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November 20, 2023

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving this coming week, and even with Joe Biden in the White House wandering around like last year’s turkey and Kamala Harris cackling like this year’s turkey, there’s a lot to be thankful for, even though almost none of it originates in Washington, DC!

I’m grateful it’s already deer season in Arkansas and many parts of the country, and before it’s over, I hope to fill my freezer again this year with delicious, healthy, lean, and organic venison.  I have friends and even a few grafted-in family members who aren’t all that pumped about eating Bambi’s Daddy, but I just sing the lyrics to “Circle of Life” and remind them that if they really are into healthy protein that is as organic as the acorns off the oak trees, then venison is the meat of choice.  I use it in my world famous deer meat chili for example.  World famous, you ask?  Well, they probably don’t know about it in Beijing, Teheran, or North Korea, but why would I share my chili recipe with the Communist Chinese who have done little to share with us other than the Wuhan Virus?  And I sure wouldn’t give it to the Ayatollah in Iran.  Heck, Joe’s giving them billions already and they are turning around and making Christmas rockets for Hamas and Hezbollah.  And sadly, folks in North Korea are reduced to eating grass clippings and tree bark and wouldn’t know a good bowl of deer chili from a bowl of cow droppings.  So maybe my deer meat chili isn’t famous everywhere, but in MY world, it’s famous, and that makes it “world famous chili.”  And good venison can make wonderful tacos, spaghetti, meat loaf, summer sausage, and of course chicken-fried deer steak which cooked in my big black-iron skillet will make you jump up and break-dance on the kitchen table. 

And I’m grateful that duck season will start this weekend in Arkansas.  Did I mention that Arkansas is the duck hunting capital of the world.  And yes, I actually do mean the entire world as people fly from as far away as Europe to experience the sacred sight of thousands of mallards coming in for a landing across the Arkansas prairie and throughout the Delta in an area that is comprised of the White, Arkansas and Mississippi rivers along the food source of the most productive rice fields in the United States located in east Arkansas.  I often say that the first day in heaven will be a flooded timber duck hunt.  Not sure what we do after that, but God wants us to get off to a great start and it’s obvious we’ll kick things off with our heavenly versions of a 12-gauge Benelli semi-automatic shotgun and busting ducks for the first night’s dinner in glory!

Of course there are other things to be thankful for.  Like “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” although if we don’t do better in the coming elections, we might not have any of those things left.  And then we’ll be hunting just to feed the family and not just to supplement our groceries and to just enjoy the outdoors. 

I’m obviously thankful for my family—a wife of almost 50 years, 3 grown children who all turned out pretty good, and 7 absolutely adorable grandchildren.  I’m thankful for good health, except for the aches and pains that my doctor dismisses as an issue of “age.”  And I’m thankful for a wonderful church family where I hear strong Biblical messages, enjoy edifying relationships with fellow pilgrims in the process of life, and who fellowship with those who genuinely bear one another’s burdens.

So as we prepare for Thanksgiving, and I start preparing not one but two turkeys for the masses who will descend on my house Thanksgiving Day, I will not be focusing on the odorous politics of Washington, but the magnificent aroma of both smoked and fried turkey, cornbread dressing, pecan pie, and gallons of iced tea.  And I’m still glad to be an American!

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