It’s Been Too Long

Knock! Knock! Is anybody home?

Fair question to ask. Yes, it’s been about 260 days since I last posted to this blog. I suppose with an absence like that I can hardly be called a “BLOGGER” any longer. Ha! Truth is life often gets in the way of good intentions and suddenly you look at the calendar to ask…where has all the time gone?

Quick update on what’s happening in my life. First, I have really gotten into my family genealogy over the past 2 years both as a researcher and a recorder of history. Now, if you know anything about genealogy you understand how time consuming this task can become. I equate it sort of like putting a puzzle together. In the beginning you have all these pieces of information you really don’t know what to do with. Later you recognize how some of the information starts fitting together, but it’s still confusing as hell. Eventually you start working on one area of the puzzle just to make some sense of the overall project goals. Then, through patience, perseverance, and lots and lots of hard work…the overall picture starts to come together and make better sense.

Right now with the genealogy I’m at that point where little stories start to fuel my curiosity…but the overall picture is still years down the road. But I have a goal. The goal is to write a book documenting and preserving what family history I’ve discovered. Quite honestly, for me not to do that I feel how future generations may never experience some of the fascinating information I have learned.

Now, I may have mentioned this before…but I happen to live on the Braaten Family farm that was first established in America back in 1856. Indeed, every fall when I go deer hunting I get to participate in an activity that I can say my ancestors did on this very land 160+ years ago. Not many sportsmen get to experience that sort of hunting heritage. Yet, I get to do that.

And all of this family history study eventually will have a payoff. In the process of learning about my family’s past (I’ve gone as far back as my G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G Grandfather), I have also identified over 200 living relatives in Norway. So, not only has my time been used to research and record history…but I also have been using a great deal of time and resources to make contact with my Norwegian cousins. Someday soon, likely in 2020, I plan to be traveling to Norway and making those face-to-face connections. What a trip that will be!

Oh, there have been other things going on in life, too. Family commitments, teaching and organizing a local SKYWARN team here in the county where I live. I suppose the excuse list could go on.

All this being said…don’t expect that my frequency for posting blogs is going to substantially change in the coming weeks/months. About all I can promise you is that it will not be another 260 days until you read the next “new”post. At least I sure as hell hope not! Thanks for caring enough to read this post and for being a loyal Sportsman’s Blog reader.

Time To Quit Hitting The “Snooze Button” On This Blog

Yeah, I’ve been AWOL for awhile on this blog.   And for that I do apologize.   I understand to have a good blog you need to be consistent and informative…both of which has not been my usual modus operandi over the past several months.   Time for that to change…or at least that is a goal for 2017.

I’ve been well…and I’ve been busy with life.   Running a business out of one’s home(which I have done for 27+ years) and doing so profitably these days demands lots of time and attention.   Not making excuses, but fact is doing the stuff to pay the bills is generally more important than doing the stuff (blogging) that showcases your pastimes in life.   I think most people can appreciate that.

Elsie and Dad enjoy some hot chocolate while sitting in the deer blind.

One of the things I do not apologize for is spending time with my 8–y/o daughter.   When I got married later in life (42) my wife was insistent on wanting to have a child before the two of us got any older.   She kept telling me how having kids changes you; not only bringing a relationship closer together, but also changing one’s overall attitude on life.   Boy, was my wife correct on that life assessment.   Until you’re a parent, you just don’t understand.

But I contend how becoming a parent later in life changes you even more than if you’re a parent in, oh let’s say your mid-20s.   When you are a young parent you see a fairly long time horizon and balance out family and adventure accordingly.   For me, being a more mature parent of a youngster…it’s just different.   It’s not that I don’t hope for a long life remaining (BTW, I turn 54 tomorrow), but I think a more mature parent is just better equipped to appreciate how the best gift you can give a youngster is your time…no matter what is experienced together.   If it’s something in the outdoors, even so much the better.

Back when I worked ambulance I used to have a partner who would radio the hospital with a patient report sometimes saying the person in our care was suffering from “TMB.”   Most often the doctor or nurse on the other end of that conversation would scratch their head wondering just what the hell that acronym related to in the report.   It was simple.   TMB stood for “Too Many Birthdays.”   Indeed, there sometimes reaches a point where the best way to describe what a person is suffering with is explained by the fact they are getting old.

Yes, we all get old and I have discovered how one of the best ways to feel younger again is to live the outdoors through my daughter’s eyes.   Children are like sponges and they want to explore and learn.   If you are lucky enough to have the expertise it simply behooves you to find someone with whom to share that knowledge.   This past fall when my daughter told me, “Dad, you’re not allowed to go hunting anymore unless you take me with!”   Seriously, those words spoken were sweet music to my ears.   To have a child who desires to be with you even if it means being cold, uncomfortable and often tired from early morning wake times…well, there’s just no greater feeling in the world.

Elsie proudly displays the turkey Team Braaten shot last April (Elsie’s 1st turkey).

Truly, I am blessed.   If I had extra time or energy that might have once been spent blogging, instead I have been spending it with my child.

She understands how food doesn’t just come from a grocery store.   She understands how the process of eviscerating a wild critter can have a certain unpleasantness involved with the process.   Moreover, she now accepts that death is an emotional aspect of life and that in nature something must usually die for something else to live.

My daughter dreams of someday being a veterinarian.   She loves animals.   At even this young age she understands how with that career there are lots of unpleasantness involved in order to strive to improve an animal’s health.   Blood is part of what we do…either as hunters or as care providers.   The outdoors is the perfect place to mold this understanding which will benefit her later in life whether nor not she actually achieves her career dreams.

Elsie and I have some exciting adventures planned for the coming year.   I promise to do a better job posting more of those adventures for everyone to see.   Of course, not everything about this blog will now involve my li’l outdoors partner; in fact in 8 days I will be heading off to Vegas for my 26th  SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade).   Wow…26 industry trade-shows?   No wonder I’ve been tired and hitting the snooze button.   Stay tuned….

Here’s Where I’ll Be On Saturday

2014 MNBlogCon Attendee

That’s right…I should be hunting or doing something fun outdoors this Saturday, but instead I’ll be spending all day indoors honing my blogging skills.   Great annual event.   This will be my fourth conference out of five years.   Try not to miss it.   Much to share after the event…I promise.   Stay tuned.