Thursday, October 18, 2007

3WW: Memories of Hunting with Dad and Granddad

Sorry for being so reclusive lately but as I’ve been saying, life is very busy. Monday and Wednesday, I worked from 8 AM to 10 PM, with an hour break each day for the gym. This evening I have a big program… Yet, things are going well. At breakfast this morning I had enough time to work on Bone’s 3-Word Wednesday Writing Assignment. Every week Bone gives out this assignment, to create something using three words that he chooses. This week’s words are: “Field, Hide, and Second.” This is a memory from when I was probably six or seven years old. I took the photo last winter, at a site about a mile from where the story took place.

We walked into the field and stopped by the foundation and slab of a house long gone. I’d been here many times. Once, that summer, my uncle had taken my brother and me to the graveyard out behind the house. It was eerie as he told us of the folks buried there. Each grave was marked with a metal plaque welded to a metal post and stuck in the ground. I’d seen them before, on freshly dug graves in the cemetery by the church. They were normally on a freshly dug grave and would be replaced with a tombstone. L had told us that these folks had been too poor to buy any markers. It just didn’t right to hunt in a graveyard and I expressed my concern and quickly learned that we’d been duped. There had been no cemetery. My uncle and his friends had collected the gravemarkers from the trash at the cemetery by the church and used them to create a make-believe graveyard.

This was Uncle L’s first hunt. My brother and I were too young to have a gun. Dad and my grandfather consulted. They put L in the center of the field, with his youth model 20 gauge. My dad, followed by my brother, would skirt the south side, through the sumac. I was glad that I wasn’t going with Dad as I never liked the look of sumac, especially in the fall as the dried black berries drooped down, creating an image for me that would give Freud a field day. I stayed with my grandfather and we worked the north edge of the field. Granddaddy held his Browning Double-barrel with both hands, the gun crossing his chest. I walked in his steps a few feet behind. We skirted the north side, along the edge of the sand hill, where the land dropped toward Nick’s Creek.

Time moved slowly as we crossed the field in anticipation. Quail were known to hide in the broom straw and wire grass that grew here. We knew that if we flushed a covey, it’d be over in a second, but we found no birds this day. After a few more fields that were located in the same woods, we headed home. Grandma and my mother had just finished preparing our Thanksgiving feast and we set down to eat.


  1. What did you have for breakfast? Runny eggs with a drizzle of coffee?

  2. Are their quail out east? We used to have quite a few on our farm but several hard winters in a row killed them off. You still see the occasional covey but nothing like what I used to see as a kid.

    By the way, I responded to your comment on the American Gothic comment. Someday if you are in this area of the woods, I can show you the premier place to learn about the painting.

  3. Ed and Sage meeting?!? I'm coming for this momentous occasion even if that means I have to look at boring stuff and never get a word in edgewise. ;-)

  4. Great post. So unlike my childhood...I love these kinds of stories.

  5. Good story telling, thanks for sharing your memories.

  6. I loved the graveyard trick your uncle played on you. This was an inviting story. And, the mention of Thanksgiving dinner makes me want some. Won't have to wait long, will I? Keep up the good work.

    Have a nice night.

  7. I'd like to hear more about the sumac and Freud.

  8. I never liked the look of sumac, especially in the fall as the dried black berries drooped down, creating an image for me that would give Freud a field day.


    Hope your days slow down a bit :)

  9. Nice write .really enjoyed the memories, thanks for sharing.

  10. Sage, I love stopping in to get lost in your outdoor adventures. Not bad for a "blinking bulb!" :) If only I could hold on to the hope that they may all end up like you!

    Have a great weekend!

  11. I like that! I mean, your uncle duping all by creating a false graveyard.

  12. the dried black berries drooped down, creating an image for me that would give Freud a field day

    You win the Best Use Of The Word Field award. I just created it, but you won. Congrats.

    I kept waiting for, "But we saw not a snipe one."

  13. Murf, yesterday morning I had oatmeal... today, I'm not sure what I'll have.

    Ed, like many places, there were a lot more quail when I was a kid. I know folks from here that go out to Iowa to hunt birds

    Murf, the thought of you not getting a word in edgewise isn't even comprehensible to me

    Thanks Deisel

    Scarlet, I enjoyed your recent childhood story!

    Jujee, Michelle & UL, thanks for coming by and for the comments

    Sandra & TC--I'll have to see if I can get a pic when I go back to NC later next month

    Kontan, I think I was always called a blinking idiot :)

    Gautami, he's like an older brother, and that's what older brothers are for, right?

    Bone, I should display my award with pride!

    Joe, thanks.

  14. I always enjoy reading your stories reflecting on you and your family's past. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I love hunting and eating Quail. Haven't done either in too, too many years. Great story!!

  16. I don't envy you that kind of busyness. Yikes. If the only me time I had was for the gym, I'd go daffy!