My dad had this house in Alaska where he used to take us every summer holiday back when I was a kid and through my high school year. The small house was in an estate he bought when things were going smoothly in his company, before the first economy meltdown. He had lost the estate after then and was bought out of his company. It was a terrible time for us, most especially my dad. He spent the rest of his years trying to win back his company but did not until he died. The company was still there even after he was gone, Springfield Group of Companies.
My name is Michael Springfield, an electrical engineer. I have my own company now. I decided I won’t waste my life and energy chasing what might not be, but channeled my strength into improving my life and those around me. I had decided to let go of the past, but the only part of my past life that stuck up with me was living my summer vacation to the fullest.
I love Alaska. I still spend most of my summer camping in the city. And some other times I travel to other parts of the State and outside the State. If I had not planned anything, Alaska becomes my automatic destination because it almost feels like home here. So I never needed to do too much planning.
Wonder Lake was one of those campgrounds my dad used to bring us whenever we came to Alaska. He taught me how to fish, how to pitch a tent, and how to cook a salmon.
I decided to spend my summer in honor of my late dad. I made plans for my trip to Alaska.
I called my dad’s old Alaskan friend, Gregory to prepare a boat for me that we could take fishing when I came around. I also told him I would be camping at the old Wonder Lake my dad used to take us back then.
Surprisingly, old Greg had gotten all I would need for my camping experience at the lake. When I reached Alaska, he met me with everything ready, and he drove me to the campground.
Lots of people had turned up for this summer camping, and I felt right at home at the midst of the strangers. They smiled and welcomed us as they passed by where we tried to put our tent.
“It’s a good thing you are honoring the memory of your dad, son,” Greg started as we nailed a stick to the ground “If those bastards had not taken his company from him, my good friend would still be alive. He worked his ass off to build that damn company, and they took his life’s work away from him on stupid diplomacy.”
“Do you remember when you and dad used to take my sister and me fishing just beyond the Denali River, and when we returned, we would cook the fish in the open and call our neighbors to come to dine with us?”
“Good time son. Your father was a good man. Your father will feel so sorry when the hook caught a small fish, and if it were still alive, he would return it in the water. Everybody here loved him and missed him so much.”
I nodded, and couldn’t find my voice for a while, and he also seemed to be lost in thought. I could tell he was thinking about my father.
I blinked back the tears gathering in my eyes. I didn’t come here to mourn, and I came here to relive the memory of my dad.
“I want to do that again,” I said when finally I could find my voice. “I want to go fishing beyond the Denali River, and I want to cook it in the open and invite everybody like my dad used to do.”
“That is a good thing son, and I am proud of you. Your father would be so proud of the man you have grown to become,” Old Greg said.
“When do you want to go? I will come with you. I know this river like the back of my hands. I know where we can find a lot of salmon.”
“Of course you do, I do not plan to go to that river by myself. Where is the fun in that?”
Old Greg brought the boat I had asked him to rent for the fishing early in the morning the next day, and we headed for the river. We got to a place where old Greg said was a good place, and we set to work.
“I heard my sweet Tulip is married to a Canadian?” he asked about my sister, calling her the fancy name he used to call her since when she was a little girl.
“Oh, I didn’t tell you. They will be joining us here today.” It must have skipped my mind through all the talking.
“Really? It will be so nice to see my grown sweet Tulip once more,” O, and Greg said.
At first, it wasn’t easy catching the fishes. They were either eluding, or we were rusty at the game. I know I was, so I didn’t complain much.
We were there for a while before we started to get our techniques back, and we caught as many fishes as we could. When we were satisfied with what we have gotten we head back to the camp.
It was close to the evening before we got back. The campground was looking alive. Everyone was out and seem to be having fun.
“I hope we have not missed all the fun?” I asked ominously.
“Brother!… Brother!?” I heard my sister calling me.
She hugged Old Greg and dragged her husband to where he was.
“Come and meet my dad’s old friend.”
“You married my sweet little Tulip,” Old Greg said.
“That’s what he calls me,” my sister said, she looked so beautiful with smile spread on her face.
“We’ve got salmon,” I declared.
We cooked the salmon, invited other campers by the fire we made and talked about our father and old times with him.