Why we are here

After spending the last three days with my grandchildren, I have reached some inspired conclusions. I have raised three and one half children. (Because one was my stepson who I acquired through marriage to my wonderful wife. He was eight when He became pat of my life.) Although I had fun with my brood, I was always busy with work and trying to provide for the family. This was difficult and made more so by the fact that I traveled for around 20 years. Simply put, I didn’t have and didn’t make time to really enjoy watching my own children being “kids”

Then something amazing happened that changed all the rules. My oldest son (through marriage) got married to a beautiful, sweet girl, from Texas, of course, and in a few years, they had a son! I was won over, as Papa, instantly. I loved that little baby boy so much I can’t even describe it in words. He and I were buddies from the very beginning, and though we live in the Houston metro are, we would fly or drive to Austin regularly. At this point, I’m semi retired and have the time and desire to make these weekend trips.
Two and one half years later (2014) the same couple had a baby girl. I was overcome with joy (my fist two children were girls, and I couldn’t wait to have a granddaughter).

My mother and father had five children, all married now, and 13 grandchildren. I watched, with some curiosity, how my parents had changed in there approach to child rearing, when it concerned the grandchildren. So much different than when we were growing up! They were nice and spoiled the grands rotten, while still holding some sense of order, it was surrealistic!

I am now smack dab in the middle of that surrealism. I sit and watch in wonder as these babies go through their life. My grandson is now two and a half and fully in to being a little boy. I can sit in the back yard with him and watch him play with his cars, both little and ride upon. I watch him pick up 1 gallon paint cans and carry them to his “Little Tikes” truck, load then up and then ride his truck to another location and then take the cans out. His sandbox was covered with a tarp that was full of rainwater and he wanted to play in the sandbox. I picked up a five gallon bucket and started to bail water. He went an found one of his little buckets and started to help me. Together, we bailed 60 gallons of water out of that tarp. When we removed the tarp, here was about 35 more gallons in the sand itself, so we bailed it out. My feet were wet and Waylan’s shirt and pants were soaked, but we finished the job, and had so much fun doing it.

I spent several hours each day holding my almost 4 month old granddaughter and we “talked”. She looks at me intently as I tell her how she is beautiful and how she will be the “belle of the ball”. As I talk, she will grin in a big open mouth smile that almost becomes an out loud laugh. The we snuggle.

I cannot stop watching and smiling, and I cannot get them out of my mind. Why am I like this?

Well, I think that God gives you children and you spend your time working to support the family and trying to raise the children to be responsible adults and you don’t stop and “smell the roses”. But then God gives you grandchildren from those that you raised, and it’s your job to just love them. That’s it. Take all the time you need to LOVE THEM. Enjoy watching them, no matter what they are doing. Take walks with them. Explore leaves and bugs and dogs and squirrels and such. Eat grapes and play with the food. Go swimming. At this time in life, what else IS there to do. You are to be the grandchild’s best friend. Support their parent’s rearing wishes and reinforce their methods, but be fun and spend all the time you can with them. This is God’s gift to parents…letting them be grandparents!

And that’s why we are here.

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The Hunt, Part 2

The boy sat on the bench, quietly freezing. His breath making big clouds of “smoke”. It was still dark, and he imagined all kinds of predators surrounding him. His father was quite far away on the other side of the meadow. The he would think about him being fifteen feet up the tree, and the shotgun he held, and he felt better. As the dawn approached, he started to see shapes around the edge of the meadow – shapes he could not fully recognize. Is that a deer? Is that a wolf? (there were no wolves, but plenty of coyotes and foxes). Is that a turkey? Nothing made sense… why can’t he see clearly. How can he shoot a deer if he can’t see it?

Dawn did finally come, and the world awakened. Birds started chirping, the squirrels started chattering. He could hear dogs barking, cows mooing and donkeys braying. Now, where are the deer?

As he sat and listened, being entirely still and silent, A head poked out of the brush about fifty yards away. He held his breath, waiting to see antlers. The animal moved very slowly and cautiously. Finally, it stepped out into the open! No antlers!!! It was a doe with a fawn. No way could he shoot this animal. As she walked out into the field to eat, three others followed, one with a fawn and the others without. He was fascinated by the majesty and and alertness of these beautiful animals, and wondered If he could actually kill a big, antlered buck?

The boy continued to sit and wait. The small group of deer moved slowly across the meadow, grazing cautiously. As he sat and watched them, constantly shifting his eyes to the perimeter of the woods, he was as still as a statue.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a loud shot and a ricochet sound. His father had shot at something with his 30-30 Winchester. The boy sat still, hoping that shot would bring other deer out of the foliage. Of course the little group he had been watching were gone in an instant!

He sat and waited, but no more deer showed. He figured his father would come and get him soon, to help with the field dressing and the carry out of the carcass. Eventually, he saw his father walking slowly around the edge of the woods, dragging something. When he got to the boy’s tree, the boy lowered his shotgun with the rope, and then cautiously climbed down the rickety “steps”. When he was safely down, he questioned his dad about the shot. His father then drug a body in front of the boy. It was a coyote. He asked “why did you shoot it?”. His father replied that coyotes kill chickens and calves and other small farm animal, of which he and his family owned and raised. So he understood why, at that point. But you can’t eat a coyote!!

This experience formed the boy’s outlook on hunting that lasted a lifetime. He learned that patience really is a virtue. He learned that some animals must be killed to protect your own home and farm. He learned that he really loved the hunt – the sounds and smells of the darkness, and the the waking up of the world at dawn. As he grew older, he continued to hunt, never killing anything that he couldn’t or wouldn’t eat, and never anything that wasn’t a danger to him or his homestead.

Indeed, as he had children he took them on hunting trips. His daughters enjoyed the trips and being away, but did not like the act of killing. (they thought meat comes from a styrofoam package), but his sons both became hunters, and good ones at that. When he hunted together with his family, it was the best times of his life, and continues to be. Now, he’s waiting for his grandson to come of age to take him on the family hunts. That day will not be far away, and the tradition will continue in his family.

the hunt - in South Texas

the hunt – in South Texas

Three hunting girls

Three hunting girls

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

The Hunt – Part 1

The gun used

The gun used

The boy walked quietly through the woods, following his father. It was very early and dark…maybe the middle of the night. He could hear all the nighttime sounds. He could smell the earth, the leaves and coffee, Winston’s and Old Spice after shave, all familiar to him. Branches were being bent and slapping back into place, twigs were snapping and leaves were rustling. Why was HE supposed to “walk like and Indian” while his father, more Indian than him, surely wasn’t!

The boy was almost 8 years old, fairly large for his age, and carried his grandfather’s doubled barreled shotgun. It was long and heavy and FANTASTIC! He was going on his first real deer hunt!

The pair walked on through the woods for what seemed like hours, with him being careful not to make a sound. In his mind, he was a Cherokee scout, tracking for Daniel Boone. He needed to be alert and sneaky. Suddenly, there appeared a large clearing and the moonlight shone brightly. They had reached their destination!

His father took him to a tree with small boards nailed to the trunk. At the top of those boards were two 2x4s nailed to the tree trunk with a 1×12 on the top of them, forming a “bench”. He started to climb while his father held the gun for him. It seemed to take forever; the slats of wood were not very stable and added to the tension. When he reached the top of the steps, he struggled to get onto the “bench”. The he looked down for the first time and realized how high up he was! The bench was small and the tree seemed to be moving, but, not wanting to be a “baby”, he dutifully dropped his rope so his father could tie the gun onto it. The boy then hoisted the shotgun up to the platform. Once he had it stabilized, he broke it open and loaded two 12 gauge buckshot shell into the barrels, closed the breach and said to his father, “A-OK”. The he started looking out across the meadow. Now it was time to watch and wait.

– to be continued.

Hello 2015!

Hi folks.

I have actually made some resolutions for the new year. One is to be more consistent with my blogging. I want to make the blogs more interesting and fun (or not). The point is, I do not want to just write health reports or political rants (though that could happen since I’m only human) I will try to compete with my daughter, who is a pro. ( and really really witty. See http://snowglobedweller.wordpress.com/)
I start the new endeavor on Monday, January 5th.
I hope you will like what I have to say, and if you don’t, please comment and suggest what you would like to hear…I have deep resources.

Happy new year, everyone!

My Holidays were spent with these two rugrats. I think they are kind of cute!

I'm a happy baby!

I’m a happy baby!

I like my truck

I like my truck