Hunting, Christmas and work competeBy JEFF NORTH,
The last vector control seminar of the year couldn’t end fast enough. Though it is always great to catch up one more time with friends and colleagues, holiday festivities and the most wonderful time of the year are passing all too quickly. I would much rather be in the woods or around the fire and Christmas tree at home, but alas, business comes first. Insecticide resistance, new technology, and new product information were just a few of the hot topics in south Louisiana this past week. Finally, the last presentation was complete and I headed back across the Atchafalaya River basin toward my humble abode for final touches on my home décor for the season.
All week long I was getting reports from camp and how the bucks were on their feet cruising in search of does. A few pictures were coming my way confirming these reports. This only increased my anticipation and I struggled to make sure those Louisiana speed limits were adhered to. They don’t play in Cajun country and are more than willing to ask for donations through citations when the speedometers ease a little more to the right than they should. No worries, as this wasn’t my first rodeo and I would reach Madison soon enough.
The Yorkies met me at the door with incessant barking. I think they knew this was the last real work that would take place for a month or so, and it was time for snacks, movies, and winter naps. Torrential rainfall was in the forecast for the weekend and the weather man finally got one right, for it poured all weekend long. This really played nicely into my hands for it allowed me to complete several things that really had priority over sits in the swamp. I finished decorating my Christmas tree, Chloe and Lacey got a Christmas grooming, and Stacey and I had some time for movies and dinner.
I am making an effort to take in all the season has to offer. Now I am referring to the Christmas season more so than the hunting seasons that are upon us. Don’t get me wrong, I will have my time in the woods, but I absolutely love these winter nights with a cup of cheer, a fire, and the wonderful movies that air in December. A Christmas Story, the Grinch, and Rudolph and Frosty are just a few that I look forward to every year. You may be thinking that I am a little old to sit at home and watch these old classics. I don’t think we ever get too old to curl up on the couch and enjoy the seasonal offerings. In addition to the movies that are so special this time of year, I also enjoy the holiday music that abounds.
There are several radio stations that play Christmas music for weeks. “Alexa” provides the luxury of picking your favorites as you cook and decorate your homes too. Cable networks offer a full menu of seasonal sounds that help inspire the season at the touch of your remote. I know of people that absolutely despise the sounds of the season. For the life of me, I can’t understand this. For me, it helps bring the season to life. Add to this the decorations of home, the scented candles, and the unlimited snacks, and a Christmas home is on the way to becoming complete.
This past Saturday night was spent with friends watching movies, making pizzas, and decorating their tree. Carol’s homemade pizza crust is absolutely amazing. Along with the special toppings and vintage cheeses, the end product was fit for a king. Ford worked on lights for the tree as we discussed his buck sightings during his afternoon sit. Burl Ives could be heard throughout the home as he narrated the movie. Yukon Cornelius did his best to save everyone from Bumble, The Abominable Snowman. Afterwards, Max did his best to ride on the Grinch’s sleigh and not pull it. All the while, we were busy talking and laughing throughout the evening. It was wonderful.
There are more movies to come this winter. We still have “It’s a Wonderful Life” to go. “Miracle on 34th Street” will be coming soon to my den, and of course, “A Christmas Story” with “Ralphie” will run continuously Christmas day as he saves the world from Black Bart with his Daisy Red Ryder Carbine.
Do you anticipate and enjoy the sounds and sights that help bring Christmas to life as I do? Some people have told me that I’m too “Happy” this time of year. Happiness is a choice. I do my best to wake up in the mornings with a smile upon my face knowing that there will be something good in the day at hand. Whether it’s a cup of coffee with a friend, quiet time with my critters by the fire, or watching my birds and squirrels out my kitchen window, I will find something special to be thankful and happy for. Of course, you know me well enough to realize I will also be perched on a limb soon watching for one of those special bucks. Regardless, if I see him or not, I will enjoy my time in the swamp and my fire in the evening. How about you? Will you enjoy the season and your tree and egg nog? I would encourage you to take in all this special time of year has to offer. Remember, we’ll be back at it before you know it.
Until next time enjoy our woods and waters and remember, let’s leave it better than we found it.