Why do I like being outside so much? Playing under wide open skies, running on pine needle laden trails or just sitting on the porch makes me happy. A big inspiration for my love of the outdoors was my dad. 

He grew up in a small settlement in East Texas, a little bit out of Beaumont, named Pine Ridge. This community set in the Big Thicket grew up around a Southern Baptist Church. My bedtime stories were tales of his days growing up hunting hogs and deer with dogs and guns and fishing and playing with his cousins around the creek that ran behind his family’s land.

He loved East Texas, but one of his favorite times of the year was the annual deer hunting trip to our neighbor’s family place in Castell, a little German town in the Texas Hill Country. One of my first memories was playing in the Llano River down the hill from Castell in the summer. Now my sister and I meet there in the same swimming hole that is halfway between our houses to let the kids play.

At every holiday and in the summer we were kicked out of the house at Pine Ridge and played in the woods, tried to catch crawdads with string and bacon. I went squirrel hunting with him for the first time, I ate peanut M&Ms for the first time and he watched for squirrels. My sister always said he hardly ever shot anything because he talked so much, we all think he really just liked hunting for the time he was able to sit outside.

He’s been gone six years. My kids never got to meet my dad, but I hope I can tell them all about him through adventures in the pineywoods of East Texas, river and hiking trips in the hill country, hunting, fishing and all the other fun things to do outside. I’d like to leave them a legacy of loving the outdoors just like my dad left me.

#legacy #outdoors #easttexaspines


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