I owe you an apology.
Remember after I moved to Washington, and every time I talked to you, you said, “When are you moving back to Utah?”
I remember when you finally stopped asking me that.
It was after one of your visits to Washington, and, at last, you seemed to understand why I loved living in D.C.
We were standing at a busy intersection in Georgetown, and you said, “I can see why you love it here. This is your kind of place. You really are a city girl.”
So, now that I am back in Utah, I think of you nearly every day.
I think of how you loved the beauty and uniqueness of Utah’s mountains, rivers, and streams, and how I never appreciated them.
I keep thinking about when you took us to Boulder Mountain, found a perfect camping spot for our trailer house, and planned a weekend of hiking, fishing, Dutch oven suppers, and thrilling in the beauties of nature.
Yeah, well, I hated camping.
Camping was b-o-o-o-r-i-n-g.
There was nothing to DO.
Remember how you called me “The Go-Go-Do-Do-Girl” because I couldn’t sit still?
Well, camping was torture for a girl who liked to be on the go.
And then there was the fishing.
Just when I thought camping couldn’t get any worse, you took me out on a boat, put a worm on the end of a fishing rod, cast it into the lake, and handed me the pole.
And, there I sat for hours in the blistering sun, holding that pole with a worm dangling on the end of it, waiting for a fish to tug on my line.
You tried to make it fun, tried to help me see the excitement of reeling in a “big one.”
I’m sorry, dad. To me, it wasn’t fun. It was woefully unfun.
And, about that Boulder trip… You were so excited about that trip.
You talked it up like it would be the most fun our family could ever have.
First thing on the agenda was to hike to the lake, hauling our fishing gear all the way.
It was probably a one-mile hike, but to me, it was Mount Everest.
You cheered me on, telling me to concentrate on the beauty around me, and to envision how fun it would be to reel in “a big one.”
I wondered why we just couldn’t drive to the darn lake.
No vehicles were allowed. That’s what you said.
When we finally got to the lake, we saw our neighboring campers packing up their truck to go back to camp.
No vehicles allowed?
Mom and I were not too proud to ask them for an immediate ride back to camp.
You were probably thrilled to have me gone so that you could actually enjoy fishing without my unpleasantness spoiling the fun.
Fast forward to my life now.
Dad, I came home.
I am living in your beloved state.
And, I am hiking, and discovering what you loved.
And, guess what?
I’m not whining, asking for rides down the mountains or using the word “boring” to describe my adventures.
I am awed by the beauty around me, and I am sorry for being such a wimpy, whiny child.
I hope you will forgive me.
But, before you start thinking I’ve made a complete turnaround, I must tell you this: I still hate fishing.
I know it’s blasphemy to say that when I belong to a family of avid fisherman, but Dad, really, fishing is so blasted boring.
But, maybe you could give me a little credit for finally appreciating the beauty and uniqueness of the state you so loved.