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A little humor to brighten up your outdoors world

The news and political events currently going on in the world have left most of us depressed so maybe today I can leave you with a laugh and it’s all at my expense.

My son, Mark, and I have been hunting and fishing buddies since he was 12 years old. But always, and I do mean always, there are strange, stupid and goofy things that happen any time we enter the woods together. Like the time I went to Missouri to visit him, and we went out on Lake of the Ozarks to do some crappie fishing. When we got out in the middle, the motor quit and we had to be towed back to land by a Pontoon boat, much to Mark’s embarrassment.

One spring pre-dawn excursion to the turkey woods came to an abrupt end when some kind of a huge bug began swooping around us in the car. It stung Mark on the neck, and he nearly wrecked the car, but got it pulled into a farmer’s lane where we promptly ran out of gas.

My worst experience down in Missouri was the morning I got up early and sneaked out of the house quietly so as not to wake anyone. Just after dawn, deep in the woods behind his house, three dogs burst out of the trees, saw me and began to run toward me growling and barking, and I was really scared. But once again, my guardian angels appeared.

I stepped out into the field and confronted the dogs, waving my arms and yelling at the top of my voice. The dogs skidded to a stop, turned tail and ran. I’m sure it wasn’t me they saw but probably the angels.

So Mark decided to come up and hunt wth me last deer season.

Two days before I was to leave for my friend’s house in Armstrong County, my car went completely on the blink, requiring body work and motor work which meant shuffling between two different garages. I ‘ll spare you all the trouble in between but fortunately, my pastor and his wife took the time to drive me up there.

My trick knee decided to show up so I had to use a cane to walk because climbing was out. We were hunting high mountain ridges, so I had to be escorted to a spot where I could sit most of the day so Mark had to lug a little chair or blind for me to use because getting up off the ground is for me a trick similar to something a trapeze artist would do. I do it but I am sure it is a painful thing to watch.

So each day after Mark got me parked somewhere, he could go off and still- hunt on his own. He is, in my opinion, the world’s best still-hunter and on the fifth day of the hunt he got to within a great 10-point buck and bagged it. I rejoiced for him but secretly I knew that now I would have my own private driver.

And so I did. But he and Joanie were criss-crossing the woods each day after they got rid of me in the morning. But one day,Mark and I were on the way home in his SUV. We were on a snow-covered woodsy road, coming off the very top of that mountain. Just as we crested over the top to descend, Mark grabbed the emergency brake and declared “My brakes just gave!”

So they had, and so we had a gruesome, slippery, hideous, teeth-clenching slide down the mountain, trying not to watch the 100 -drop on either side of the road. Only good driving and God’s grace got us off that steep, narrow snow-covered road.

A couple days later he and Joanie posted me in a snowbank and then disappeared into the woods. I looked down where I was sitting and there was nothing there I could grab onto for security. It was a long, open way down to the bottom of that hillside. I fought it but I could not control myself. I am one who cannot go to a high place and get close to an edge. I have a bad sense of balance and I’ll tumble if I even breathe. I was alone and went into a panic attack, the first and only one I’ve ever had. I grabbed my little radio and got Mark and announced that I had to get out of there NOW!

So he came plodding back and helped me get up, wondering, I’m sure, if his mother had finally flipped!

So day after day it was something. I sat out on a watch in the pouring rain, saw a buck but it didn’t have enough points. Joanie’s washing machine broke so she had to buy another one and install it.

Perhaps the day we came home from a hard day in the woods and there were eight deer in Joanie’s backyard hurt the most. But Mark loved it. He got a Pennsylvania buck, something he’d been hoping for years to do. He swears he’s coming back next year. I have to build up my leg strength so I don’t have to tote a cane in the woods.

I especially remember the year I was to fly to another state to hunt and I sent him a birthday card with a note in that said “I promise you that not even the shadow of my plane will pass over your house. So you are safe!”

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