Jan
02

Security and the New Year

Thus begins year 21 of our regular weekly meetings in this “Inside the Outdoors” space. It probably calls for a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.” Or something.

And, here we go again. Another new year. Another fresh start. One more chance to think about what awaits us in the new, pure year.

“What shall we do with this shiny new 2019?” The question was on the floor of the year=s final meeting of the Reecer Creek Rod, Gun, Working Dog & Outdoor Think Tank Benevolent Association. “…And with all the chatter about national and personal security in these crazy times, how do we not spend too much time fretting over family, friends and country?”

There seem to be plenty of folks dealing with national security these days – with varying levels of agreement – but the part about personal security swept me back to a decades-ago afternoon I spent reminiscing with my late, favorite, uncle and aunt. When the subject turned to keeping home and hearth safe, and my longing for the days when we left our keys in our cars and front doors unlocked, they had a few thoughts. Uncle Ed, who may have spent too many years up Little Chumstick Creek out of Leavenworth, Washington, suggested that the only way a guy could be safe with unlocked doors these days is to have pet wildlife in the house. He figured a wolf, mountain lion, or badger would do the trick.

My Aunt Evy lost a purse to a snatcher a time before our sit-down, and had her own thoughts about that personal security business. She liked the wildlife idea, but needed something that would fit in her purse or a shopping bag, and was leaning toward a gila monster or rattlesnake.  The trick, as she saw it, would be to find such a critter, and be cool enough to walk around with it in the bag hanging off her arm or shoulder. (Through the remainder of her life, she entertained the family by conjuring up one impractical and funny idea after another.)

Not long after that sit-down, I was invited to speak with the Central Association for Lifelong Learning (CALL). At that luncheon, we talked about looking at things from a little different perspective than “normal” (which I often enjoy doing). There, I raised that “chicken and egg” question: “What if the chicken is just the egg=s way of making another egg?”

The whole question of thinking outside the norm inspired Scotty Cahill (one of the key movers in CALL) to tell me the story of the home security system “Shorty” Hoerling had put in place in the middle of the last Century. Apparently Shorty was a Finn or Dane – Scotty wasn’t sure which as he’d been pretty young when their paths crossed. Anyhow, Shorty had a log cabin up Johnson Creek out at one of the fringes of our valley, and had some call for concern about others honoring his privacy. I never met Shorty, but I know I’d have liked him, and Uncle Ed would have given him a medal.

Seems Shorty had drilled holes in his base logs, and sprinkled wheat on the floor inside the door. Wheat, of course, brings mice on the run. Mice bring rattlesnakes. Rattlers react negatively when trod upon by almost anything. Word got around I suppose, and Shorty apparently managed to keep most of his belongings at home. I don’t see why this wouldn’t be effective today, but the RCRGWD&OTTBA Home and Holiday Security Task Force has asked the Lawsuit Prevention Group to rule on lawsuit probability before recommending it to the general membership.

Certainly, there are any number of simpler approaches to family and home security than those posed above – not many as creative, however. Be that as it may, many of my homey friends are seriously looking at options as we jump into 2019.

The question of what lies ahead for 2019 likely awaits a year-long response. For some reason, I have a pretty good idea what’s coming this next year. No doubt there will be surprises, but I cannot recall a year in which so many of the things about which I care are already on the 2019 docket.

Two books are in pretty good drafts at this point (one by a Texas rancher with a gift for telling a story – he has handwritten around a hundred novels).

Son James and son-in-law Chris and I have our Texas hog hunt and Wyoming deer and antelope safari on the schedule. Edward and others are on track for fishing and other outdoor adventure.

I have planned for my abundant preference points for moose, sheep, goat, elk and deer permits to be finally drawn. (I just know this is my year!)

I have an intention to get back to South Africa this summer.

Perhaps the most momentous – and absolute – outdoor event here in Paradise is that the Kittitas County Field and Stream Club will turn 100 years old during the early portion of 2019. Watch for – and join – the celebrations.

Ultimately, it’s up to us, isn’t it? Like fresh snow awaiting our tracks, this year lies undisturbed before us.

Here’s to 2019!

Written by Jim Huckabay. Posted in Uncategorized

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