Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Gone Fishing – Gone Home

I don’t endorse too many places just because my experience may not be your experience, but for years we’ve come to Marvel Family Trout Camp. And, sincerely, it is a little piece of heaven on earth, but that depends on what your “heaven” might look like. Like I said earlier, we call it the “Red Neck Yacht Club”. You’ll see every kind of RV, camper, tent, 5th Wheel and Motor Home imaginable. When my Honey and I were looking for a place to take our oldest grandsons for a fun summer outing, we ran across this place. Needless to say, it was our little “home away from home” that was filled with so much fun, laughter, with making lots of memories. So much so, that we continue to want to make more.

The first time we came here to check it out, we had a conversion van and my Honey and I pulled into a space right on the Illinois River. We heard the water lapping against the rocks, saw all the potential of family fun (swimming pool, basketball, tether ball, outdoor theater, miniature golf, craft shop – but best of all FISH, fishing and fishing some more. That night it became our little oasis. Now, for 10 years, this has been the place where we recall memories after memories.

Night before last, the kids were making s’mores, playing in the campfire, and laughing and having a grand old time. Larry, Staci and I went for a walk – passed by all those campsites and saw where other people made this their little oasis too. What I saw in Larry and Staci was they REALLY got away from it all. They had a therapeutic time of letting go of technology, business and all the routines they are so involved in on a daily basis. Here, it's early rising to wake up to a new day of fishing, meeting other fishermen who exchange stories and tips for catching the “big ones”. No make-up and dressed-to-the-nines needed here. It’s sheer simplicity, maybe even wearing the same jeans two days in a row. LOL! Doesn’t matter. No one judges us here.

I loved it last night, after we had enjoyed our beer-battered trout and striped bass fish fry, we sat around and talked – no rush – no need to. It was family time. Staci asked the question of the kids. Tell us what you’ll be looking for in a wife or husband someday. When she saw Payton looking at his cell phone, Staci said, “Payton why are you looking at your cell phone when we’re having family time?” He said, “I’m telling you what I’ll be looking for in a wife.” Then he read what he had pulled up…Proverbs 31 – the virtuous woman. Smart kid. Then it was Will’s turn, and he said, “I want a woman that really worships God with her hands lifted and not with T-Rex arms, and I want a woman who can clean fish.” We laughed because Staci helped Larry clean a huge mess of fish today. Fun times. Great memories. Now in the record book!

No, this place may not fit into your idea of an oasis, but for us, it holds memories that continue to mount up – even to the point we know Payton and Alexia will want to bring their kids back here some day! Are you taking time out to make memories with your little ones – so much so, they’ll want a “repeat” with their kids. I promise you. It is worth it!