The river sure was beautiful (and cold) this morning!
It was just a little past 8 o’clock, the cattails and bulrushes were covered in a thick white layer of frost, the sun was still hiding behind the eastern mountain range, and there might have even been a few wispy strands of fog rising up off the slow, quiet river — I honestly don’t remember.
Y’see, my attention was more focused on the frigid, knee-deep water that was now flooding into my boots. Cold enough to take your breath away…
And as I slogged in deeper (bringing the water level about mid-thigh), I couldn’t help thinking:
“Wait a minute… Explain to me again, WHY am I wading out here?!”
Pheasant hunting! It’s always an adventure — especially when they drop in the water!
I have to admit though, when the water got up nearly to my armpits, I started to question my decision (and my sanity). I mean, let’s face it — pulling my shirt off and wading through a flippin’ river in November definitely wasn’t one of my brighter ideas!
That cold, dark water sure is a shock to the system, believe you me!
But as I sputtered and gasped my way forward, it was the good-natured hooting and hollering and laughter coming from family and friends on the shore that totally made it all worth it. I don’t know what it is about laughing, but it just kinda warms your heart — especially when you’re laughing with people you love!
(And I tell ya what, at that moment, I needed all the warmth I could get!)
I did eventually get the pheasant, but y’know the best part about that chilly little swim of mine? The laughter and jokes that got tossed around for the whole rest of the day!
MY UNCLE: “Hey Nathan, you make a pretty good retriever!”
A FRIEND: “Y’know, you really ought to train your dog to do that instead!”
MY SISTER: “How are we even related?!”
ME: “Well, if any of you guys feel like dumping another bird in the river, you’d better do it right now — because I’m already wet, and I DON’T want to be wading out there next week!”
As a matter of fact, I’m actually chuckling a bit to myself right now as I’m typing this — and I have a feeling it’s gonna live on for decades… Every couple of years, this story is gonna come up again around the campfire and give us another good belly-laugh. And y’know, isn’t that what hunting is all about?
Today, I’m grateful for laughter!