In A.D. 2018, I resolve …
It happens every year. The planet we call home moves past the point in its celestial orbit where the northern hemisphere is pointed directly away from the sun (the Winter Solstice) and the days will gradually but incessantly become longer and longer.
Before we get back to where Bermuda shorts and tee shirts are standard garb and the grass needs mowing, though, we will experience a couple more months of winter weather. Those who have resided in this little portion of God’s realm know that this will typically be when we contend with the coldest, nastiest weather of the year. As this is being penned, the thermometer is struggling to reach the freezing point.
Something else happens each year around this time. Folks tend to take stock of what the previous twelve months were like and contemplate some changes they’d like to make going forward. Those mental exercises are commonly referred to as
making resolutions. Some resolutions, such as “bringing about world peace” are, in spite of what Miss America contestants say, pretty much impossible for the average guy. (Try scheduling a sit-down with Kim Jong-un and you’ll see what I mean.)
Other resolutions are, in fact, attainable for most of us but not likely to be brought to fruition. For example, I read recently that the most common New Year’s resolution in America today is to “get in shape.” I tried that once. But then I realized that round is a shape and I had already achieved that, so I scratched that one.
In the spirit of the passing of 2017 and the arrival of 2018, however, I have thought about some New Year’s resolutions that I intend to make an honest effort to keep. If I do maybe that will, in fact, bring about world peace. If I fall short, though, I don’t expect that I’ll throw myself off a bridge. (Heck, the bridges around here aren’t high enough to have much effect anyway.)
New Year’s Resolutions for 2018
- Learn to tie a few more fishing knots without having to refer to a diagram. The Granny Knot just doesn’t work in every situation.
- Catch a fish that looks trophy-size, without having to resort to trick photography
– not that I’d consider doing such a thing.
- Get my rifle sighted in before the opening of deer season and not after I miss an eight-pointer at 100 yards. (That’s called “shoot-and- release”).
- Take my old English setter bird hunting as much as possible before we both get to the point we can’t go. If we have to take more frequent breaks, so be it.
- Hit at least a few of the woodcock that same elder statesman points.
- Learn to use a scratch-box turkey call as well as my friend and old pro, Richard Shively does. Of course, he builds them so he has an advantage.
- Figure out how to navigate into and out of the Haystacks (North River Marshes) at low tide without running aground. And, keep my patience when I fail to do it.
- Take better care of my fishing gear and not wait until something breaks to fix it.
- Practice shooting trap from the number one and five stations until I can make those aggravating shots with some regularity.
- Out-shoot Jim Daniels.
- Tell every Wildlife Enforcement Officer I run across “thank you” for what they do above and beyond the call of duty.
- Fish the bream beds around Uncle John’s “Mouth-of- the-Creek” cabin on at least one more spring day. And toast his memory when I land a big’un.
- Hook a fish large enough to tow my kayak. The slab-size bream in Broad Creek that turned it around a couple of times doesn’t count. I’m talking an honest-to-goodness “kayak sleigh ride.”
- Learn to blow a goose call well enough that the birds don’t laugh as they fly away.
- Fish more and mow grass less.
That’s sixteen things I could do that would, in my humble estimation, make my life better. If I achieve only a third of them, that would be like a baseball player batting .333 for the season – good enough to make him an All-Star. It could happen. If The Lord’s willing and the creek doesn’t rise, it just might. In any case, I resolve that it will.
Ed Wall can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-671- 3207. His web site is www.edwalloutdoors.com