February 10, 2015

Family fishing trips in memories.

Cindy, Karen and "Snookie"

Someone near Brainerd, Minn.




Growing up in Northern Illinois, and surrounded by "boring flat fields of corn", it was always a treat for Karen and I to go fishing with the folks in Minnesota...where a beautiful lake surrounded by lots of pines and trees existed. I believe it was near the town Brainerd, Minnesota. Sometimes the entire family went, but as my brothers were a lot older( 10 and 15 yrs older and my oldest sister  7 years older)  the folks had different family members  and experiences going on fishing trips

Sometimes, sister Helen and brother Don also would go but Howie was much older and in college at this time. We had a car load in that old 49 Plymouth , that is for sure.

This particular year, it was Karen, Don and myself with the folks...and probably my last trip fishing with Dad...and mom declared this was no longer on the list for vacations for her...LO is why.

My sister had this thing about getting car sick, so the 13 hour ride up and back was never too much fun for either of us in that back seat! Once there, the first couple days , my sister and I got into poison ivy and were miserable. It wouldn't be long and bed bugs would be discovered in the cabin and the rain would start. I remember these fold down wood window boards we would close to keep rain from coming into the cabin's screened windows. Mom and Don had gone fishing when a storm quickly came up. There were high winds and lightning, all the ingredients of a severe thunderstorm had marooned us to the cabin and Mom and Don to the lake. I could tell dad was very worried. It was a small miracle they didn't drown! Don walked the boat along the shoreline, getting mom safely back to us...which in itself was no easy feat. Mom had this look of hysteria on her face when they returned. A couple days later, I whined until dad and Don agreed to take me out in the boat to fish with them. What a disaster that ended up being! First of all, I had what I felt was a "monstrous bite" on my fishing line which frightened me . I had often heard the "huge northern pike" stories from my brothers...and the natural thing for me to do in self preservation was to throw the fishing pole into the lake and let that monster take it if he wanted it that bad! The sad thing was my dad's brand new expensive fishing pole....which made me feel awful as dad never bought himself anything nice like that...and I threw it away! If that wasn't enough, my brother dove in to rescue the pole, staying under water a considerable time to try to find it, without success. I thought for sure the monster had eaten him! ...and began to cry...poor dad . When we got back to shore with my brother looking like a drowning victim, I jumped out of the boat only to get snared by a big fishing hook , which was embedded into my cheek. This led to more expense and a trip into Hayward to see the doctor , have it cut out in his office and to get a tetanus shot in my rump!

Needless to say, things didn't; go too well this fishing trip, but as I look at this picture I fondly remember all the good things about it as well and wouldn't trade the memories for anything. I did understand why mom wanted to stay home after that though and is why I seldom took my family on a fishing trip.

  Helen writes, "It is no wonder Mom did not want to go back!(LOL) I remember going one year with Dad, Howie and Don. That was the year that Mom stayed home with you girls. My hair was not combed for a whole week; it was a mess of snarls, etc. by the time we got back home and I am sure I was a dirty little Piggy. Dad did not make me do anything the whole time we were there; I was free as a bird! The fish were not biting good that year; remember that there were 2 lakes they could fish from? The one where we stayed in the fishing cabins was " Merrymack"??? and the other was Lake Edwards. One day Dad took me to Lake Edwards with out the boys; the fish were not biting our bait. However another group that were fishing nearby had some fish and offered one big one to us. Dad said to me "Let's tell the boys you caught this big one" and we did. They were really mad about that; there little sissy sister catching a big fish and they had none.

My memories are of the dive bomber mosquitos that attacked us. Between the holey screens and the cracks in the wood floor; they relished coming in and attacking us at night. I remember sleeping with the blankets over my head and hearing them buzzing. Also the Army worms that hung from the trees!! REmember the shack where you cleaned the fish? And the ice with sawdust on it; where you took your fish to keep on ice until going home? Also the little restaurant on the porch of Snookies parents house where we went to eat once in a while? I remember the time when we went in the old Plymouth and could not get up the hill at Woodbine. It was a 13 hour drive at best to Minnesota. Finally Dad let it coast all the way down the hill and found a little gas station in Woodbine. A bug was in the gas line; after that was taken care of..we were on our way to far away. I was so scared we weren't going to get up that hill. I remember it would get so hot that we would lay on the back seat (must have been crowded) and stick out feet out the windows. No wonder Karen got car sick; more of a wonder that we all didn't. It was a special time; we thought it was really great. Mom and Dad had a way of making our lives happy without spending a lot of money. And we earned that vacation by cutting asparagus..taught us responsibility as well. I wish our grandchildren had this kind of experience; they have so much, so young these days. "

Karen states " Even with the poison ivy (which Mom would go out and pull to keep us from getting it) and all the problems ,we had some wonderful summers in Minn. Wonder what happened to Snooky...never knew her real name! I do remember being checked for ticks and having them removed! "
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