Thanks for All the Squirrels

Mom and Dador, Lessons from Lawrence County.

It’s an intricate business, writing an obituary. My father-in-law left for California last week, but not before he passed on some priceless wisdom. I’ve been honored to write the obituaries to be read at both Mom and Dad’s funeral, but there’s only so much that can be stuffed into an obituary. There’s so much about a person that just won’t fit. There are so many lessons and stories that can’t be easily compressed into a two minute reading, and those lessons and stories are much too valuable to be lost. Things like how Dad taught me to hunt squirrels out on the back forty (which was more like the back seventy-two plus the adjoining properties). And like squirrel hunting, there’s a bit of an art to it.

Y’see, you can’t just pick up a shotgun and walk out into the woods and expect to come home with a bag full of squirrels. You have to know what you’re looking for, where you’re going and how to get there. You have to know what to take along, what to leave behind – what’s safe to ignore, and what can kill you.

The first thing you do is scope the territory out ahead of time. You have to know where you’re going, and where you’re going is wherever the squirrels are.

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