No venison roast will be adorning our table this Thanksgiving Day. No deer with antlers ever entered my rifle scope during the three-weekend season in my part of the world. Not that anyone would really complain about not having venison roast for Thanksgiving. Some of my beloved relatives actually turn their noses up at the thought of chowing down on deer meat, and putting it on the table with all the other delectable treats would be sacrilegious. So, this year we will fall back on the traditional turkey dinner and all the trimmings.
October 20, 1908 - Sold Herman Lang 105 pounds of beef at .06 a pound, total $6.30. October 21, 1908 - Sold Frank Luksan 95 pounds of beef at .07...
If you were looking for a nice, warm Minnesota deer hunting opener, you didn't get it this year. The oak leaves shook above my head at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, opening day of the Minnesota deer season. It was not from a squirrel looking for a nut; it was because my stand was partially leaning against the old oak and my body tremors had set the tree atwitter. The woods were quiet around me as I poured that first cup of coffee and tried to absorb every molecule of warmth that cup would produce.
There is a holiday in these parts that causes hearts to palpitate, palms to sweat, eyes to bulge and unceasing pacing on the floor. It is a time when money spent is secondary to anything else. No amount spent is considered ill spent. All purchases are justified. The holiday of which I speak is not Thanksgiving, not Black Friday, not Christmas.
Where have all the old tractors gone? I don't mean to paraphrase Pete Seger's famous song from my college years, but that question came to mind as I and my wife were traveling south to northwest Iowa a few weeks ago to a family reunion. It is harvest season, now in full swing with tractors and wagons and combines and semi-trailer trucks all on the road day and night in farm country.
I heard over the radio a few weeks ago that a man has two ages that are rated the best of his life - age 29 and age 69. I don't usually listen to such drivel, but this week I turned 68, just one year from my ideal age. I think I might make it. I've reasoned that there are reasons for those two ideal ages. At age 29, you've finally realized that you are mortal and you can make mistakes. At age 69, you really know you are mortal and you know you've made mistakes in life, but now you can freely admit to them. Admitting failure at 29 is a little tougher. Yes, this Wednesday, Oct.
Some things just live a good, long life and then they disappear. The deep woods is losing its summerwear and fall is at the doorstep. The sweet, pungent aroma of decaying leaves permeates your sinuses as you enter and the scent makes you woozy with the fragrance. Tall grass that was green just last month has now turned golden brown with seeds dangling from the narrow tendrils at the end of the stalks.
Excuse me while I wipe the egg off the face of my 2014 Minnesota Twins baseball forecast. There, I've hit the corners of my mouth and got a bit of egg out of my right ear. I really don't know what to say. What started out as a hopeful season went down the tube faster than blue wing teal flying by my duck blind. I should have known better by now than to forecast any team's success or demise. It only leads to depression. I started doing this forecast back when the Twins went from worst to first. Remember that year?
A single, brilliant red maple leaf drifted down and lit on my dark green camo jacket as I walked in the backwoods last week. A reminder that the "good season" is in progress. I hauled the latest batch of pickled red beets to our basement storehouse a few days ago to be placed alongside the canned string beans, freshly made salsa and dill pickles. Gifts from above as my wife stood by the kitchen counter working on getting our sweetcorn crop ready for the freezer. Soon I would be trucking 50 some pints of sweetcorn to be frozen and used as the January winds pound on our doors.
I'll be digging my potatoes this week. The killing frost of last Friday night put the end to any further growing in our garden. It's time to dig the spuds. Some folks might laugh at why I plant potatoes. Why, they say, would anyone want to go to the trouble of putting in a crop of russets, reds or Yukon golds when you can easily buy them in any grocery store? And, except for certain times of the year, potatoes are not really a very high price item. Well, I'm here to tell you that there are many reasons to plant potatoes, and the tuber has more uses than just being cut into French fries.