Taking Charge of Your Year – 2020

Once the prayers, joy, and chaos of Christmas in Denver died down, I found myself in a rather grownup conversation with several of the Grand-Hucklings. A couple of the “tweens” and teens noted the rather unsettled – and unsettling – family/local/state/national/ international year about to pass into history, and fretted that there seemed to be so little that they could control.

“So,” I suggested, “you can’t really control much of anything outside yourself in this life. Maybe, instead, you could think in terms of being in charge of your life and experiences. Maybe just put together a list of things you really want to do – things you might plan, and really do, and toward which you can focus energy… Make sure a good number of them get you regularly outside and on the ground. How many times have you already seen that time outside on the ground helps your spirit – helps you feel stronger and clearer and safer? These actions won’t put you in control, but they will help you feel more in charge of your own life and business… So what do you want to do? Or, what might you do?”

Interestingly, their first ideas were about more thoughtfully doing the everyday chores and activities of their lives. “Well, we already spend time outside taking care of the horses and dogs, and riding and playing with them. And even when we get mad about having to take care of them, we feel better when it’s all done, so maybe we could just sort of be more in charge and think of that stuff as our part of making the world better…” Those simple attitude adjustments seemed like a big step forward, to me, and I agreed with the concept. But what about some special plans they might make for the months ahead?

Almost as one, my Grand-Hucklings started rattling off things they felt they actually could plan. The list started with the two older teens’ spring trip to the Nevada Front Sight Firearms Training Center for a four-day defensive handgun course with me, their Aunt Anna, and Uncles Edward and Jonny. I hadn’t even set our course dates yet, but they were already filling in details, and a couple of the tweens were already suggesting dates – and coming years – for their training.

Then there were a couple summer outdoor bible camps they now planned to attend. And at least two summer fishing trips with some of the adult mentors in their church family.

At some point, I realized they were actively planning a large family trip to Washington – to Paradise – so that Grandpa could take them camping and fishing by the ocean. They would have to get their mothers on board, but were pretty much settled on mid-August for that one. They suggested that I probably needed to get my gear and time squared away before they arrived.

At some point in the chaos of planning, one of the twins stared at me for a moment. “Wow, just talking about these plan ideas seems pretty cool, Grandpa. But aren’t you the one who tells that funny story about making God laugh by telling Him your plans?” I had to admit to one of my favorite lines, then responded with something like, “Yep. But what if that laughter is a happy chuckle over us actually using our free will to take charge of, or better manage, our lives in the midst of the world’s confusion?”

Their questions about my own plans for 2020 caught me a bit off guard. One benefit of reaching my number of life decades is that I almost automatically have years of plans. Let’s see…

The year will kick off with helping Homey Wes Clogston find an elk, just as he gave me a hand with mine in December. Then, there is the new Roger Browning novel, “The Reckoning of Rance,” which our Reecer Creek Publishing will have in print and e-book form by late February.

Before summer, I’ll hang out with my Safari Afrika friends at a couple sportsman’s shows in Portland and Long Beach. Somewhere in there, we will get those Grand-Hucklings trained on a well-supervised handgun range near Lost Wages, Nevada. Then, Son James and Son-in-Law Chris and I will wander to Texas for a spring wild hog hunt.

Fishing will start with spring Chinook on the Columbia River with Shane Magnusson. That should be a good tune-up for an early summer trip for sturgeon near the Lower Columbia with a couple favorite homeys. I haven’t been told yet, but I may have to go to Alaska for sockeye.  And about that time, I reckon I’ll be arranging fishing and camping for the invasion of Colorado Grand-Hucklings.

In late August, we will be providing HAM radio support for the 100+ runners finding their way through the Cascade Crest 100-Mile Run. Labor Day weekend will find family and friends camped near Ilwaco, preparing for our annual tuna fishing trip.

Come fall, of course, there is that every-year deer and antelope safari to Wyoming, followed by armed walks through the hills, sage, and forests of Paradise for elk and deer.

I’m sure that, somewhere in there, other plans will develop. It’s all part of a personal commitment to being in charge of my part of making a settled life on this occasionally unsettled planet.

And, yes, from somewhere way up there, I do hear a very deep, loving, chuckle.

Here’s to 2020!

Written by Jim Huckabay. Posted in Uncategorized

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