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Be Kind to Others

I recently found myself at Target, as I often do since I cook three meals every day. On this particular trip I was returning an item that did not have all its advertised components. While standing in line for customer service, I overheard a conversation between a mother and daughter. They were asking how they were going to load all of their groceries and various other items into their vehicle. In addition to a full shopping cart, there was a flat-bed dolly next to these people that contained a large box. I forget what the actual item was, but that detail is not important. One of their main concerns was how they were going to get the dolly out to their vehicle. I heard the daughter say, “well they said they were going to have someone take this to the vehicle for us.”

After hearing this, I offered to help them to the vehicle. The mother quickly responded with, “well you don’t work here, so you shouldn’t have to do it.” I assured her that it wasn’t going to be a problem for me to help them. At this time, the woman working behind the customer service counter spoke up and said that if I could help the people to the vehicle it would be most appreciated. I did just this. The whole time the family was talking about how nice of a gesture this was. The mother had just flown from California to help her daughter move. She said she always heard how much nicer people are in Oklahoma, and she was thinking of moving here. When I returned the dolly to the customer service counter the woman working spoke about how nice of a gesture it was for me to do that.

I’m not writing this to boast about doing a good deed. I’m writing because this whole situation got me thinking about how we treat each other on a daily basis. People must generally act rather crappy to each other that the simple act of helping someone garnered this much attention. I have a rather short drive to work, and even in the short drive I encounter a fair share of lunatics. I have seen some amazing acts of rudeness and disregard for others on that short stretch of road. I see similar acts in the various other places I visit on a weekly basis.

If you have made it this far in reading this, I encourage you next time you are out in public or driving down a road, be nice to people. If you are in the right lane and are approaching a red light, switch to the left lane so that others may turn right on red. If you have a full cart, and the person behind you has a few items, let them go in front. If you are anything like me, you can use this extra time to look at the covers of popular magazines and shake your head in disbelief as to what is considered “popular,” in our society.

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First Hunting Experience

For the previous 27 years of my life, I was averse to the idea of hunting. Hunting was very big in my family, especially on my father’s side. I tried to get into once, but I just couldn’t find an interest in it. I shot a bird and a frog with a pellet gun when I was little. All that left me with was a sense of regret. From that point, I was not interested in the idea of hunting. I thought it was inhumane and cruel. Today, I went turkey hunting with my uncle and my father, and I must say, I had a pretty good time.

I went to my parent’s house last night, so I wouldn’t have to get up really early to make the drive from Oklahoma City to Chandler before sunrise. My dad woke me up at 5am; we had to be ready to go once my uncle got to the house at 6am. The three of us arrived at the designated hunting spot still under the cover of darkness. My dad and uncle knew the area pretty well, and they suspected some turkeys would come strolling through the area once the sun came up.

My dad and I setup just to the west of a pond dam, and my uncle was just to the east of us along a fence. My dad had a decoy of a female turkey that he placed in the clearing just about 40 yards in front of our hunting spot. Within minutes of us getting settled in, we heard several gobbles in the not-so-far-off distance. I’m new to the world of hunting, but I thought this was pretty impressive. These two men clearly know their stuff! My uncle started using his turkey call, but couldn’t seem to woo the sought-after male turkey towards neither him nor us.

The next 30 to 45 minutes were relatively quiet. It wasn’t long after this that we started to year a couple gobbles off in the distance. Before too long, two hens came into our field of vision. They came into the clearing just off to our south and came charging towards the decoy. These two ladies didn’t seem pleased there was this sexy new lady on their turf. They checked out the decoy for a little bit; they didn’t seem too impressed with what they saw out of the inflatable plastic hen. The two gals started to make their way off to the west.

Just as the two ladies were exiting our field of vision, a male turkey came strutting in. This guy was all puffed up, but was treading lightly. He didn’t come charging in on the decoy like the two hens did. He kept his distance, and eventually made his way behind a cedar tree just to our south. He must have caught eyes with the two ladies because he kept moving to the west after them.

I thought this was the only chance we were going to have on this hunting trip, but I was wrong. A little bit later we started to hear gobbles off to the north. From where my dad and I were setup, we couldn’t see very far to the north because of all the timber. There was no way for either of us to shift positions. Not only were our legs asleep from sitting so long, but it sounded like the turkey was too close for us to start making any sudden movements. My dad and I sat very still, and this thing had to have been within 10 feet of us. We could hear it stepping through the leaves just at our back. I figured he was going to lock eyes with our decoy and go check her out, but this guy was far too savvy for that. This turkey has been around the block a few times because he took off to the north, out of our field of vision.

We had another opportunity on the same land, but it was spoiled by the owner-of-the-land’s dog. The dog was just over the hill from us chasing any animal that entered “his domain.” We packed our things and discussed the events of the morning. From the way my uncle talked, the turkey that was nearly in our back pocket, was a beast. He seemed agitated by the fact my dad and myself didn’t get a shot on the bird, but he seemed very enthusiastic about the morning’s events.

My dad and uncle had permission to hunt on a different person’s land, so we headed there. Right as we pulled up, there was a hen walking north across the dirt road onto the land we were about to hunt on. We quickly got our gear and headed onto the land because we knew there would have to be a male chasing her. My uncle stayed near the top of a hill. My dad and I went farther down a hill to the north. My dad instructed me to lean up against a tree he had picked out. We weren’t there more than 5 minutes before a female came within view. A few minutes after she came in view, two males came rushing after her. This was the best opportunity for me to shoot, but the way I was setup next to the tree kept me from comfortably taking a shot. I am right handed with everything in life, except shooting a gun. The tree I was leaning against kept me from rotating the way I needed to to take the shot. I probably could have shot right-handed, but hindsight is always 20/20. There were a couple other encounters with the same pair of males, but nothing ever developed quite like the previous encounters.

When I expressed interest in going hunting with my dad, he said one of the things he enjoys about it is the adrenaline rush he feels. I didn’t know what he was talking about until today. There were two occurrences when it seemed like an adrenaline-filled bomb went off inside my body. It was pretty cool to experience what my dad was talking about.

So after 27 years of being against hunting, why did I decide to go? Hunting has played a big role in many members of my family’s lives. I wanted to experience what they have experienced. During my time as a child, I enjoyed spending time outdoors. I spend so much time hovering over a keyboard, watching TV, and doing other things indoors, I felt I was losing touch with nature. I wanted to reconnect with the Great Outdoors. Most importantly, I wanted to spend time with members of my family. I had a great time, and I’m actually going back tonight so we can go again in the morning.

Maiden Post

One of my goals for this year was to start a personal blog. I’m still not totally sure what I want the overall direction of the blog to be, but I felt I was spending too much time mulling over the many possibilities. I think it is more exciting to just jump in headfirst and see what results.