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Old 12-23-2002, 12:36 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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Dan sat at the light. The aging truck coughed a little, but pumped out good heat. "A beat up whiz of a vehicle" he called it. He could see the small sign of the companys office ahead through the light rain. The traffic was heavy, lots of last minute shoppers this Christmas eve. He pulled in, shut off the motor, and walked into the lobby.
Jesica was at her desk, "Hey Dan" she said, "Hows your day?" O.K. I guess" Dan said, and managed a half smile. He could hear the printer in the background as it buzzed through his paycheck, then it stopped. Jesica was headed back to where the printer was located, and just before she got to it, it started printing again. Dan's smile grew a bit, "theres my bonus" he thought.
She brought back the envelope, handed it to Dan, and said "Happy Holidays!" He smiled and left. Back in the truck, he tore into the envelope. There were two checks and a small card. Dan knew what bills he had to cover, they had been rolling over and over in his head like a dog in the snow. All he wanted was enough left over to buy his son, David, that flyfish outfit at the sporting goods store in town. But as he looked at the numbers, added them in his head, he realized there just would not be enough. He threw the checks on the torn seat. "Damn it anyway" he cursed, "once, just once". Outside the rain was turning to wet snow.
The fall before, David, now 12, finally had perfected a crude cast of his own. The weekends they had spent on the river had been, what he figured, the bonding thing that everyone talked about. They laughed together, caught fish together, sat around the fire and gave each other encouragement. The downside of all this was his sons equepment, an old rod and reel bought at a yard sale. Dan could see the frustration in his young face. He wanted so much to change that for him, but it was not in the cards this year.
It was all snow when he turned into the drive at his house. He could see his wife and son in the kitchen through the window. Dan came in through the back door and his son greeted. "White Christmas dad, pretty cool huh?" "Yeah, Dave" he said, trying to sound up beat. His wife gave Dan a hug and said "is there going to be enough?" "We will cover the bills, but not much more" he said. "What about, you know?" she knoded toward David. "No, not enough" Dan said, looking at the floor.
He poured a cup of coffee, and walked into the living room. David sat in a chair next to the Christmas tree. Dan went to the couch."I cant believe it's going to be a white Christmas this year" David said smiling. Dan piped up "Listen Dave, there wasn't enough to get the combo setup for you, I'm sorry". Dans chest was tight, and his heart was pounding. Then David said "Well, we can still go fishing together, right?" He caught Dan off guard. "Well...sure, sure thing Dave" he said. "I just like fishin with you Dad, I mean, well that old rod is a bother sometimes, but, Ijust like the fishin part, you know, you and me". Dan realized that he was smiling ear to ear with his mouth open. "O..kay, yeah, I mean yeah!" He was speechless as well. David continued "Its just like you say Dad, you and me, alone on the river, theres not much thats better than that" David got up, leaned over, and gave Dan a hug around the neck. "I love you Dad, your the best!" Dans wife called from the kitchen, "Dinners ready".

Sometimes its not the "gift", but what you "give" that counts...
Happy Holidays
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Old 12-23-2002, 03:36 PM
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juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,594
What can I say... but thank YOU for that holiday gift. I look forward to shaking your hand at the Seattle show, friend. Thanks for that reminder of what is most important about this joyous time of year.
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