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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Blast From The Past (or at least a smell)

So Cullen has taken up an interest in ice fishing. It's Minnesota. It's winter. It's one of the things we do. Since he is 13 now, it's time to let him start experiencing things in life and I have always told all of the kids I will support them in any activity that gets them out of the house or widens their view of the world. It can be music, sports, outdoor activities...I don't care.


Part of getting Cullen to the point where he can go on his own is to amass the equipment he will need. Been working on that for a couple of years building up to this year. He now is shopping for a used portable fish house to use on the lake by the house. Portables are great (I had one as a kid) but a little heat is nice. My dad had given me a portable Coleman heater that burns the standard Coleman fuel. Good little heater and pretty safe too in a portable. Well, I dug the heater out of the garage last night (hasn't been used in probably 20 years), filled it with a little fuel and lit it up. As Cullen and I watched it heat up and burn off a couple of decades of dirt and dust, it soon started to emit that familiar smell. I have heard of a smell being able to trigger a memory and this time it was certainly true. As we stood there doing nothing (which is the best time spent together sometimes), the vivid memories of fishing outing from my mid teen years were suddenly alive. I hadn't told these stories to Cullen before since there was never a reason to....until now. Walleyes and northerns, crappies and trout. Sudden snow squalls. The first "warm" days on the ice with the approaching spring. It was so real. It probably freaked out Cullen a little as I was obviously very into the stories as I stood there still getting a whiff of that old heater which was there to bear witness to the real life circumstances of the time.

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Hopefully as this old heater is passed on to my son, maybe someday he will touch a match to wick and the air will be thick with the smell of burning Coleman fuel and remember the time he stood in the driveway with his dad on a foggy November evening hearing the stories of ice seasons past.

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