I was listening to a song by a songwriter and singer, the late Tom T. Hall. The song, “I Love…” got me to thinking about all the things, people, events, happenings that have garnered a special spot in my storehouse of memories.
In his song, he mentions loving things like “little baby ducks, old pickup trucks, slow-moving trains, and rain.” In another verse, he loves “little country streams, sleep without dreams, Sunday school in May, and hay.”
His arrangement got me to thinking. I’m a blessed man because there are lots of things I have come to love over the span of my life although I can’t put it to rhyme as Tom T. did.
Things like – having to reach for a light jacket one-morning last week before taking a seat on the porch as the sun began its trek from behind the pines to the east. After weeks of temperatures bumping triple digits, my thermometer that morning read 54 degrees under a robin egg blue sky. Replenishing the sunflower seeds to my bird feeder, I sat, cup of coffee in hand as I watched the birds and squirrels scramble about for breakfast. Hall and I are on the same page; in his song, he likes “birds of the world and squirrels.”
Things like – greeting my wife with a hug and kiss as she rubs sleep from her eyes before she gets dressed for the day. She is especially beautiful to me then.
Things like – standing in reverential awe at the end of the driveway observing the first rays of sun backlit behind a puffy cloud creating a kaleidoscope in the eastern sky; gentle pinks, magenta, soft peach; a moment to stand amazed in His presence.
Things like – being greeted with tail whipping side to side and kisses from Coco, our six-month-old Chorkie pup, as I pick her up and take her outside to take care of business.
Things like – walking in the house after church to the aroma of a roast simmering in the slow cooker.
Joints that creak and cause me to wince from pain when I stand have taken from me things I formerly did and can no longer do, but have not robbed me of the memories of special days in the woods and on the water.
Things like – keeping an eye on the calendar as it nears March and knowing that somewhere out there, an old turkey gobbler is waking up, stretching his warty neck and emitting a gravely, grating sound that only a turkey hen or a turkey hunter can love.
Things like – standing on a hill as dawn breaks listening for that old tom turkey to gobble, revealing his location and when he did, I would sneak to within 100 yards of so of his roost. At the right time, I’d call softly to the gobbler hoping that when he flew down, he’d come check me out. Usually, he went the other way but when things worked out as I hoped and he’d strut into my line of sight, it was a thrill few other outdoors experiences can rival.
Things like – slipping silently into the chill of an October morning to sit on a log in my favorite woods, watching the first squirrel of the season move from a den in an oak to acorns at the end of a leafy branch. Oh how I loved that.
Things like – from a comfortable seat in my box stand in late November, I knew that the doe I was watching that suddenly bolted is likely telling me a mature buck with an eye on her could step out at any moment.
Things like – sitting in the shade of a big oak at the edge of a special pond, keeping an eye on the bobber, watching it shudder and slowly slip beneath the surface. Thankfully, this is an activity that raises a clinched fist in the face of infirmity and advancing age because it’s something I can still do, and I love it.
Things like – picking my guitar with a group of friends each week. Tom T. Hall loved “music when it’s good.” You’d better believe so do I.
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