My mind wandered today back to the time when I was in my early teens. Still a loner trying to keep as much distance from my two sisters as I could. If I had my hickory stick, my dog poochy, and my hunting knife I had all I needed to be happy.
The hickory stick deserves some description. You see hickory is a very hard wood so I found a young tree a little over 1 1/2 inches in diameter, cut a section that would make it tall enough for my height and carefully peeled the bark off exposing the hard wood. I allowed it to dry and fashioned a cap on the end that would be in contact with the ground to protect that end from rocks & moisture.
OK, with my trusty hickory stick seasoned dry and hard it was a useful tool to beat back briars and soft undergrowth as I made my way through the wilderness of the woods behind our home. We lived in a very rural part of the county and there was more woods than homes. I think back at how amazing it was to have those woods that totally brought joy to my life. Inside there were streams of running water, hills, ravines, nut trees, blackberries and the sheer beauty of God's creations.
Streams were always my favorite part of the woods. There I could find crawfish, turtles, tadpoles and gave Poochy a place to refresh herself. I used to wonder if there was gold there but never panned for any. I was too busy looking for anything live to investigate.
One day I was making my way through some rather thick growth of pine trees and came upon an opening into a circular area about 8 to 10 feet in diameter that was carpeted with the softest moss that made me want to just stay there forever. I'll never forget the way it felt to the touch and how awesome I thought it was.
A little west of our house was the County Home for the elderly and behind it was what we called the county dump. More like a treasure chest for a young boy. You know, one person's junk is another's treasure. I would find books, small appliances and not really sure what I ever brought home but it was exciting just the same.
Every now & then I would happen across an old moonshine still that the ATF guys had busted up. Never did run across an operating one.
I shared in a previous post about finding an abandoned school bus in our woods. Now picture just the shell sitting on the ground with no bottom or wheels and no cab. Kind of like an upside down U with the back in tack. I cleared away the brush at the entrance and the inside was reasonably clean. I eventually found a white 5 gal. bucket that turned upside down made a decent seat where I could sit and ponder my next adventures. I especially liked having it on rainy days when I could sit in there listening to the rain drops on the roof and could think and just enjoy the peacefulness.
Like I said earlier if I had my stick, knife & Poochy I felt like I had all that really mattered. I was blessed that there were not all the electronic distractions that keep people in their bedrooms or living rooms instead of enjoying the beauty of nature. I also did not even consider the thought of ugliness in the world like drugs, criminals, foreign powers, etc. My mind was not cluttered with junk. I miss those days more now than ever.