Wake, work, sleep, repeat, we all know the routine. “Make hay while the sun shines!”, they used to say, meaning to get stuff done when you have opportunity to do so. When it comes to making time for ourselves many Americans simply can’t or won’t. Activities have become outdoor activities, and something to be eschewed for the seeming simplicity of just staying inside to binge watch a mindless show.
I appreciate a good story the same as anyone else but, we’re losing ourselves to fantasy and prepackaged table fare. Much of our time, or free time as it is today, is disappearing faster than stuffed Chinese unicorns at a fair. Free time used to go towards our once common knowledge base of living with nature, passed from parent to child and reaching back to before the words existed to express it. Today a Monday morning conversation might start with where you got your half caff latte`, where as in the past Monday’s conversation might have started with the weekend’s successful hunt. Where did those days go?
It’s true there are more people taking up hunting and bush craft these days, but nowhere like it was when I was small. Back then T.V. was two channels of black and white broadcast static and what was on didn’t matter because you were tired from all the fun you had outside that day. Cable came along and changed things for my sisters but not me, I was still trying to find out the best way to get a pheasant or a rabbit and dreaming of owning my very own .22 caliber Winchester lever gun.
Receiving my first BB gun was like growing up a whole step in one action, making me part of the men’s group instead of the mom’s and little kids group. Growing up without a dad made most of these rites of passage non-existent, but to my Mom’s credit she stepped up and did her best for my sisters and I. Getting my first single shot break action shotgun from my Mom was a quantum leap into adulthood, being responsible, and being me. Going camping had a whole new sense of urgency, should I bring the shotgun, BB gun, or just a pocket knife? Was there going to be any other kids with guns, or boys and girls to hunt with?
Getting my first BB gun meant I had to get any sort of job I could get to buy BBs and targets. Helping on a paper route for pocket money one day, cutting the lady down the street’s lawn the next. I was working outside every minute I wasn’t in school just to be able to play outside when work and homework were both done. Chores and homework were on the fast attack so I could still have some daylight to shoot my Daisy BB gun, there wasn’t time for video games or T.V.
Any sort of weekend or holiday was now planned out in detail to get the most out of my time available. Getting up with fishing rod and rifle or shotgun and bow meant I was greeting the sun as it rose in languid slowness to my already highly productive day. Riding my bike back home with a catch to clean or a meal to skin/pluck meant that noon was a milestone. It all had to be done by noon at the latest or supper would be late and there wouldn’t be a hearty feast.
While other kids were wasting their weekends and quarters on a new thing called video games, I worked so I would be able to go outside and learn to live off the land. I always marveled at the pioneers who made their way with a musket and a knife, or the natives still in the stone age.
After I grew up and joined the military at the very ripe and seasoned age of seventeen I got my fill of grown ups, men and women alike. I fell into the wake, work, sleep, repeat trap and let the years blink by. The rites of passage fishing and hunting were replaced by a time card and prepackaged meals. It wasn’t until somewhat recently that I joined a family who still had good values and work ethic. That family was The Gun Room Inc. in Portland Oregon.
If seeing all of these fine new and old guns has taught me anything it’s that some of the best days have gone by and some of the best ones are yet to come. Don’t let your best days go by without living a little. Treat yourself to the outdoors once in awhile before it’s too late and you can’t anymore. Teach your kids the knowledge passed onto you so they can survive in a world of partisan politics and good intentions, where decision makers spend their time glued to a T.V. to see the weather out their windows.
The Gun Room Inc. is a family friendly place where the outside is our living room and the our T.V. is a campfire where real stories are told one generation to the next. Break the cycle and go outside, The Gun Room Inc. is your outfitter in Portland Oregon with three generations of outdoors people under one roof.
The Gun Room Inc.
5537 SE Foster Rd.
Portland Oregon 97206