This time of October is one of my favorite times of year. The fall colors are spectacular, the weather is still bearable and the holidays are in the forecast.
It is also a time of a couple of key birthdays. My brother Rob would have been 57 today, an unpleasant reminder that cancer is an unfair beast. I miss him every day. Yesterday was my nephew/godson Nick's birthday. He and I were always close when he was a little guy and he's grown into a good man/husband/father. Celebrating birthdays of loved ones lightens up the angst of COVID-19 and all the fun political crap that is going on.
One of the better memories I have of Rob was the "Landwehr Hunt" that takes place every year over this weekend. The one year I was able to attend was pretty cool because all 4 of us brothers were there for it. It was held in Fergus Falls every year and usually involved everything but hunting. Cards, smart talk and adult beverages were the substitute for any actual gunfire, though the year I went up we did do some trap shooting. (No clay pigeons were harmed. I am a horrible shot!) I've never laughed as hard as I did in the round barn with my brothers Rob and Paul that first night of the Hunt. I don't know what we talked about, but I vaguely remember something about the "killing floor" and baby back ribs.
Rob's life was unfairly brief, but his light shone brightly. It continues to shine in the eyes and lives of his wife and two daughters. They manifest all of his best qualities, not the least of was his mantra: "Live life to the fullest!" I remember him saying that on the regular. He did and his words have stayed with me.
It's also the time I usually go muskie fishing, but that has been moved back a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for a post on how that trip goes.
So in these days of COVID, I've taken to appreciating each day. It's weird I know, but the recent death of Eddie Van Halen at 65, was a shock to me and a reminder that rockstars are as mortal as anyone else.
My advice to everyone is to shut off the news, breathe deep, take a walk and thank whatever God you pray to for the breath in your lungs. Life is short, but filled with so much to be thankful for. It sure beats walking around in a funk.
I love ya brother!