Tuesday, May 23, 2017


We’re heading out this morning for our annual fishing trip to Marval FamilyTrout Camp in Oklahoma. The list of "must take" items that was made by Papa and I years ago, was updated, added to, and all items for the cabins, the food and, the most important, fishing gear are present and accounted for.

I don’t endorse too many places just because my experience may not be your experience, but for years we’ve gone to Marval. And, sincerely, it is a little piece of heaven on earth, but that depends on what your “heaven” might look like. Our oldest grandsons dubbed it the “Red Neck Yacht Club” the first time we went there, many years ago, when they saw folks fishing from their lawn chairs right smack dab in the middle of the Illinois River. LOL! When my sweetheart 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, and lots of memories made. Today, we'll start making more.

The first time Ron and I went there, it was by ourselves, just to check it out. We had a conversion van back then so we 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, and it is still “the birthday gift of choice for Payton” to get to go there. It appears that we’re all along for the ride, but NOT – we all love the adventure. I remember last year, after fishing almost all day and it was starting to get darker, Larry asked Staci “Wanna’ go fishing?” Her reply was “Morning, noon and night!” LOL!

We're in good company with Jesus and His disciples. After all, it was Peter and Andrew, brothers who were fishermen, that Jesus called to be His disciples. It was fish that Jesus multiplied to feed the 5,000+. It was fish that Jesus cooked for His disciples. It was in a fish’s mouth that Jesus sent the disciples to obtain the coin to pay their taxes. It was fish that Jesus likened to, when He said to His disciples “Be fishers of men”! There’s something about being a fisherman. Jesus set the example, and we’re simply doing what He did. There’s competition, calm relaxation and a potential meal (or meals), as the fruits of the rewards of fishing are bountiful. We’ll be having a huge fish fry while we’re there. Great expectations! Aw! I can taste it now.

We’ll sit by the campfire and laugh and talk about our adventures in each day. We’ll talk about the “big one” that might have gotten away or the fishing techniques that an old fisherman might have shared with us. We’ll make lots more memories that we’ll continue to share for years to come. 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 that they want to carry on the tradition when they have little ones?