When I was a kid, we had a pond stocked with fish. There was a rickety dock, too as you can see in today's Old Photo Friday.
I have lots of memories of hanging out by the pond - the honeysuckle, the poison berries, the peach tree - but mostly I remember my mom fishing. Out of all of us, she was the real fisherman.
And there was one summer that I remember more than all the others put together.
It was the summer my mother waged a Moby Dick-esque battle against the biggest (and smartest) fish in the pond. This was the kinda fish that fish stories are about. The kinda fish you remember a quarter-century later, and write blog posts about. If fish were celebrities, this one was at least on the D-list.
This fish could not be caught no matter what my mom did.
Fishing poles - and more and better fishing poles - were bought.
Bait was finessed.
Times of day were analyzed, considered, debated.
Friends, like Barbara in the photo above, were invited over to give their advice.
But alas, this clever fish could not be caught.
Finally, at the very, very end of the summer my mother was victorious.
She had won the epic battle, and there lay the fish hooked and helpless.
I remember feeling so much elation on her behalf - she had done it! The fish was caught! Sweet victory!
But in the end, my mom couldn't bring herself to keep the fish.
Grown now, I get it.
But then, my child-self could not fathom how you could toss your adversary right back into the pond.
I post stories and photos from the past every Friday. See them all here.