Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Weeds

There are three sure signs that summer has almost fully arrived in south Georgia: heat,gnats, and weeds. We have not had a rain in two weeks now. I just counted my two trillionth gnat today, and our temperature hit 92 before lunch. Almost everything is wilted and drooping around here with one exception, and that would be the weeds.
 The famous writer , Ralph Waldo Emerson, once said," What is a weed.? It is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered". Mr. Emerson's friend, Henry David Thoreau, lived on Emerson's farm when he wrote his famous book, On Walden's Pond. I got curious and looked up where that farm was located, and it was in Concord, Massachusetts..
 Now I hate to bust the bubble of anyone living in New England, but y'all have obviously never seen the kinds of weeds that grow in the south. I can almost guarantee you that Pigweed has no virtues whatsoever and no redeeming qualities yet to be discovered. It grows very fast, has a thick stalk, will stick the mess out of you, and plays havoc in a sweet corn field or even in a food plot. Nothing eats it, and nothing likes it. Once discovered in your field, if you do not already have a plan B to attack it, you have no plan at all since it is so hard to kill.
 If Mr. Emerson was alive today, I would be glad to ship him a few tons of Pigweed along with a few billion gnats and wait for him to find their virtues!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mother's Day

As we approach Mother's Day weekend, I just wanted to post a short blog in praise of mothers. My beloved mother went to be with the Lord in 1985, and I still think about her most every day. I truly believe that a mother's love is the closest that we will ever come to experiencing God's unconditional love on this earth. Growing up with Mom also taught me how to be a better husband since I learned that women are sometimes in doubt, but never wrong. I will never forget Cader IV telling me one day that " Dad, Mom is just flat wrong on this issue". I calmly backed him up against the wall, and explained to him all of the sacrifices, pain, and love that his mother had endured in raising him. I further threatened to pummel him into submission if he argued with her any more on the subject in contention. That is what I told him, but what I was thinking was this, "You have two older sisters and a mother, and you still have not figured it out. I sure have wasted a bunch of money on your education up to this point if you have not figured out the female mind yet".
 My mother was my greatest cheer leader and supporter. She also taught me so many things:
 She taught me religion--" You better pray that stain comes out of my carpet.
 She taught me how to exaggerate---If I have told you once, I have told you a million times.
 She taught me about anticipation--You just wait until your Dad gets home and he is going to tear your fanny up.
 She taught me about receiving--You are going to really get it when Dad gets home from work.
 She taught me that mothers do truly have a pair of eyes in the back of their heads,
 She also taught me that women have "wolf ears" since she could hear a muttered comment from 500 yards away.
 I still miss her, but she was very pleased with my choice for a life mate, and felt certain that Martha would continue my training. AND she has for almost 45 years now..In closing this tribute to mothers, I wish that I had the address of that mother in Baltimore who jerked her son out of that mob and slapped him back to the straight and narrow. This nation needs more Moms like that, and we definitely need Dads in the homes who have been properly trained to be good role models!
 Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers still with us, and to those who are with the Lord now !

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rainy Weather

Since my home and most of our cottages overlook the beautiful Flint River, I am always keenly aware of the rainfall and how that affects our river. During the floods of 1994 and 1998, the river rose as much as 52 vertical feet and covered all of our facilities with the exception of my home, and it got way too close for comfort there. After the flood of '98 I promised myself that I would never pray for rain again. I am reminded of what my Dad always said about farming, " Son, dry weather will scare you, but wet weather will kill you".
 Well, I have not broken that promise. However, I made one small mistake a little over a week ago. While saying my prayers, I casually reminded God that it was getting fairly dry at Riverview, and I was worried about the stress on all of our pine timber since we had just finished with our controlled burning. BIG MISTAKE ! It commenced to rain the following day, and rained either a little or a lot for seven straight days.
 Now, we are in no danger of river flooding because our soil moisture was very deficit, and the river was quite low for the spring of the year. However, we are way behind on planting our sweet corn as it is wet enough to bog a buzzard's shadow at the moment. There are only so many "wet weather" jobs for 26 employees to do while waiting to get back into the fields and woods. Our employees have evidently learned the most important task that they can perform right now which is hide from the boss. I'm about to take a heat seeking device out and go hunt for body signatures on Rivevriew.
 On the bright side( no pun intended), the sun is shining today, praise the Lord!

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.