Jumping Through Windows

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Back in my college days (some 10+ years ago) I lived in a small, out-dated basement apartment with 3 other guys. I’d never met a single one of them before moving in. And, to be quite honest, even after I got to know them, I kinda went out of my way to avoid spending time with them.

Don’t get me wrong, they were all pretty great guys. I certainly didn’t dis-like any of them. It’s just that, as a general rule, I’m not a very social person.

I would go home to my parents’ house almost every weekend (free laundry is the best!), and quite often, as soon as my homework was finished on any given week-night, I’d grab my backpack and take off to spend the night up in the mountains by myself — usually showing up to class the next day with grass stains on my knees, pine sap on my shoes, and smelling like a campfire. As a matter of fact, I later found out that my roommates usually referred to me as “Mountain Man Nate.” Continue reading “Jumping Through Windows”

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Breath of the Wild

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I skidded to a halt at the top of Big Hill, and stood there, panting. Using the back of my palm, I wiped the sweat off my glistening forehead. Before I could even turn around and whistle, I was joined by my dog Ryu, who was also panting up a storm.

For the past half an hour, we’d been running as fast as our tired legs would carry us, and scrambling up whichever random deer trail caught our fancy, steadily zig-zagging our way to the top of our little backyard “mountain” — (if a 1.5 mile, 1,200 foot climb can really be considered a mountain) — and now we’d reached the top! Continue reading “Breath of the Wild”

Why I Always Carry A Knife

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It should have been a nice, quiet, relaxing walk — just a fun little afternoon stroll with the family, y’know? It certainly started out that way… Sure, the sky was a little overcast, and the road was a little muddy, but it wasn’t anything too crazy. At any rate, Lindsey and I certainly weren’t expecting to have any adventures. And I definitely didn’t expect to be needing my knife!

But alas, only 5 minutes into our walk, there I stood, gripping my knife with white knuckles, my breathing heavy, my heart hammering in my chest.

And less than 2 feet in front of me stood a raging 4-point buck! Continue reading “Why I Always Carry A Knife”

Makin’ Bacon!

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The sky was a sad, dull gray. Its overcast frown seemed to sap the life and energy and color out of everything it touched. The world around me was solemn and subdued. “Melancholy” would be a good word for it. A cold, wet wind was blowing steadily from the South, moaning a slow, mournful tune. Raindrops were pelting loudly against the corrugated tin of our pig pen.

All things considered, it was a pretty miserable day to be outside.

But there I was, standing dejectedly in the rain, and wishing deeply that I wasn’t.

I always get that way on butchering day though. As much as I enjoy cutting meat (and all the delicious meals that follow), I always hate the first part; the part when you actually have to put the animal(s) down — and our pigs were no different. Continue reading “Makin’ Bacon!”

A Christmas Miracle

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Call me crazy, but I just love walking outside on quiet winter evenings.

When it’s crisp and dark outside, and the stars are twinkling with an icy blue fire; when it’s so cold your lungs burn and your nose-hairs freeze and your eyes start to sting; I just can’t seem to help myself, I just HAVE to be out in it!

Several times a week, usually after the girls are in bed, you can find me all bundled up in my rabbit fur hat and Korean War-era army coat (inherited from my grandpa), crunching happily through the unplowed snow, my face frozen and my breath rising in steady puffs of smoke. And more often than not, Ryu is also somewhere nearby, accompanying me for a leisurely jaunt to the pond and back.

On this particular night, however, I was far from home — and I was all alone. Continue reading “A Christmas Miracle”