When the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold. Welcome to Spring in New Mexico, and I wanna’ go on vacation. Maybe it has something to do with the arrival of spring and that primal urge to be happy-go-lucky—the kicking up one’s heels kind of thing. Things to do, places to go, people to see.

Trees greening up, flowers blossoming, and weekends are finally getting busy again. That includes this Saturday, as the Community Fishing Derby returns.

When I was young living in the vicinity of Kentucky Lake, springtime meant going fishing. Although I grew up fishing with a cane pole, I was no Opie Taylor, but I did know how to get a worm to stay on the hook and spent many a lazy afternoon as a boy trying to land that elusive big one. Likewise, this Saturday morning Escondida Lake will be ringed by scores of young anglers casting for that big one. They’ll be vying for prizes at the annual youth fishing derby, but more importantly, they’ll just be fishin’ (“fishin’,” by the way, is the correct pronunciation).

Fishin’ was one of those rites of passage when a young’un learns that it goes beyond the assumed purpose of catching supper, in a way. What I mean, is fishin’ is who you’re fishin’ with. A sociable undertaking best taken with your best pal. Or maybe a family member.

At any rate, the kids’ fishing derby Saturday should be a real hoot for all the kids and their families. So, put away the fishing apps and find out what’s biting for real.

Families together enjoying the outdoors, you see it just about everywhere and at just about any time of day.

That image came to mind while driving down the street one day last week. It was a young mother walking along the sidewalk with a little boy, presumably her little boy, who looked to be around 3.

He was looking around all wide-eyed while trying to keep up, even though she appeared to be deliberately slowing her normal gait. For some reason, I was taken by that picture.

That kid was taking it all in. The traffic, people walking or riding a bicycle and who knows, maybe some bird droppings on the sidewalk. The thing is, though, he’s learning about the world around him all while holding his mother’s hand.

Maybe that’s what struck me, something like trust, protection, and confidence. It’s what we parents, or grandparents, can instill in a small person (Full disclosure here, we have a grandchild who just turned 4. These things are on my mind).

That’s why things like the fishing derby at Escondida Lake can be so important. It gives kids something to look forward to doing with their parents and hopefully provides some good memories after the fact. They might even learn a few tips on fishing.

It’s those kinds of experiences and moments that can stick with us far into adulthood while we’re trying so hard to be all grown up and taking life so seriously. And that’s what we do for 10 or 20 years.

But don’t forget, there’s always that awkward period that grabs you around 40 or 50 that makes you want to feel like you’re still young before you start feeling like you’re old. When you want to buy that cool sports car and drive around town with the top down blasting out Beach Boys songs on the radio.

Or just picking up and taking an existential road trip, like you’re Jack Kerouac or John Steinbeck. Or simply getting out of town for a weekend and staying a couple of nights in some broken-down roadside motel feeling like you’re in a movie doing something devil-may-care. OK, …it may be a Day’s Inn or Super 8 and you may end up just watching the Weather Channel. We can’t get too reckless, can we? I mean, you have a maid to clean up after you. Take out the trash, change the towels, make the bed, things like that.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but when I go to check out, I don’t want to leave a mess behind. Tidy up a bit before closing that door for the last time. Hanging up the damp towels and putting trash in the wastebasket.

Anyway, getting away like that can be a brief moment in time that’s separate from reality and those are the times you can feel like almost anything’s possible. Well, within reason. Well, nothing dangerous. Well, nothing terribly physically demanding. Well, at least something different.

Someone said – I think it was Muhammed Ali – that if you still look at the world the same at 50 as you did at 20, you’ve wasted 30 years of your life.