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!

Monday, January 2, 2017

I remember

Our preacher said something yesterday morning at church that really caught my attention when he said, " Folks, you are about to go somewhere that you have never been before--into 2017". Although it sounded a bit like the beginning of a Star Trek movie, the comment really caught my attention. I can remember thinking that I would never get accustomed to dating any document in the 2000's as I had spent all of my life in the 1900+ dating, but I got used to it fairly quickly.

I am an eternal optimist, and I look forward to the great things that are going to happen in 2017. Before looking forward, I think that it is always a good idea to look back. 2016 will be remembered here as year of weather extremes. We broke a record for consecutive days without rainfall that was established in 1904. We followed that with the second wettest December on record. On one day in December, we recorded 8.5 inches of rain. Thankfully, our December rains came mostly at night or on Sundays when we are not hunting; so we lost hardly any hunting time due to the weather.

During the summer, we made a lot of progress in our English Cocker training program, and also finally made some money in the fresh sweet corn business for the first time in three years. Maybe it's just an age thing, but I believe our summers are getting hotter, and I KNOW our gnats are becoming more numerous.

This is also a time of the year that I like to recall years gone by. My daughter, Cadie, posted a photo of Martha and I when we were in college. The funny thing is that I can remember everything about the date, time, and where that photo was taken. However, prior to receiving the post, I had spent ten minutes looking for my sunglasses that I had just placed somewhere less than 30 minutes ago. Now why does our mind work that way?

My older sister sometimes accuses me of having "stolen memories" as I claim to remember things from before I was born. She tells me that she recounted those stories to me, and somehow I have convinced myself that I was around at that time. But, I have learned that it is not wise to argue with big sisters; so if she says so, I will accept it.

However, I do have some memories that I know are not hers as she never participated in them such as hitting the tobacco patch at sunup and working until dark. Pop paid me $3 a day. I learned that the other employees were making $4 a day. I threatened to strike. He informed me that he was not providing food, clothing, and shelter to the other employees. Then he struck, but it was with a swift kick to my butt. That was my last effort in labor law.

I remember raising my first litter of bird dog puppies whose Mom rejected them. I fed them with one of Sis's baby doll bottles. I also have very fond recollections of the first bird dog I ever trained. Bimbo will always be a cherished memory to me. I killed my first quail over Bimbo with Pop's double barrel LC Smith 12 gauge. It had double triggers, and I accidentally pulled both triggers at the same time. I killed the quail, and lost my front two teeth at the same time!

My favorite memory was the first time I ever laid my eyes on Martha Holland in 1968 on the campus of the University of Georgia. She was the prettiest girl that I had ever seen, and I found out that she was even prettier on the inside than outside. I knew that I had found the woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. 46+years later, she still hasn't managed to shake me. And the joy of holding our three babies after they were born are precious memories indeed !!

Now, let's all go out and make some great memories in 2017. Some of those can occur right here at Riverview, but open dates are becoming scarcer than hen's teeth; so I would encourage you to call soon.

Happy 2017 everyone !!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas break

When I was a child and Mom and Dad were trying to build the business, we hunted every day except Christmas Day. Santa Claus would come on Christmas Eve, and we would have a one day break before going back at it. As the years progressed and our occupancy increased, I realized that it was very important to give the staff and dogs a week's rest around Christmas so that the last half of season would be as fresh as the first half. Cader IV has continued that practice.

Today will be our last day of hunting until after Christmas. We have been completely full these last two days. The weather forecast for both days called for an 80% chance of rain, but we did not miss a minute of hunting even though we received 1.5 inches of rain. God smiled on us as our rains came during the night, and the wee hours of the morning. But, it has been two raw, overcast and cold days with our temperatures never getting out of the mid 40's. Now I know that is balmy weather compared to what some of you are experiencing, but us Southerners do not have as much antifreeze in our bodies as you do.

The last half of season promises to be a good one. Since our president-elect says that it is OK to say so, my primary reason for posting this short blog is to wish each of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year !