Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The 2016-2017 hunting season has officially opened

As the title above indicates, Riverview Plantation officially kicked off the 2016-2017 hunting season with the arrival of guests on Sunday, October 16th. However, it did not quite begin the way I had planned it. My plans were to go to church, and enjoy my first opening day as a semi-retired person sitting on my porch watching the vans arrive and listening to the guests shoot clay targets. However, I received a text from Cader IV about 7:30 Sunday morning informing me that he and his entire family had a horrible throw-up virus. He said that they had been up all night, and that the virus had not abated one bit.

So, the old war horse saddled up his pony, and came to work on opening day. I love being over 60 years old because I learn something new every day---and forget about six things that I used to know. Everything went smooth as silk, possibly because Jerry and Greg asked me to just stay in the office and answer the phone.

Since we are open, let me remind you that every day millions of innocent plants are being killed by vegetarians. You can help end this senseless violence by booking a quail hunt with us, and eating some delicious quail. The woods look great, and the dogs and guides are all doing superb jobs. From what I saw on the score cards yesterday, the quail are not cooperating too good by dropping dead at the sound of the shotguns. Maybe we need to teach acting acting lessons for our quail.

In closing this short blog, let me mention that both Jerry and Cader IV now feel that we are far enough along in our English Cocker training program that we may be ready to begin selling a few of them this year. We have one or two of these little warriors on almost every jeep now, and we have a good pipeline of young dogs in the background. If you see and fall in love with one of them while you are here this season, I think that we will at least be open to discussing some sales.

We hope to see y'all at Riverview this season!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Big cities

I don't know how much they pay folks who live in large metropolitan areas, but whatever it is, it's not enough! Circumstances have dictated that I have had to drive from South Georgia to the north side of Atlanta, Georgia several times lately. Driving on I-75 is akin to a NASCAR race. If you drive any slower than 82 mph, you will get run over. It doesn't help at all to have my built in speed nagger in the front passenger seat constantly telling me that I am driving too fast while I am fighting to stay alive.

However, the fun really begins once I near Atlanta. I remember flying into San Francisco several years ago, renting a car, and driving up into the wine country. There must have been 10 lanes of traffic, but everyone was strolling along at 55-65 mph, and they were all happy as a clam to let you change into another lane if you needed to get over. Now maybe they were all smoking a little dope, and on medicated peace and tranquility, but even though the traffic was horrendous, the driving was easy and pleasant.

NOT SO WITH ATLANTA TRAFFIC ! Once you approach the outskirts of Atlanta, you run into thousands of commuters who must wake up just plain mad at the world each day. They are all driving like speed demons, bumper to bumper, and hell bent for leather to get somewhere. I know where I want a good many of them to arrive, and it's quite warm down there.I'm the kind of driver who likes to keep a little distance between me and the car in front of me. In Atlanta, that is a veritable invitation for a driver to yank his car right in front of you.

Should you need to change lanes, nine out of ten drivers will close up on you if they see your blinker on just to make certain that you have no chance to get into the lane you need to be in. Consequently, you are unable to take the exit you need, and then that aggravating lady inside my GPS unit starts repeating," recalculating". She has been known to ask me to make an illegal U turn which would be tantamount to suicide.

By this time my built in speed control passenger in the front seat has finally stopped talking because her knuckles are white, and she has assumed the crash position as taught by the airlines. What these Atlanta drivers do not know is that I have a really big pistol in my glove compartment, and a smaller pistol strapped to an ankle holster. One of these days I'm going to poke that big, old Judge pistol of mine up one of their nostrils, and let them enjoy hyperventilating for a while like I do while trying to reach my destination alive.

I do not think any native southerners live in Atlanta any more. I know that we were all raised to be courteous and respectful of our fellow man. All of the drivers that I have encountered in Atlanta traffic remind me of the old song by Alabama that goes: " I'm in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life's no fun. All I've really got to do is live and die, but I'm in a hurry, and don't know why".

As for me, I am so much happier driving on dirt roads and dodging deer. That's the kind of traffic problems I enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Not an easy blog to write

While it seems like two years ago, it was actually only two weeks ago that my beloved wife of over 46 years, Martha, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This is the same type of cancer that claimed my mother's life over 30 years ago. While everyone has told me that there have been great strides in cancer surgeries and treatments in the past 30 years, this was still a very tough diagnosis for me to hear.

Back when I was really running Riverview on a day to day basis, I always trained my guides to stay away from the subjects of politics and religion because they are very controversial subjects. But I am going to break that rule here and state for the record that I am a very strong believer in God and the power of intercessory prayer. There is no doubt that God's grace and mercy have been very evident in how fast the past two weeks have unfolded.

Martha's OBGYN in Albany said that there was only one surgeon that he would send his wife or mother to if they had this diagnosis. Her Albany doctor was able to get her an appointment right away, and we went to Atlanta on Sunday of last week for a Monday appointment. The doctor in Atlanta said that he was booked through October on surgery, but he wanted to go ahead and perform an exam on Martha. While performing the exam, his office received a call that he had a surgery cancellation opening for Thursday of last week. However, there was one lady on the waiting list. He instructed his office to call that lady, and she was not quite ready.

We could see God's hands at work, and we accepted the opening right away for Martha to have surgery on last Thursday. As per normal operating procedures, we signed about 4000 forms, and were told of all of the dire outcomes. Dr. Feuer did say that, depending upon what he found, he might be able to perform the surgery robotically. If so, Martha's stay in the hospital , and recovery would be much shorter. My definition of eternity was the time between her being taken to surgery and the time the doctor came out to talk to us.

He was able to perform the surgery by robot, and in his own words he said, " I would deem this surgery an A+ success. I was able to get all of the cancer". We go back to see him this Monday, and we do know that we face chemo in our future, but we feel confident that God is going to restore Martha back to good health.

Now I know all of the statistics out there; so I know that many of you are facing similar situations with loved ones. I know that I am praying for a few of you like Mark's wife and others. I just thought it important to let everyone know why I have been so silent at the time of the year when I should be rambling on about hunting season getting ready to start up.

I will say that we are expecting our first fall weather to arrive tomorrow, and everything here looks great. In any company, succession planning is so important, and I am so glad that I started working on that plan years ago. Cader IV firmly has this place humming at top speed along with the help of Jerry and Greg. While I plan to be around as much as possible, my primary job is going to be in a role as " Nurse Nick" to Martha. As a natter of fact, I'm "driving Miss Daisy" to her beauty parlor appointment tomorrow, and this is being done by a man who has not needed anything but his "sidewalls" trimmed for years.

So long for now, but I hope to see many of you at Riverview during the 2016-2017 hunting season!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Of dogs and politicians

I know that we have all seen the funny emails over the years comparing dogs to wives. My personal favorite has always been the one about locking your dog and wife in the trunk of the car for an hour. Then open the trunk and see which one is the happiest to see you. That got me to thinking about comparing dogs to politicians, especially in this particularly insane political climate.

When I feed my dog, he has never immediately started begging for another bowl of food. When I give money to a politician, he starts asking for more money as soon as the first check clears the bank.

All politicians lie skilfully and often. I have had a few dogs false point on me from time to time, and occasionally a young dog will point a stink sparrow. But all of my dogs have been ashamed of themselves for being untruthful. A politician is born without a hint of shame. To say that a politician "lies like a dog" is an insult to all of the dogs that I have known.

Usually when a dog barks, he is trying to let you know something. Politicians bark incessantly without saying anything. When a dog defecates, the worst that can happen is that you get crap on your boots. With politicians, we get covered in doo-doo up to our ears. I could go on like this forever, but I think that everyone gets the message.

On the Riverview front, we have all begun our lodge grounds clean up. It kind of reminds me of the old chain gang crews except the equipment is more modern than the slings and axes of yesteryear. In this rich land and humid soil, a lot of things can grow up on the lodge grounds in six months that need to be pruned, cut, or completely eradicated. We are beginning to get into hunting season shape, and look forward to seeing a lot of old and new friends this season!

Friday, September 2, 2016

A short weather blog

I just wanted to send out this short blog letting everyone know that Riverview survived the hurricane with absolutely no damage. The forecast for us was for 35-50 mph winds along with 5-8 inches of rain. We were certain that we would lose power since all it takes for us to lose our electricity is for a mule to poot.

When we went to bed we had our lanterns, flashlights, and all of our emergency gear around us . We left all of our shutters open under the assumption that the lightning and strong winds would wake us up. Evidently the storm shifted just enough to the east of Riverview to spare us. We never lost power, and only received an inch of rain. The storm has now shifted north and east of us; so I would say that it is over here.

I have talked to friends in Tallahassee, Thomasville, and Valdosta. Many of those cities are without power with a lot of down power lines due to fallen trees on the power lines. Our thoughts and prayers got out to them as they begin the clean up from the hurricane. I have been there/done that, and it's not a lot of fun. But, it could have been much worse, and for that we are grateful

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fall season

I believe that I saw on our local weather station that South Georgia has gone 76 straight days during which our low temperatures at night have not fallen below the low 70's. Sometimes the seasons and the temperatures actually get on the same page. This weekend is Labor Day, and we are predicting temperatures in the mid 60's on Sunday and Monday.

This weekend also kicks off college football season, and there are some pretty big games being played on week one. My television and porch will be a very popular destination for me on Saturday. Hopefully by then, this tropical depression will have dumped a little rain on our thirsty soil. We have not had a drop
of rain since Martha and I returned from overseas on August 13th. Prior to then, we had been getting steady rains once or twice a week. Some folks at Riverview are beginning to draw unflattering conclusions about these two events. I plan to stick with my dad's old words of wisdom that stated "dry weather will scare you, but wet weather will ruin you". I've experience both extremes in my life, and I will take "too dry" any day of the week.

At any rate, our food plots have all made it, and our grain sorghum has all been harvested. A rain would be most welcome, but it is not critical at this moment. We would like to see some cooler weather so that we could have more productive hours of dog training, and that appears to be headed our way.

On an entirely different subject, it seems that any discussion of politics these days is difficult to have in a civil manner; so what I'm about to say is a matter of public record rather than an opinion. I just read the list of companies who have paid Hilary Clinton huge sums of money for her speeches. I recognize many of those companies as having visited here in the past. As anyone who has ever hunted with us knows, I always give a very in depth safety talk to each group. I never realized that I could have been charging $250,000+ for my speeches. I know what I talked about, but I certainly wonder what she said that was worth so much money?

In closing, if football season begins this weekend, we know that hunting season is also just around the corner, and we are VERY ready for that also. Come see us this season!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Seasons of the year

I do believe that I would hate to live in a location where the seasons never changed, even if the climate there was always pleasant. I look forward to the change of seasons in South Georgia, and enjoy each of them with the exception of summer. I just can't find anything positive to say about the summer season in my part of the country. Yesterday our temperature/humidity index reached 112 degrees. I raised the white flag and retreated to the AC.

Perhaps that is why my favorite season of the year here is fall. Fall is when I can see summer in my rear view window. Fall is also college football and hunting seasons, two of my favorite past times. I enjoy watching one and participating in the other. Living as close to nature as I do, I promise you that I can smell fall before it arrives. I've begun sniffing the air every morning in hopes of picking up that scent which I can't define. Regretfully, I have yet to smell it, but I know that any day now I might catch a whiff of it in the air. Right now, I can't sniff too hard because I might still inhale a bunch of gnats and have a sneezing fit.

Another sure indication that fall ids just around the corner is how much later daylight is coming. I have always been an early riser, and love to watch day slowly break. Just a few short months ago, we were in the sweet corn fields, and actually picking corn before 6:00 am with decent light. This morning it was 6:40 am before I could even begin to define the trees in my yard. Of course, Cader IV says that is because I can't see good, but I disagree with him on that point. I have noticed that he no longer trusts me to tell him that no cars are coming when we approach a stop sign while riding together.

So I would say," Please hurry up and arrive at Riverview, Mr. Fall Season". We are more than ready for your arrival. Well, maybe the quail are not too excited about it. However, if I were a quail, I think that I would prefer a quick, clean kill shot to being eaten alive by a hawk. Maybe that's kind of like choosing between Trump and Clinton.