Food, Fishing and Fire

When David had to prepare a short speech in grade one, I suggested he talk about his three favourite things in life  – food, fishing and fire. That title was so perfect that the three “F” words have become a family joke.

My most vivid image of the boy’s at the cottage is six year-old David hopping out of bed at 6:00a.m.before anyone else was awake, throwing shorts and a t-shirt on and running out the door without breakfast. He would grab a fishing rod and run down the hill to the lake to start casting.

I still grin at his obsession with fishing.

We all kept looking out the window and laughing, sending various siblings to fish beside David or catch minnows with a net with Anthony. Matthew, their older brother or Michael would stroll down to fish beside them for an hour or so or the older girls would read or suntan in shifts, just to make sure neither of them drowned. Often I would have to practically bribe them to come in to put on sunscreen, a hat, to eat, or to get ready for bed.Anthony was more intrigued with the minnow trap, shredding bread, counting how many minnows were in the trap and yelling as he ran back up the hill to share his excitement with everyone. The girls and I would just smile and shake our heads at both boys because we could not fathom why anyone would become so excited about fish.

Where did this fanaticism come from?

Why dear old dad, who still can fish for over 12 hours, without food. The scariest combination is my husband and my future son-in-law because when they are out fishing they stay out even longer. Since both men are called Michael, we call them Mike squared or Mike to the power of 2. The women in the family shy away from such excursions because unlike men, we need official pit stops to duck behind the bushes every couple of hours. Such requests are met with stunned indignation and offers of other solutions to our bladder needs!! We refuse these alternatives, of course!

I must add that Emily now is an avid fisherwoman because her partner is completely obsessed with fishing and some weekends she would barely see that fellow unless she tagged along. I must admit, though, that she totes a survival bag with food and a good book in it.


The boys always enjoyed of food but they seemed to eat with extra gusto on holidays,  fresh air and swimming increasing their appetites. Michael always pulled out surprises like frosted cereal, friezes, chocolate milk and candy throughout our holiday. They greeted each treat with enthusiasm.

However, the highlight of every day was the campfire. After dinner, Michael organized the little ones to gather kindling and the bigger kids to find thick branches or logs that needed to chopped. All kids love campfires but boys were almost pyromaniacs. They begged to light the match, poke and stir the coals and light sticks on fire. It is the boys who try to resurrect the coals from the night before by adding twigs, blowing and fanning the flames.

The funny thing is, the boys are now young adults who still are crazy about food, fishing and fire.


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