Friday, March 25, 2011

Sunrise in Turkey Territory.

5:30 is an unfavorable time of the day for me. I don't intend to get accustomed to it, although when I do allow myself to crawl out of bed (and sometimes I do literally mean crawl), I am always thankful for the sights I see, the things I hear, and I'll be the first to admit that when the day breaks in Turkey Territory there is no other sound that i'd rather have fill my ears.
 You see, I once was a turkey hunter. Wait - let me rephrase that... I once went hunting about twice a year to suffice the general public's shock when I answered, "No, I'm not really a turkey hunter." This is hard for people to believe because my Daddy's Daddy &My Mamma's Daddy enjoyed were obsessed with turkey hunting, and MY Daddy & brother bleed turkey feathers. That blood clotted once it got to me, but I would go to say that I went. I hated walking around, chasing around a smart bird, trying to avoid sticks, and training myself to breathe as quiet as a mosquito in order to make as little sound as possible. I would be aggravated with myself by the end of the morning, and I would tell myself I'm never coming back.
 However, this year I have had a change of heart. I don't know if i've fallen in love with the beauty of a turkey, or if I just longed to hear the echo of their gobble throughout their territory. Either way, an urge has been brewing inside of me to go with Daddy. 
 Now, for the many of you who have gone - I'm sure you have your own way of going about things, and my Daddy does too. I just follow him like a shadow, putting on my mask when he puts his on, placing my boot in the footprints he just made, stopping when he stops, listening when he listens, holding my breath as he holds his, you get it. I mirror his actions... or... I try. 
 Once we got out of the truck, I was putting the vest I borrowed from him my gear on, and I glanced at Daddy on the driver's side of the truck. He seems to be a tad distraught with the mosquito repeller, and he seems to be in somewhat of a hurry. Daylight hasn't broken yet, so we're not technically running late, but we probably should be walking somewhere instead of fighting with a bug killer - it was 35 degrees, but he knows best, so I said nothing. It was funny for me to see him racing with himself and the sunlight. I can honestly say that I haven't ever had to beat daybreak, but sundown? That's another story for another day. Onward.... Sometimes I think he should be part of the Navajo Indian tribe. He can walk through a brush pile & never crack a stick. He can hear like an elephant with a hearing-aid in, and he's always been able to. He can see like an eagle, and he can spit out information & facts about almost anything just like a verbalized encyclopedia.
 We have the funniest conversations (that I'm sure won't be as funny for you because ya kinda had to be there) while we're in the woods. 
I was telling him about the rattlesnake that I stopped & let cross the road last year, and this was how the conversation went:

Daddy, "I'm sure an ole' rat family isn't too happy with you for that."

Me, "Yeah?"

Daddy, "(in a raspy voice, talking as a rat) Well... if she had just ran over him, Mamma'd prolly still be alive.." 


Yesterday, we went to listen for one in the afternoon. I saw something ahead of us in the road & asked Daddy what it was because I couldn't tell yet. (see comment about him having the vision of an eagle), he said:

"Looks like a piece of wild trash to me!" 

Sure enough, it was someone's garbage they had thrown out their window. Geez.

 Anyway, I was thinking of all those things as we made our way to where we would listen, and out of no where, just like someone rang an alarm to wake them up, turkeys start gobblin'. They sound like they're in a 5 gallon drum. The pitch of their call bounces off every pine tree out there. We're in Turkey Territory, and they're awake - ready to play. As I sit & wait on the next one to pipe up and play its tune, I notice the sunlight creeping in on the evergreens, just as if it wants to say hello. There's hardly no wind, which is good, and I'm too worked up to be cold from the low temperature. So we sit, they gobble, we listen & re-evaluate. We did this 4 times. None were successful, but then again they were. 
 All the while of walking back & forth and around in circles, it became clear to me - just as it does every time I decide to wake up before sunrise, of just how awesome God is. He not only created the plants that color the earth, but He gave them light from the sun that paints the most beautiful colors across the sky. He created the creatures of the earth that fill a once quiet patch of land with songs just as the day breaks. I consider myself lucky for every opportunity I take advantage of seeing a sunrise, sunset, or the beauty of the way that animals react around each other without knowing they're being watched by human eyes. 
 Although my morning didn't end with a kill, I enjoyed it, and I look forward to going back. Turkey territory is a new place for my feet to walk on, but I'm willing to allow myself to get used to the feeling of a spring morning sunrise amongst my eyes, and a bright green dewy ground under my toes.

"Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains.." 
- E. Knight

Monday, March 21, 2011


Well we packed down the car, and left the Magnolia State around 8:53 am on Sunday. Destin bound! 

We arrived around 3ish. We stopped for lunch, and a few breaks along the way, but we still made it down to the pool for a little while.

We ate good seafood.


Painted fingernails.


Soaked up [alittletoomuch] sun.

& photographed.

a lot.

I had a great week, and it made me even more excited about going back in the summer, but realizing that a trip to Honduras comes before that makes me even more anxious to get these last 6 weeks out of the way. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

white blank page.

getting caught up in moments.

acting on impulse.



holding on.

taking less when feeling like more has always been given.

getting carried away.

running from issues at hand.

being full of ungratefulness.




These are things that I believe every eye reading this can relate to. These things may happen to you on a normal basis. You may be guilty of these things more than once a day. As I face you through words on the other side of the computer, my mind can go back to instances where I have been caught in the middle of each of these scenarios. I won't bore you with all types of things to think about, but I will bore you with a few, anyway.

getting caught up in moments, for example, is one I find myself doing all the time. I don't necessarily think this is a bad habit, actually. To me, it to me is a wonderful habit. Say you're on a nice afternoon stroll to the refuge and you're struck with a moment to just be still & take in the atmosphere around you. Sometimes, those are moments you may never forget. The serenity, the peace, the colors, the beauty, or the simple sounds of a summer afternoon.
It is a wonderful habit to be in the middle of a crowded room of your family at Christmas & let your mind stop only to remind you of just how precious the people around you are - reminding yourself of the influence they've had on your life by living from examples of the people who lived before you were born. Their words from meaningful conversations you've had with them dance through your head, and your heart nearly burst with happiness knowing that THEY are YOUR family.

acting on impulse is a constant struggle. Sometimes I allow myself to speak the instant thoughts that come to my mind, defending myself in a way that could have been handled differently if I had taken the time to think about what I was saying. I believe that you, as I said earlier, could probably nod your head in agreement when I say that I'm 110% sure there has been at least one moment in your years of living that you wish you could go back to, if only for a second, and tweak a sentence or two of something you've said to someone (or about someone). I know i've been there. That's the beauty of impulse, though. It is a sudden act, and during this act - sometimes words are spoken that you may not even realize you're saying until it's all ready been said. But as you know, by then it's too late, my friend.

holding on can come in all types of disguises. For me it's been covered in five years of denial with the outfit of pride to clothe its stupidity. You see, holding on, to me, is more often a bad habit than a good one. The past is obviously over, but you're making the future your past whenever you hold onto it like Lionel's (Charlie Brown) blue blanket. This can consume your daily actions, thought process, and sometimes even your life. Allowing yourself to be consumed in the hopes of the past coming back and reliving itself is clearly unhealthy. The hardest part about it, to me, is deciphering between "holding on" and simply "remembering". I'll get back at ya'll when I realize where that thin line is drawn. :) Moments are fragments of time that are unplanned, accidental, or non-intentional, and these moments can be unforgettable in a wonderful way or a horrible one. Why do we allow ourselves to go back to these instances when moments, unforgettable ones, were made? Well, because we want to remember the way they made us feel, so we can find that same feeling in another moment or so we can run far away from it. Holding on happens. Holding on is a form of coping, in my opinion. It is also consuming over the mind and cloaked in garments that are appealing yet deceiving.

being full of ungratefulness can't always be detected for me. It usually rushes over me like a raging waterfall all at once.  I can be in the stillest of moments, and suddenly my mind reminds me of things that I have taken for granted. Sometimes, as I mentioned earlier, there are times when I am in the moment & nothing else is going on around me when I can be still and be grateful for whatever it is that I am experiencing. Other times, there may be something that triggers my thought process that takes me back to weeks or sometimes months beforehand when I should have been thankful for an opportunity that had been given to me, and it had simply slipped my mind.

These are daily struggles. This is just something to think about. Let your mind take you through the list of things at the top. Where do you draw the line for these things happening daily in your life? Are they struggles or situations that you shrug off your shoulders? Whatever they may be, these scenarios happen in an everyday life. It is neither a wonderful thing or a terrible thing. It is life, and it is really only a matter of whether or not you want take the time to notice them.

To think that this post was simply a big white box of nothing when I began, not knowing what it is that I wanted to blog about..... you're full of information that is probably useless for you, but it's simply therapeutic for me to type out. Thanks for enduring it.