The Traveling Tank

Growing up we always seem to have a fish tank or three somewhere in our house. It was a common thread that tied us all together. We loved picking out new fish and all of their accessories. I remember staring at the fish tank watching the fish swim around, such a carefree life. My Grandpa decided that he wanted a fish tank for his house, he was going to try his hand at saltwater. He knew exactly the fish he wanted and took his fish tank very seriously. He really, truly enjoyed tending to his fishes. I really enjoyed helping him pick out super-pretty fish. I always thought salt water fish were much, much cooler than the freshwater fish we had at our house. Eventually my Grandpa moved back to Missouri and the fish tank moved to my parents shed, if memory serves me. Then it lived in my brother’s living room for a while, empty. Then it eventually made its way back to my parent’s house and not too long after my Mom set up the fish tank in the little girl’s room. Since my Mom isn’t home to tend to her fish and my Dad doesn’t seem to want to put forth the effort. The fish tank was taken down, again. Only this time it was brought to my house.

I was out front weeding my flower beds when my Dad rolled up in the yard with Mom’s Mercedes. I could tell he was dropping something off but couldn’t make out just what that something was. My Dad starts to unload the fish tank and the stand and the accessories and gallons of water specifically for the fish. “Your Mom said you wanted the fish tank.” While I don’t remember saying that, my Mom assures me that I did. Before my Dad pulls off he adds that the “red fish” is at the house once I get the tank set back up. This fish is a trooper he’s lived through Carter knocking him off the table not once but twice. The second time (as I picked the poor thing out of the Barbie doll’s hair as it lied on the floor) I decided it was time to relocate him to Mammie’s house. And there he’s lived for the past year and a half.

I walk in the house and ask Tom, “Did you ever tell my parents you wanted the fish tank?” “Heather, there better not be a fish tank out front of this house!” I assured him that there was no fish tank out front but only because I had already moved it to the garage. A week had passed and I made it a point to get the fish tank back up this weekend. As I was cleaning it out I saw a sticker marking that it was made in 1992, it reminded me of my Grandpa and the fact that this was his fish tank. I can see it sitting in his living room and I can hear the excitement in his voice as he goes on about his fish.  Although the hood is now broken and one of the three little girls had put a sticker on the front, it’s still Grandpa’s fish tank.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. fancythis
    May 29, 2012 @ 23:23:34

    i love memories like that – the ones that sneak up from the middle of nowhere and plant themselves next to us for a while. so glad you got the tank and glad it’s bringing back your memories of your grandpa.

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