Let me go on record and say that this has been the first St. Louis summer that I have enjoyed in a long long time. We’ve even had a few stretches where the house has been opened up for several days, which is unheard of during the summer. Usually by this time of year, we’ve pushed through well over a few dozen consecutive days of 90 degree temps or higher, with humidity to match. And I hate it. The yellow air that comes along with the heat is a huge bonus as well. I don’t remember summers in Indiana being as miserable as the summers here. But this year has really been nice, or after 13 years of living here, I’m finally getting used to it.

Although summer isn’t my favorite season, there are a few things that I do like about it…

1) Summer BBQ’s with pork steaks slow cooked over charcoal and then set to rest in a pan of Maul’s BBQ sauce, oh yeah!
2) Fresh summer vegetables (specifically corn on the cob) and fresh blueberries on my cereal every morning
3) Fishing (which I need to do more of)
4) Daylight commutes to work

But summer is winding down. My kids are back in school, and the days are getting noticeably shorter. I noticed the other day that my neighbor has a tree that is shedding a few leaves and my burning bushes are starting to get a hint of red in them. Fall is on its way. And while this has been a good summer, fall is my favorite season of the year and I can’t wait.

This fall is shaping up to be a busy one, and I’m not sure that is good. But my daughter and wife’s birthdays are coming up, days which need to be celebrated. A trip or two across the river to our favorite apple orchard is also in the plans. Some weekends will be spent out of town but hopefully we can sneak in a camping trip somewhere amongst all the other plans we have to this point.

Deer season is coming up, and I have the bug. I’ve never been deer hunting, but want to go for no other reason than it’s something I’ve never experienced. Growing up, we spent a lot of time outdoors , but hunting wasn’t on the agenda. Quite honestly, I never felt like I was missing any thing. I’m not sure why but something clicked one day and it was added to the list of “Things I want to know and pass on to my kids.” Perhaps it’s the “Provider” in me that wants to know I am capable of putting food on the table without the aid of the local grocery store.

The learning curve seems steep as there are many unknowns to me. But this will be no different than anything else I’ve undertaken in the past. Learn as I go and ask questions where needed. And when something fails to work, take a step back, re-evaluate and try again. While my dad did not teach me how to hunt, he did teach me that not making an attempt because of fear is worse than failure itself. More often than not, failure is not going to kill you. The trick is knowing when failure will kill you and exercising a bit more caution in those areas.

To me it seems that folks make a huge production out of hunting. Maybe it’s necessary, perhaps not. I would prefer to keep it simple, I’m determined to keep it simple. Within the next month or so I should know if I’ve been drawn for one of the managed hunts at a conservation area close to my house. In the mean time, I’ll spend some time reading, studying maps of the area, drag a more experienced friend out to help scout the area, and continue trying to learn what I can in order to make this a successful hunt prior to entering the field on opening day. But much of what I learn well is usually learned from hands on experience, so I think a bulk of my education will come on Nov. 14th.

Well, that’s a few months away, and today is calling. One of the bad things about a nice summer is that I’m still having to mow the grass every week, instead of once every 2 or 3. The green stuff isn’t getting any shorter as I sit here……

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