Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Best day of your life

I was watching city Slickers the other night and at one point in the film, the question is asked "What was the best day of your life?"

So I started thinking about that, and in keeping with the rules laid out in the film, the birth of children doesn't count as that is too easy.

The best day of my life was when I was about 7 or 8 years old. It was a summer day and my Great-Grandfather took me fishing at a place called the "Fisherman's Dude Ranch". It was a big lake in a suburb west and north of Chicago.

The property was fenced off with homes and apartments surrounding it and was along one of the main roads in the town. Besides the big lake which had your normal assortment of panfish, bass and even northern pike, they also had two or three smaller ponds. These ponds were only about 3 feet deep at the most and were stocked with trout, lots of trout, lots of hungry large (8 - 10 lbs was not unusual) trout. You rented a pole and could fish the ponds and pay by the pound for whatever fish you caught.

As a young boy these fish were absolutely huge to me. I remember putting the hook in the water (no bait needed as these fish were perpetually hungry and would nibble at your finger) and within about 3 seconds I had a bite. I pulled the fish out of the water (with help from my great grandfather and a net) and was amazed at how quick I caught this fish and the size. I wanted to do it again. My great-grandfather said that I could 'try' it one more time. So in went the hook and about 15 seconds later out came a fish. I was beside myself with pride.

The man at the counter cleaned and bagged the fish for us to take home. I remember sitting in the front passenger seat of the 1970 Oldsmobile Delta 88, the smell of the new car and the air conditioner, and talking fish tales with my great-grandfather about what I had just caught and the 'ones that got away'.

My Great-Grandfather died 26 years ago, but I will never forget that day almost 35 years ago. When a man took time on a summer day to take his great-grandson fishing.

So, what was the best day of your life? And no you cannot say the birth of your's too easy. Leave a comment and share your story.


Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Can I say the day The Bucs won the Super Bowl? That was a pretty good day.

The day my kids were born was a terrible day. I mean - I'm glad I got them, but if I told you that was the best day of my life I would be a huge liar. Unless you are some sort of sicko that enjoys blood transfusions and mag washes - then you may have enjoyed my day.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Kemp said...

Dude, I've been trying to figure this out and can't decide. I'll get back to you on it...eventually.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

I agree with Sarah. The end result of both my "birth" days was awesome. But getting there? Definitely not the best. I won't bore you with details.

But all-round best? That's hard. Lots of "best of"s ...

Here's my most recent best day. One night last week I was telling the story of my day. New words. Funny things that happened. How naps went. I got to the end and I said, "You know what? Today was a REALLY good day."

2:30 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I just re-read what I wrote. Ack. I guess I'm definitely not City Slickers material.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Get ready folks I am going to follow up with "The Worst Day fo Your life"....

9:50 AM  
Blogger peachblossom said...

The best day of my life happened in Florida on my 13th birthday. We were in a parking lot of Captain Kidd's Campground waiting for a campsite to open up for the week we would be staying.

We alsways brought my grandparents RV to Florida for them each Fall and went down again in the Spring to drive it back for them (my grandpa had lost his right arm in an accident on the railroad manyyears before therefore making it more difficult and stressful for him to drive all that way). Needless to say, I spent a lot of time at Disney World, Sea World, Circus World and the lot for many years, and loved every minute of it.

Anyway, it was getting late in the morning and we were hungry. My mom and grandma decided to start fixing breakfast, and as it was the custom in our family for the birthday person to decide on the day's meals we were having french toast, kool-aid, bacon, sausage, orange juice, and hash browns. We set everything up in the parking lot, after dragging a couple of picnic tables over, and they started cooking.

We had a lot of people interested in the great smells that were wafting their way, as there were a lot of people waiting for sites to open up, too. We all sat down and ate and then cleaned up our messes and went for a walk with the pooch.

At about 1:30 pm we still were waiting and again hungry...another meal in the parking lot coming up. This time it was egg rolls, rice, and scrambled eggs for the birthday girl. We again set up the area and got the electric skillets out to start lunch. My mom and grandma cooked for about 2 hours and made a trip to the store for more supplies. Why you may ask? Because by this time we had many onlookers that my mom (mostly my grandma) felt pitty for having to smell the deliscious aroma coming from our "remote campsite" in the parking lot. We ended up making some new friends and had a great time playing frisbee, tag, and just sitting around getting to know everyone.

Finally, at about 4:30 pm, the park greeters came over to us and said they had a site available for us and could we come in and get the paperwork out of the way.

I have never felt so much love, friendship, or closeness since this day. I have since lost my grandparents and my mother (1993, 1994, and 1995) but will always treasure the memories that have been made over the years.

8:03 AM  

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