I've done a lot of hunting and fishing. I've learned a lot. I've had some great adventures and made some great memories. I've had lots of success and plenty of memories that still haunt me of the ones that got away.
I love that! I love that at night when I'm having trouble sleeping I can go to the memory bank and pull these things up, ponder them for a while and smile at how blessed I have been to be able to spend time in the outdoors doing what I love.
Even now as I sit here typing there are so many stories flooding my memory and I want to tell you all of them. But I suck at typing, and I've only got pictures for one. So consider yourself lucky!
A couple of years ago I pulled my son, Grant, out of school for a week and took him over to Central Oregon to deer camp. It was a no brainer. I knew a six year old boy spending a week at deer camp with his dad, uncles, grandpa, great uncles and great grandpa would learn more in that week that he would in an entire month at school. And he did. And that is what made the week such a great memory for me.
Some things he learned:
-How to walk quietly in the woods.
-How to shoot a .22 with a scope.
-That his Great Grandpa is afraid of lighting storms.
-That mule deer love bitterbrush.
-That his Grandpa can cook and wash dishes. He just acts helpless when Grandma is around.
-That if you throw your underwear on the heater in the tent it will catch on fire. (That was actually kind of scary)
-That riding a four-wheeler around with Great Grandpa and picking up pop cans is a fun way to pass the time.
-And that it sounds really funny if you yoddle while driving over the washboards on a cinder road.
But most of all he learned that he could be accepted among men. That we found his jokes funny and his company enjoyable. That he had a place in this adventure. That he was wanted and that he was loved.
I remember learning all of that. From most of the same men, in fact. And I'm eternally grateful for their involvement and acceptance of me. And now for my son too.
And you know I can't help but see a part of the gospel in that. Jesus is just like a good father inviting us into the adventure that He has lived. Inviting us to come in and fall in love with what He loves. "Here is a worthy story and a grand adventure to come in and be a part of. You have a place here with us. You are accepted and you are loved."
...and he figured it out pretty quick!