Fishing with Papaw

Last Friday brought a transformation of one kind. This Tuesday, I want to share a transformation that was much, much longer in the making. 

My Papaw and I wanted to make a fishing trip--our first one together in YEARS--before I left Kentucky for an extended stay in New Mexico.

There's no better time than the last minute! We went yesterday, and it was the perfect way to spend my last day in Kentucky before a few weeks of sand and dry heat. 

There's no better time than the last minute! We went yesterday, and it was the perfect way to spend my last day in Kentucky before a few weeks of sand and dry heat. 

 This is Landon's expression, reading the nutrition facts on the back of our lunch. 

 This is Landon's expression, reading the nutrition facts on the back of our lunch. 

Which was this: the classic Papaw lunch. You can't catch a fish without eating a couple "vy-ee-nees."

Which was this: the classic Papaw lunch. You can't catch a fish without eating a couple "vy-ee-nees."

We certainly enjoyed the day with the legend, himself.

So, about that transformation I mentioned earlier.
Here are some moments from past experiences with fish.

I tried to get another picture with Papaw yesterday, but the sun killed our vibe.

Doc Shuffett

This week has been wonderful and sad and wonderfully sad all at once. 
There are a million and one things I could focus on, but only one thing I want to talk about.

Since last Saturday, I have battled with what this week's post should be about. There were many things it could be about, but I knew what it would be about. Thursday, March 27th, I leaned down to let my Popadoc kiss my cheek for what I knew would be the last time. I flew to New York on Saturday, and dreaded the inevitable call I would get to tell me Popadoc had left this world and entered another.

Since then, I have written a few different versions of my own Popadoc tribute. Whether in my head, at the airport, or at my desk, none of them felt "right." They were either too sad or too long or too detached. In the few days since my grandfather has passed, I haven't yet found words to describe him with all of the love, sensitivity, and respect that he deserves. 

In October of last year, my cousin Dave, host of KET's Kentucky Life, did a segment on my Popadoc. I watched it today for the first time since it debuted. Within seconds, I was in tears. Sad tears mixed with grateful ones, as I can't describe how thankful I am to have such a recent and real depiction of my grandfather at my very fingertips. 

So, today, instead of battling myself over the "perfect" tribute, I want to share with you the 5-minute video I must have watched 10 times today. It won't take you long to see why he was so loved and why he will be so missed. 

My Popadoc is easily one of the greatest men I have ever known, and I am confident no one I encounter will ever match him in wisdom, sensibility, or work ethic. I am lucky to have only happy memories of my grandfather as I continue to keep searching for the certain words that will rightly convey my connection with him. But for now, I'm going to watch this video again. This time, I'm going to smile instead of cry. 

Uncle Trent

Here's to the man who bought me my first gun and taught me how to shoot. He sat through the 6-hour gun safety class with me simply because he wanted to. He sacrificed Saturdays, made and purchased targets and extra bullets,  navigated his truck into impossible places, and continually went without earphones so I could become "a good shot."  It is hard to convey how important this is to me,  but of all the things he gave me, this was the greatest gift possible; the gift of self-defense, a constant sense of responsibility, safety, and the empowerment that comes with knowing how to protect myself. 

And, I will certainly miss hearing your unique philosophy on every topic under the sun, accompanied by a comical story at my Mamaw's dining room table. Our family will never be the same.  

Everytime I shoot a gun--hopefully ever only for recreation and practice--I will be thinking of you and Saturdays at the river. This isn't the rose-colored, sugar-coated picture some hope to leave behind, but YOU know that is one heck of a legacy.

Love you, Uncle Trent!!!!