Monday, March 7, 2011

Playing Outdoor Favorites

The Outdoor Blogger Network is always posting great ideas to help out bloggers who are stumped for ideas. While I like for the things here on the blog to be mostly my own ideas , the most recent photo prompt grabbed my attention. OBN prompted us to take a picture of our favorite piece of outdoor gear , be it a fishing rod , a pair of boots or just whatever. The idea was simple - post a picture of your favorite piece of outdoor gear and tell the world why you just can't leave without it.

I've thought about this photo prompt for several days now and I was initially stumped for something that I just had to take with me on every trip to the great outdoors. I have rods that I absolutely love , lures that I consider must haves on some stretches of water and all kinds of other little gadgets that are useful in certain situations. I just couldn't narrow it down to one thing that was my favorite. Until today.

Over the weekend , I was doing some maintenance to my trusted and reliable outdoor companion , when it dawned on me that what I held in my hand was my absolute favorite piece of gear and I would be lost without it.

This particular piece of gear has traveled everywhere with me. I've used it for a hundred different things in the outdoors and also inside. I've used it to cut bait , clean fish and skin animals. The weight of it in my right front pocket has become so familiar to me that I almost panic if I can't find it.
My 3 Blade Uncle Henry
My son watched me intently as I cleaned , oiled and began to sharpen the knife I have carried for over 20 years now. Much like I probably watched when my grandfather first gave me this knife all those years ago. I can remember him showing me how to oil it just right and how to work the blades back and forth with his wrinkled hands , in order to let the oil penetrate into the back spring. He also taught me the basics of handling a knife - how not to cut your fingers , how to sharpen it , why you should always cut away from yourself to avoid injury.

The smell of the 3-in-1 Oil brought back a lot of fond memories. Not only memories of the places I've taken it to and the things I've done with it , but of the man who gave it to me so long ago and the lessons learned from him about how to use it. It was a "Coming of Age" moment for me when he gave me that knife because back then everyone carried a pocket knife. It made me feel grown up and like a real man. As I look back on it now , I think I treasure the time he spent teaching me how to use it and take care of it way more than I do the knife itself. I wouldn't part with it for anything though , because it will always be the symbol of my grandfather's most precious gift to his oldest grandson - his time.

Have a great week!

4 comments:

  1. Just got done with the old scavenger hunt.Pretty good idea. Now lets go catch some fish.

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  2. Wonderful story! I grew up with all men having pocket knives and in my eyes ya'll are suppose to have one at all times! I love the fact that yours is handed down from generation to generation....that makes it even more special!

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  3. After taking the time to think about it, I think you really hit it out of the park with this post. A trusted pocket knife and the memory of your grandfather could not possibly be beat. They are both with you as your enjoy your outdoor activity.

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  4. Thanks LB & Mel! I actually misplaced this knife last year , and I went crazy trying to find it. Destroyed the house looking for it. Where was it? In my other pocket.

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