This is my campfire. Gather around. I will tell my story. Then, you will tell yours. Memory grade --- that, is campfire fuel.
Everyone has a fish tale, right? Just like everyone plays the guitar. How true, or how good, is what must be figured -- fish stories are usually tall; the guitars usually out of tune.
And recently I've been noticing, I'm being told a lot of stories. One of mine jogs memories and then other stories come running, in old gym socks and tennis shoes, lapping hurdles of time and place -- even, death. My grandpa told me a story this week. It may not be his voice anymore, and I may not be the little two-braided girl asking for "a story about when you were little, grandpa!" No, now I'm a grown woman sitting on an old wooden chair reading typed words from my Grandmother. The computer plays its part, The Mystical Medium. But it is still my grandpa's story.
After I wrote about my fear and fishing for pike, my grandmother wrote:
“When we had been married a couple of years, we decided to take a trip up to Minnesota to a little cabin on one of the many lakes. Grandpa wanted to catch a pike. It rained the whole time we were up there. One evening Grandpa decided that he was going to catch a fish so he went down to the little pier on the lake. It was too stormy to take the boat out so he fished from the pier. Much to his surprise he got a fish on his line, but when he tried to reel it in the fish swam around the mooring and Grandpa couldn't get it loose. He finally had to cut the line and let him go. That was the only fish he caught and "didn't catch" the whole time we were there. We bought a pike when we got home and grilled him in aluminum foil in a little butter and it was delicious. He would have been so impressed with your catch.”
And so the story ends. A picked up pike at the neighborhood grocers...oh revenge, how delicious you are.
.....not the story, but the hour is at fault.
The fire is dying. Yet, there is another log to throw on; and, there is always another memory for fuel. Light lingers...it always lingers. Please, keep telling your stories.