough to hold a rod in their hands, he had them out on the water. He did the same with me, but they took to it better than I did, and as adults they have all taken to the water at different times in their lives.

A few days back, we pack up the dog and a lunch, and head to Whidbey Island to meet up with our son Brandon and his friend Clint. They plan on fishing while we walk the beach. I have been meaning to do this all summer, and somehow here we are, into fall. 

The weather is perfect and the beach is almost empty. I am content to walk, taking photos as I go, scanning the beach for rocks and the lonely shell now and then. My husband takes the dog and wanders the shore with him, keeping him from rolling in smelly seaweed and kelp. 

We spot a few sea lions, which is a good sign, as they are no doubt fishing too. But the guys are not having much luck, but truly, I don’t think they care. They are happy to be out today, thigh deep in salt water, casting their rods. 

For a few hours we all forget the craziness of the news, the upcoming election and the virus that is haunting our world. For a few hours we listen to the waves, sit with the sun in our faces, smell the salt water, and watch our boy fish.

We pack up and leave them to fish, knowing they will stay until the sun starts to go down. Brandon sends me a text when he gets home saying they didn’t catch anything but man, wasn’t it a beautiful day. He thanks us for coming out. 

I am forever grateful to my father for teaching my boys the lessons learned from the rivers, lakes and oceans, with or without a fishing rod in their hands.

My mom and dad, fishing somewhere in the state of Washington.



  1. Thank you for this vicarious moment of zen. Much needed!

  2. What a gorgeous place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature! It is very healing, indeed.

  3. Cathy, I love the whole story. What is it they say about fishing? “Even a bad day fishing is better than a day a good day at work.” The whole post makes me think of my father, too. He’s the one who taught me to fish and he even understood when I needed a towel to hold onto the fish to take it off the hook. It’s your last photo, the one of your parents, that sends my heart swirling. I think I have one very much like it of my parents, too. Beautiful in every way.

    • Thank you, Donna. My dad use to say, “The fishing was good, the catching not so much.” But it didn’t matter, he just loved being out on the water.

  4. Cathy, thank you for a lovely few moments at the beach. The blues in your photographs are stunning, I found myself imagining transferring them to canvas. So peaceful and meditative. Seeing the final photo of your parents was a treat!

    • Grace, thank you so much! The beach, blue sky and the waves, all are so meditative to me.

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