What would it take to make your day really special and unforgettable?
The Kid's Fishing Rodeo was scheduled again this past Saturday and as for several years now our local Trout Unlimited Chapter was one of many voluntary exhibitors/vendors to participate. Hadn't been able to do much this year in the way of chapter activities for one reason or another and especially the last few weeks with my foot problem. Those crutches and foot bootie were more irritating then the foot itself. Still think there's a broken/cracked bone in there somewhere in spite of the negative x-rays from the first doctor's exam.
Anyway, I really wanted to go to this activity as it's been a great source of fun and wonder the last few years that I've been there. However, my early morning wake up also didn't start too good as my hand started shaking on the way to the kitchen and I knew that meant my blood sugar was too low. A quick check showed it to be 77; so, I quickly gulped down a glass of orange juice and downed a good sized piece of chocolate that's always handy by especially for such times.
"The Boss" said, "I don't think you ought to go as it's going to be hot and your foot is still hurting and you'll be standing a lot and helping those kids to learn how to fly cast and all that other stuff." Says I, "I'm going as soon as I down some breakfast and I'll take some snacks and stuff with me to take care of any sugar problems if they show up again."
Arrived early as planned to help set up the canopy where we had one member tying flies and we needed to set up our hula hoop targets that the kids could cast to. Others were setting out magazines and take home materials and a couple of panels of photos showing many of our activities other than some folks opinions that we're just a bunch of good ole boys and gals that just fly fish all the time.
Our fly tier forgot to bring a chair so I offered mine and headed back up to the road where I parked my pickup and was going to get a spare chair for my use during the day.
As I neared the truck there was a family unloading their fishing equipment and I over heard the father say to his wife and the little girl, who was about nine years old, that he was sorry but he didn't bring a stringer to put any fish on and his was just an old metal one anyway.
For once, my almost dim light bulb went off quickly and I remembered my favorite old nylon stringer I had in the truck and which I'd had for years. It had re curved plastic attachments and the ends were pointed like a regular fish hook. They set into a recessed portion of the base and then there's a small plastic piece that slides over the barbed end to lock it in place. Many a worthy fish has resided on it when requested by the wife and destined for the frying pan instead of being released as I usually do.
Quickly plucking the stringer from the bed of the truck I walked over to the family and said I couldn't help but over hearing their dilemma about the stringer so here's one that should do the trick and I'd be happy to past it on.
Suddenly the little girl ran to me threw her arms around my legs, gave me a big hug and said, "Thank you!"
Surprised by the gesture; but, very humbled and grateful I said, 'You're very welcome and I hope you catch some big trout to put on it."
At that moment her dad leaned close to me and simply said, 'She's autistic."
Words fail you at times but your mind churns them out at a rapid pace and I was thinking, "I've been touched by a child of God."
Dad said they were headed towards the river first and then would try the pools filled with trout earlier in the day for the kids.
I had a sudden need to open the pickup door and retrieve an old burger place tissue that had been stowed in my cup holder because something was wrong with my eyes and I had to wipe them.
Suddenly my foot didn't hurt and everything else was unimportant except for the last few passing moments. It was a powerful happening and one memory I'll never forget.