By Simon Ambit
The thought of staying up all night and spending nearly 20 straight hours in the cab of a pickup truck has never been too tantalizing to me. However, when a good friend invites you to come to Texas to hunt, it makes the excursion seem much more appealing. As we talked on the phone, it was mentioned that there was an estate in Texas owned by one of his closest friends. On this estate, there was a problem with wild hogs ravaging the landscape and creating havoc with the fruit trees. As it turns out, I was in a very service-oriented mood, so I offered to come “help” alleviate the problem.
Running on adrenaline and very little sleep and others chugging along on 15 hours of five-hour energy drinks, I, along with my son, my father and a good friend, loaded up the truck after work and drove straight through to Austin, Texas. We arrived at noon the following day and went almost directly to Lockhart Texas, home of Blacks BBQ. The place was outstanding! The meat was sold by the pound and savored by the bite! Oh, it was so delicious that my tongue was disappointed at nearly everything else I ate for the next two days.
The rest of trip was not quite so text book. It rained every single day, washing away our bate piles, driving the hogs into cover and making the hunt much slower and more difficult than anticipated. Though we were able to have a successful hunt, it was a much soggier experience that we’d anticipated.
I found, though, that I went down there with the expectation of a wild and crazy hunting trip, but what I got was a ton of quality time with friends and family. I met new people, made new friends, saw new places and ate new foods. I viewed plants and animals and trees I had never seen before. I ate frog for the first time and liked it!
The rains may have diluted the hunt, but they actually made the trip quite memorable. We simply put on our rain coats and went out among the oak, mesquite and cypress trees and enjoyed ourselves. I think my favorite memory of the whole trip was standing on the banks of the river gazing across at the massive cypress trees lumbering high above us as they drank from the life-giving currents of the river below. We simply stood there among the drizzle of the storm and talked to friends as the young boys chased rabbits through the grass.
My sweet wife has a quote posted on the wall that will forever remind me of my Texas experience. “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain.”
May we each make the best of the storms that rain down upon our plans and let the drizzle not dilute the experience. Rather, let us allow it to nourish the memories.