I love the fall weather in Missouri! The leaves are dancing and twirling as they leap from the trees and float through crisp air, warmed with only a brush of sunshine. But as beautiful as the weather is, my favorite part of fall was coon hunting. Not that I was an avid fan of the sport but my husband loved it with a passion! He declared to me early in our marriage that nothing compared to taking his dogs to the woods, turning them loose, and listening as they barked and barked, hunting for raccoons. Now, to a new bride, those could be fighting words so I determined to find out just exactly how “nothing compared” to a coon hunt.

After begging for a week, my husband allowed me to accompany him on a hunt. Within two hours, I had gotten water in my boots, lost the leash for his dog and fallen while trying to climb up a bank, accidentally kicking my husband’s wheat light and knocking it in the creek. We came to the same conclusion quickly: he could coon hunt whenever he wanted while I sat at home by the fireplace with hot chocolate.

We had a special routine that we followed every time he hunted. I would stand shivering in the cool fall evening air as he yelled “Load!” and the dogs jumped into their boxes in the back of his truck. Then as he drove around the shed and onto the road, he would honk and wave as I would flip the porch light off and on. I’m sure he was praising the Lord that I was not going with him and I KNOW I was!

If I had to do it over again, I still wouldn’t go coon hunting with him…wheat lights are just too expensive! But how I would love, just one more time, to stand shivering in the cool fall evening air and hear that deep voice yell to his dogs: “Load!”

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