I was cleaning up some old files this morning and ran across this piece I wrote several years ago. I thought some of you guys might enjoy this quick read. There are only two of us left, the other two have sadly passed on.
We all chase. We chase everything, it is in our nature. We started chasing at a very young age on the playgrounds of schools. We chased grades later on as our educations intensified. We chased the opposite sex, and for some that became a life long endeavor. And we chased success in the working world. All of our lives we chase.
Some never catch what they are chasing. Some do and discover that they didn’t really want nor need what they were chasing. And although we all chase different things, we all want the same reward. We all chase after something that we believe will make us happy.
I have chased everything in my life. And just like you, the things I chased after were constantly changing as my life changed. Most all of us chased money even though we were always told that it could never buy us happiness. It could however buy food and shelter and unless we decided to revert to the way our ancestors lived, it was a chase that was mandatory.
We meet at Perkins Pancake House every Wednesday morning at nine o’clock. We have done this religiously for over two decades. We will miss this meeting occasionally for various reasons, most all having to do with family or travel commitments. But four men who share a common bond born of the chase do their very best to always be present at this weekly breakfast. We have realized that one of the greatest things you can ever chase is friendship. And we four are some of the lucky ones who were successful in this chase. Our friendships bring each other immeasurable happiness and I just cannot envision my life without these three men.
One Wednesday morning in February it snowed. It snowed a lot. The roads were horrible as Southern Ohio is not known for its ability to deal with lots of snow. It didn’t matter. I knew the other three would be at Perkins. There were six vehicles in the parking lot when I arrived. Three four wheel drive pickup trucks I recognized, the other three suv’s I assumed belonged to people employed by the restaurant. We didn’t receive mail that Wednesday but four friends made it to breakfast.
It was on that snowy Wednesday morning that we made the decision. We were tired of winter. We all admitted to feeling the cold more now then we did in our youth. Yet getting away to some warm climate or sunny beach may have appealed to our wives, it did little to nothing for the four of us. And besides, this was not about the wives. This was about four good friends who love to hunt. We decided we needed to chase once again . We decided to chase fall.
The four of us are now at a junction in our lives that has once again changed the direction of our chase. We now know that our chases will become more and more limited with every ensuing year. Time will see to that. But we will not go down without a fight. And on a snowy Ohio morning in February, we decided to cheat time. We decided that one fall a year was not enough. We decided that this year we would see two falls. And plans were made to turn our spring into fall with a trip to South America.
It is now the evening of April 28th. and I am sitting on the veranda of a hunting lodge in the Bahia Blanca Province of Argentina. My shoulder is sore and bruised from the pounding it has taken this day from the Spanish over and under 12 gauge supplied by our hosts. My three friends are reviewing the day and laughing of shots missed and shots made as they sip on their pre-dinner cocktails. They tease me as I ply the keys to my laptop and write my thoughts about our day. And as I look at these three men enjoying the camaraderie of one another and the moment, I realize just how fortunate the four of us are. We chased things all of our lives and by some stroke of good fortune we found each other.
The temperature is dropping quickly and they say there will be frost in the morning.
The chill in the air tells me that fall has indeed arrived.