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The world of the outdoors was far away some 20 years ago

By Shirley Grenoble

For the Mirror

Before we can talk about the outdoors world, we have to honor the memory of what happened 20 years ago at this time.

20 years! It’s a horrid memory, of sitting in front of the TV that day, soaking in all the details and trying to understand what exactly was going on in the world in what will forever be remembered as simply 9/11.

After the second day of watching, I wrote a small piece about the tragedy and the Mirror published it. It seems appropriate to publish it again on the 20th anniversary because my sentiments are still the same.

Here is what I wrote:

“Congressional leaders stood on the capitol steps and sang God Bless America. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastart spoke that our fervent prayers are with the victim’s families.”

Was this genuine or just expected rhetoric? Yet, how many hours are spent debating whether God’s 10 commandments can be displayed anywhere, whether a public courthouse can have a Christmas manger scene, or whether a valedictorian can even say the name God in a graduation address.

Myriad churches called prayer meetings and people who never went to a prayer meeting before attended. Why? When in big trouble where do your thoughts turn? As long as we are not in trouble, we seldom give God a minute’s time. Is God going to hear them now?

If God does not provide the “quick fix’ they are praying for will they still pray? And if so, for what?

Even though I wrote that 20 years ago I still have the same opinion about those who might congregate on the capitol steps as they face some crisis that arises.

Still those thoughts, prayers and memories are all firmly fixed on these subjects today.

Fall is coming fast

September is here and outdoorsmen love this month.

The smells of approaching fall seem to raise our anticipation of the outdoors to new levels. Much to do to get ready for a fast approaching archery season and to the excitement of squirrel hunting.

Squirrel hunting is now listed as the most neglected hunting. Our forefathers learned to survive on squirrel stew and pot pie. Learning to get close enough to these frisky runners is one of the best preparations for deer hunting. Squirrels , when spooked, run like the wind, climb trees to escape enemies and keep out of sight.

They keep track of the whereabouts of their pursuers by scampering around the tree to peek and spot you.

I remember well my early days of hunting squirrels. I’d sneak through the woods and when I spotted a squirrel, I’d run toward it and get it on the move. I would get to the bottom of the tree it had climbed, and then there were a barrel of tricks you used to get the squirrel to think you had walked around to his side so he would carefully skitter round to your side and you could nail it.

I truly enjoyed doing that in my early days. Now, of course, racing through the woods for any reason is a pipe dream. I have learned to look for a place in the woods with a good acorn or beech crop, signs of squirrels having scratched around there and then I’d find a spot where I could just sit quietly and wait for one to show up so that I can get a shot.

I learned to love squirrel so much that here is a recipe I thought you might enjoy.

SQUIRREL POTPIE

2 squirrels, cleaned and cut into pieces

1 small onion

4 carrots cut into slices

4 medium potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper, to taste

Boil squirrels in water until meat falls off the bones. Boil the potatoes and carrots until almost done. Boil commercial potpie until tender. Drain the liquid from potpie, squirrel and vegetables into another pan. Make a medium thick gravy your favorite way, using the liquid from the squirrel and the vegetables. Put meat, potpie and vegetables into the gravy and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with salad and enjoy.

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