A few weeks back, I wrote about a friend of mine from back when I was in high school. His name is Pat and he and I have been friends ever since. My point was that there are certain friends in your life that impact the person you are, what you think and believe. Pat is one of those guys, especially in regards to helping me form my faith.
So in keeping with the spirit of writing about close friends, I have to mention another of those guys, my friend, Steve. He and I met through our wives over 25 years ago. Our wives worked together at the Southeastern Wisconsin Center for Independent Living (SEWCIL). I still remember the first time we met, the four of us went out to a movie (in 1991 or so) and then went back to their apartment where we grilled out and talked.
Over the years, our wives grew to be best friends. We attended Brewer games, bowled together, helped each other with house projects, attended the same church for a while and much, much more. While Steve and I were friends, we were still sort of the fallout of our wives friendship. The two of them were what kept the two of us together.
I guess if I had to pinpoint what changed our friendship, it would be a fly-in trip to Canada that we took in 2006. Steve's wife gave him the trip as a Grad-school graduation gift. Donna arranged to have me go with as part of it, and it didn't take a lot of arm twisting to get me to say yes.
The trip brought 5 days of driving, fishing, laughing and talking. When you're thrown together for extended time periods like this, you're kind of forced to get to know each other at a deeper level. While we talked about life, our spouses and our faith, the biggest revelation might have been that we both share a love of fishing that runs deep. I still say the night we found a great walleye hole was one of the best nights of fishing of my life.
Well, the rest is history. We had such a great time fishing Canada that we went back two other times, both of which were even better than the first. We also fish locally when we can and he even helped me learn the ropes of Musky fishing and was part of helping me catch several fish of lifetime.
And for that I am thankful.