“OPENING DAY!!!”

 

Tomorrow is opening day of deer season.  When I first saw all the northbound traffic this morning, I thought there must be a hurricane evacuation from the coastal towns.  Then I noticed all the trailers carrying 4-wheelers.  So, then I remembered deer season was quickly approaching.  The Wal-Mart and grocery stores all have full parking lots and there are long lines at each traffic light.  It really does remind me of the traffic when a hurricane approaches the Gulf coast.

Until a few years ago, I was a member of a hunting club here in Jasper.  We had a lot of great friends on the lease and good times were had by all.  It was a “family” hunting club and not just a bunch of  men telling hunting stories.  We had great cookouts and family gatherings.  The good thing about this lease was it took only 30 minutes for me to be on my stand from my house.

Pam and Lyndsey each had a deer stand but were not really enthused about hunting if it was too hot or too cold.  As I think back, I didn’t enjoy those conditions either.  There were many things I enjoyed about hunting and also a lot that I didn’t.  I enjoyed the peace of just sitting and looking at nature, waiting for a deer sighting, and reading a book.  I may have missed a few deer while reading, but killing a deer was not my main goal.  I just liked being there.

My stand was on top of a tall hill and was about 25 feet off the ground.  Shortly after sunrise, the huge red wasps would begin to fly in and around my stand.  If you sprayed the wasp, the deer could pick up the scent and stay away.  The other option was to swat them out of the air with my cap.  But, that made so much noise the deer would stay away.  It was also pretty cold when the temperature was in the 20’s and 30’s with a north wind blowing.  But, all in all, I convinced myself that I was really having a great time.

Pam would usually hunt looking like she  was going shopping.  Her makeup, jewelry, and perfume properly applied, and she would have a cross-stitch project to occupy her time.  While men usually apply all sorts of terrible smelling non-human scents and camo hunting clothes, she went the opposite direction.  She usually saw more deer than the foul-smelling men.  And she did get her deer.  (I have an earlier posting about her deer hunting.)

Sometimes, Lyndsey would be all excited about opening day and hunting with dad.  She would arise way before dawn and make the trip with me.  I remember on a few occasions when it was so cold, I would hunt for a few hours and then walk to Lyndsey’s stand and it would be empty.  I would find her in the “hunting hoopy” in her sleeping bag nice and  warm…sleeping.  I don’t know whether she enjoyed the opening day hunting or opening day sleeping.  Either way, she enjoyed herself.

You don’t have to be a hunter, nor does it have to be hunting season, for you go take a nature trip to enjoy all the wonderful things that God has provided for our enjoyment.  It is great to be in the peace and quiet of nature to just sit and meditate on the Goodness of God. The “world” suddenly feels very far away.

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