OK, I will be the first to admit that we talk slower in the South. Some folks think that because we talk slower that we think slower also. Sometimes people learn that is not necessarily so to their detriment. However, I will say that things are slower down here, even the seasons. According to my calendar, it has officially turned fall while according to my thermometer, it is still late July. We have one more week of weather in the low 90’s, and then we will actually begin to feel a bit of autumn next week. When I first came home in 1971, October was cold while March was hot. Somewhere along the line, these two months have flip flopped on us. We used to open on October 1st and close at the end of the first week in March because the quail would start pairing off in March with lovin’ on their minds, and March temps could reach the low 90’s. Somewhere along the way, these two months have flip flopped. We now open later in October after the first cold fronts have pushed through, and we run later in March, which is sometimes one of our coldest months. Please don’t tell Al Gore, or he will claim credit for this also.
We have now entered our phase of dressing this place back up after six months of mostly concentrating on farming. All of our jeeps have been gone through from bottom to top, and we have also purchased two new jeeps. We are mowing our woods trails, and using the motor grader to put our main roads back in tiptop shape. Most of the men are down here on the Lodge Grounds pruning, sling blading, cutting, and manicuring the grounds in preparation to plant our winter grass.
Our kitchen and housekeeping staff all started to work last week, and we have begun going through the kitchen and each cottage one at the time. Our plumbers, electricians, and HVAC folks are coming behind the ladies, and fixing all of the things that were working in March prior to the gremlins attacking during the summer months.
Also, this morning, we began the process of working our hunting dogs back into shape. This is a delicate process much like summer camp for football players. We need to get them in shape while being careful not to allow them to suffer a heat stroke. In the first week or so, we will only run them for an hour or so, and shoot just a few birds over them. Of course, this is also when we will have to give a few dogs attitude adjustments before you arrive. I wonder if their trainers tell them what Pop used to say to me when I received an attitude adjustment-“ Son, this hurts me more than it hurts you.” I did not buy that line now, and I still don’t, but I do understand it much better now since I used the exact same line on my own children when we were raising them. But, there is a difference between a hurt fanny and a hurt heart.
Speaking of dogs, our English Cocker program has finally reached the goal that we had set for it. We now have two Cockers for each guide. Jerry and Cader IV also wanted me to let all of you know that we also have a few trained, started, and English Cocker puppies for sale now. We were unable to offer this service until we were certain that Riverview had all of these amazing little dogs that we needed. If you are interested, give us a call, and ask for Cader IV.
This is usually the portion of my blog where I try to close with some humorous comments. Today I am going to break that tradition and wax philosophical for a few moments. There is not a lot of trust left in the world these days. You know it, and I do too. Just look at Washington. What a bunch of self-serving hypocrites. Maybe we should give our Parkers to our grandchildren to declare open season on winging politicians. I will withdraw that statement as I know that everything I say and do is read or seen by some governmental organization, and I am just being sarcastic with that comment. However, I do feel a bit paranoid these days as I am certain that not only are my words seen, but there are objects up in the sky that can see me using the bathroom on a tree in my yard which is a time honored tradition in the country.
Life and value systems are no longer sustained from the agrarian roots of our forefathers. No longer do we sit on the porch drinking sweet tea, and rocking and visiting with neighbors. Everyone has their noses buried in some kind of device, and civil conversation is slowly disappearing. I would like for my grandchildren to know how good it could be to breathe fresh and clean air as they walk up behind a pair of quivering pair of pointers on a frosty morning. I would like that for our guests also. Come see us and reconnect with the land. It will be good for your soul!