Making Memories Side By Side

17 Jun

I wasn’t planning to post anything about Father’s Day until I came across this story written by Jacob Leitzinger. He is eighteen years old, and attends Stetson University in DeLand. He is a swimmer, a bass singer, has his own motorcycle and loves to ride. He has a girlfriend who lives in South Carolina, and he is interested in all aspects of computer technology. Jacob believes in telling the truth and when he does, people sometimes take it as hilariously funny. Hmm, maybe that’s worth a try.

Oyster Shells 

There was a strange feeling in the air when I awoke. It was something I hadn’t felt in quite a while, and I almost missed it. Luckily, the feeling was brought to my attention the moment I opened my eyes, and stayed there over the course of the next few hours: It was early. It was a couple of weeks into summer vacation, and I had promised my uncle I would help him lay oyster mats in the river. I had done this once before of course, for my Eagle Scout project, so it made sense that he would ask for my assistance. I got out of bed, and got ready for a day with my uncle, my dad, UCF alumni and a whole bunch of oyster shells. My uncle, my father and I arrived early to map out the route to the deployment area and mentally prepare ourselves for the day ahead. People trickled in and small conversations sprung up and thrived until it was time to head out. We hopped on the boats and rode in style to the deployment area. Once there, it was long hours of (fun) repetitive work. In order to attract oysters, you first need oyster shells. I know that seems a little backwards, but bear with me. The shells of oysters release enzymes that attract oyster larvae. The larvae then cement themselves to the other oysters, creating the reef. Our job is to start the process. We begin with gridded mats with oyster shells zip tied on. We take these mats, and zip tie circular weights onto the corners to keep them underwater. Easy! The day passed quickly, with fun conversations and a tasty lunch to keep things interesting. At the end of the day, it was easy to tell the difference we had made. As you looked across the water, you could see the expanse of mats that were just layered. Then, with a snack and a smile, we packed up and headed back to our cars, content in our help to the environment.

The reason I chose to share this story on Father’s Day is because it demonstrates the best of the father-son relationship, making memories side by side.

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