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Archive for the ‘My Family’ Category

DSC_0001 Allen K. Smail June 4, 1923 to June 20, 1999. My dad was setting in his car when he had heard of Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor of December 7, 1941. He was drafted in 1942. He was in the European theater returning home in the fall of 1945. I am very proud, and respectful of my dad for I am what I am because of all his efforts to teach me to respect the flag; honor the military, and to never forget what those brave men, and women did to preserve America. I hope America will be able to come through the events happening today.

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Christmas 2015

 

Laurie with her Santa cap!

Laurie with her Santa cap!

On Christmas Day, my small family attacked my old homestead. Those in attendance were my mother Ruth, of course; my step-father, Bob; my sister, Ruthie with her husband Tim; and Laurie, and I! That’s it!

 

My sister, Ruthie with Laurie.

My sister, Ruthie with Laurie.

My mother, Ruth!

My mother, Ruth!

We went about the normal exchange of gifts prior to feasting! We engaged in much laughter, and picking on each other as is our norm.

 

My brother-in-law Tim ...the Ford man!  haha

My brother-in-law Tim …the Ford man! haha

 

Bob Miller, my step father!

Bob Miller, my step father!

Christmas season does bring about some sadness for me. I always attempt to capture those nostalgic feelings of earlier times, and they can not be found.  I remember singing Christmas carols in school including those with a spiritual wording. The attacks on anything of Christ at Christmas tears at my heart. Last year I turned over the Charlie Brown Christmas and Linus’ Biblical reading from the Book of Luke had been edited out.  The passing of my father, Allen in 1999, saddens me. This list can  go on forever. At least, I know in my heart I work with keeping Christ in my Christmas.

Mom modeling her new jammies!

Mom modeling her new jammies!

However, we still enjoy the family functions this time of the year!

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Time Passes On

Cherry Run

Cherry Run

On December 23rd, I needed some walk time. One area I visited was my father’s old homestead. I was last here to walk around 35 years ago, if not longer. This home site was, and is, along US 422 at the Cherry Run Intersection, as known by the locals.

The house was behind these big trees.

The house was behind these big trees.

The house is long gone. All that is remaining are the foundation stones. the foundation is thick with brush, so getting any photos of it was impossible. I remember the house. There are pictures of my cousin, Donnie , and I, setting in a rocking chair while in the house. We were very young.

Old apple tree.

Old apple tree.

I went in the house some time later after the last residents moved out. they had left the rooms filled with garbage, smashed the walls, and windows.

 

A view looking north from the house.

A view looking north from the house.

The barn foundation is still visible as well. the foundational stones are currently on the south (Right) side of 422.                                   DSC_0010

Barn foundation.

Barn foundation.

Remnants of the old orchard  are still present. Old, ancient-looking, apple trees are still growing near the watercourse of Cherry Run. Pruning has been absent for over sixty years.

 

Bridge where old US 422 was.

Bridge where old US 422 was.

Just a short jaunt below the barn foundation one can see an old narrow bridge. Vegetation is growing on the bridge’s surface. A well used deer trail, also, crosses the bridge. This was the old US 422. I think the bridge may have been in use by 1930.

Just being there brought back many memories of my family. I sure would like to go back in time to see the place in the day. My grandmother left in the late 1950 time frame. My grandfather had died in 1950.

Time passes on!                                                                                                                                     DSC_0026

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MISSED!

My step father, Bob, and I, spent half a day pursuing whitetails! And the day was wonderful!

Bob walked down n old right-of-way while I circled to push out some deer. I sent a couple past him, but a shot was possible. I walked up to him to discuss what had just happened. I told Bob,  “I see movement!” I felt certain I saw a part of a deer. Field glasses were worthless for we were facing the early sun.

DSC_0014  Bob remained in position and I walked back the same route he recently walked down. I spotted two deer bedded down. I believe these deer allowed Bob to walk past and remained tight. I looked back and made some motion of deer bedded. I continued on. I should have motioned Bob to come forward to see if the deer would have held their position. the shot would have been reasonably close…approximately 35 yards. Bob has trouble seeing deer in those conditions, so I continued up, and over, and walked in behind them. The deer got up and stood. Another great shot for me if I would have been hunting. Bob held off for he wasn’t sure where I was at. I was seeing an ear moving.

I backtracked and circled again and watched as the deer walked to me.  I went back and motioned Bob to come back up to me, and we walked along a field’s edge. Bob repositioned as I tried to move the deer around.

I walked backwards and entered the woods, and immediately saw a deer leg. The deer moved out. I played tag with these deer. I saw them four times again in less than two acres. Finally they moved past Bob. He didn’t get a shot. Again, I was getting unbelievable chances for close shots.

We walked side-by-side as we walked along. Suddenly, a deer crossed in front of us, and she was only about 25 yards. She looked at us, and began feeding. Bob wasn’t sure if he wanted to shoot the small deer, so he hesitated.

After a few minutes this deer turned back towards the way it came and started to walk. Bob decided he was going to shoot, but he missed. I played the sceneraio  out searching for any sigh of a hit. Bob must have pulled the shot for the deer was very close.

We had a lot of deer sightings before heading back to mom’s for brunch!

 

 

 

 

 

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My step father, Bob Miller, and I situated ourselves about forty yards apart this morning. The field we were watching has a lot of terrain contours so our separation allowed us to see the entire field. I have another antlerless tag, but I wasn’t carrying a firearm this day. I am waiting for flintlock season.

DSC_0002  The ground surface was white with frost. I was literally prone on the ground enjoying a beautiful sunrise and listening to a little turkey chatter from across the hollow, when I saw a doe walking into the field. She was followed by two others. I whistled to Bob, and motioned him to walk backwards into the woods and come to me from behind. Unfortunately, the deer were not in the mood to stay for long. Bob managed to see the three deer briefly before they entered the woods.

We edged along the field, but the deer had moved down, and over the side of the hill.                                             DSC_0006

I told Bob where to go, and I would walk along the hill’s side to try to push any deer towards him. I circled the field’s edge, and two deer came over the skyline. Bob saw them, but couldn’t get a shot.

I finally walked the pre-discussed drive, and in moments I heard his shot. I hurried to his position, and found Bob standing over a nice doe. Bob said ten to twelve deer came through from all directions. One stopped! While we were there with the deer I noticed another deer  walking. It was a small spike.                                                            DSC_0007

Later on, I spotted a nice eight-pointer with does in the distance. The buck was interested in breeding. The does were not!

 

 

 

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A Deer For Bob

 

Bob and his deer.

Bob and his deer.

I had a great day afield. I saw a lot of deer and passed on a several shots waiting for perfection I guess. I have been hunting with my Andrew Verner style flintlock affectionately called, Old Jacob! Open sights and one shot and having a miss yesterday had me waiting.

My step father, Bob and I were watching seven deer feeding in a field and we planned a strategy. We went around in a semi-circle to close the distance and observe their movements. We succeeded and watched the seven go up and over a rise in the field. We had to do such actions to get the deer into a place for safety reasons.

I told Bob to go down the slope and bare right to watch a certain side of the hill where the deer often move through. I continued to make an arc around the area to move in and hopefully locate the deer.

I entered the woodlands when I saw some movement behind a pile of treetops. For an instance I thought I was seeing turkeys before realizing the movements were deer ears. In a second deer exploded and headed towards Bob. BAM!!!! Bob got a deer!

After congratulations and the story Bob tagged and dressed the deer. I volunteered to the dragging as Bob would go and bring his truck to a meeting place along the township road. this would greatly shorten the drag.

I continued to hunt seeing more deer and a flock of about 25 turkeys.

 

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DSC_0006 We discussed options for Father’s day. My sister Ruthie Wolfe suggested we go for a picnic and Clear Creek State park became the site where we would go. DSC_0004

The six of us arrived at the park on a beautiful summer-like day. We saw some deer including three young bucks. We watched for bear too. Mom wished to see a bear, but the only ones we saw were a distortion of facts. Three of us, on a hike, decided to play political personnel with her and spin some facts. We told her we saw a bear with two cubs. Later, we told her the truth.

The Family

The Family

Some of us did do some limited hiking within the confines of the park. I always enjoy traveling through the woods searching for things to see and photos to take.

DSC_0021                              DSC_0033

The actual Clear Creek was flowing faster than normal due to the amounts of recent rain, but the waters were clear and pure. However, the Clarion River was high and slightly brown. The Clear Creek flows into the Clarion River.

DSC_0034   My step father Bob appreciated the event. He has filled my father’s shoes in many ways. The six of us make up the family. My mom Ruth and Bob. My sister, Ruthie and her husband Tim and Laurie and I make up the Last of the Mohicans.

 

Bob and Ruthie trying to be photographers!

Bob and Ruthie trying to be photographers!

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