Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Heritage of the Outdoors

While in a state of reminiscence, a friend and I were talking the other day about not so long ago if you had dress shoes that had worn down, you could find a cobbler and have them repaired.  They would put a new sole and heel on and the shoes would be as good as new.  You could also find a seamstress or a tailor to make adjustments to clothing, or even make clothes for you.
I can remember my grandmothers and mother sewing and knitting.  My grandmother would make huge beautiful afghans for us.  When my cousins and I graduated high school, we could expect an afghan in the colors of the colleges we were attending.
Times have changed.  I overheard a young lady who had been married for several months tell her friend how excited she was that she had just made her first home cooked meal.  “It was kind of like my grandmother used to do, but not quite as good” she told her friend.
As technology has grown we have lost some of our abilities and know-how.  Those old memories that bring the small grin on your face thinking of them; they are part of our heritage.  You cannot find a cobbler anymore.  You can get your clothes altered, but it usually involves the dry cleaners and no family member would know how to use the sewing machine or even where to find one.  Afghans take up so much time, they are considered a treasure now if it was handmade.  Even the meal made from the beaming new bride, well that explains a lot about where our society is going.
While we are experiencing more hunters and fishers each year, it is not growing as fast as the population increases.  This means while the overall numbers go up, the percentages are either stagnant or decreasing.  Our technology has pulled the youth of today inside the home, and while they are proficient with the computer and game consoles, they lack in knowledge of the natural world.  Patience, once seen as a virtue, is now a waste of time with our instantaneous gratification from other man-made resources.
The challenge of our current outdoors population is to introduce and teach others the joys of the outdoors and nature.  It is easy enough for someone to get excited seeing a deer from several hundred yards away with every eye from the herd looking toward you.  But get that same person in the woods with several deer within 20 yards without the deer knowing you are there, seeing the deer behave naturally; that is the true experience.
If you have not experienced the real outdoors, or have not experienced it since those good 'ole days from your youth, take time to get out and join nature in its habitat.  If you do hunt and fish, find someone who has not experienced it, whether young or old, and share the excitement of your passion.  The fast paced world of today tends to make our lives speed up as well.  Slow down and live.  Understand what God has provided for us and pass the knowledge of our past generations forward so our heritage continues in practice rather than in history books.

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Bill Howard writes a weekly outdoors column for the Wilson Times and Yancey County News and the bowhunting blog site He is a Hunter Education and International Bowhunter Education instructor, lifetime member of the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, Bowhunter Certification Referral Service Chairman, member and official measurer of Pope and Young, and a regular contributor to North Carolina Bowhunter Magazine.


  1. I really liked this post, so I wanted to leave you a comment on it. I think you are right and it is hard for some people to get out and enjoy life. There is nothing like hunting or fishing in the real world!

    I'm also a brand new follower of your blog and look forward to seeing what your up to.

  2. Thanks for the follow and the comment! I hope you enjoy some of the past posts and future as well! I've got a follow up to this one coming this week (Thursday), so please read, and feel free to share to your friends. Maybe one of these days I can get down there for a nice trip off the Florida coast!

  3. With all the technology available to us, it fails to compare to feel nature all around you. nice post. i enjoyed reading it. i am not into fishing or hunting of any sort but i like natural walking. just hearing the crisp leaves beneath my feet is soothing to the heart.

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