Is it just me or was this the fastest summer ever? It seems like yesterday when I took the snow brush out of my truck and packed away the winter coats. Now, I’m beginning to see color that isn’t green. When I was a kid, it seemed like an eternity from one year to the next. Now (as I mature) It seems as though I had just handed out Halloween candy last week. Everything is quicker these days. It wasn’t long ago that Autumn was my favorite season.
At times, I was happy to say goodbye to summer because that meant that the hunting seasons were approaching. Ordinarily, by now, the boys and I would be up north at the “Tar-Paper-Shack” Repairing ground blinds, moving tree stands, splitting firewood, cutting shooting lanes and baiting when allowed. It was so invigorating to feel a slight chill in the air and smell that first whisp of wood smoke. That was a glorious time in my life. The boy’s grades were so good that I could take them out of school for the first week of gun deer season. The memories are some of the happiest in my life. That all changed when our youngest son (Jordan) was diagnosed with cancer. We always hunted together. When he left us, I lost interest and haven’t been to the woods hunting since. We sold our cabin & property. I guess it’s just as well. The other boys (Jeff, Christopher & Nick) have such demanding careers that I’m not sure we could have had the chance to spend more than a day or two together and to be honest; there are way too many associated chores for little old me.
I did make it back to the woods in a sense when Jeanie and I built our little place up here on the lake. I can go weeks without seeing another person, and the only sound you hear is the breeze and the birds. I get to enjoy watching deer, turkeys and everything else in nature from my favorite chair without climbing a tree. This is good. Perhaps again one day my heart will race at the thought of donning my camouflage or my hunter orange and sighting-in my rifle, but not this day. I am quite content with my surroundings, and the wonderful memories my four sons and I made together during that extraordinary time in our lives. I hope that this new fall season gives you joy and I wish all the hunters good luck. In all my years of hunting,I have learned that the great gift is not that monster buck on the wall, it is the shared experience with those you love most.