We left Michigan at 4:45 a.m. to go to Kentucky. We drove through Ohio and when we reached the Kentucky border we screamed and got very excited. The mountains were beautiful and I had never seen mountains before.

We got to Holmes Bend dock and got to go on our houseboat. Mrs. Kelly took care of us and I started fishing right away with my brothers. We caught a lot of blue gill at the docks and saw the biggest carp ever. My dad drove the boat to a cove that we tied up to and we got to swim A LOT off our water slide. We took a smaller boat everyday especially towards dark to try and catch my “big fish” back in the deep coves and hollers. On the third day I met “Doc,” (a. k. a.) Mr. Gene Smith. He is with a fishing ministry and he came with his family to us to help me with my “big fish.” Doc came very early the next morning and afternoon and we went fishing all afternoon. We fished so hard we had to stop for hamburgers and ice cream. We came back to rest up so we could fish some more. I did almost catch two muskie earlier in the day but the fish were fast asleep that evening because they would not bite but once. We really liked “Doc” he tried so hard to help me catch a big fish and I will always remember what he did and the ice cream.

We met many people on the dock and in the marina and they were so nice. They tried to help me catch the biggest fish I could. Ms. Kay, Mr. Bill, Ms. Nancy, Ms. Dottie, Ms. Mary and Mr. Dave and all my new friends helped us all day to catch big ones. There were a lot of blue gill and white bass. At nighttime a few people put lights in the water to attract fish and we caught a few that way. My favorite way to fish was with worms, bobbers and minnows. “Minners” as they called them. The last night Mr. Bill told my dad that he would take us to catch big fish and we went and I caught 11 white bass in one trip and too me they were big. I was so excited. I was catching them one after another. We took pictures with them. It was harder to catch the musky because the lake levels changed and it was very hot.

We met two friends and their names were “George and Eugenia” they followed us everywhere on the lake. Probably because I liked to feed them a lot. They ate right out of my hand. They were the “dock ducks.” Everyone knew them.

I also saw a “skank lizard’ on a log and a brown water snake too. In Kentucky they have some snakes called “cotton mouths” and copper head snakes that are poisonous. Thank goodness we did not meet any of them.

They also had a beach which I loved to swim in as much as I could when were at the dock. I met the owner’s granddaughter, Kyndai and her brother Tanner. And she was a nice new friend. We got to Jet Ski too and we tipped over and that was a lot of fun. I have never been on a jet ski and I was so excited. My dad drove fast and my mom drove slowly.

I will never forget this vacation ever. It was the greatest vacation in the whole world. I saw so many new things and learned so much more about fishing and I will never forget the people there, we called them our “dock family.” I felt very special and I am so lucky to have gone on this vacation. I caught so many fish and learned so much. I want to say thank you to the people who sent me on this trip and they will always be special in my heart. God bless them for helping every kid in need. On my vacation I never thought one time about what I have been through because I had so many other things to think about, like how lucky I am. One last thing, I caught many fish and that is the greatest. I didn’t catch the “biggest fish” but I met so many people with the biggest hearts ever.

Thank you everyone for all of this.

I Love You,

Lauren Chisholm