Last day of the season

Life in the Palmetto State


Saturday, over a week ago, was New Year’s Day and of course I was going to work when I stopped by Porters Grocery for fuel and breakfast. Haven’t had much time off since the variant put me out of commission for almost two months several months ago.

Well, I can assure it was buzzing that morning because most everyone there was going huntin’, except for me, because it was the last day of the season, deer season.

It also was the first day of ‘22 meaning ‘21 was history and it could not have come soon enough for me. Short of the damage I suffered at the winds of ole’ Hugo, that old blow hard, ‘21 ran a close, close second.

Well this little chatterbox in the form of a young hunter caught my attention. He hardly came up to my belt loops. But what he lacked in statue, he more than up for it in noise and enthusiasm.

Now for those of you that never have had the Porters experience, I can tell you from my past and present dealings with them it is always busy. The lady at the cash register, who I refer to as Sunshine because no matter 4am or 4 pm she is always smiling, could easily work in the tower at a busy airport as an air traffic controller for the ease she handles the register, gas and diesel pumps, keeping the orders straight as to who has paid for their meals before they go into the “eatin” room,” etc. Gives me headache as I think about it as I put this particular morning into words.

Well back to this young hunter.

He had a magnetic personality and just pulled me into his little world. As I looked down into his natural vortex, I asked him the obvious question, “Are you going huntin’.” (Bill Engval, Here’s your sign.)  If you had seen his attire it was obvious. When it left my mouth, I knew right then how stupid it sounded. I tried to put the brakes on it but I was already in a skid.

He really draw me in now because his Dad, whom I have seen in the store many times before, had him dressed for the occasion.  Nothing exactly fit him but you could see where the effort was made. His hat was that snap back style and was drawn up so tight in the back he had the turkey beak sticking out. (Chew on that one a little while)

This high vis orange hat was so big on him, he had to tilt his head back some what for him to see you and this hat was resting on his little ears which made them sit parallel to the ground.

“Yes sir”,  he said and big brother shook his head in agreement as he and Dad ordered breakfast. He was oblivious to the ordering procedure because he knew he was taken care of. I pressed him a little farther and asked him if he was going kill a big on’. His reply was as before “Yes sir”. I suppose then I went one question to far. I asked him if he could get me one to since I couldn’t go. He answered in the same vernacular as before as he wheeled around to go back to his Dad as requested and turned back around to me and said, “but I got to get me one first.” That really cracked me up.

I trailed them in line at the register some what because my order was taken several biscuits behind them, but did get in on the tail end of the conversation because I saw the lady (Sunshine) smiling larger than normal. I listened more intently only to find out that little personality embodied in a 5 year old offered to pay for their breakfast only to find that little crumpled up dollar bill that he so readily took out of his pocket wouldn’t quite get the job done. At that point, he withdrew his heartfelt offering and very matter of factly stated “Dad will have get it then” as he moved away from the counter in a confident stride. We all got a good laugh out of that.

I told his Dad that he certainly had a little chatterbox there. He said “Yep, as soon as we get to the woods, all the deer in four counties will know we have made it” as he walked off smiling from ear to ear because he was not working that day and had his two boys with him for the last day of deer season.

That truly was a precious kid. He flat stole this sixty year old’s heart. 

There is a larger story here that I want to acknowledge.

While it’s not my intention to get on a soap box or in a pulpit, but I write this hopefully entertaining article for the larger takeaway.

Dad’s, in this fast paced world are we giving our young men the time it takes to raise them right? The footprints we leave for our boys to follow, are they ones of leadership and strength or ones of strife and confusion? Do these young men hear words of encouragement or words of impatience from you?

Young men, do you respect your fathers for the time they spend with you as little as it may be?

Do you say unbecoming things about your Dads behind their back? 

As I stated, not to lecture or preach, however, this is life and it so hard to make it work out like we want it but always remember “Train a child up in the way he should and go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it”

Just something to ponder.


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