I just got back from a long weekend vacation in Southwest Iowa.  I bet that is one of the least used sentences in the history of the world.  But it’s true.  We had our annual Bedford Birds and Booze Hunting trip last weekend, and we had a great time, as usual.  The harvest of birds was plentiful, the abundance of food and drink was prolific, the games of 500 and Risk were epic, and the conversation was nothing short of juvenile and immature.  A true “Man’s Trip”!

When you get to a certain age, especially with kids, you have to put some events on the calendar a year in advance, to make sure the date stays open, and to remind you that you still have a life outside of your immediate family.

Unfortunately, having it on the calendar that far in advance wasn’t enough to trigger my brain against scheduling a physical the day after returning home.  I decided to wait on the blood work to check my cholesterol and other vital information for another time.  The numbers on the scale had already brought enough regret for my dietary habits of the holidays and the gluttony of the Bedford Hunt.  My 2019 resolutions lasted exactly 2 days.

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One thing about trips that changes over the years is how you pack.  Not too many years ago, for family trips, we would have to put all of our clothes in a Thule pack on our roof so we would have enough room for Pack ‘n Plays, toys, diaper bags and coolers of baby… stuff.  This year, we had enough room to have almost all the seats up and stack things no more than once.  It helped that we stuffed mom and dad’s suburban full, I guess.

For hunting, I used to worry more about making sure I had enough Advil, a few nice shirts in case we went out for drinks, and some sweat pants for lounging in the lodge.  This year, I made a note to double check for the following items: BioFreeze (modern day Ben-Gay), knee braces, boot driers, Prilosec, cabin slippers, and earplugs (for snoring of bunkmates, not for shooting).

On Sunday, one of the guys put together a private page for all of us to download our pictures and videos from this year’s trip, and from year’s before.  Are we as tough and good-looking as we used to be?  Are we as energetic and fun?  Are we as cool as we once were?

Damn right we are.

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