Posted 11/23/21

OUTDOOR Thanksgiving Does it bother anyone else that as a society, we are only allocated one day a year to be thankful? Of course, there is nothing stopping any of us from being thankful each day, …

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Does it bother anyone else that as a society, we are only allocated one day a year to be thankful? Of course, there is nothing stopping any of us from being thankful each day, and I know that most of us are. It just seems that with the overall world situation, at a minimum, there should be at least one day a week that could be set aside for every one of us to reflect and give thanks for what we have. Some of you faithful readers of “Outdoor Adventures” can probably see the path that this column is on.

It is a personal belief that all things in life are most enjoyable when being shared with those that you are most connected with. If you were to reflect for a minute about the best times you had last week, it would make sense that most of those positive experiences included family and friends. No different than a holiday celebration around the dinner table, gobbling up a feast of seasonal favorites (see what I did there), our life experiences are generally more memorable and positive when others are engaged.

While sitting in the deer stand, I had a lot of time to think about the things I am most thankful for regarding the outdoors. Writing this column for the past 15+ months has developed a level of insightfulness that was not present, or at least as present to me before. Looking at viewpoints, facts, and data linked to the various topics that I chose for the column has helped my mind become more open. I still believe that cooking on a gas grill is better for the environment, albeit charcoal and/or wood cooking beats gas on taste, hands down. I also believe that we all have a little “hunter” in our DNA, that the game of golf can be extremely stressful for some and that a baseball, when thrown in a specific manner, really does “curve” and it is not just an optical illusion. More important than all the newfound knowledge I have accrued by writing this column is that different opinions, thoughts, and beliefs will still exist and, THAT is okay. Writing this column has given me the opportunity to be more accepting of others, even when they do not agree with me. I am truly thankful for this.

I have also become much more “environmentally conscious” since accepting the columnist role for The Journal newspapers. As an avid outdoorsman, I have always cringed a bit when I see a fast-food wrapper, beverage container or, as it pertains more to our world today, a mask laying on the ground. The level of awareness as it pertains to the amount of garbage laying around increased for me as this topic found its way into this column on various occasions. Frustration with the lack of care given by many in our community also grew. Because of limits on the vocabulary that we can print, my personal frustrations were not fully voiced. My approach followed the adage that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Hopefully, my words encouraged others to think before just discarding their trash out the window of their car and, to clean up the mess that others leave to make our world just a little better.

What are you thankful for when it comes to the outdoors? Is it your “happy place” where you can reflect about the things in your life that you are most thankful for? The rivers and lakes offer so many opportunities for us. We are surrounded by numerous hiking and biking trails, woodlands, and fields. Where are your next outdoor adventures going to take place and who will you share the time with? Even if you are not a person who believes in or worships a higher power than yourself, the ability to take one day a week to really reflect on what you are thankful for exists. Is it Sunday? This day marks for many, the beginning of the week while for others, it is the last day of the week. Either way, it certainly can be a great day for reflections and thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I am thankful that you have taken the time to read “Outdoor Adventures.” I hope that it is a meaningful part of your week. Now, “Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.”