Seasons Change...... Memories are Forever
Written by: Len Harris
Dad left Wednesday night. He drove up to his
brother's to deer hunt. I watched him leave. It was
almost painful watching his yellow van pull out of the
driveway. I wanted to go so badily. I was old enough
to do ALL of the others hunting and fishing things
with him. But....NOT rifle deer hunt.
The phone rang.We were all sitting around the
television watching the Packers play the Lions on
Turkey Day. I flew to the phone. It was my dad. He
told me he would be home late that evening. I asked
him how he did. He told me a doe and a big buck. Mom
took the phone and told Dad that I was driving her
crazy talking about deer hunting. She hung up and said
to the family that dad would be home late that
I asked my mom if I could put my new deer hunting
coat on and wait for my dad outside. The coat was
still in the box. It was a wool black and red plaid
deer huting coat. She told me not to put it on right
away. So i waited about 2 minutes and put it on. I
took my 5 gallon bucket and went out to the end of the
driveway. After about 3 hours my mother called ot to
me and told me to come inside.
I was really mad. I wanted to show my mother I
WASN'T too little to deer hunt. I wanted her to tell
Dad that I had set on that bucket for hours completely
still. "Just like a good buck hunter." I always
listened to my mom. I went to the porch with my
It wasn't much longer and dad rolled into the
drive. I sprinted to the end of the driveway. My dad
had a huge smile when he saw me. Me in my minature
deer hunting coat. He had not seen it before then.Mom
told him she bought it for me as an early xmas
We all helped my dad take the deer off the roof.I
heard my mom and dad talking. Dad asked mom why she
bought that coat for me. Mom said I was so
disappointed that I couldn't go. She had to do something
to ease my pain. Dad said "That will only fan his
flames, He is still too young to go."
I made my dad tell me the complete story of both
deers he had gotten. Complete with the way the winds
were coming from and the weather. I wanted know even
the littlest details...So I could feel like I was
Sunday morning came and Dad and I got up early
and went to the Gas Station to swap lies with all the
other hunters. I wore my new deer hunter's coat.
All the locals were there. Each hunter shared their
hunting stories.I was my dad's turn to tell his story.
Dad started out the story slowly. He hestiated between
sentences and i couldn't help it. I finished his
sentence for him. ALL the locals roared in laughter.
They knew I had not gone along and I knew the story by
heart in only 4 days.
The harsh winter came to visit and seemed to last
forever. My dad and I spent time on the Mississippi
ice fishing to pass the cold Wisconsin months. I
really liked being alone with him. One on one time
with my dad. I did not have to share him with my
Spring came and this meant many different outdoor
activities with my dad. Just him and I. Bird hunting
and fishing were the norm every weekend.
The winds became cold and my dad was getting the
deer hunting itch again. I was angry. I knew there was
ONLY one more year.......One more year of waiting at
the end of the driveway for my dad.
. My dad loaded up the van again and left at dusk on
Wednesday night.As my dad left, he rolled down the
window of the van. He said "Next year you will be
going along with me." My mom waved bye to my dad and
told me NO waiting in the driveway this year. I could
wait on the porch.
Thursday came and no call from dad. I went out onto
the porch to sit. I decided to raise all of my dad's
deer horns up to the top of the porch. I left the row
of nails below his horns. That row was going to be
where ALL my horns were going to hang.
Friday came and again no call. I went back out to
the porch. I organized all the ice fishing gear. Put
new line on the jig poles and took all the mono out of
the eyes of the jigs in the jig boxes.
Saturday night I organized my shelves on the porch.
All of my firsts with my dad. There were tail feathers
of the first three ducks i shot. My first pheasant's
tail feather. Then there was my favorite..My grouse
tail........ Those dang things were so hard to hit.
The rest of the things organized were 2 squirrel tails
and a red and white daredevil and my Mepps spinner
from my first trout. Each had special memories from
dad and me.
Sunday night I saw light at the end of the
driveway. I grabbed my deer hunting coat and went out
to meet my dad. I was my dad's yellow van. I went to
the driver's door. It wasn't my dad driving. It was my
uncle Dudely. I asked where my dad was. He didn't
speak. He got out of the van and went into the house.
My mother and uncle walked into another room and
closed the door. I t seemed like they wee in there
forever. There was a knock on the door.
It was was my 2 uncles. My mother's brothers. They
also went into the room with Uncle Dudley and mom. All
the adults came out of the room and mom called us all
to the kitchen table.
She had us all sit down. She started to cry. All my
uncles consoled her. My Uncle Dudley told us that my
dad was hunting with him and dad got a big buck. They
were dragging the deer out of the woods and my dad
suffered a heart attack and died.
Mothers and fathers please take your children
outdoors. Show them the wonders of nature. Get them
out from infront of the television and video
Fishing with my only child (Anna)