Finally, springtime is upon us.
I say that with confidence, not just because the calendar a day ago proclaimed the changing of the seasons.
I also know it because the letters, emails and phone calls have been arriving with greater frequency from turkey hunting chums, who soon will be turning off the country road and up the driveway to my cabin in a corner of the Ozark woods.
The matching of our wits with those sly gobblers — a contest the birds quite often win — is an enterprise to which those of us devoted to the activity commit three prime weeks or so of this season every year.
And after several months of punishing cold, it’s always necessary to spend some time at the cabin, determining that the essential amenities — the water system, refrigerator, hot plate and flush toilet — are functioning dependably.
It’s a bit uncertain what damage these absences have done to our familial relationships.
As far as I know, all the marriages have survived. Quite likely some birthdays, wedding anniversaries or other celebratory occasions have been missed.
What I know for certain is that this annual sporting enterprise has damaged to some extent — I hope not irreparably — my relationship with the college from which I received my diploma 61 years ago this spring.
In fairness, the fault is not entirely mine.
During many of my postgraduate years, and perhaps in all of them, the school has hosted a homecoming weekend for alumni. I attended one of those events a good many years ago but none since. Another obligation has prevented it.
Nonetheless, as each winter draws toward an end, I receive an invitation to share another weekend of fellowship with my old — and I do mean old — classmates.
One March a couple of years back, I happened to encounter the president of the college at an event in my own city. It was a cordial meeting, and I greatly appreciate the excellent leadership he has given the institution.
“Homecoming’s scheduled for next month,” he said. “I hope you’ll be able to make it.”
“What’s the date?” I asked
“The weekend of April 20,” he replied. “Same as always.”
“Well, I’m afraid I will be a no-show.”
“You have a conflict?”
“Yes. As I believe I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, that’s the opening date of the Missouri wild turkey season.”
“That’s a shame,” he said.
“Yes. But life is choices.”
For more of C.W. Gusewelle, go to gusewelle.kansascity.com.