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.
Steve Winfield - November 17, 2018 9:02 am
My neighbor that I grew up with raised coon hounds. A well trained dog brought $700. They always gave away the runt. I ended up with a runt I named Jack. He lived 20 years & is buried out back with a nice cross & a windmill like an old truck. He loved trucks. And me. I’ll never stop missing him. One of his dogs got into another neighbors garbage once. That guy put out anti-freeze & killed a whole litter. Guy cried for days. I wouldn’t have traded Jack for a house & this guy could kill with no conscience. That’s been 25 years ago. Real glad the bad neighbor moved.
Thanks for listening.
Kelly - November 17, 2018 10:45 am
Sitting beside my dog as I read this. So very thankful to have a hot cup of coffee and a soft warm robe this chilly morning. Thinking about all the people in the panhandle of Florida and California that don’t have those simple comforts this morning. God bless Kathy and everyone like her who give unselfishly everyday. I hope Jace lets you know how the surprise mountain wedding turned out!
Jean - November 17, 2018 12:07 pm
I don’t have dogs right now….but i did. Cats seem to rule here right now. Wonderful stories! I am indeed blessed…and warm with coffee. I hope you are as well!
Nancy - November 17, 2018 1:25 pm
So thankful for my morning coffee, toasty home and being able to read your blog. Cherish each day and give from your heart to those in need. Love you, Sean.
Another pilgrim - November 17, 2018 1:38 pm
Your musicianship is revealed in your prose. You hit the right notes, and sometimes it’s ethereal. Today’s is ethereal. Thank you.
Mike McSwain - November 17, 2018 2:07 pm
your wonderful gift of writing from the heart blesses me each day, gives me the courage to believe there is good. I too am a simple man and am struggling with aging (59)
Debbie Britt - November 17, 2018 2:12 pm
Real LIFE is the small stuff! Thanks for the reminder!!
Edna B. - November 17, 2018 2:13 pm
I have a precious little dog that I got from a rescue shelter when he was six years old. He had spent his whole life in a little cage, no toys, no loving. no care. I have spoiled him rotten. Among all my many blessings, this little guy has brought me so much joy and happiness. I am ever so thankful for him. Sean, you have an awesome day, hugs, Edna B.
Cheryl Clem - November 17, 2018 2:50 pm
You did it again Sean…….i think,I I’m in love with you. I’m only 73…tee hee…
Carol - November 17, 2018 3:38 pm
Thank you Sean. Sometimes we need reminding
Today is a sad day for my son – in -law or as I like to call him , my second son, He lays his daddy to rest in the arms of the Lord and he is also fighting cancer himself .
But they all give Praise and Glory to the Lord.
They lost their place in Fla last month , and their home here in Ga was also damaged by Michael, his cancer was still there after surgery and Thursday his daddy died 3days after finding his cancer.
But you know Sean , there is always something to be thankful for! And right now I’m thankful knowing you’ll be praying and thinking about us when you read this!
Happy Thanksgiving To You Jamie, Thelma Lou, Otis and The whole Family!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
4Dees - November 17, 2018 3:47 pm
Sean, may you and yours have a most Happy Thanksgiving. We all have so much for which to be thankful!!
Linda Chapman - November 17, 2018 5:14 pm
You have a way of putting so much wisdom in your wonderful stories. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Pat - November 17, 2018 5:41 pm
Sweet just sweet!
Sherry Ann Holland - November 17, 2018 8:33 pm
Beautiful! And coonhounds!! Love them so much. My black and tan died from lymphoma three years ago. I’ve fostered others and hope to adopt another soon. I hope that dad lets them be inside coonies, even though they are hunters. Happy Thanksgiving!
Jack Darnell - November 17, 2018 9:18 pm
Good post dude. I like the thought of a blind guy coon hunting, great idea! The mt. Wedding ain’g bad either , great idea!
Have a good thanksgiving!
Judy Broussard - November 18, 2018 12:28 am
Happy Thanksgiving Sean
Donna Harvey - November 18, 2018 6:42 am
Hi Sean, I happened upon your site at The Write Practice, one of the other writers posted it and said, “I hope this inspires your writing. Let me tell you, it did. It also makes me so thankful for what we take for granted in our lives every day. Great Story. Happy Thanksgiving!
Amanda - November 19, 2018 12:59 am
That is called ThanksLiving