Howard "Porky" Cutter recounts how his family spent the holiday this year.

Building a new porch was on the agenda.
Many drillers become depressed when it rains for weeks; others find something else to occupy their slack time.

Our eldest son, Randy, invited myself and our youngest son, Piglet, to join him and his three sons on a camping trip to celebrate Fathers’ Day. We met them at their new home on Lake Hickory near Hickory, N.C.

We arrived a day early. The following day, they were scheduled to build a new porch on Randy’s father-in-law’s 90-year-old home, so we assisted. The next day, we went water skiing. I wanted to try to ski again, however, it had been over 45 years since I had skied and I was afraid I might break something … like a leg or an arm, or possibly even just bend something seriously. There are some things that a 67-year-old person should not do anymore.

Setting up camp between rain showers can be challenging, but the results are worth it.
The next day, we loaded up the tent camper and headed for the campground. Arriving there, we set up camp between rainstorms. Then we charcoaled hamburgers. I told the grandchildren stories about our sons growing up — some my sons probably would have preferred not been told.

The following day, we went to the nearby swimming hole. It is a flowing creek, which was dammed up during the day and drained at night. The water was so cold from the snow melting upstream that the adults couldn’t stand it. Finally, the adults of our group (except for me) dared one another to dive off the high diving board. Once you dive, you can’t back out. Twice was enough for each. We then decided to try fishing. You could see the bottom of the creek and the fish were too small, so we gave that up.

We returned to camp and everyone (except for me) joined in playing Frisbee. In the evening, we proceeded to barbecue ribs on the charcoaler. Later, we built a campfire to roast marshmallows. I was surprised to learn that my sons, former Boy Scouts, couldn’t start a campfire with two matches. After several attempts and a quart of charcoal lighter, we realized the wood still was green. After several attempts, they finally got the green wood to burn.

The swimming hole proved to be fun but cold.
The next day, we watched others swim, and everyone (except for me) attempted to dam up the stream with rocks from the stream. In the evening, we went to an open shelter on site to watch people — young and old — dance. Most of the Cutters just watched, except for grandson Jonathan, age 13. He danced up a storm several times.

Grandson Jonathan had wanted to sleep in the small tent alone, and everything went fine until the last night when we had a bad rain-and-lightning storm. Late that night, Jonathan came knocking on our door, reporting his tent was leaking, and he moved in with us for the remainder of the night.

In the afternoon on Monday, we tore down camp and loaded up for home. Piglet and I followed Randy and his sons part way, and then they turned off to head home, and we headed back to Virginia Beach. We all had had a great time.

I pray that other well drillers and fathers, present and future, will take the time to spend time with their children and grandchildren having fun, building memories.