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 !

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What If

I have been following with great interest the antics of the losing side in this last election. What really got my attention was reading that California was thinking of seceding from the Union. Now the folks on the Left Coast are usually the first ones to come up with new ideas; so I don't know how to break it gently to these folks, but my part of the US came up with that idea in the 1860's. It didn't work out so good for us! We gave out of bullets, food, and everything else after General Sherman made his famous march through Georgia. But, as far as I am concerned, GO FOR IT, you folks from California. And take Oregon with you while you are at it!

Another thing that is particularly galling to me is the concept of "Sanctuary Cities". Basically, if I understand it correctly, these are cities who refuse to obey the federally mandated laws of the land.  Yet our federal government continues to fund these cities while allowing them to thumb their collective noses at Washington and the law.

The above paragraphs set the stage for the title of this blog/rant, "What If". Hawks are federally protected species as raptors. In spite of the fact that wind turbines are killing hawks, eagles, and other raptors by the hundreds, it is against federal law for us to shoot hawks that are eating so many of our quail on a daily basis that they can hardly get their fat wings in the air. What if I just decided to ignore the law, and thin the population? Would that be any different from a sanctuary city? Maybe we can declare ourselves a "Sanctuary Plantation", and I don't even want any funding from Washington.

What if some of our sheriffs and game wardens out west decided to look the other way while a cattleman killed a grizzly bear or a pack of wolves that were decimating his livestock? Would that be any different? Finally, and most importantly to me, what if public schools stood up and said that we are going to ignore your law prohibiting prayer in schools? We are going to start the morning with a devotional and prayer which will be broadcast into every classroom the first thing each morning. By the way, that is the way every morning of school started for me, and we did not need police officers in the schools. The only shootings that happened in school were the dove hunts after we got out of class, and many of us had our shotguns on the school bus that morning.

The only thing I'm trying to say here is that if reasonable people are forced to obey stupid laws, then the other side should have to do the same. We should level the playing field. Your call, Washington, but you should not be allowed to have your cake and eat it too.

By the way, the quail hunting and weather is great at Riverview . If you have not made it here to see us yet, you should call soon as available dates for the balance of the year are really shrinking fast !

Monday, December 5, 2016

Blessed rain

Have you ever seen a bird dog grin? I would swear that I saw a bunch of our dogs " grinning like a bunch of mules eating briars" after we got an inch and a half of rain sometime after midnight last night. For the past couple of weeks, it has been so dry here that the dogs could not even smell their own rear ends in the afternoon hunts when there was no dew on the ground.

Even more blessed news is the fact that the weather gurus are calling for this much or more rain later this afternoon, beginning about the time the afternoon hunts end. That makes our four groups in here almost as happy as the dogs. Now, while big pine trees absolutely can't smile, they sure are all standing taller and majestically today with no drooping needles weeping toward the ground. I know that our dogs will be able to locate the quail today. It would be especially gratifying if our guests could shoot a few of them. One of our top guides came in Friday, and I heard him tell Jerry, " We got four quail this morning, but they were all big, trophy birds".

Things are really looking up at Riverview, and we all have a better hitch in our "gitty-up" after this weather. On top of that, our temps are supposed to drop into the mid 20's by Saturday. The rain plus the cold weather should finally send the pine beetles to hell, or wherever they go when they are not killing beautiful 50+ year old pines. We are staying ahead of them here by cutting any bug infected tree down as soon as it is spotted in order to stop the spread to healthy trees.

In closing, I have just a couple of random observations. It is really disturbing to run into some old person, only to realize that he or she was in your class in high school. I always think," surely I don't look that old?"

I  have always been paranoid about plagiarizing anyone; so let me say that this quote was shared with me by my best friend friend who heard it from his preacher. It spoke to my heart, and I wanted to share it with y"all. " I know I am not what I Used to be, or what I am Supposed to be,or what I am Trying to be, or what I am Going to be----when I see You face to face".

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Observations

Well, as I was watching the news yesterday, I saw where there had been another senseless attack on innocent students at Ohio State. I realize that to say that this is an instance of Islamic terrorism would be premature and politically incorrect even though the perp. was a Muslim from Somalia. But what I can state is that we should ban all cars and butcher knives if we are to follow the thinking of the liberal left! I can guarantee you that had the young man used an AK 47, President Obama would be holding his last bleeding heart gun control plea press conference.

Speaking of guns, someone sent me a great clip developed by Homeland Security titled, "Run, Hide, Fight". I am not being my normal sarcastic self here. This is a good short video that I would encourage anyone who has family members living in metropolitan areas to encourage their family members to view. It describes how one should react in the first few minutes of a terrorist attack based on your circumstances at the time the attack begins. Somehow, I just don't see much chance of something like this happening in a rural setting because of the lack of availability of soft targets. Even if you found a target, "Bubba" would be toting, and he isn't going down without firing off a few rounds back.

As far me, I'm old enough to see no shame in hiding if the opportunity presented itself, but I'm too old and slow to run. Consequently, I am always armed even in church or when I go to the booming metropolis of Camilla, population of 5,000. I have a concealed carry permit, and about the only time I do not wear a weapon on my person is at Riverview. If someone could break through Cader IV, Jerry, and Greg to get to me, they have earned the right to shoot me. I believe that they would be leaking from so many holes that there would be no air or blood left in their bodies. The only thing that could be worse for a terrorist at Riverview would be if he happened to show up on the same day that a party of Joe's was here. To protect the innocent , I will not add a last name to Joe.

On a more pleasant subject, we finally saw a little rain during the wee hours of the morning this morning. It was not much, but we are grateful to God for every drop. And we stand an even better chance of more substantial rainfall in the morning, and again on Sunday. Maybe our dry weather pattern is about to change.

I have been tempted to complain about the weather, but I have a lot bigger fish to fry with the Lord than to aggravate Him about the weather; so I try to save my prayers for the big stuff. Also, I am reminded of a poem my Mom taught me at an early age. It does like this:
" Ain't no use to sit and whine
   When the fish ain't on yo' line
   Just bait yo' hook and keep a tryin'
   Keep a gowin'"

You might have to be a native Southerner to translate that one, but what it really says is that whining and complaining are not going to change your circumstances. We are blessed with so much in this great nation, and we sometimes take those blessings for granted. Have a great day today !