You know that old saying “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone”, well I think I have come to know that phrase all too well.
Let’s face it, over the past two years, the pandemic has chased many of us from what we love to do, myself included. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a doom and gloom piece. I would prefer more of a celebration of what I have been able to have and hope to have again soon. My odyssey goes back to 2019 my first health scare, recovered from that and just as I was getting back to normal the pandemic hit and that shut us all down.
I look back at some of my adventures and realize just how blessed or lucky I have been. I have watched a Moose with her calf, munching away on green weeds on the water’s edge and not caring we were 100 yards away trolling along. I have had eagles chase me around a lake hoping for a meal, and, yes, once we obliged with a hammer handle Pike. What a sight to see the eagle come in and take the fish out of the water 20ft from the back of our boat!
I got to eat breakfast one morning and watched through the cabin window as a 2–3-year-old Moose swam across the lake we were at. The funniest part was when it came out of the water at a small island, shook itself off, looked around, and then went back in the water.
I have run across wild blueberries, picked a bunch while a buddy kept watch in case a large 4-legged critter decided to move in. Made the next few morning’s pancakes that much better.
I have sat in a boat with a friend and been snowed on heavily for 20 minutes. After it cleared my fishing partner caught a nice-sized pike.
Seeing the excitement of my friend harvesting the first deer of his life. My wife and daughter landing the fish of the day. These are the life memories that bring joy to me and lighten my heart.
Since then, another more serious health scare during the pandemic and no more outdoors, no fishing, no hiking, and no hunting. That’s when I realized what I didn’t have and wanted so much to have back – time outdoors.
Time to spend looking across an open area for deer and seeing 20 Turkeys come in roost and have a snooze for 45 minutes. Time to float and drift on a lake with a wet line in the company of family and or friends. Time to sit with my back to a tree in full camo and have small birds land on me. I missed other things too, but time outdoors wrenched my heart to be missed.
Now the pandemic is hopefully coming to end and a life of new normal shall set in. For me, due to my health, a mask is still required for a while and that’s OK! The idea of looking forward to a fall trip with friends up north or to a spring turkey hunt or to be on a lake fishing again and catch some panfish, bass, and walleye – this is what we have to look forward to.
For those that never had to give them up CUDOS for you! Many of us have had to and now we are looking forward to getting back out in the open water and fields.
Let’s always be grateful for what we have or the memories we have been able to make and get out in the spirit of conservation and gladness to have them again and hold on to them. Hold on to these things so we never miss what we had, but they continue to be a joy in our lives.