Monday, March 13, 2017

Mother Nature and the Time Change

We all know the old commercial a few years ago that had a punch line stating that it's not nice to fool Mother Nature. Well, I do not know what kind of retribution she will inflict upon us at Riverview, but we certainly fooled her this year. We have noticed for years that the coldest week of the spring always seemed to be the week right AFTER we had shut down our hunting operations for the season. While the state law allows us to stay open until March 31st, we never run that long. Our decision to close earlier than that is mostly based on our desire to get all of our woods burned before all of the vegetation turns too green to get a good burn. Last season, we closed on Saturday, March 12th.

This season we decided to run an extra week because we had so much demand for dates and so few spots to offer folks. Well, guess what? I think this week might just be our coldest week of the entire season. We are going to experience wind chills in the 20's and below freezing actual air temperatures for most of the week. I believe that I saw where it might warm up to 71 degrees on Friday. Now any of you who hunted with us in January or February of this season might have experienced hunting  weather that was in the low 80's which is just unheard of in this part of the world for those months. I think that we can kiss our plum, pear, and other fruit trees good-bye for this year as they are all blooming. My yard which has acres of Azaleas are all in full bloom. There will be no Easter photos of the Cox family standing in front of pretty Azaleas this year. However, I really should not complain at all about our weather after watching the news of the blizzard in the Northeast on television early this morning.

 Now, briefly on to my other subject of this blog, and that is this asinine time change business. I realize that we have a dysfunctional and divided bunch of folks in Washington, but I think that this should be one bill that the Democrats and Republicans could agree on. Pick a time, and stay on it !! I was reading some alarming statistics concerning the first Monday after the "spring forward" time change. There will be 31% more heart attacks today, many more wrecks, and a lot of sleepy school children who learn nothing during the first week of adjusting to this idiotic law. I also read that the time change has been proven to cost more money than the theoretical savings that it was intended to create.

So, just who does benefit from the time change? Let me state for the record that it doesn't bother me. I never need an alarm clock to wake up. I'm just waking up at 5:00 am now rather than 4:00 am. I've always thought that some aspiring country music singer should write a song titled," Going to bed on old time and waking up on new time". As best I can surmise, the only folks who really enjoy this Daylight Savings time are those folks who spend a lot of time chasing a little white ball around with a club trying to knock the ball in a hole.

In the old days, men with clubs beat on the ground and screamed at the sky. They were called Cro- Magnon Man. Today we call them golfers. I tried the sport for a brief period of time in college, but quickly gave it up after looking up the definition of recreation which should provide some degree of relaxation. All that golfing ever did for me was raise my blood pressure.

Stay warm everyone, and have a great day. Try not to yawn too much !

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tempus Fugit

For those of you who didn't have to grow up during my generation where most of us had to take Latin in public school, "Tempus Fugit" means "time flies". I've noticed that it seems to be fugiting a bit faster these days. Personally, I would like to slow time down to that year between my 15th and 16th birthday which lasted at least a decade before I could get my driver's license. Of course, that was only to drive legally since I had been driving a vehicle since I was thirteen years old by then. I'm always reminded of what my dad said in his late stage of life. Pop said," Son, that roll of toilet paper rolls a lot faster as it gets near the end of the roll.

The purpose of the paragraph above is to state that this hunting season is almost over, and it seems to me as if we were just opening up yesterday. That may have something to do with the fact that I am no longer working 16 hours a day, seven days a week. However, I have also noticed birthdays, anniversaries, etc. are all rolling around faster also. It's hard to believe that we have only this week and next week to go in the 2016-2017 hunting season. Later this week, we will double cut all of our firebreaks. If we get some needed rain, we will most likely begin our controlled woods burning the week after we close.

We have already begun planting sweet corn, and have young corn out of the ground and looking good. We had a pretty good frost here this past Saturday morning; so Greg had to begin running the center pivot irrigation system on that corn at 4:30 am, but it all made it through the frost just fine. Evidently old Al Gore must have taken his thumb off of the global warming switch for that day, but I will almost bet we will see more frost days in late March and maybe even into early April since it has been such a warm winter in the South.

 One of the things that I am proudest of as I look back on this season is Riverview's continued emphasis on safety. Cader IV stresses it just as much as I always did.It is one thing to hunt with a family member or long time friend while it is an entirely different situation to hunt with a good client that you may never have been in the field with. I firmly believe that it makes everyone more comfortable to hear the ground rules firmly applied BEFORE the hunt. We probably get as many compliments on our safety program as we do the hunting and food. It's always important to remember that dead is forever, and one can never take back that one careless mistake with a shotgun.

I once thought that guns only had two enemies--rust and politicians. Over the years I have learned that the two "C's" are our biggest threat here--complacency and competitiveness. We strive diligently to take those two "C'S" out of the equation here. Our average bird kill per hunt has declined over the years, but the quality and enjoyment of the hunt have improved.

To those of you who visited with us this year, we very much appreciate your friendship and business. For those of you who could not make it for one reason or another, you were missed ! I hope everyone has a great spring !

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I wonder

I wonder what you folks in the Northeast did to make Al Gore so mad since you are still getting blizzards and snowstorms. Down here in the South, winter has only visited us occasionally this season. Since I refuse to give Al Gore credit for being correct about anything other than how to get rich by scaring naive people to death, I choose to adopt our liberal media's philosophy. Therefore I have determined that Donald Trump obviously stole our winter since he has been blamed for everything else. Since President Trump has stolen it for so long, I would just as soon he keep it now.

My Dad always said that weather extremes evened out. I have a terrible fear that we are going to experience a hard freeze in late March or early April. If that happens, we can kiss all of our fruit trees good-bye in our region. We might also be at risk of losing our early sweet corn plantings unless we are able to keep our center pivots running constantly with the warmer ground water preventing the tender corn plants from receiving frost.

This has been one of those hunting seasons where our English Cockers have paid for themselves in spades. I would shudder to think how many shot birds would have never been found without these little jewels in action. They not only smell a downed bird, but they also sight mark them, and rarely ever lose a bird even if the scenting conditions are not ideal.

I really don't have a lot on my mind today; so I thought that I would share a few interesting facts that I have either read or thought of myself, and found them funny and appropriate. I have noticed that it is much easier to avoid temptation as I get older. As a matter of fact, I think that temptation has taken to avoiding me now.

I read where a Mr. David Brenner said," Misers aren't fun to live with, but they make wonderful ancestors". Pop was definitely not a miser; so I missed that boat. I also wanted to remind everyone that Daylight Savings time is fast approaching. That means you get to set your scales back ten pounds.

My final observation is not my original idea as I stole it from an email packed with humorous observations. This quote stated ," The fact that there's a highway to hell and only a stairway to heaven says a lot about the anticipated traffic numbers on those two paths". Humnn,  good food for thought!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Random thoughts

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from my Internist's office in Albany asking me to come in for a "wellness check". Since I had never heard of any such animal, I texted my young doctor to see what in the heck this was. His response,"Mr. Cader, this is just something that Medicare is forcing us to do. You will not even see me. You will just see a nurse to update your records". Well he was partially truthful. It took about five minutes to update my records, and I got up to leave. The nurse politely told me that we had about another 30 minutes worth of quick questions.

Well, I'm slow, but I'm not exactly stupid. I quickly surmised that I was being tested for dementia. I got tickled , and told the nurse that I had plenty of problems, but dementia had not visited me yet. I was racing through the test with flying colors when she handed me a blank piece of paper, and asked me to draw a clock showing the time as 9:20. I immediately flashed back to a conversation of about 15 years ago when one of my top guides walked in my office shut the door, and asked me what I was telling my guests as to how far they could swing their shotguns to shoot at a quail. I told R.J. that I was telling the guests that they had to check their swing at 12:00. He wisely nodded his head and replied, " Boss man these rich folks have had digital watches for so long that they ain't got a clue what 12:00 is". I changed from that point on to my reference as a mid point to check your swing.

I quickly flashed on that conversation as I got to thinking," Holy hell. I'm not sure if I can do this. I finally recalled that 12 was at the top and 6 was at the bottom. Then I remembered how clockwise worked, and was able to fill in the numbers. By now I'm sweating because I figured that the clock was running, and she had the folks lined up outside to take me to a memory care unit. Then I panicked again trying to recall which hand indicated the hour, and which one showed the minutes. But, I did get it right, and passed my test with flying colors. The entire test was so simple that it was almost laughable except for my clock paranoia. I used to have the same problem with bone fish guides who would always call out where to cast my fly by clock directions. I plainly remember struggling with that as a much younger person, and finally started telling my guide to just point in the direction that he saw the fish.

I want to close with a couple of random observations. Since Martha has become ill, I find myself going to the grocery store either with or for her occasionally. A grocery store might as well be a foreign land to me as it is a place that I have never been required to visit up until now. I couldn't help but notice that in every grocery store sick people have to walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes right at the front of the store. Hmmnn, I wonder if they are trying to create their future customers for the pharmacy.

One more thought, and I'm not trying to dive into the very controversial immigration issue, but think about these two observations. I lock the doors to my house every night, and put the burglar alarm on.I don't do that because I hate all of the people who are outside of my house. I do it because I love the people inside of my house. The other comment I would make is only applicable if you believe in God as I do. When it comes to heaven, God has a very strict vetting system before He alows you in; so what is wrong with a rigorous vetting system. Martha's oncologist is a foreigner, and we love him. I don't hate anyone, but I think that we should know who we are inviting into our country !

OK, folks, we only have four more weeks of hunting season left after this week, and I believe that we only have three dates remaining that we are not sold out on. It's not too late to come see us, but you had better call soon if you are thinking about a visit to Riverview!

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Old Gray Mare( or stud/gelding)

As many of you know , this was the year that I chose to completely retire from Riverview. I told Cader IV that I would still come down to speak to my old friends, and, of course, take advantage of free meals from the best cooks in the world. However, I felt like it was time to completely get out of his way, and only be available for any advice or ideas that he might want to run by me. I have Martha to look after due to her cancer, and serve on five boards; so it's not like I'm letting my mind go completely to pasture. I also knew that these 16 hour days, seven days a week during hunting season were beginning to tell on this "mature" body that I try to keep in shape. I couldn't hold my hair, but I am determined to stay in shape with regular exercise, and have managed to do that.


Well, as they say," The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray", This past Monday night, Cader IV called me to inform me that both he and Greg had come down with the flu, and were both running 103+ temps even though we all took the flu shots here. He asked if I could step in for a few days to keep things going. Without any hesitation at all, I agreed to do so. I firmly believe that I could have handled either job with no problems, but performing both of their jobs created quite a challenge. Thankfully, Jerry was not sick, and he was able to help me a good bit, for which I am eternally grateful !

As I was sitting on the sofa in the lounge on Thursday night after working three 16 hour days, I was reminded of that famous line in the movie, Topgun, when Tom Cruise's instructor told him, " Son, your mouth is writing checks that your body can't cash". Maybe I should have thought a bit more before diving into the deep end of the pool so quickly. At any rate, we survived the week, and I believe everything ran as smoothly as silk, but I was so tired on Friday morning when Cader made it back to work that my butt was wiping out my shoe prints in the sand.


I did notice a few things in the process. It once was so easy for me to remember 30 names three times a week with no problem at all. I did not find that to be the case now. Why is it that I can remember every word to a song from 1966, but I can't recall where I placed my sunglasses ten minutes ago, or where I last had the hunting license book? I spent five minutes looking for my cell phone only to realize that I was talking on it the entire time. I'm going to chalk that one up to exhaustion because I don't think that I'm quite ready for the guys with the butterfly nets to come get me just yet.

I also recognized that I still enjoy the people business, and that the finest folks in the world come through our doors at Riverview. We only have about seven more weeks remaining in the 2016-2017 hunting season, and we have precious few open dates remaining. The hunting, woods cover, dog work, and guides are still in great shape. If you are contemplating a visit or maybe adding one more hunting trip to this season, I would encourage you to give Cader IV a call soon. In the meantime, I'm about to kick back and relax for a bit!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tornadoes

Since we have had so many emails and calls checking on us, I thought that I would send this short blog out to let everyone know that Riverview and all of the Riverview family escaped the death and destruction from the violent tornadoes in our area. All of us got to know our closets intimately as we had to take to shelter twice on Saturday night and once on Sunday morning. However, at the last minute, each of the three tornadoes heading at us took a turn to the north at the last minute.

I now know that Martha has a lot more shoes in her closet than even I knew. I also know that I need a chair in her closet as sitting " Indian style" on the floor makes it difficult for me to get up.

Please pray for the folks in South Georgia who were not so fortunate. Due to the night time hour of the worst tornadoes, I do not believe that we are even close to an accurate death count, especially in the Albany area. We very much appreciate everyone's concern, but we are completely unscathed at Riverview, by the grace of God.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Random thoughts

I read this quote by Mark Twain the other day that really hit home to me. He said," Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did". With the exception of about four years in college, I would tend to agree with that comment. I fear that the things I DID do during that time might be more regrettable than the things I did not do. I also applied this same thought process to my high school years. I have no memories of those great grades in English or calculus, but I can recall certain football dates with great clarity.

By now you may be wondering where am I headed with this thought process.I believe that people with many and varied interests not only live the longest, but they also live the happiest lives. If you enjoy the beautiful piney woods and quail hunting of South Georgia, don't put off a trip to Riverview just to spend another two days in the office. I have found that I could come to work each morning with a completely empty slate, and manage to stay busy all day long. The work and tasks will always be there, but opportunities to really experience and enjoy life go by us daily. So, if you have not scheduled a break to let your soul breathe for a couple of days, give us a call to refresh and rejuvenate your lives. I can guarantee you that the office will still be there when you return. I have learned that the hard way this year as I am only spending a couple of days a week in the office.

Martha and I started a "bucket list" eight years ago of places we wanted to go, and things that we wanted to do. Our thought at the time was that we should do it while we were both in good health, and could enjoy it. It was one of the best decisions we ever made because we checked the last one off this past summer before Martha was diagnosed with cancer. By the way, she is doing great, and we are both very grateful for the thoughts and prayers from so may of y'all. At least for a good period of time now, there will be no long trips in the future as chemo sessions are a regular part of our lives now, but we still know that God is great, and He holds our future.

Now , just a few random thoughts to close with. Will January 20th end this season of political insanity, or have we become the Divided States of America? Had Hillary won, I would have been very disappointed, but she would be my president, and I can not envision myself hoping for her to fail because, if she did, so would our nation. Do politicians really care about anything other than being re-elected? I like the old country music song line that goes," You've got to stand for something, or you will fall for anything". I'm beginning to wonder just what does Washington stand for other than my side beating your side.

And just this one final thought for today: If 60 has become the new 50 and 70 is the new 60, then why can't Thursday be the new Friday? It makes perfect sense to me!