Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he's a good storyteller for a long time... so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts.
Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen... whichever you prefer... and you are receiving a copy because you're a current customer of Frasier's Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We think you'll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!
There it sat, camouflaged in a barrage of my two brothers’ and six sisters’ gifts.
It was the best Christmas gift I ever received as a kid.
It was wedged right between Dan and Kathy’s, in a white and blue box with a big red bow on top. I had no idea what its contents would reveal.
We all waited until we got the ok from dad to go ahead and start opening.
I remember opening it up, it coming in pieces, and feeling like I had just discovered the Ark of the Covenant.
"Whoa! A Baker Climbing Tree Stand!"
It was a Baker Climbing Tree Stand!
My dad gave me his tools and I raced down to put it together on the basement floor.
I could hardly wait to get out and start climbing trees with it, but I was only eleven, and you had to be twelve to hunt deer in the Northwoods, so I waited patiently until the next fall.
Finally, it was Halloween night, but I was not heading out for candy… I had a different treat in mind…
I snuck into the woods early so I could put my stand on a tree. It was snowing, and boy, it was a task try’in to put that thing together and climb up the tree quietly.
I walked back to the house and got my recurve and came back to the tree and started climbing.
There was no top part, just the bottom to snug your feet in as you inched up the tree like a caterpillar with arms.
It had a bungee cord that you’d wrap around your feet that was stapled on it. If that bungee cord snapped, oh boy!
I grabbed the tree and pulled my feet up. Grabbed the tree and pulled my feet up. Until finally, I was high atop the tree, where I could see everything.
I sat all day with no luck, it was starting to get dark.
The snow had covered my tracks, I wasn’t sure I’d find my way out, so I decided to go ahead and get down.
I started easing my bow down from the tree.
Then, I heard….. a big crack.
I turned around and there he was! An eight-point buck coming right my way. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I quickly, gently, pulled my bow back up. I grabbed an arrow. Everything was shaking… I was so nervous.
He came out and crossed a log. I pulled the string back on my recurve….. and released the arrow.
I saw the arrow go right behind the shoulder.
I heard the voice of my dad in my head telling me that if I shot something, not to go after it.
I was down that tree like a fireman’s pole before the deer was even out-of-sight and chase’in it through the woods.
I knew I had to stop, but my heart was pounding so fast. I wanted to keep going but the voice of my dad kept ringing in the back of my head. So, I stopped and went back to the house and got on the old landline and dialed my dad at work. He told me he’d be home in an hour and not to go after it.
In an hour?!?!
As soon as I hung up the phone, I was out the door and after that deer again. I jumped it twice before I backed out.
Dad finally arrived at home. It seemed like ten hours, but it was probably more like forty-five minutes.
We went after the buck together and jumped it once again.
We finally recovered that buck…about seven hundred yards later.
It’s so hard when you’re young and don’t have the wisdom to just sit tight.
Y’know, Proverbs 1:8 says, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”
I thought that Baker Tree stand was the best gift I ever received, but truly the best gift ever is the gift of Christ.
No father’s words could be truer than that of our heavenly Father. And no gift could ever be better than this:
And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger.
And in the same region, there were shepherds out in the field and an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were filled with great fear.
And the Angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Merry Christmas neighbor…. Merry Christmas.