Those summer mornings I would be lying in bed when my daddy would come in the bedroom around 5:30 am and say Miss, lets go! I would roll out of that top bunk and grab clothes, put my hair back into a ponytail and hurry outside where daddy was throwing gear in the boat and holding a Stanley thermos full of hot coffee.
Into the pickup we would go, pulling the boat and trailer down to the lake where he would back up to the waters edge. I’d climb into that boat and wait for him to unlatch all the straps and then dump me and the boat into the water. Then I would fire that boat motor up and drive it to the dock to wait on dad as he parked the truck.
Daddy had a favorite spot we would always go to first, setting out the poles to do a little trolling. Me riding up front in the bow chair, with my father a stern in the captains position watching the fish/depth finder and controlling the motor to keep us slow but fast enough to pull our fishing rigs. My favorite remembrance was looking back at my daddy’s face, watching him pull out that green Stanley thermos, pour out some hot coffee and sip on it with a smile on his face while taking in the views.
Sadly, my dad lost his battle to cancer and passed away in November of 2016. This past summer while helping mom clean out a pantry, we came across dad’s green Stanley thermos. My mom picked it up and asked if I wanted it, which of course I did! Grabbing that thermos to take home, I placed it in my cabinet where it would be ready for me to use again.
This November, I arose at 5 am on the coldest day of deer season with heavy frost and a temperature of 22 degrees. I wanted to hunt because I knew this weekend was suppose to be one of the best weekends so far. Remembering my daddy’s green Stanley thermos, I grabbed it from the cabinet and filled it with hot coffee.
Thinking this may be the best day of the year, I headed out with a part of my daddy with me in that thermos.
With it being so cold and a heavy frost, I decided to sit in the loft of the old barn on the property which over looks a big bottom and whole mountain side. Climbing the ladder with all my gear, I walked over to the opening and I sat down with that old green thermos in my hand.
Sitting there in the cold, watching the world wake up, I unscrewed the top from daddy’s thermos and poured hot coffee into the lid. Drinking that hot coffee while taking in the view, the brew warming my physical body as well as my soul while remembering my daddy doing the same while fishing years ago.
That old Stanley thermos has seen better days but it still keeps coffee hot, and it will always hold a special place in my heart because seeing that old green thermos, I still think about the good times that we spent on the lake fishing. By taking that old green thermos out with me on my outdoor adventures, it brings a calmness to my heart and lets me feel as though my daddy is right there, smiling and drinking coffee with me.