July 26, 2010
Let the Good Times Roll
I recently returned from a three-day trip on the Snake River in Hells Canyon and scratched off another "to do" from my life list. A good friend recently got married, and this was his official bachelor party, despite it being chronologically backward. Eleven of us from several different parts of the country convened at the Idaho/Oregon border for jetboating, fishing, and general frivolity.
One of the highlights of the trip was the opportunity to catch a sturgeon. For those of you unaware, sturgeon first appeared in the fossil record approximately 200 million years ago and have changed very little since that time. As we pulled in our first one after roughly 45 minutes of fighting it, many of us commented on its pre-historic, almost Larry King-ish appearance.
We landed a total of four sturgeon, and I was one of the lucky ones to reel one in. They ranged from 4.5 feet to 8 feet in length, and provided not only entertainment but several sore arms and shoulders as well. We also caught hundreds of smallmouth bass and a few trout.
Another highlight was riding the jetboat through some of the bigger rapids on the river. It provided an opportunity to get pummeled by river water when the temperature outside flirted with 100 degrees each day. Finally, time spent with good friends was priceless; some of us hadn’t seen each other in several years.
As we were driving home, I commented to one of my friends how I hated when these kinds of trips come to an end. On the other hand, they wouldn’t be nearly as special if we were able to do these things all the time.
When I got into the office this morning, I had an e-mail letting me know two former co-workers had passed away last week. One was the same age as me, and had died of a brain tumor. She and I used to work out together at our former employer’s office building, and would run the 18 flights of stairs two or three times every day at lunch. The epitome of health, she left behind a husband and two daughters ages 14 and 10.
From this, I encourage you to take a few things. First, if you haven’t gotten out and done something you’ve always wanted to do but never took the time or wanted to commit the money, JUST DO IT! The memories from this weekend will last a lifetime. Second, never let distance or your schedule keep you from staying in touch with good friends – you never know how long they (or you) will be around. Third, remember there are far more important things in life than money and work - at your memorial service, nobody will remember how many hours you put in at work, but how many lives you touched.
Make it a great week.
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