In Christmas of 2004, my brother, Shawn gave me a framed picture of me and my Dad hiking into our favorite quail hunting covert, “The Trail to Quail.” This treasured photo now hangs over my bookshelf and I look at it every day and remember that special day with my Dad and Shawn.
Last Christmas in 2010, I received some truly special gifts from the heart. My oldest daughter, Emma, has become a very talented artist. I was truly surprised and delighted to open Emma’s present and to see that she had painted a plaque with my two Brittanys, Sunny and Misty, two flushing birds, and a sign with the words, “GONE HUNTIN'”. She knows me oh so well! And to top it off, my Dad, who is a retired medical doctor, handcrafted a leather wallet with a flushing pheasant. Now those are both gifts from the heart! Their makers took their time and used their talents to create something that they knew I would appreciate. They gave of themselves.
Last year, I read with great interest a reprinted story in Gray’s Sporting Journal by Edwyn Sandys who wrote outdoor stories back in the early 1900’s. Shawn, who already has almost any bird-hunting book you can think of, is a hard one to buy for. You have to go pretty far back in the past to find books that Shawn doesn’t already have. With much thought, I decided to order one of Edwyn Sandys’ books, Sporting Sketches, for my brother for Christmas. The book is over 100 years old. When Shawn opened it, tears came to his eyes as he read an inscription, “Leland Linn, Christmas 1910.” The original owner had received this book as a Christmas present exactly 100 years before. Can you imagine? I really had no idea when I ordered this book online of this curious history, but agreed that this was truly a special coincidence.
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Excellent post, Andy. I feel the same way. I remember when I was 8 I wanted nothing but a pocket knife with built in fork and spoon like the one my Dad had from his Boy Scout days. I had to make excuses for the tears that filled my eyes when I opened the package on Christmas morning and found my Dad's old knife in there since he couldn't find a new one.
Ryan, What a great gift and story! I bet that's one of the best gifts you can remember. Thanks for sharing.Andy