Back To The Basics

Getting back to the basics is something few of us ever do. We can’t find the time to just “find the time” anymore. I found, for myself, I almost have to “schedule” myself some time to be able to just stop doing anything else. It’s not that my life is that busy, it’s the fact that I generally don’t make time for myself for some reason. As y’all know, I live in southeast Texas, so our weather is already warmed up into the mid 80s already at mid April. As you can see by the picture I took this weekend, where I live is greened up and already looking like summer. I like this view, I come here on occasion to watch the catfish, the turtles, the snakes, and all the wildlife. Why? It gives me a break. I watch and wonder where all the time goes. This spot is easy to get to and a good place to fish when you aren’t interested in catching anything. My property has this bend in the creek so I can sit here all the way to the left and see most of the rest of it to the right. What y’all don’t see is the 8 point buck that I followed out here. It’s hard to get super accurate and sharp pictures with a cell phone, but I did attempt to capture this magnificent beast on film. He has been hanging out at the back of my property for quite some time now, I see him daily, but I can never figure out exactly where he goes when he goes. My hope is that he continues to parade around and do as he pleases because he is safe here. Plus, my son and I already got a great buck a piece back in January during bow season. Incidentally, my son’s first kill with his bow, in fact his first deer ever. I can remember his excitement as we made it to the stand, he was happy to be together with me this year. He has gone in the past, but never to hunt, but to watch, to learn, and see how to make good and bad decisions. He handles his bow well these days, it was time. Thinking back now, I remember my first time, and nothing prepares one for the chill of fear that the force of the adrenalin causes. That takes a little time to “come down” from.

I find that I need to get away from everything every once and a while, maybe to reflect, and maybe to just be away. Granted, my wife knows where I am because I told her since I wouldn’t be having my phone with me. Which I did, it just wasn’t on for any longer than it took me to take the picture. For all intensive purposes, I was just unavailable enough to confuse people. Sure, I missed calls, I didn’t reply to texts I was getting, and in all actuality I really didn’t care too much. It was nice. At the same time, the 2 1/2 hours I was out there was just spent staring off into the woods. I also realized that I have some work to do back here before I lose a big chunk of my land due to erosion. That just might have to jump to the top of the list so I can get it done before it is too damn hot. I wonder now, as I sit here writing, why do we have lists and why do we torture ourselves if the list doesn’t get taken care of. I mean honestly people, I have a list for work, a list for home, a list for my shop, a list for my property, a list for the Boy Scouts, a list for the Lion’s Club, a list for my parent’s house, and then a general purpose catch all things that don’t have a list already. Why? I don’t ever see myself ever getting done with any of the lists. Instead of being “to-do lists” they should be called “wishful thinking lists” because most times that is what they become. I have given great consideration to making all the lists in my life just disappear. Poof! Gone! No more lists and no more finding time to rearrange time to accomplish tasks on the list. Sure, I will always need a shopping list for this or that, but I think that is more than plenty because it is time to trim the fat. I knew it was time to go because I saw my son coming down the trail towards me. He waived and he even whistled to try to get my attention, but I acted as if I didn’t see him or hear him. If he had something to tell me he would just have to get next to me, I was enjoying my last moments of nothingness. Eventually he made it to me and he began to explain that his mom thinks I have been out here long enough and it is time to come back in to cook dinner. I guess that is what I get for saying I would grill the steaks and potatoes. Oh well, I am done here anyways. My son asked what I was doing and why he wasn’t asked to join me. How do you explain that you need more time alone than a trip to the can provides? You don’t, you apologize as I did. He grabbed my bucked I was using as a chair and we headed back up to the house. It was a quiet walk until he noticed the big buck thru the trees. Too bad he just don’t get what hunting seasons actually are yet. Maybe we will go varmint hunting real soon. I have been craving grilled squirrel anyway. Don’t judge.

I realized just then that he and I spend allot of time together and I sure do hope he doesn’t pick up any of my bad habits. But then again, he will develope into his own person, he already is on that road. I see myself in him. People say that and I have always just passed it off or never payed attention. I think I have figured out what people like my mother are trying to say now. But, when I can see it all unfolding before me, slowly and measured, it is hard to actually focus on it. As he gets older I get it tho, he wants to be like me, do the things I do, and so forth. It is exactly how I felt about my dad. He is a few years older than I was when my parents divorced but is getting freakishly scary close to the age I was when my dad died. I wonder, still at my age, what life would have been like if he had not of died when I was fifteen. Where would we all be now? I know it is a foolish notion. I am happy he enjoys his time with me and that there are many great things we get to do as father and son. I know many people that don’t have a relationship with their sons and it seems they don’t care to as well. I have found it isn’t about hunting, building, playing, or just doing things together, it is the simple pleasure of just doing all those things together. I know what is coming. I have watched it with my daughters, 16 and 22, as they get older the family part of their lives seemed to get pushed out of the way. With my oldest I took it hard because it felt like she didn’t need me any longer. I found out it was just her getting older, getting independent, and her spreading her wings. My younger daughter is going thru the growing pains now, still wants to be daddy’s little girl but doesn’t want to be with me unless she wants to be with me. Number two has been a little easier in the adjustments because I got to see this one coming and actually evolve. I got to use some prior experience to help guide me to be a teenage girl’s dad and not my other baby girl’s daddy. I suppose I will always be daddy in their hearts and my own. I would like to think boys are different in that regard. Yes, I see my son becoming more independent every day and I can’t say I am thrilled with it. I am absolutely happy he is getting older and maturing, but I see my future. Is this why older people get cats or dogs or both? Do they still need to nurture something? It will be a dark day before I buy an animal to replace my children, a real dark day, like Hell freezing over dark. I have my time now, I still have a chance. I found that you cannot tell your children that you are here for them when they are ready because they don’t understand and it becomes rather awkward. I know, I have a head full of nonsense sometimes.

We did make it back to the back deck where my wife was waiting for us. She gave me a peck on the cheek and gave me a nod. In the terms of our relationship that means” everything will be okay daddy” and for me not to worry about things I cannot change. She’s right you know, I can’t really change any of this. I can, however, simplify the outside influential things in my life. But, do I really want to? I mean, it is everything in my life which makes me who I am. I am a doer, I am happy doing. In case y’all are interested, squirrel was not on this particular menu, just venison and some wild hog as the meats. Also, some grilled corn, some grilled mixed veggies, and some grilled bell peppers. Our little dinner was eaten outside on the deck with some classic rock playing slightly and a couple of my special recipe margaritas. It was nice while it lasted. My daughter was urgently called away to chat on-line with friends over a crisis. My son had put his game of Black Ops on pause while he came to get me and he needed to get back to the mission. So, after cleaning up a bit, my wife and I decided to stay outside with the tiki lamps burning while we enjoyed the last few margaritas I had mixed up. And then I realized what it all meant, I found the answer I wasn’t looking for, tiki lamps are magical. I was happy being happy sitting with my wife in the light from the flickering tiki lamps. I never knew how I miss lust sitting with her, Just enjoying her company, and just being happy. This is what I needed all along. The night was beautiful. The sky was clear with many of the stars clearly visible. People don’t know what they are missing when they just don’t stop and enjoy what is right in front of them.