David drove across two states to buy hunting dogs for his son. His son was born blind. He has never been hunting, never worn orange, never touched a rifle.
A few months ago, that all changed.
David’s friends invited them hunting in Oklahoma.
“Found out that raccoon hunting ain’t like some other kinds of hunting,” says David. “You don’t just sit, you follow dogs, basically. That’s almost all there is to it.”
David took his son hunting for the first time. They followed howling animals through the woods. He held his son’s hand, marching through underbrush.
David says, “First time I heard my son say, ‘I can hear the dogs, Dad!’ It almost made me break down and…”
For months, it was all his son talked about. He kept asking for an encore hunt. David decided to do something about it.
He drove north to buy trained hounds. They cost him a small fortune.
Tomorrow, David will surprise his son with two brand new family members—of the long-eared variety.
“You have no idea, hunting with my son makes me feel like a good dad.”
Also: tomorrow morning, Jace is going to ask Brittany to marry him. He’s been planning the proposal for months.
They’ve been together six years. She’s helped raise his kids. She’s been his greatest love. His cheer-section. A best friend.
If she says yes, he’s taking her to the mountains—no kids, no pets. Just two lovers at high altitude. He will convince her that this trip is for celebration, but there’s more to it.
“I got family and friends on standby,” Jace says. “We’re gonna do a surprise wedding in the woods.”
It will happen like this:
They’ll leave their rental cabin, on a leisurely walk. They’ll follow a dirt trail until they happen upon a preacher, a small crowd, and a scenic overlook.
“She always wanted a simple wedding, without dresses, or flowers and big stuff. Hope I’m doing right by her.”
There’s no doubt.
And how about this:
Kathy is cooking turkeys at a shelter for Thanksgiving, in Atlanta. This all started a few years ago. One morning, a man knocked on her sliding glass window in the suburbs. He was dressed in rags. It was cold.
“His lips were blue,” she says. “He needed medical attention.”
She let him into her home and offered to take him to a shelter or hospital.
He became a frightened jackrabbit. He bolted and she never saw him again. But something in her changed.
The next week, she began volunteering. She made beds, bandaged scraped elbows, helped with haircuts.
“I never realized how many blessings I have,” says Kathy. “I’ve spent so long being concerned about stupid things, I was missing out on real life.”
To all my friends, may you live a real life. May it be a warm life. And during these approaching holidays, I hope you smell the aroma of something fatty in the oven.
I hope you wander into your den wearing pajamas. May a dog be in your midst. May a child sit on your lap. And may you remember what this month is all about—which is the same thing every calendar month is about.
Love. People. And eating too much food.
Enjoy hunting with your son, David.