Somehow, I’m needing a vacation from retirement

Somehow, I’m needing a vacation from retirement

Even though we are considered “retired,” our schedule is a lot fuller than before.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m loving it, especially this time of year when in November we have four family birthdays including wife Taryn’s, two anniversaries including our 43rd and December with two more family birthdays.

Along with that, Taryn has two separate cataract surgeries and separate follow-up appointments coming up, and I have two dental procedures in December. Add in prime hunting season and a part-time job and, yes, we have a busy schedule.

Speaking of prime hunting, a big shoutout and congrats to all those successful hunters who have been filling the social media with pictures and stories. I’ve been noticing many ladies and youth hunters featured, which shows promise for our great hunting heritage.

A feature congrats to Steve Tish, who is my brother-in-law’s son, with his 23-point buck and his grandson and girlfriend, who also took their first bucks. Awesome.

I did manage to get out to hunt on Thanksgiving day. It’s rifle season down here, and though the preferred weapon of choice here is a 30.06 or a .270, I still love my 7mmRemMag.

That rainy morning I was slowly creeping through the woods when a group of does trotted up the hill and stopped at about 140 yards. Even freehand this is usually not a difficult shot for me, but once again not taking into account the uphill angle, I know I shot high.

In the afternoon, instead of taking my side by side, I decided to hike up to my blind, which once again proved the older I get, the steeper the hills get. Being the overcast, dreary type of day, it didn’t take long for a nice doe to step into my shooting lane. At this point I’m more concerned about meat in the freezer than more antlers on the wall. A perfect shoulder shot and I called Taryn to bring the Kawasaki mule.

Returning to our African safari, yes, it seems like we’ve been here a month, and it’s Wednesday, May 5. After Taryn shot her bushbuck the previous night and they couldn’t find it, neither of us slept very well. We are scheduled to go into Johannesburg to get COVID testing done before our flights home.

We stopped by on the way to see if the trackers had found the bushbuck yet — but no luck. Andre, one of our guides, said by using dogs or watching for vulture activity, they rarely lose a wounded animal — even though the meat and hides may be ruined, they can save the skull and horns.

Later that afternoon we received an email from our airline that our return flight through Amsterdam had been canceled due to the pandemic. When Andre called the airline, they set us back a day and rerouted us through Paris. Let’s see: We’re “stuck” for another day in hunting paradise? Darn.

That afternoon we packed our gear and settled up the business end of our trip. After dinner we shared stories around the campfire before turning in.

The next morning we sadly said our goodbyes, and “Uncle Piet” picked us up for the long drive back to Johannesburg, where they had once again booked us a room at the City Lodge to fly out the following day. Piet said he normally doesn’t cry when he takes clients back, but we had become more like family.

But we still have more adventures to come on our return flight, so we’ll pick up from here next time.

It was so great to talk with some of you on our whirlwind trip through Millersburg a couple weeks ago. It is such a blessing to hear you enjoy reading our stories. We hope our words somehow bring a bit of joy into your daily routine.

Just remember this: Follow God’s direction to make every day special and chase those dreams you may think are impossible. For as we know, nothing is impossible with God.

Love y’all.