When you are having a great time, when you are doing something that you love to do more than anything else in the world, it seems like a human condition that we don't realize those moments and cherish them and hold onto them and love them and know that this is as good as it gets. When your best friends or loved ones are there with you and the memories of these times live with you forever. You look back and wish and dream that those times would be there, paused in time, but they never are, they never are.
When you are hunting with your good buddies and your son is little and the day is perfect because the birds are flying non stop and everyone is shooting well and your dog retrieves every goose without wavering and comes back to you with a little blood on his face and tail wagging furiously and presents the bird to you like a good boy. And your young son shoots his first bird and everyone in the goose blind is happy , overjoyed for him. The look on his face is pure joy and the smile on your face never seems to never want to leave you. And then when the hunt is over, you go to the local bar and grill that has been there forever, the one that George Jones got kicked out of one time after a concert because he was too drunk and acting up, yes , that bar. And the beer is cold and the cream of crab soup is full of backfin. And there is that one local guy that just had his deer made into jerky and he brings you over some to try even though you just met him a few minutes ago, just because that is the way folks are in the country, just good and solid Americans and citizens. Your feet are thawing out from the cold hunt and the jukebox is playing Hank Jr. and the aforementioned Mr. Jones, and you smile because your 10 year old son put those songs on and people start giving him money to play more songs just like that, and he plays Skynyrd and Marshall Tucker and the folks at the bar, the Vietnam Veteran playing Keno and the lady who has been married 4 times and the guy who gave you the jerky are amazed at the kid's musical taste and they actually start to clap when the next song comes on and they congratulate me for raising such a fine son.
And then you get back into your truck and start to drive home but first you must stop at the High's convenience store at the top of the hill on your way home and the lady behind the counter greets you like a long lost friend and she calls you honey as she rings up your Diet Mountain Dew and black coffee and the three dog bones for your Labrador because he deserves it for being such a good boy.
You walk out of Highs and you notice that your truck has mud on the tires from where you parked at the farm earlier and it makes you feel like a country boy and damn I guess that you are with your shotguns and country music and your hunting experience of 30 years or so. And Hank Jr and Creed Fisher come on your playlist as you drive and they sing of outlaw women and being blue collar and then Chris Knight comes on and he's the best, along with Hank, of course.
You look in the rear view mirror in the back seat and your son is fast asleep and the Labrador is lying on him like a big black blanket and the dog is dreaming and twitching as he dreams and you think that he is dreaming of retrieving more geese and you are happy that he is able to do what he is born to do.
A snapshot in time, a day to remember, and somewhere between Maryland and New Jersey, you realize that this day, this day right here, is one that may never come again, and it makes you happy that you experienced it, but the realization that it may never come again, may never be this way again, tears you up a little inside.