Big Fish

Welcome back to the Winter Solstice 2021 countdown!

We had a little snow in the Northeast earlier tonight, and I guess that means Old Man Winter is gearing up and readying. (Can’t say I’m loving that, but like the man said, “It is what it is.”)

But I digress.

So, 13 days still to go, right?

Jesus, 13.

When’s the last time you even thought about yourself at that age? As I recall, it wasn’t always the easiest.

Yeah, those middle school years (more commonly referred to as “junior high” back in my day) were enough to make you want to grow up in a hurry.

Lucky for me, though, I had my dad.

For a guy who wasn’t able to be around all that much during some of those years, he certainly made our time together count. He’d fly overseas, be gone a week or so, and then, with next to no sleep, he’d pick himself up and drive me to an early-morning wrestling practice. Or he’d drag himself out of bed to run with me. Or instead, we’d head for the Long Island Sound and try to score some bluefish. And once or twice, we even hopped in the car to visit his childhood home in
Queens, NY.

Even though I was just a teenager, basically a pretty clueless 13-year-old kid with zero life experience, I was very sure of one thing: No matter how dead-on-his-ass-tired my dad might have been, there was no way he was going to let his schedule define who he was as a father. No way in hell.

As I got older and eventually started raising my own daughters, I was reminded of that promise he must have made to himself. And when I’d come home from a long day at work or just didn’t feel like doing much of anything, I’d do everything I could to find that other gear. Yeah, that extra one that my dad always seemed to have in reserve.

Just about time for this old man to call it a night, gang.

Rest up and keep the faith.

Come tomorrow, we’ll be just a dozen days away.


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