A shared stack of old photos has generated a "remember when" trip. Olive Branch, Illinois, Greenley Lodge near Horseshoe Refuge [think that's the name], geese, young Lab, young sons, everything seemed young 30 +/- years ago. All the same, there we were, the 5 of us. The travel begins with the first out of sequence picture [there you are kneeling down holding up 2 heavy geese behind 6 more laying on the ground in front of you and trying to smile], but the memory tends to organize back to "are the boys old enough to really enjoy making this trip" apparently was never part of Dad's thought process. "I want to give the boys something I never had .... HUNTING WITH MY DAD." So, it began.
A goose flock can have as few as 6 to 8 birds and as many as 18 to 26 or more birds. When these groups come together enmass, well, the field turns from green to beige and has a rippling apearance. The sound .... unfortunately my verbal skills do not translate "it" into written words .... just accept that it is similar to a recognizable murmur, audible for great distances. AND THEN, we step into their field for a better view. Our arrival causes major panic and the need to escape resulting in organized choas. I can honestly say I don't know which is louder .... the honking or the wings beating. But to one lover of wildlife, it is a music on no CD, but all these years later, WOW!! Look at the picture and I'm there.
The funny thing about an old bunch of photos is they are not only out of sequence but others have been shuffled into the mix .... oh, you know, there's your youngest sliding down the roof of the Hart's hay barn retrieving a dove since the Lab can't get to it and everyone else is too large to be shoved upon the roof .... soooooooo, send Ian. Dad liked to make times special .... turn the end of a Dove shoot into a safari with wine etc, chairs and a dressed table.
Abruptly, the eye recognizes we have moved to our haunt in the Fla. Key, wetsuits, SCUBA tanks, smiling faces, hands waving Spiny Lobsters with friends from another life era. Or taking invited friends for the game fish Dolphin [that's different from Porpoise]. I do believe Dad would rather guide than actually fish .... "I'd rather put you on fish and watch you fight them; just get it in the boat" .... cope out .... but actually, heaven help the one who lost the battle. I lost a fish once, purported to have been a "very large" Permit [how did he decide that, we never saw the fish], he is probably sitting on his cloud sharing that ignoble moment in my life with everyone.
In the mix, there is AttaBoy a.k.a. Adam holding a mighty goose .... atta boy!! Then bored boys waiting for that few minutes of a flurry or Mitchell and Mitchell shoulder to shoulder in flooded timber. Other reminders of those brief stored snaps of life that confirm events. Funny, there we are sttting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and a stranger taking the shot. That was 1985, the first trip in our new van with the queen size bed across the back. That was very important move up from a Chevet. Quess it is true, our lives are a collection of meer moments passing through the great halls of time. Well, thank goodness for the pictures that fill in the Swiss Cheese of my memories. It was a fun ride for the most part .... no it isn't over yet ..... just different.