November 21, 2017

Turkey Hunting

Turkey Hunting
By John R. Greenwood

Heading out to go Turkey Hunting

Its turkey season and the adrenaline is pumping. You can feel the excitement in the air every November after the leaves have been raked and the frost-stricken mums are beginning to brown. There are signs of turkey season everywhere. Camo hats, mugs, boots, and jackets are visible around every corner. Whether you're in a Walmart parking lot or your doctor’s office waiting room, you will find a hint of camouflage. Turkey sounds, pictures, and banners infiltrate internet ads and the sales brochures overflowing our mailboxes. There is no escaping the fact that turkey season about to gobble us up. The surest sign turkey season is happening in our home is the twinkle in Mrs. G’s eyes. They begin to sparkle soon after the bottom of the Halloween candy dish peeks through. It's taken decades for me to prepare for what’s about to transpire in the coming days. I sense the transition when fleeces replace windbreakers and Harvest Blend K-cups replace Nantucket Blend.  

Heading into turkey backcountry at 7:00am

Its now time to cinch up my boot laces, grab the car keys and ready myself for the Turkey Hunt. No matter how hard I've tried to convince my turkey hunting half that I'd be perfectly happy carving a turkey breast instead of a Buick-sized Butterball she never flinches. Regardless of how many will be at our Thanksgiving Day table you can rest assured that in our home there will  be a beautiful turkey with all the trimmings. We will enjoy a traditional meal whether all the chairs or just two are filled. This is one holiday tradition that is nonnegotiable in my home. The more I try to steer the ship to a smaller less involved event my wife holds steadfast to preparing and providing us with the true Thanksgiving experience. Why I try to rock the boat and change its course, is a question a slow to learn husband will never come close to answering. 

That bird didn't have a prayer!

This year though I think I finally got it. 

I now realize that it’s not about the food or the preparation for my wife it’s about continuing a ritual she’s been following since our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife in 1974. Its about setting out a bowl of nuts and the nutcracker. Its about cream cheese filled celery and oven-brown dinner rolls. It’s about setting the table with a harvest of color and warmth. Its about family, whether they're there or not there. When I try to manipulate the turkey hunt and make it about dollars and cents or need versus necessity I tread on sacred ground. I should have learned by now to simply embrace and appreciate how fortunate I am and how thankful I should be to have married someone who still holds on to the traditions and rituals that we’ve been working on together for forty-three years. 

"Successful Hunt #43"

What else am I thankful for this year? 

My family of course. 

And successful turkey hunt #43. 

Hope you bagged a big one too. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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