Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two Bad Weekends in a Row.

This weekend has turned out to be a big bust for me as all my plans have been overturned by some misfortune. I had planned on going fishing before the final day our licenses run out but the weather just got really messy. I planned on getting out and starting a clean-up routine around my house but there again that darn weather just didn't cooperate. About the only few things I was able to accomplish was going to town for some new clothes, watching the television set ( most of the day ) and visiting a few websites to give my support to my fellow bloggers ( which was the best part of my rainy weekend ). Next weekend I have to be at my job and it's daylight savings time on Sunday ( March 8, 2009 )and I have to make a trip to Alabama on Friday, so no work around home that weekend. As for the following weekend I'll just have to wait and see how things pan out by then. Last weekend I came down sick and ended up going to the hospital on Sunday morning only to find out that I have Chronic Bronchitis and C.O.P.D. ( Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ) which I have been researching on the web. I've found out that it's worst than I thought it was and can even be fatal. I'm now in the process of having to give up my smoking habit whether I want to or not and when you go from 1 1/2 -2 packs a day for 24 years to 1-12 cigarettes a day with only will-power and a loving wife for support, I think I've done quiet well for my first week. Patches, gums and prescriptions are too costly for me at this time so I'll try the will to live as my savor along with the Grace of God. If I can give up the smoking habit it could add a few extra years to my life and allow me the time to possibly go on that hunting trip of a lifetime I've been wanting to take for so long now or maybe even a grand fishing trip to the ocean for big cobia's or tarpon. For now I'll settle for the extra time with my wife, reading and commenting on blogs, grandchildren and home life as it is now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Great Outdoors Is For Everyone.

Growing up in a small town in Tennessee was an awesome experience. Everyone knew everyone and most would bend over backwards to help one another when needed. Thanksgiving Day was hog killing day and the whole community would get together to help kill hogs. The young, the old and the willing, all came together to do whatever was needed and it didn't matter what the work was there was always enough help to get the job done and still have time to relax before bedtime. Going to the big city of Murfreesboro,Tn. was always a treat what with all the drive-thru fast food joints, big stores and the malls. People of all walks of life would ramble around up and down the sidewalks, with kind " Hellos " and " how ya doin ". The courthouse square was a kind of meeting place for the elderly on the weekends, where you could find from two to fifteen or more sitting around the courthouse lawn whittling on cedar wood, trading knives and good old conversation about the weather or any news worth bringing up in the conversation. Summer nights you could find folks sitting around on their front porches enjoying the whippoorwills, frogs, coon hunters with their dogs howling and the stars. Back then everybody enjoyed the great outdoors at sometime of day or night but these days it seems folks are in to big of a hurry to actually sit, relax and enjoy the outdoors as we used to in the old days. Sure lots of folks say they enjoy the outdoors but just to prove a point try this, after darkness falls go to your neighbors house and walk up to the front porch, if there's no one there try knocking on the door and chances are their in front of the television set watching a show. Now how many of you have sat on your front porch lately with a cold beverage and just listened to nature at it's best? or in early morning sat with a cup of coffee and watched nature greeting the morning light?. Even the city folks can sit by an open window and watch and listen to the sounds of nature ( and yes the city does have nature growing within it ). My parents are 85 and 86 years old and even they enjoy watching birds at the feeders, squirrels around on the ground and in the trees and deer playing as they cross the yard and drink from the pond. I know women who have hunted and enjoyed the outdoors since they were six years old and wouldn't give anything for their time spent there. I have grandchildren wanting me to teach them to hunt and fish and friends at work wanting to hunt and fish with me this year and my only reply I can give them is " we'll go " . I get out working in the yard or on my truck and from time to time I stop and take a break to enjoy nature around me.The great outdoors was given to us by God for our pleasure and enjoyment so whatever adventure or endeavor you decide on taking, get outdoors and relax and have a great time and leave the work behind you for awhile.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Passing Of My Life Long Hunting Companion.

In the fall of 1976, I was just out of school and working my first full time job. Squirrel season had just opened and was a beautiful weekend. At this time in my life I had no clue as to what deer hunting was all about but things were about to change dramatically. As a child growing up I'd played with bows and arrows but in August 1976 while hunting squirrel I had my first encounter with a small herd of Whitetail Deer. Yearning for knowledge about the whitetail deer and growing up loving to hunt, I began searching every article I could fine in magazines and asking questions from local friends and farmers. This lead me to a family that kept popping up time after time and one that I'd gone to school with since the first grade. The family known by everyone in my home town of Lascassas, Tennessee as "The Dukes" would soon become my life long mentors, hunting family and second family. If I wasn't at home I was at the Dukes learning about whitetail deer and other wild game, fishing and life. The entire family ( father, mother, sons, daughter and even the grandmother )taught me everything I know today about hunting. The father ( Charles Duke ) who passed away 20 years ago was my biggest mentor but it was the youngest son ( Ricky Duke ) that was my hunting companion. Ricky was a year older than me but had hunted whitetail deer all across America since he was 9 years old. All the Dukes would limit out every year and with that kind of experience, classified the entire family as experts to me and well worth my time to learn from them. On Sunday February 1,2009, I received a phone call informing me that my life long hunting companion Ricky Duke had passed away of cancer. The news was devastating and all I've thought of since was the memories of our hunts and time together over the past 40 years. Though Ricky's astonishing accomplishments are all just memories for me now, they will live on in my heart, the woods and the fields forever more. You'll be dearly missed by all who's lives you've touched here on earth Ricky and may God be with you in your new hunting grounds though eternity.