Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
I’m from the state of Wisconsin and so is my husband. When we arranged our wedding, it was originally planned for the weekend bow season for deer hunting. Because my husband would not be able to attend the ceremony on the chosen day, it was rescheduled for the week prior to hunting season. I should have known then that deer hunting would cause us to celebrate Thanksgiving with each of us in different locations every year.
When I googled the timing of this season, I discovered that hunting the great white-tail deer goes all the way back to the beginnings of the state’s history. It was an opportunity to gather as families and spend quality time together. Since Thanksgiving was also such a time, it apparently seemed logical to make them coincide. A very nice sentiment for those with family members that also hunted and wanted to share some of that quality time.
In my husband’s and my history, I learned early that I wouldn’t mess with his hunting traditions. We were on our honeymoon and I promised him that he could go bow hunting for one day. I tagged along and sat in the car reading a book. After what seemed an eternity, I grew bored and a little concerned that he hadn’t yet returned. My wild imagination began creating possible scenarios. Perhaps he had fallen into a pit of quicksand and was clinging to a stray vine. Perhaps a bear had attacked him and he was lying helpless in the woods. Maybe he had bagged his deer and was now trying to carry it out by himself. My boredom turned into panic and my first impulse was to sound the horn on the car.
It wasn’t long before he emerged from the forest – without a deer, free of quicksand and unharmed by the piercing claws of said bear. I was soooo relieved to see him in one piece. He, on the other hand was not happy. As it happened, he had just pulled back his bow on a 20 or 30 point buck when the horn sounded and the deer escaped to see another day. That event could’ve resulted in an early divorce, but 52 years later we’re still together.
Traditionally, we now celebrate Thanksgiving a week before the actual holiday, so that dad and son can bond and spend quality time with their buddies in a cold, smelly, hunting shack for a week. This year I’ll spend the actual holiday with my daughter and family in their new home in South Carolina.
The cold, smelly, hunting shack has since been built into quite the place, with indoor/outdoor plumbing (don’t ask,) a beautiful stone fireplace, built in bunks, a nice sized kitchen and lots of room for playing cards and spreading out after a tough day in the forest.
Yesterday our family gathered, minus our South Carolina kids, for a day of feasting in our new/old house. The food was great, the company incredible, and the time together was quality time well spent. It was a good day. A day to give thanks – which should really be devoted to every day.
HAPPY EARLY THANKSGIVING!