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  • i remember getting sprayed by a skunk late one summer evening, while leaving the campfire down by the lake to head up to the cabin we had rented for the week. i can still feel how the harsh smell felt deep in my lungs, making me cough so. my mom sent my dad into town to buy tomato juice so she could wash my hair in it.

    i remember playing in my best friends playhouse which her father had built for her. there were shutters on the real windows and we had to cross a little bridge to get to it.

    i remember falling and skinning my knee so badly on my bike one afternoon, that i had to be taken to the doctor to get all the gavel, which was embedded deeply into my knee, removed. it took my mom and the nurse to hold me down while the doctor picked the gavel out with some strange instrument.

    i remember spending days floating around Lake Pend Oreille on my uncles barge, which we would borrow for the week each summer. it was a simple cabin placed upon a deck which floated and moved. nothing fancy. we would explore the lake's massive shores, my father looking for the perfect fishing spots, and us kids swimming all day long, while my mother sat a worried about us in the deep water. we would wake up to the sound of the water lapping right outside our door, moored in a new place each night. it was heaven.

    i remember the night my mother got so angry with my father for leaving his fishing gear outside our camping trailer and then falling asleep before he put it all away, that she went outside and broke all his fishing rods across her knee. my father, who was the gentlest man i have ever known, got so angry with her he left us in camp. i now wonder what that was really all about.

    i remember watching as my father loaded all three of my son's into his truck one morning, his boat securely hooked up to the back. it was the first time he was taking all three of them at once out fishing. i remember being excited for them, but also asking God to keep them all safe.

    i remember my son's loading their grandfather into one of their cars to take him fishing the very last time and standing their watching as they pulled away from the cabin.

    i remember making out in the tunnel, which went under the new freeway bridge they built in my hometown, when i was a teenage.

    i remember opening a box of Cracker Jacks one night and finding my engagement ring inside the little prize package you get inside every box.

    i remember putting my youngest son on a plane to the Alaskan wilderness to fly-fish for 12 weeks. knowing i would miss him and have limited communication from him, but also feeling so excited for him and his new adventure.

    i remember my middle son coming to us one day and telling us he was planning on asking her to marry him, and my heart overflowing with love, as they are a perfect match.

    i remember cleaning out my oldest son's apartment a couple of years back, because he was so high he could not do it and was not paying his rent, and finding hundreds of needles. needles he had stuck in his body.

    i remember not getting out of bed for days.

    i remember waking up and deciding i would live this life again.

    i remember. . .
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