A old man's perspecitve of life.
The early morning fog was rolling in off the far side of the lake. It would be several hours before the sun burnt the vapors off allowing the warming rays to engulf us. The dock wasn't anything to look at; just some weathered boards nailed together extending some twenty feet over the moribund water. It was barely six a.m. and the damp chill crept into our bones. There weren't any fish in the lake.
But this wasn't about warm sunny days. It wasn't about catching fish either. The five of us were there as a family and that was one of the best days of my life.
Lord knows what that man was doing there alone with a camera that day. There wasn't any wildlife for him to photograph and the scenery was bland as hell. We never knew he was there until he came over to us. He asked our address so he could send a copy of the picture after he developed it. Slightly skeptical, we gave him our post office box address sure we'd never hear from him again. The picture arrived a week later.
Little Spencer made that frame for me when he was in middle school. The angles weren't quite 90 degrees at the corners, but I didn't care. He made it for me. Years later when he began designing and making custom furniture for a living he made another frame for my favorite picture. I kind of scared him when I yelled, "Don't you dare replace that frame!" He must have thought I'd lost my mind.
How could he know how important that original misshapen frame was to me? I'm sure I told him at least a hundred times, but I didn't have the right words to express what a warm feeling came over me every time my eyes glanced upon it. I remember the gangly boy of thirteen with the mop-top head of hair; the sparkling blue eyes and easy smile. I remember the days spent on that awful but welcoming lake. I remember the hours we spent talking about his plans for the future: he wanted to be just like me, a woodworker.
I don't know why neither of us or both of us didn't replace that dilapidated old dock, at some point in time. It would have been a fun project for us to do together. But we didn't. Year after year we would spend a week with the whole family listening to the creaks and moans of the wharf while we caught up on current events.
My grandson is now a father himself. He takes his sons up to the cabin twice a year. My son, Spencer, Jr., and his sons, Trey (Spencer III), Clark and Chris, along with their boys all meet up there every six months. It's been a family tradition for nigh on 100 years. There are several more pictures that have been added to my collection, but this is my favorite, it was the first.
The pale green walls of my room are supposed to be soothing. Dadblasted! I don't want to be soothed into oblivion. Just because my body has started failing me doesn't mean that I'd turn into a raving lunatic if the room were painted a cheerful color or if I had real furniture instead of this plastic crap. As I sit in my beat-up old arm chair I stare across to the wannabe dresser where the next generation picture resides inside a hand-carved walnut frame.
Oh how I wish I could leave this place and join them on their fishing trips. This old body could use an outing but the cabin is not exactly wheelchair accessible being out in the middle of nowhere, having to trek in on foot. But they all come to see me often and twice a year they add another picture of that decrepit pier to my collection.