While we were posted to Marville, France by the RCAF, my father introduced our family to camping. It was an exotic adventure to sleep for the first time under canvas, walk to the communal wash house each morning and to cook our meals outdoors. Over the years, camping would become the norm at vacation time, especially when we were overseas.
This time was special to me for an unusual reason. My father took me fishing. I had fished with him before. There was a family cottage and we had dropped our lines off the dock and from my Grandfather’s boat. Here, we had no boat so we cast our lines from shore. The owner kept the lake stocked with trout so it wasn’t long before we had our dinner hanging from the stringer. Dad showed me how to improve my cast and we chatted and shared fishing stories with other fishermen nearby. We had a good time and got along well.
Back at the camp site, Dad started a fire and then cleaned and prepared the trout. He added a little butter and salt and pepper and sealed the fillets in tin foil. Once the fire was ready he stepped over and tossed the package into the coals. I don’t recall the other parts of that meal. The aroma that arose from that foil after it was pulled from the fire has stayed with me ever since. For years, I proclaimed that trout dinner to have been the best I had ever had.
I don’t remember how the rest of that vacation went but that had been a good day. We didn’t always have successful holidays because family life stays the same whatever the setting. I do know that it’s one of my best memories of time spent with my father. ©