By time this appears in print the nine-day gun deer season will be several days old. I will have been successful in pursuit of the wily whitetail deer, or not. But it’s not all about the taking of prey. Part of the joy in hunting of any kind is just freezing one’s backside off in a hunting blind (you’ve never spring turkey hunted in the snow?!) — I don’t do trees any longer unless I have a stand that is completely enclosed, which I don’t at present — just to get away from it all. When “it all” means living out in the country near a small town it makes one wonder how city dwellers do it. I’ve visited a city or two in my lifetime. Some folks say the energy found therein drives them, they thrive on it. Personally, in but a few days I feel sucked dry, longing to get back to the quiet and the trees. What’s that saying? “Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” Something like that occurs for me.

And I’m not a rabid hunter by any means. I don’t need to be awake at 4 a.m. getting ready. I am not necessarily in pursuit of a wall-hanger, though if one crosses my sights… Alone or in company with Rick it’s all good, no matter what we see or don’t see.

I always have and still do love the outdoors, but with age comes limits. I won’t hunt in the rain, or at sub-zero temperatures, and as mentioned previously will not perch on a piece of heavy-gauge metal strapped far up in a tree, no matter how awesome the view is from a’way up there. Those days are gone. But the scent of pine still invigorates me much more than the scent of exhaust fumes emitted by taxicabs. Funny, but it’s sort of like my relationship with coffee. I like the smell but not the taste. Ditto with pines, the scent yeah, but deciduous is my favorite tree word. But what I sincerely and truly love most about wintry hunting, or forest watching/wandering as the case may be, is how the crisp clear air sharpens my senses. So latter November may find me venturing into field or forest in pursuit. But like so many things in life, it’s really more about the process than the end result.

This season Rick will have his first grandchild-accompanied deer hunt. Our oldest granddaughter is 12 now. She did the youth hunt thing with her daddy and was successful at it so caught the family “bug.” Now she’s ready to give the older generation the opportunity to share something else she loves along with her. She’s a dancer so we’ve been to competitions and recitals. She’s a softball player so we’ve been to quite a few games. She’s also a bundle of other interests. I do admire a well-rounded kid. This latest will be one more branch on the ever-growing family memory tree. I’m like my own mom in that way. She touted memory-making as one of most fun, and vastly important, duties of a parent or grandparent. I concur. Oh. And not to be outdone, our youngest grandson is going to visit the stand with Grandpa too. He’ll be company for the next few years, until he reaches the appropriate age, and then it’ll be up to him whether he wants to try the whole thing out for real. He was awesome tracking help last year for Grandma so the “bug” may already have been caught!

And so it will have gone in the next few days following my tapping this out via keyboard in my warm little house. Hope one and all have been safe and sound out there in the meantime.

Now. Who’s ready for turkey?

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