This past weekend we celebrated my Dad's 70th birthday. Family and friends gathered at my folk's church fellowship hall to honor the man I call Dad. I'm so eternally thankful that I have a Dad who has taught me right from wrong over the years and provided me with a man to look up to. Apparently, he continues to leave imprints on other lives as well - evidenced by filled-to-capacity room, which had my mom wondering if the food supply would hold out.
In true milestone birthday style, one of the highlights of the night was to "roast" the birthday guy. Several of the stories told focused on Dad's love for the outdoors. It was this love for the outdoors that played a pivotal part in my enthusiasm for living outside also... attempting activities such as camping, fishing, hunting, etc. I say "attempting" because as we all know there are those times when these activities quickly turn into unsuccessful events. But isn't that part of the fun of it all? After all, it sure makes for great stories!
Any ways, many of these unsuccessful stories were shared and some are just so good that I couldn't resist sharing them again. (I hope you don't mind one more "roast" Dad. Love you!)
Since my brother was unable to make it, he sent his roast via email. (I guess being on the other side of the world is a good excuse for missing the party.) Here is an excerpt of what he had to say about dad....
"Every little boy grows up thinking that their dad knows everything. Being a retired orthopedic surgeon, there's no question that my dad is a smart guy. But, let's face it he's not exactly Bear Grils (you know, the actor from Man Versus Wild). First of all, my dad is always cold. Which doesn't bode well for outdoor adventures... especially in Minnesota. Now I wasn't along for this one, but I remember hearing stories from his friends on a quail hunt. Apparently my dad decided it was too cold for quail hunting to be fun anymore, and spent the last day of the hunt...... wait for it...... shopping. I'm pretty sure Bear Grils wouldn't be your friend after that one, dad!"
"We did have success hunting out in Montana, with my Uncle and cousins. My dad had even more success than the rest of us and we went home with a freezer full of venison..... and BEEF. I'm sure someone else is getting my dad on that one, but if not make sure you ask him about it!"
One of the outdoor misadventures I remember with dad is a particular camping attempt. Growing up, we took a lot of road trips across the country. (which I absolutely loved!) One of these trips, we were driving through Northern MN on our way to Canada - or somewhere up North. Anyways, it was the middle of summer. It was hot and the air was infested with mosquitoes. You know - the kind big enough to carry away small children and don't sleep at night. Dad had bought a brand new fancy tent that summer. This tent along with all sorts of fun camping equipment was packed in the loaded down van so that we could pull into a campground when we were tired of driving and catch a few zzz's. No need for a hotel. We were being adventurous and saving a few pennies. The problem - it was dark when we arrived. All the good spots were taken. We hadn't tried out the tent ahead of time and in Griswold fashion, my poor dad attempted to pitch this tent with two teenage girls and a wife "helping" all while swatting mosquitoes and chatting about how nice a hotel would be. By the time the tent was up, all the mosquitoes outside were now inside the tent. I'm pretty sure everyone ended up sleeping in the van that night.
Dad, as your son already stated, "you may never win outdoors man of the year" but we love you and are so proud to be your kids. Regardless of our outdoor misadventures, you are still my outdoor inspiration! And thanks again for being there to help me cut up my elk and show me how to pop the joints in true orthopedic style.
From the Draw
A website devoted to sharing bowhunting stories. From the draw in the mountains to the draw on paper, the moments live on.