“Experience has taught me that in the early moments of temptation the way of escape is broad and easy to find. The longer I delay, however, the narrower the way of escape becomes.”
We have been flying since the first hint of daylight and the sun is now far down in the western sky as we circle the body of water far below us. Though we have ridden a fierce north wind most of the day, weariness nonetheless makes our wings heavy. Twice we have bypassed promising lakes after being alerted to danger by our experienced leader. He is a magnificent bird well past his prime, but he can still fly with the best of the young geese. He has been my mate for many winters. For the most part we have had a good life – flying north to Canada in the spring to hatch our young, and then back south with the first hint of winter – but twice we lost offspring to the deadly guns of the hunters.
Through the driving snow I now see a cluster of geese huddled against a marshy bank at the far end of the lake. Being surrounded by grain fields, it promises not only a sheltered resting place but sustenance as well. We will not find a better place to spend the night, of that I am sure.Category: April
A key figure in my young world was Grandma Miller. Her entire life was lived on the ragged edge of poverty, but she was rich in spirit.
The longer I live, the more I realize just how fortunate I have been. In addition to a very positive relationship with both my parents, and my brothers and sister, I was blessed with an extended family of loving grandparents, aunts and uncles. Although I was never given any reason to think myself better than anyone else, I never doubted my worth as a person either. Within the extended family circle I knew I had a place. I was loved. I was somebody.
A key figure in my young world was Grandma Miller. She stood 4'11" with tightly-curled red hair. As a child I never realized she colored it, but she must have, because it remained the same tint until the day she died. Her entire life was lived on the ragged edge of poverty, but she was rich in spirit.Category: April
As I write this I am sitting at my desk overlooking beautiful Beaver Lake. A hundred feet down the mountain from me its crystal clear water sparkles in the morning sunlight, tempting me with thoughts of fishing. With an effort I turn my attention to the task at hand only to be side-tracked again. This time it is framed photograph sitting on the widow sill to my left. Looking at it my thoughts wonder to a spring afternoon nearly four years ago....
Killing the outboard engine, I make my way to the fishing platform on the bow of my bass boat. After lowering the electric trolling motor, I maneuver the boat toward my favorite crappie hole. In a couple of minutes I have it positioned just where I want it and I cast my red and white jig toward a pile of submerged brush near an outcropping of rocks. Before I can begin my retrieve, Alexandria, my three-year-old granddaughter, is pulling at my sleeve. “Papa,” she says, “I want to fish.”
I try to talk her into sharing my rod with me but she won’t have any part of it. She wants her own rig, so reluctantly I prop my rod against the side of the boat and tie another jig on a second pole. After casting it out I hand it to her and she immediately reels it in and hands it back to me to cast again. This time I show her how to let the jig drift to the bottom before beginning a slow retrieve. At her age she isn’t going to master the art of fishing a jig but I am hoping to distract her long enough to let me get in a little fishing of my own.Category: January