Dad and Daughter Days
The day looked threatening as my nine-year-old daughter and I paddled a canoe through the channels connecting nine lakes at Chain-o-Lakes State Park. Our craft glided over clear water between forested banks until we came out into the secluded lake where we would camp.
A misty rain began just as we got the tent set up and started our campfire. A spark caught, but it took much blowing and waving to get it to stay lit. We added wood to the kindling with more blowing oxygen to keep the flame going. Finally, we realized that we were not going to be able to relax and just watch this fire cheerfully flicker along. This fickle phenomenon was going be a constant battle. So, I continued to blow on the flames as my daughter roasted her hotdogs. She did the same for me until supper was finished.
Immediately, we hurried into the tent and listened to the drowsy sound of raindrops pattering on the tent roof.
The next morning was also ‘interesting’. Starting the fire was still a challenge but a little easier. Then we discovered that the food we had planned to have for breakfast was missing. So, wieners cut up into the pork and beans left over from last night still made a filling meal.
Often the mishaps of the past become fond memories. They are adventures. At times yet today I hear a chuckle from my daughter and the words, “Hey, Dad, you remember the time…”
The temperature was racing toward 90, and the humidity was rising with it. This, however, was the only time to take my eight year-old-daughter camping at Shades State Park. In earlier days, the area was referred to as “Shades of death” in remembrance of a murder that was committed near there. What a mood setter!
The tent was up and lunch was ready, though, the lunchmeat sandwiches looked like they might literally melt before reaching our mouths. We sat sweltering at the picnic table wandering what we could do to take our minds off the heat.
“Let’s take a hike Dad.”
Well, why not? Moving might stir up the slightest hint of a breeze. As we came to the rustic steps leading down into a ravine, the magic happened. The farther we went down, the cooler it got. A breeze coming down the bottom of the canyon over a trickling stream was cooled as if by an air conditioner.
For a couple of hours we relaxed, enjoying the forest scenery and refreshing air. Entertainment came from dabbling our feet in the stream and looking for crayfish, “crawdads” under rocks.
So, again, seemingly unfortunate circumstances became a joyful shared adventure. The best rewards in life are the best memories.
“Dad, remember the time…”
“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 4Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them3Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 4Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (Psalm 127
Dad and Daughter Days
Dan L. Fuller
(from, The Ordinary Magnificence: Poems of Nature Praise and Hope”
Dad, remember the time…?
Story time and kickball,
Learning to drive the car,
The little girl with sloshing bucket,
Of tiny fish caught from a neighbor’s pond,
Before Mom and Dad woke up.
But unique among the memories,
Are the dad and daughter days outdoors
Special moments shared with each daughter alone.
Canoeing a stream to a secluded lake,
A misty rain fighting to conquer our campfire,
One of us roasting a hotdog,
While the other kept the fire alive,
By blowing on the flames.
Or that hot and humid hike in the forest,
Discovering a deep, wind cooled canyon,
Refreshed by the breeze wafting over water,
Looking for crayfish under rocks,
Dabbling our feet in the dancing stream.
Campfires in the mist,
All ours alone,
Magic moments before “ever after”,
Of dad and daughter days outdoors.