Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter weeknd

What a gorgeous Easter weekend we just experienced in south Georgia. I have been attending Easter sunrise services at our little country Baptist church since I was in my early 20's. I can never recall a sunrise service with a gigantic Easter full moon setting at the same time that the sun was rising. It was a very poignant and needed experience for me because God called two young mothers in their early 40's home this weekend who lost their valiant fights to cancer. I had prayed and prayed for God to intervene in both situations, but He chose not to do so. I have always struggled with the concept of bad things happening to good people. I do know that I have no business questioning my God who has an infinite mind and perfect plan with my feeble and finite mind.
 The sunrise services, the prayers, and the words from my pastor helped. I watched that moon come up Saturday night from my porch and thought to myself that it was brighter than normal. I realized that God was sending me a signal that he was welcoming two angels into His presence that would not have to struggle with any more pain or sorrow. One of my dearest friends sent me this quote as he was struggling with the same loss. The writer said, " Prayer works, but the Lord makes His own schedule and His own way.For angels who die young, I have decided that it is God's reward to them, not His punishment to us."
 Now I realize that this is not my normal, tongue-in-cheek blog. maybe I'm writing this one for me, but maybe it will resonate with at least someone who reads it today. I promise that the next one I post will be on a lighter subject.

Monday, March 30, 2015

What I love about living in the south

Well, it is an absolutely beautiful spring morning at Riverview this morning. I woke up about 4:45 am, and very quietly eased out of bed. I have not stayed married for 44+ years to the same woman by being stupid. I eased out into the den, read my Bible for a while, and watched the early morning local news. It is very important to know what the weather is going to be on each given day since conversations in our community revolve around three topics: the weather, pickup trucks, and crops. I never want to be deficit on a third of the topics. As soon as it got light enough to see, I walked outside with a cup of coffee and listened to a couple of turkey gobblers trying to convince a few hens that they were the best looking guys in the woods.
 As it got even lighter, I took in the beauty of God's creation by observing the blooming Dogwoods, Azalias, and various fruit trees. There is just an explosion of colors right in my backyard. I am so blessed to get to enjoy this beauty, and it made me begin thinking about all of the things I love about living in the south. I'm going to share a few of those things in no particular order:
1) I love the sound of the wind blowing through the tops of the majestic pine trees.
2) I love seeing the Spanish moss swaying gently on those same breezes.
3) I love sweet tea
4) I love southern manners. I like hearing children say "yes mam, no mam, yes sir, and no sir".
5) I like the fact that we are all kin to one another. When Martha first moved back home with me, I cautioned her that we were kin to everyone we came in contact with; so be careful who you talk about.
6) I like the fact that when you are compelled to talk about someone, you can say anything you want to say as long as you add "bless her/his heart" as a disclaimer at the end of the conversation.
7) and finally, I like the fact that everyone has someone in the family who is crazier than a looney bug, and that's perfectly OK," bless their hearts"!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Oh What a Feeling

Our 2014-2015 hunting season officially ended this past Saturday at 1:00 pm, and it was an outstanding one in every sense of the word. For the third year in a row, we had more guests visit us than in the prior year, and the quality of the cover and hunting was outstanding! One of the more interesting statistics that I observed from this past season is that we had the lowest kill per hunt than any year I ever remember. You might find it odd for me to say this, but that is a good thing! We are selling sport rather than meat.
 I give a lot of credit for that statistic to the introduction of our English Cocker flushing dogs. These little dogs flat put the birds in the air rather than having them pop out of a covey and fly at various times. Another great statistic this year was that we lost less shot quail than any other season. Again, the credit for that stat goes to these little retrievers. We definitely plan to expand this program in the future years.
 However, my favorite statistic is this one: It was yet another zero defect safety season at Riverview!!! Anyone reading this blog who has hunted with us knows that my number one criteria of a successful season is a safe season, and we achieved that record again. I can only say, "Praise God".
 Today we are taking inventories of all of our supplies, and converting four of our jeeps to woods burning rigs. It's going to be too damp to burn today. However, by tomorrow afternoon this place will look like General Sherman has revisited us. Speaking of General Sherman, I'm fairly certain that he is warm where he is now without having to warm his butt on the backside of any Georgia mansions.
 As for me, I plan to spend some time resting, visiting with grandchildren, and fishing.You know what they say about fishing? " Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will sit in a boat all day long drinking". That would be me!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reflections

As I was reading my newspaper this morning, the following headline caught my attention," President Obama comes down to Georgia Tech". Now seeing as how I am no fan of either President Obama or Georgia Tech, the headline sounded eerily similar to the title of the old Charlie Daniels song, " The Devil Came Down To Georgia". As far as I'm concerned, Obama and Tech deserve one another! 'Nuff said?
 We have the rest of this week and all of next week remaining in what has been an outstanding hunting season both in terms of quality and quantity of guests. One of my young guides approached me yesterday and asked me if I was looking forward to the season ending. I looked at him and responded, "Son, the day that I do not look forward to a hunting season beginning is the day that I will retire, and the day that I do not look forward to it ending is the day that I will have myself committed to a mental institution".
  I will write more when I have something worthwhile to say.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Various thoughts

It has been said that two of the things that a man can want the most are sex and rain. Well, we caught up on the rain part last night. We have learned to be expert meteorologists here at Riverview. As the brain trust of Cader IV, Jerry, Greg , and I studied the weather early yesterday morning, we made the decision to get everyone up early yesterday. We had an early breakfast, and had everyone on the jeeps at 8:30 am, and we hunted until 1:00 pm. We changed our normal three hour morning hunt to a four and a half hour hunt. Just about the time all of the jeeps rolled in at 1:00 pm it began to sprinkle. Shortly after that as Noah would have said, "It came up a cloud", and the skies opened up. There was some major league snoring going on yesterday afternoon in our cottages and some rested, happy hunters at dinner last night. This morning has broken raw and overcast, but the rain has all moved well east of us.
 Speaking of hunting, Jerry just informed me that one of our prized English Cockers gave birth to seven puppies last night. You would think that Jerry was the grandfather from the way he was carrying on about how pretty they were this morning. We are very excited about this litter as they come out of two really good blood lines. We continue to get rave reviews from all of our guests about these little dogs, and we are definitely expanding this program in the years ahead. Not only have they added to the quality of the hunts, but they are some of the sweetest dogs I have ever seen. If one of them ever washes out of the program as a retriever, I plan to take one for a house pet.
 In closing, allow me to make a personal observation. last night as Martha and I were leaving church, I found myself once again waiting for her to speak to every soul at church before ambling to our car in the deluge. That got me to thinking. there are definitely two typed of folks in the world-- Those who want to go home and those who don't. The trouble is that they are usually married to each other. Such is definitely the case for me. I do not have to wait for the fat lady to sing while Martha has what I term as "departure anxiety". Oh well, that is what makes life interesting !

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

cold weather

I don't know about you folks, but I would like to find that Al Gore fellow, and tell him where he could stick his global warming theory. After looking at the weather in places like Boston and Nashville, I know that I should not complain, but it is getting colder by the minute down here in the sunny south. I just got back from exercising, and there was a steady cold wind blowing out of the northwest at about 25-30 mph while the actual temperature is only 48 degrees. that makes for a fairly brisk wind chill. I bet our bird dogs are either pointing covies that are 100 yards away from them or running over them if they come into the birds from the wrong side of the wind.
 However, as I stated earlier, I have no business complaining. One of my daughters lives only about four and a half hours north of here, about an hour above Atlanta. They are in the midst of a full fledged ice storm with power out and trees down all over the place. A very close friend of mine who lives in Brevard, N.C. sent me a photo of his drive yesterday, and it is a solid sheet of ice. They are hoping to be able to escape their home by Sunday. I feel sorry for his wife because I have a feeling he might get ornery after being housebound for six days.
 If any of you folks have a hankering to see some green grass rather than that white stuff, we have four more weeks of hunting season left after this week. I can't promise you that the weather will be warm, but I can almost guarantee you that we will not have any snow or ice at Riverview.
 In closing, I just have to share this funny thought that my friend,Mike, sent me the other day. He said, " If we could convince the Chinese that Jihadists' testicles were aphrodisiacs, within ten years they would be extinct".

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rambling thoughts

It's  strange phenomenon in this business, but random events far away can affect our business down here in south Georgia. I've been watching the events of the blizzard in the northeast unfold.The Christian in me should be worried about the poor folks who may be cold, out of power, and hungry. However, the businessman in me keeps wondering," Do I have any jets up that way that should be flying to south Georgia for a hunting trip that might be stuck on the tarmac". It's the same thing with oil prices. All of my farmer neighbors are rejoicing over cheap gas and diesel while I fret over oil prices dropping lower, and some of my best customers deciding to forego hunting at Riverview. The folks in the oil patch do enjoy their quail hunting. At one time the coal folks did also, but this current administration has almost put them out of business.
 Speaking of administrations and politicians, I was reading this morning where one regulator was defending Fannie and Freddie's 3% down payment on mortgages. One of my dad's favorite quotes was"those who fail to learn the lessons from history are doomed to repeat them".These folks have short memories and small to non-existent brains. I have said many times that I want to be the person that my dog thinks I am. I can now add that I wish my politicians and government officials were able to learn things and remember them as well as my dog does. I have never owned a dog that forgot his training lessons as fast as a politician does.
 We are having great weather, and a great week of hunting here. For those of you who are covered up in that white stuff that we have heard called"snow", come on down to enjoy some green grass, big piney woods, and some great quail hunting at Riverview over the next seven weeks. I can guarantee you that our dogs are smarter than your politicians!