Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 2007

This was the motley group that left my house in search of the sugar-filled delights that define Halloween. The group is comprised of my wife, my two sons, my nephew and my three nieces. We had pirates, a geisha, the scream character, a cheetah, a frog and the devil herself made an appearance.

I went out with the group to provide protection. I'm 6'3, 295 pounds, give or take a few, and tough as nails ... well at least tougher than twinkies. So, I thought my ominous presence would ward off any evil-doers. You know the kind I'm talking about - those pesky 5-year olds who run around without looking where they're going, smacking into your knees. Oh, then there are the 13-year olds who think they are funny with every prank they pull. Turns out the group didn't really need me. My wife has a pretty good handle on youngsters. She has way of imposing her will on them.

Anyway, it was a relatively uneventful Halloween. I remembered the excitement of knowing it was time to go trick-or-treating when I was much younger. Tonight, however, I think I was asleep on the couch when the announcement was made that the time had come. I'm definitely getting old.

I hope all five readers had a safe Halloween. Take care.

CR

Monday, October 29, 2007

Favorite time of year


Fall is finally here. I know it's technically been autumn for some time now, but we're finally getting a taste of fall weather. I went out to shoot a few outdoors photos yesterday, but I didn't have much time. I'll be heading up to a hunt camp that I lease with some friends near the Michigan line for a welcome vacation next week. Deer camp, as we call it, is quite a place. We hunt over more than 400 acres of farm ground that has woods, a lake, a canoeable stream and a huge swamp area - where the big boys go. I've had some great times up at deer camp just hanging out with the guys. It's really more a week-long party. The 7 and sevens will be flowing all week, and incidentally, so will the bloody marys.


Every day starts with a huge breakfast. Pancakes, sausages, bacon, omelets toast, you name it. We'll have enough food to feed a small army. After we finish the morning hunt, it's back to the tent for venison burgers, chips and salsa, and jaunts around the property on 4-wheelers. Just before we leave for the evening hunt, the camp chef, Dan, usually puts a huge pot of venison roast and vegetables in the oven for dinner. That is unless Tom is cooking one of his delicious smoked, injected venison quarters. After dinner, everyone eiither settles in to a game of Texas hold 'em or they start telling stories and cutting on each other. I think I pick up enough insult material during this one week to last me a year.

Everyone usually comes home from our vacation week needing to hit the gym due to all the food, but it's well worth it. We work hard, and we play hard. It's actually hard to relax during the week, so it's not much of a vaction in that sense. It would be hard to guess the number of miles I walk, but I can tell you walking through swamps isn't easy, let alone hauling a big buck out of there. Walking nearly the entire property busting through thick brush and tall grass during our pheasant hunts isn't exactly a walk in the park either, well, I guess it kind of is, but you know what mean.


My wife doesn't quite understand the attraction to spending a whole week up there, but that's OK. I don't quite understand walking around shopping centers for a whole day. We each have our own interests, and that's a good thing. What she does understand is that this week means a lot to me, and she makes concessions for me to go. Thank God for that, or I'd be the butt of all the jokes and insults for the whole week. I have to find a vacation for her to spend a week away. The problem is she wants to go to places like Jamaica, Italy or Hawaii, and It would be hard for me not to go with her to places like those. Maybe I should buy a train ticket to Chicago where she can do all the shopping she wants. That would work. I can do without going to Chi town, and I'm sure a lot of Cubs/Bears/Blackhawks fans are thinking the same thing right about now.

Anyway, I didn't write this post to stir up debate about the ethics of hunting. If any readers are opposed to it, you're entitled to your opinion, but please don't send them to me. I've heard all the arguments, and we'll just have to agree to disagree. You have your interests, and I have mine, and that's a good thing. this season, I'll be doing more hunting with my camera, and I'll post some photos when I get back. Take care and go check out the outdoors this fall. It really is the best time of the year.

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