My brother, Billy, doesn’t talk about his childhood as much as I do, but then most people don’t. He doesn’t understand how I can remember things from the time I was two.
Last night I was talking to him and he was telling me about going turkey hunting with Grandpa Sanderson. Grandpa applied for every hunting permit he could and got any license available to hunt and fish.
On this particular day, they went looking for a turkey. They parked near a big hill, left Grandma in the car, and proceeded to carry out Grandpa’s plan to scare up a turkey.
Billy, who was around ten at the time, walked along one side of the hill and Grandpa walked along the other side. It was in the afternoon, so Grandpa told Billy to make sure the sun was in front of him. That way he wouldn’t get lost. They would meet up as they rounded the hill.
As Billy was walking, the weather started to turn and it began to cloud up and snow. Soon, he could no longer see the sun. He panicked and made the decision to turn around and run towards where he thought the car was. It wasn’t long before he realized he was lost.
Grandpa had always told him that if such a thing happened, he should go down the hill until he got to a creek or fence line. Something he could follow that would most likely lead him to where he would be found.
Thankfully, he remembered Grandpa’s words of wisdom. As he got closer to the bottom, he barely heard Grandpa calling for him. Billy said they were about a quarter of a mile from each other.
As they walked to the car, Grandpa said it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to tell Grandma he had gotten lost.
Their next challenge was to get the car back on the road. It had snowed quite a bit by then and it was getting dark. Billy said Grandpa had a pretty high powered car back then and when he gunned it, it got him places most cars couldn’t go.
I’m sure Grandpa was pretty terrified when he thought his young grandson was lost on that hill. As he waited at the bottom, he must have prayed that Billy would remember what he had told him to do. It was a situation that could have ended in tragedy.
I’ve had a few close calls in my lifetime. I’m sure most people have. That car that barely missed slamming into us or the time we caught a child about to be in harm’s way.
How often do we think about those times when the worst didn’t happen…when we were saved from experiencing a disaster that would have altered our lives forever?
Those recollections will change resentments into gratitude in a hurry!