Not too often did I ever wake up to a white Christmas but this year , 2012, the snow was gently falling as we sat by the kitchen table looking out the window. The bird feeders were up and red birds were in full force with five male and two female. There were also spotted wood peckers on the suite feeder and a red headed wood pecker close by. There were chickadees and a pair of brown thrushes. Of course most of the trees were bare except for a few oaks that held onto some brown leaves. The grasses were brown and some shrubs had bright red berries which really showed due to the contrasting snow. WOW! What a sight. Our oldest son even commented that it was about the prettiest Christmas he remembered.
To top all of that off all my children and their spouses were sitting at the table drinking coffee and tea and relaxing after a late breakfast. Now from my perspective even if there were no snow it was a beautiful Christmas. With in-laws and out-laws and job pressure it is just difficult to get everyone together at one time and especially when no one is in a hurry to run to the next event. Can it get any better than this? I don't believe it can. Yes we opened gifts later and went to the movies and ate again just like we do every year. Traditions is what we call it and there is just something wonderful about tradition. It is something you can depend on without change.
When growing up in the Osage one of my fondest traditions was getting up and going quail hunting. Typically it was just Larry and I and whatever dog we had. Now I will have to tell you we never had a bird dog but just a mutt of some kind. In fact many times we had to leave the dog at home because he or she was not trained to hunt birds and that can be a really big problem when a dog runs ahead of you jumping the birds before you get close enough. Larry and I would walk for miles up and down Beaver Creek occasionally jumping a covey of birds. One of my favorites was when we saw a covey all bundled up in an area about the size of the bottom of a five gallon bucket just below the top of a creek bed where there was no snow but snow all around them. Of course as we located them their heads perked up and they began to get nervous when suddenly they burst into flight. Quail are very interesting in how they fly. When they take off the pounding of their wings make a noise I cannot describe but then as they get airborne they cup their wings and glide while dipping and diving and banking left and right as they coast through the trees and brush. Typically they only fly about 40 or 50 yards then hit the ground running. They run extremely fast and are very difficult to track without a dog. One of the most exciting things is when you almost step on one and they burst into flight scaring the dickens out of you. I don't know what that means precisely but Mom and Dad always used the term.
Probably the best part of those hunting trips was just being with my brother and then arriving back at the house where your jeans were frozen and covered with snow. At that point we would peel off our coats and shoes and run to the fireplace which dad would always have roaring with fire to greet us with its warmth. Mom would have coffee (always) and many times hot chocolate waiting for us plus a breakfast spread like no other. Wonderful memories!
Well what do you learn in the Osage?
- There is no place like home (kinda like in the Wizard of Oz)
- Home is where your family is
- Share your memories with your kids
Thanks for your time,