|9/18/2012 4:14:00 PM|
A slice of heaven at the farm
"There's something about the farm, I just can't explain it . . ."
As our 16-year-old son, Andrew, said those words, his voice trailed off and he smiled. He didn't have to finish the sentence.
I knew exactly what he meant. And for the record, I can't explain it, either.
We made the trip to the Larson Century Farm near Willmar last weekend. The occasion was making final preparations for the duck opener, which is this coming weekend.
Andrew and I needed to organize our duck blind, boat and decoys. We push-poled our boat around the "Big Slough" at my Dad's farm, checking the water depth and boat launching spots.
The fall colors are already coming into play. A few times on Saturday and Sunday I caught myself simply mesmerized by a scene that seemed to come straight out of a Terry Redlin print.
It was the kind of father-son day that may not seem like much to the outsider, but one that means everything to dear old Dad. It probably means something to Andrew, too, but not in quite the same way.
His focus was on preparing to shoot ducks. Having seen my share of duck openers, I learned long ago that it's not about the meat in the freezer, it's about the hunt itself - and even the hunting preparations.
With each passing season, I feel greater appreciation for the times my Dad took me hunting in that same Big Slough.
I drew on those experiences as Andrew and I plotted strategy and prepared for the hunt. But our efforts were far from perfect.
As we docked our boat, Andrew suggested that I simply walk (in my hip boots) through the reeds from the boat to shore.
"The water's only knee-high right here," he said.
So, I took a few steps through the weeds. Things went well for the first couple of steps -until my feet started to sink deeper into the mud. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten to factor in the mud and the fact that I outweigh Andrew by about 50 pounds.
By then it was too late, water was pouring over my hip boots. Suddenly, the water was, indeed, knee-high - inside my hip boots.
"Sorry," Andrew said, trying to suppress a smile.
Wet, cold and frustrated, all I could mutter was, "yeah, I should've known better."
A few hours later, back at my parents' house, as I told the story, both Andrew and I were chuckling.
Hunting season is right around the corner. I've got a feeling there are plenty more stories to come.