Fall hung on into the beginning of November with pockets of color giving pleasant surprises here and there while driving the roads. Overhead the Canadian Geese flew south in V formation and could clearly be heard honking in uneven chorus. Down at the creek and river the Bald Eagles returned in numbers to hunt the waters. You don’t have to sit too long before one will glide by while on patrol.

Now at the end of the month the trees are stripped bare of leaves giving us back our westerly view of the Ozarks and filtering our sunsets with lacey light. What we see now will remain until spring.

Tragedy struck when a pack of coyotes came in broad daylight and ate 3 hens and my rooster leaving behind 11 widows who can’t even unclog a sink. They now have to live the rest of their day’s celibate and lonely in a much smaller pen topped with netting. The coyotes here look more like small silvery wolves and not the scraggly brown breed we had in the high desert of California. They don’t just trot down the road in the open here either but are like ghosts that appear and disappear in a moment. And now that they have a taste for an easy meal at my place, I’m aware that they are just in the shadows waiting for a weak spot to open up.

My Walmart education taught me well in careful preparation and tactics for deer hunting. It paid off this year with deer season opening for me and lasting only 20 minutes when a deer stepped out in front of me 60 feet away allowing me to get a head shot and a good kosher bleed without damaging the meat from the impact of the bullet. A headshot also keeps the deer from taking off in a wounded run and getting adrenaline rushing through the meat. Going for the head is not what anyone does around here but is something I learned from field and farm butchering I did years ago. So a nice humane kill that will restock our freezer back to worry free capacity felt like a job well done.

After skinning and dressing the animal to hang and cure for 2 days in the barn, I was then in the shower and dressed in time to be down at the firehouse early for the annual hunters breakfast.

Most of the guys drug themselves in wearing their camo and hunter orange, bone tired from getting up so early and others compounded their weariness from a late night around a bonfire at deer camp. The rest of the guys (and a few girls) were still sitting in there tree stands somewhere in the woods.

Regardless of whether you’ve lived here all your life or you’re a newbie like me, the hunt levels the playing field and gives a common bond around the table. I now understand the excitement that the Indians had for retelling their hunting experiences. Today we take pictures then they drew on rocks.

Thanksgiving holidays finished the month. Yet for us, it was not a stand out event because since we’ve arrived here, we have never stopped being thankful. Living here has never gotten to be old or mundane. Just today I stopped my stride from the barn to the chicken coop and took a moment of gratitude to the Creator for bringing us here and making it all possible. We are just ordinary people that received this extraordinary gift. All our lives we scratched to make a living just to keep our heads above water and if it wasn’t for the preternatural events that brought us here our lives would have remained the same and perhaps in these economic times, worse.

So to God we are thankful always and to God we will trust our future always. I know I have not imagined this God into being because this God is beyond anything I could ever imagine.

May our hearts be forever filled with Thanksgiving.

Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Really beautiful, Gregg–I love that you can articulate your feelings so well. It is a gift to be able to do so, and it’s a blessing, too, for those who read your work.

  2. You SHOT Bambie!?!?!?

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