Monday, September 2, 2013

Opening Day

Opening day of hunting season began  this year exactly the same way I got my wife of 43 years started shooting.  I made the same mistake on Valentines day 1968.  I had purchased a 20 gage shot gun for Deanna for a Valentine gift (For you doubters who think that is not romantic enough, note 43 year of marriage and 17 grandchildren!) and was so anxious for her to shoot  that I gave her NO instructions on how, plus I gave her a magnum shell.  On her first shot she hurt the recoil hurt  her shoulder, bruised her cheek and she bit her lip!  Fortunately for me it was a single shot.  She refused to shot it again but several weeks later in the spring we found a side winder out on the Lucerne Valley dry lake.  She wanted to shoot it herself and did.  She was so focused on the snake she never felt the gun go off!  She's been shooting snakes in the yard ever since with no problem.  This year,   Zandi, my oldest granddaughter was on her first hunting trip with a borrowed gun.  She is the third of my 17 grandchildren to turn 10.  It is my custom to start them off dove hunting and hopefully go deer hunting later in the season.  So far, Tanner 12 and Noah 11 have both bagged their dove and Deer.   We made the mistake of letting her take a practice shot at the target with pretty much the same result her grandmother had 45 years ago.  She was not real eager to shoot it again but I told her about Sweeties story and promised her she wouldn't feel the gun go off when shooting at a bird.  She didn't.  Zandi got her first dove with a .410 flying high above her.  Beautiful shot.  Then she got a cottontail rabbit.  Hopefully in October she will bag her first deer. She won't really feel the gun go off when she shoots her deer in October either.  In case you're  wondering, I did not encourage Zandi to shoot or hunt.  Didn't have to.  Her mother Aimee is an avid hunter and has taken deer and javalina with a bow, so it is in the genes. This year  everyone got drawn so we  have 8 deer tags!  Should be quite a trip.  Zandi will be shooting a custom version of the 7mm 308 her dad David had made for the one Jim built for Tanner.  Gram and Zane are to young for shotguns so we started them with bb guns in the filed to work on safety.  They still managed to shoot a rattler!  Noah shot another one too.  Lord willing we will be doing this every year for the next 10 years.  I still have 13 grandkids to turn 7.  The youngest, (Dusty's) Remington Walt Zimmermann won't even be born until my birthday in November, at least that is the way I requested it.  Technically he will be here December 1.  I'm sitting here right now thinking of going out this afternoon, but I doubt that I will, None of my grandkids are available right now.  Once you start hunting with grandkids, it really isn't the same without them.  We will go out tomorrow night.
L to R Gram, Jim, Tanner, Noah, Me, David, Zandi

Zandi's first dove

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's been a while since I posted anything.  I see I need a new picture of the Grandkids, there is 2 missing.  Have 14 now.  Another one turns 10 season   and joined us on his first offical dove hunt.  Not many birds this year but it was fun.  We have a deer hunt on his actual birthday in November.  Tanner got his first deer last year on my tag....grandfathers can give grandsons their tags in Arizona....and since he was not drawn but Noah and I were, will get mine again this year.  It is way more enjoyable watching them than actually shooting another deer myself.  Darin and David were bear and deer hunting today.  Saw 2 bear at 1200 yards.  Missed.  Darin already got his bear this year.

Noah's first offical Dove
Deanna is now on speaking terms with the Javlina and shooting terms with the rattlers.  She hasn't really expressed her opinion about the bob cats that frequent the yard.  As long as they leave her Cardinals alone, I think they are safe.

Monday, June 13, 2011

First Date

Right about now, 45 years ago I was bringing Deanna home from our first date. We went to a church baseball game. I played, she watched. Not much has changed about that. I still play, she still watches. It works for us. I imagine a lot of folks never thought we'd make it throught the summer much less 45 more. We were pretty young. I was 16, she was 17. I was going into my senior year of high school. She was leaving home for find a preacher to marry....Dee's mom was not real big on the idea of us dating, my folks LOVED it. In retrospect, they were both right. Dee's father never made me feel like the kid he obviously knew I was. Words will never express my deep respect and love for him, he was the best. Dad was an invalid, had been since I was 11, but he really loved Dee. Mom made sure I had whatever I needed to date Dee. I'm sure dad knew and approved. Of course, I always knew it would work out. I may have been young, but I knew, I really did. Funny, I set here in my recliner, next to Dee in her recliner beside me. I often reach out my hand, she touches it and I know anew what I always knew from the first time our hands touched 45 years ago tonight...she is the only one for me, always was, always will be.

For the record we currently have 5 married children and 13 grand children with one more on the way...soon we hope. It just keeps getting better and better!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

End of an Era

I have known this day would come since 1996 when they declared my back yard a future mountain preserve. That day came and went with just the posting of a sign, but NOW they are putting in a hiking trail. Let me be clear. I hate the idea of a trail of any kind in MY backyard. It is mine, just ask Graham. While my sister was visiting last week she mentioned they had a 300+ acre horse ranch in California. Graham insisted Papa's back yard was much bigger. Noah corrected him with NO, Papa only has 2.5 acres. Graham rejected the math and explained he could walk behind the house as far as he wanted to! Until now it did not matter. I claimed all 55k acres that are directly accessible from my back door. It has been paradise. We could hunt, shoot, hike or just enjoy the silence and scenery. Now they are putting in a mountain bike / hiking trail only 200 yrds from my back door! Life is over as we have known it and we don't really like it. I could complain a bunch more but you get the point. In all fairness I will admit that the trail is really NICE, well planned and will be a real asset for bikers and hikers. My grand kids will love to run it's paths and ride their bikes on and over the hill. Becasue "Crystal Mountain" (an old gold panning site 100 yrds behind the house and named by Graham) is a historic trail, they really can't tell my grand kids they can't play there. (Off trail travel on the preserve is prohibited) I guess at this point the best choice for me is to embrace the trail and go for a walk with my grand kids...or maybe I'll get a mountain bike!

Friday, January 7, 2011

By Faith through Grace

Deanna sat on the side of the bed wondering aloud when life would return to "normal". DIL Michelle just left with husband Dusty for a day after eye surgery check up. She is miserable but doing the best she can...Doni is recovering from her surgery last week and at this moment Dee and Becky are with mom and her occupational therapist learning how to help mom (if necessary) take a safe shower. I offered to help out but the girls did not think that was such a good idea! We have known this time would come eventually and we are as prepared as we can be, but the experience is different in ways I could not have predicted. I'm kind of thinking this IS the new normal....whatever "normal" is.

It is similar to my head knowledge of Father and the experience of a growing relationship. I guess I have always known that my relationship with the Father was based on salvation by faith through grace... Martin Luther made that REALLY CLEAR nearly 500 years ago. Problem is most people don't know the reality of that faith and grace because they don't really know the FATHER. Sure, they spend a lot of time talking about Him or listing to others talk about him, but not all that much time actually LIVING IN RELATIONSHIP with Him. The last few years I have concentrated more on the relationship and less on the knowledge and I am finding a deepening sense of relationship, confidence and trust and I am living free in Him and loving it....and I do LESS religious stuff than I ever have in all my life...but there is a joy in my heart that wasn't always there either. For me the turning point has been learning to trust
God to free me by love, not merit. Since I quit trying to earn His love and accept the fact that HE does love me in spite of what I do or don't do, I have a growing sense of his presence and relationship.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Skype Christmas

For the first time ever, not all my kids were home for Christmas but we made the best of it with Skype. We started with some greetings in the office with the cousins and then moved the computer into the living room for the rest of the evening. I briefly read the Christmas story for all the grand kids...not sure how well that worked on skype, but we tried. Daniel's family in North Carolina were able to see and hear all we were doing all night. That was better than nothing but I know just how Tori felt every time she reached for the screen to touch Graham or Braxton. Brooks parents were able to go be with them for Christmas except today Daniel stayed home with the kids while Brooke and her folks were given a boat tour of the inland waterway. It is supposed to snow there tonight so I know it is cold! The funny thing though is the boat broke down and last I heard they were paddling it back to a boat ramp. It is not really dangerous. They are on an inland waterway and very close to hundreds of boat docks and piers in the back yards of very nice homes. They can get out anytime they want to....I think...Anyway I did not hear any more so I assume they got home safely. Other than the kids being in North Carolina and Mom in the rehab center, it was a perfect Christmas for me. All my other grand kids and Daughter's in law gathered early in the morning to make our traditional German fare. I spent the day sampling the progress and playing with the grand kids. Watching the girls together in the kitchen was every parents dream come true. They had FUN together and they really helped Dee out a lot. They laughed and teased their way through the day. It was the best present I could ever hope for. What A great Christmas. I hope your day went as well. For the last time this year MERRY CHRISTMAS....and have a GREAT new Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wrapping the Box

There is a cute commercial running on TV right now. Grandpa is asking Dad on Skype how the baby likes the present he sent for Christmas. Techno savvy teen shows grandpa that the baby is having a ball with the box and ignoring the present. That happens every year. Babies always play with the box, but as they mature the box is just in the way of what they want. Sure they admire it and maybe even open it gently, (ok not with my grandson's but it could happen). Make it as pretty as you want and they still just want what's inside! All that money and effort gone in seconds, reduced to a pile of rubble. As a small child I remember seeing a huge box under my grandfathers tree. How I wanted it to be for me. Something that big must be wonderful to own. My whole attitude about boxes changed when Aunt Helen (I think) opened it. It was a suitcase! What a dumb gift! A box in a box! Of course I was to young to realize that the suitcase was just a way of announcing a future trip...that was the real gift. For fun I once got the biggest box I could find to put my gift to my sister in. It was ear rings. I used as many boxes in boxes with as much tape as I could find to make it hard to open. Now that was fun! Since I had to get her a gift anyway, I might as well make her work for it! That whole Present/box thing is to often a picture of the season. The real gift of the season, the reason for the season is not the box. As a matter of fact I have never seen a BOX that even remotely could contain the real gift the BOX is supposed to represent.....a real, personal relationship with JESUS, . To often Christians get so wrapped up with the box they never get to the true gift. There is nothing wrong with Boxes, just keep in mind they are ONLY BOXES and don't let them replace the real gift of God, a real relationship with His Son.