Today is the third day of deer season in Pennsylvania...and who knows what day of the season here in New York. I suppose the deer are tired of hunters sneaking around, trying to get them in their sights, so today will be their blessing day. The rain will hamper and damper the nimrod tendencies in about any hunter, anywhere.
There is a wild wind driving the rain almost sideways at time, raging to 35 mph. There is nothing worse than standing at watch in this kind of terrible weather ...I know... I've done it. I lived in Pa in my younger years and having a family of three kids that needed diapers, formula and prescriptions, I've faced these conditions to make ends meet. The insurance always came due just about the same time that the holidays were approaching...along with all the other regular bills. If it weren't for God's blessings of natural game meat for the table, we would have been awful hungry some days. As I think back to these days...before my own hard days...into my Mom's hard times. I always get a warm feeling by the memories afforded me, especially since my mother is no longer with us and I can spend a day afield with her in my memory again......just as I did when she was here. She would have been up, dressed, ate and ready...chomping at the bit, if not complaining about not being on stand before daylight. She was part American Indian and that part was all business during the hunting season. I've seen my mother put men to shame when it came to tolerance. She would stand in the freezing cold long after most men would yield to the elements and quit. Many times I begged to go home, for my feet were freezing and I was chilled to the bone. She would simply tell me to silently step from one foot to the other to get the blood flowing, as if I were walking. She would open her coat and let me stand inside the flap when I was small enough to do that.....keeping me warmer at her expense, with an open coat. Sometimes she would have me stand on her feet to keep mine off of the frozen forest floor, just to maintain stand, because...in her own words, "The deer move about this time and we don't want to miss em." How I would voluntarily freeze now... just to be with her again in that old, overgrown field beyond Harpster's, toward the lower ponds. She would be waiting for me to step off the school bus, to take me along with her to hunt until dark. My younger brother Rick, was kept next door by my grandmother, until we returned. I can honestly say that I was out hunting long before the Pa mentored program they now have. The difference was that I could not carry a gun or actually shoot until I was twelve and licensed. Now with the mentored program, a youth of six or seven can actually shoot a deer while with their parent. WOW......what memories of their parents these lucky kids will have for the rest of their lives... long after their parents are gone. Like it or not, hunting is a heritage in America. It has been performed since the beginning of mankind and will continue to knit families and people together. Thanks to the idiotic world of genetic food development perpetuation, I believe hunting and farming will return to America and help in the curing of our now stagnate American population...Removing injections of growth hormones in food animals and helping to return us to a grass roots nation, like we were so many years ago. Family farms raise our local food and local craftsmen provide the skills needed to make do with all the other necessities. Hunting fills the nitch for providing needed meat for the table beyond what farmers can grow and raise. Just as it was for centuries....
The one thing pleasant about all this is the camaraderie and love shared by family and friends in the endeavor to provide and exist. It is in stark contrast to the family norm now.....at least most of the families I see. Most have little time for one another...one eats here, another eats there...all at different time and wanting different things. A family no longer resembles the family of years ago and that is really sad.
I cherish the memories and opportunities afforded me by the times and traditions of years past. Would I go back and do it all over again? YES!!! Yes in deed....and just the way I did it this time. Would I want to go back to my childhood in this day and age?
It looks as though we will be running around today...taking Vick to pick up her pictures at Visual Winds, in Schenectady. From there, we'll do whatever we need to do...or want to before returning with a few bags of layer pellets for the birds. If I feel like I do now, I'll probably work in the gift shop a bit, probably placing the other wall of cement board until Friday when the pipe pieces arrive at GNH. Once I have those, I'll start into the piping for the stove and then on to the wall insulation. Fun, Fun, Fun.....
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