Archive for December, 2011

The Last Few Hours of 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Well, here I sit reflecting on the last year. I have a range of emotions to deal with, but first and foremost I feel very fortunate to be alive. Sometimes we are confronted with a gentle reminder that we are not immortal. In early October, after my doctor called me at work, I instantly realized how quickly one’s life can change. Although I’ve always known it, the feeling was much different when I received the phone call that I had serious issues that needed to be addressed.

Before my surgery a week and a half ago I didn’t know what to expect. I’m pretty sure that most of my friends and family were more worried than I was. As I’ve always told everyone, I feel like I’ve lived a very complete life. I’ve accomplished things in life that I set out to accomplish when I was much younger and I’ve done the things I’ve always dreamed of doing.

When I received the phone call from the surgeon last Wednesday evening my family was very relieved to find out the tumor the surgeon removed was not cancerous. The operation took longer than anticipated and the battle scar I have from it is impressive to some people. I guess it was only to be expected after removing something the size of a baseball. I’m beginning to feel better by the day, so hopefully I won’t have to walk with a limp for very long. If it’s permanent I can still be thankful that in general terms I’m “okay.”

I’m not sure what’s in store for the coming year. It appears that there might be a few more surgeries, but I’ll tackle them as they come. I can’t think that far ahead right now because each day is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.

Since I’m laid up and can’t do much I’m sitting home tonight by myself. My dog Theo (who’s health has been failing rapidly lately) is lying on the floor next to me. I love that dog. It makes me sad to see him sleeping. I’m pretty sure he won’t be with me at this time next year, but like me he has lived a pretty good life. I hope I’ve given him a quarter of the joy and happiness he has given to me.

They’re doing the top 40 musical performances of New Year’s Eve on the Dick Clark show on TV right now. I couldn’t help but smile when they did one from 1998. It seems so long ago, but it was only 13 years ago. That was the night I finally got married. As a kid growing up I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to be married. After I settled into the working world when I graduated from college I met up with a very dear childhood friend of mine who I had lost touch with while I was away at college. Somehow we became close, as we had been growing up, and it seemed destined to happen.

Although she might see it differently, I always tried to be there for her as a friend when she needed me. On New Year’s Eve in 1995 she called for a ride home. Since I don’t drink and I never really went out I told her I would come get her to make sure she got home safely. It was 2 0’clock in the morning, but I didn’t mind at all because she was always close to me. She had a special place in my heart. Three years later on New Year’s Eve we got married.  Yeah, in some ways it was like a fairy tale. Go through school, go away to college, meet up with the girl next door who you grew up with, get married and fade of into the sunset.

Well, as years passed the fairy tale didn’t quite end that way and we went in our own directions. Many people like to blame the other person. I’m not that type and I would never do that. After all, it takes two for everything to happen. I’ve always accepted my blame and I’ve tried learning from the experience. I do feel bad at times because I know I probably wasn’t the best person in the world, but in the end I also know that I did try, but it wasn’t meant to be.

As I sit here tonight I think about a quote I came across in the summer. It reads something like this: I will never regret love. No matter how blind it improved my world. No matter how foolish it made me wiser. And no matter how generous it made me more.

We learn from each experience. Some of us are lucky enough to love many people in our lives and a few of us love only a few. No matter what the circumstance, the experience makes us whole. If we don’t learn from our mistakes and grow from them we’ll keep repeating them. Right now I’m quite content with my life. In some ways I feel very much like I did while I was growing up. I would never say I will never get married again, but at the present time it’s not anything I really think about. If it happens it happens. I’m sure it would probably be good for me, but I don’t feel like it’s something I need to validate myself or make myself feel complete. I’m sure a few of you can understand what I’m saying.

Since we’re going into a new year beginning tomorrow I’m going to try to simplify my life. I’m going to try to follow a few simple rules from a quote I read today. As you can see, I’m a quote kind of person. Quotes give me direction and challenge me to think about different things from different perspectives.

Here it is: Always know when to let go. When a thought is bringing you more misery than peace, let go of the thought; when a person is bringing you more pain than joy to your life, let go…You cannot be your best if you lack joy and peace.

It sounds simple, but I’ve always struggled a little bit with this type of thing. Many times I’ve found myself lost in thought. No matter what I do I hold on to nagging thoughts. I’m going to try to dismiss them as they come this year. Once we engage the thought it takes a life of its own. I’ll try my best to steer away from that this year. I’m also going to try to avoid any type of drama that other people bring into my life. I’ll still lend my hand and ears to the people who need me, but I will not let them control my actions.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year. Hopefully these health issues will find a backseat for a while. However, if I’m confronted with more unsettling news I’ll face it as I’ve faced the other hurdles in my life. I’ll keep my head down, run fast and leap as far and high as I can. I’m bound to catch and ankle now and then, but I’ll finish the race if I don’t fall face first when my balance is suddenly knocked out from under me.

This night 13 years ago was memorable for me. I got to spend it with all of my closest friends and family. Really…………..what more could I ever ask for? I learned from that relationship and have grown in many ways. Tonight is a lot like that night. I’m just thankful to be alive, surrounded by my friends and family. Some things are meant to be and some aren’t. I’m just glad that I was meant to live in 2012 because a few months ago I’m sure a few people were quite worried about that.

I feel great about the upcoming year. I’ll be at a lot of book signings, outdoor shows, author fairs and many other things. I feel like the sky is the limit now. I’ll keep pushing forward, experience new things, meet new people and just enjoy my life to the fullest. It’s good to be internally happy. It really, really is. God bless, good night and Happy New Year!!!


Book Signing Saturday 12/17

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Since my surgery had to be postponed I’ll be joining Dan Ladd and Steve Sawn for a book signing at Crossroads Country Store in Chestertown, NY this Saturday. I’ll have my new book as well as my old one. Stop in and say hello.

An Eye-Opening Experience

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The last month has been more stressful than I would have liked. It basically seems like nothing has gone quite right. I’m sure my luck is bound to change sometime soon.

I haven’t written much at all over the last year. I’ve been too busy with my new book and many other things that have taken the majority of my time. Hopefully now that the book came out yesterday I’ll be able to get back into some type of routine with my writing. I’ve been tossing a lot of ideas around already about another book. I would like to do one filled with funny outdoor stories. It would be a book that made you laugh out loud as you read it. It would be the type of stories that you share around a campfire with your friends and family. It would be something like the more you drink the harder you laugh. In the book the more you read the more you will laugh.

I’ve also considered writing a book with the same format as the first two books, but it would be about my adventures in elk country. I’m not sure how that would go because I don’t have any digital pictures at all from elk hunting so the picture quality wouldn’t be too terribly good.

I’ve tossed around the idea of writing about hunting in the Midwest. It would follow the same type of format as the first two books, but I would make a lot of time for different people we’ve met across the country and how they do things.

As you all probably know my ultimate goal is to write a novel. It’s just something I want to do. I want to create my own piece of work with characters that my readers will come to know and love or hate. I have many ideas about it so I’ll have to see what happens as time goes by.

I should be recovering from surgery tonight. Unfortunately my blood was so out of whack when I arrived at the hospital it was impossible to do the surgery. They rescheduled for next Thursday. I followed the directions I was given although I knew it was probably going to be a disaster. Turns out I was right. It wasn’t good. In some strange way I felt embarrassed even though I probably shouldn’t have been. I know that stress kills my blood sugar. Even though I don’t feel that I’m being stressed out it shows up in my blood levels. When heavy stress is present my blood goes sky high and doesn’t retreat hardly at all. It’s not a good feeling and I’m helpless when it happens.

This morning made me feel like I was a bad child or something even though I couldn’t really help what happened because I was following the instructions given to me. When we try again next week I was given the okay to follow my regular schedule and do things as I would on any other day. I’ll pray with all my might that it works out.

I’m not looking forward to the surgery, but in other ways I can’t wait to get it done. It’s possible that the pain I’ve felt in my hip for the last twenty years will gradually go away after the mass is removed and I get through my rehab. I’m looking forward to how good it might be when it’s all over. Time will tell. Who knows it could be worse or something really bad could come out of the whole ordeal but no matter what it may lead to I will push forward with a positive attitude and optimism.

In a situation like this it’s a really good feeling when people reach out to you and wish you luck and a safe recovery. It only has to be a few words to make a difference. People have come out of the woodwork to wish me well with the health problems I’m now encountering. I thank each and every one of you for extending your hand to me. I feel truly blessed.

We all have days when we trudge around and wander if we have any meaning in life. It’s times like these that make all those thoughts go away. Trust me when I tell you that many more people care about your well being than you would think possible. It all comes back to treating people well. If you treat people well they will respect you and do the same in return.

I’ve made many mistakes in my life and I mean many. I’ve hurt people along the way even though I didn’t want to. I’ve never felt good about things like that and I never purposely tried to hurt anyone. I’ve learned that this is life and it just happens sometimes. We try our best to tiptoe around things so we don’t rock the boat and in the end we end up hurting ourselves and others. It’s not a good feeling.

That’s why these situations can give us a lot of confidence. I’ve had people I know I hurt in the past wish me luck and they were genuine in the care they showed. I’m glad that some of these people have forgiven me and I’m even luckier that I have my friends and family who extend their arms to me when I need them.

I’ll go to bed tonight and say a simple prayer just because I’m safe. I should have been in a little bit of pain tonight,but I’ll probably be able to rest a little easier since the surgery won’t take place until next week.

I would like to give a simple thank you to everyone out there who is reading this. Thanks for giving my life meaning. It means more than you will ever know even if you don’t hear it come from my lips. Good night and God Bless,


Sunday December 11, 2011

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

For all of you who come here to follow me I must apologize for not writing much over the last few months. I’ve had a lot of things going on between new found health problems, hunting season and finishing my book.

My book “Backcountry Bucks” should be available by this coming Friday 12/16. Unfortunately, due to my surgery it might be a while before it’s on the shelves. You will be able to pick it up at John’s Outdoor Sports in Queensbury, NY or you can order it off from my website. My webmaster is supposed to be downloading a new order form in the next few days. If for some reason that doesn’t happen please feel free to print out the order form for my first book and specify on the top of it that you want the new one. The cost will be the same.

I’m scheduled for surgery this coming Thursday. Hopefully recovery time won’t be very long and everything will turn out well. As with anything, it’s a little stressful but I try not to let those things bother me. We all know that you can’t control certain things when it comes to your health. However, if you approach the obstacles with a positive attitude it sometimes helps you to overcome tremendous things.

We’ll see what happens. I’m sure I’ll have a few things to write about after I recover. It might be a bit before I can sit in a chair, but I’ll try to write a little bit when I’m able to sit down just so everyone knows how I’m doing. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. I’ll talk to you soon.