It was Mothers day and a beautiful day it was too. My wife, mother of our two sons, wanted to just have a day to relax. So there is a river only 20 miles from where we live that comes out of a cave at the base of a bluff that stands nearly 150 feet high. We both have always liked going there. The water flows out into a beautiful small Lake, the water a almost sky-blue in the deeper water. The water is diverted into rearing ponds of a trout hatchery through troughs that were built around 1940. There was a lot of history here as the lake was originally a mill pond used for grinding grain. Now it is a state Park well maintained and a wonderful setting for all sorts of activities. For now though we were interested in activity near the water.
The trout shine rainbow colors as they swim in competition for food. They glide through the water effortlessly and jump from the water, hardly making a splash. We watched as two small children were getting fish food from a dispenser. One of them accidentally dropped hers and was crying. M took a empty plastic bag from her pocket that had some candy in it moments before and I put a couple of quarters in the machine. The children giggled over the parents objections that we didn’t have to do that. Soon the plastic bag had enough ‘ammunition’ to keep them busy for several minutes. One would have thought that we had given them the moon! We watched a while as they took turns feeding the fish. They squealed with delight when the fish would come up for thrown food.
Later M and I relived the memories of our now grown children and the fun that we had at the very same place some years ago. It was lunch time and we went to a favorite picnic spot where we met up with our sons. L, our oldest, already had the charcoal going and W was at the park store picking up some forgotten buns. I have always been the cook and soon had the burgers and dogs ready to eat. M had made a cake in a Dutch oven and we had that for dessert. After we ate we climbed the trail that lead up, over the bluff where the water came out down below. The people looked small as they walked around the park grounds.
At one point we saw small snake. Of course the boys had to play around. I told them that I would cut the bite open and let the venom drain out of they got bitten. (it was a garter snake) fortunately for our boys the little squirmer slithered out of sight before they could hurt themselves. We walked new paths that had only recently been built. They were paved from rock taken from a quarry right in the park. The state had also put handicap accessible walks along some of the shoreline to let everyone enjoy the fishing and strolling. Sometimes anglers would be elbow to elbow fishing. There were only a few fishermen this day (probably doing something the wife /mother wanted to do).
This spring has been mild and many of the trees were still flowering. Dogwood trees were still in bloom, as we’re various wild flowers. Springtime is the time to be out and about. It is easy sometimes to forget the simple things that can brighten a day or a mood. When I think about it now, this is what we need to return to, being together enjoying what life has to offer. This Mothers day is one of the fondest that we will remember in the years ahead.