I almost missed it


I almost missed it.

I hadn’t quite finished the last project scheduled for the morning, and the wife and boy came bounding into the trailer after their morning adventures. “There’s a swamp boat tour at 1:30, but we have to leave now if we are going to grab any lunch before that.” said she.

Perhaps I should have declined. it is my work, after all, that made this trip possible in the first place, and the current roster of projects equals food in the fridge when we eventually return home. But a swamp tour — that did not sound like something to be missed. So I packed up the laptop and came along for the ride.

The hour-long float through the bayou of Martin’s Lake presented a cornucopia of wildlife. Turtles dotted logs, blue heron flapped through the branches, and black alligators sunned themselves on logs as my family of three enjoyed a private guided tour of one of the world’s most delicate and breathtaking ecosystems.

I almost missed it.

Back at the camp, I should have hopped onto that project. It was the prudent thing to do. But the boy was begging me to throw a line into the lake. “Please Daddy? Now we go fishing? Now we go? Please? Please?”. How could I say no?

Our only pole was a broken rod with a static line and rusty hook tied to the last loop, and all we had for bait was a can of sweet corn. After ten minutes in the hot sun, I was ready to pack it up, so I announced that we would give it one more try in the little patch of shade by the dock.

He lowered the string to the water. A jerk. A nibble. A splash. And, bingo! There was a fish — a four-inch sunfish — on the line, and my boy had caught it. I was there to applaud my son when he landed his first fish, to show him how to unhook it, and to teach him how to gently pat it on the head before throwing it back into the water. And I was there to watch him pull eighteen others onto the dock too.

I almost missed it.

We wrapped up supper and the boy was clearly tired from a day in the sun. The campground host told us about a family-friendly place down the road with live Zydeco music on Monday nights. How good could it possibly be? The best thing happening in Atlanta on a Monday night is Hulu reruns.

“Maybe we should just skip it,” I shrugged to my wife. “J. is tired, and all we need is to be out in public with a grump on our hands.”

After some hemming and a touch of hawing, we made the short drive to Pont Breaux’s. A veritable weathered barn of a restaurant, the joint brings in local Zydeco acts seven days a week. With no cover charge to listen, an order of crawfish etuoffee bought us a seat near the band. At 7:00 pm, the place was swinging, with locals of all ages stomping their feet and tearing up the patchy wooden dance floor. The three of us even mustered the courage to dance like a trio of fools to one of the rowdier numbers.

I implore you, the readers of this blog, to ask you the same question I have been asking myself lately:

What is it that you are about to miss? What moment, or opportunity, or adventure, or… might pass you by because you are about to go for the comfortable? the prudent? the predictable?

Think it through, embrace the risk, and go for it.

For more images from the trip, join me on Instagram.

9 thoughts on “I almost missed it

  1. Good lord! You COULD have missed it, but you didn’t. Think about the reasons you are hitting the road. Asides from seeing the broader USA and spending awesomely quality time with the fam, this trip will be about making memories. I wouldn’t miss live Zydeco for quids!!! That stuff just goes totally off., Not that I’ve ever had a CHANCE to see it live, but mark my words. When my hubby and I come to camp around the USA (a goal inspired by your blog, might I add…) for a month’s holiday I have now added that to the list of things to do.

    Don’t pass anything up unless it involves potential death or bankruptcy. 😀 Happy trails!

    • Sometimes I wonder if towing a trailer around the country is a setup for potential death — but I’m doing that anyway. Thanks so much for following along. Your encouragement helps to keep us going. Cheers!

    • Ahh yes, always nice to know that Mom is lurking around the blog. No need to fear. I’d bet that you are in more danger on I-285 than I am out here in the country. Stay safe out there Mom — and I will too. Love you!

  2. I had a dream last night that our family joined you guys for part of your trip. After reading this (and previous blogs), I so wish that were true.

    I can’t wait to see where you guys end up tomorrow!

  3. Teach a boy to fish and his family will eat for a road trip.
    You should look for a replacement DC fridge on CL (where ever;) and stock it with fish!
    There are many RV shops that sell 2nd hand goodies also:)

    • We all are prone toward the predictable and comfortable. That’s not always bad, but a little calculated risk can go a long way in yielding great life adventures. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It is so encouraging to me. Cheers!

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