In the summer of 2000 I had the opportunity to go fishing for bass with some of my friends in Texas. We were going to a lake near Houston and decided to bring along our bass fishing tackle and the necessary items to cook our catch. The trip turned out to be a great one, but not because of the fish we caught. It was a great trip because of the people we met.
We stayed at a small hotel in a little town just north of Houston. The hotel was run by a very nice lady who seemed to have been born into the hospitality business. She greeted us as soon as we checked in, gave us the keys to the room and went back to her own home to get dinner started.
She returned about an hour later and began preparing a huge meal for all of us. She set up the table, filled the glasses with ice and began to put out plates and silverware. All of us helped her prepare the meal, but she did all of the work. She even washed the dishes!
As the meal was being prepared, she brought out a large bowl full of what looked like miniature marshmallows. She placed them in front of each of us. She then asked us if we wanted a little something sweet before we ate our dinner. She said that she had made them herself and that they were very good.
Well, you know what happened next. Each of us took one of those marshmallows and popped it into our mouths. We were all surprised by how good they tasted. After we finished eating our dinners, we sat around the table and talked. We told her that we had never met anyone who could cook like she did.
After dinner, we walked down to the dock and sat on the dock. As the sun went down, the lake began to darken. The sky became black and the stars came out. We sat there and talked for hours. We got to know each other better than we had ever known each other. We talked about our families, our jobs, our interests and our hobbies.
It was a great evening. We talked about the things that we had done during the day. We talked about the things we would do tomorrow. We talked about our lives.
When the sun came up the next morning, we had breakfast together and then packed up our things to go back to Houston. On the way back to Houston, we stopped at a gas station and picked up some more bait and a couple of beers. We then stopped at another gas station where we bought some water to fill our coolers. We then went to the lake and set up our camp. We fished until lunch time.
That night, we cooked our fish over the campfire. We grilled the fish and ate it with our fingers. That night was a night to remember. We talked about the past, the present and the future. We laughed and we cried. We drank beer and sang songs.
The next morning, we packed up our things and headed back to Houston. When we arrived back at the hotel, we met the same woman who had taken care of us the previous night. She gave us our key and then said that she would see us the following morning. We thanked her and said goodbye.
I have thought about that trip for years. I have thought about the fact that I had never met anyone who could take care of me so well. I have thought about the great memories that we made and the wonderful people that we met.
I have also thought about the fact that we could have been sitting on the dock talking about the things that we had to do tomorrow. We could have been talking about the things that we would do in the next few days. We could have been talking to each other about our lives and our futures.
Instead, we were talking about the past, the present, and the future. We were talking about our dreams. We were talking about the things that we wanted to do. We were talking about the places that we wanted to visit.
I have often wondered if we could have done something different. Maybe we should have tried to talk to each other about the things that we had planned to do tomorrow. Maybe we should have tried harder to make each other laugh. Maybe we should have tried a little harder to make each other cry.
Maybe we should have spent more time together. Maybe we should have done something different.
Maybe we should try again.