Not The Season I Expected!

Written By: Michael B. Adams - Feb• 13•14

Well it has definitely been a while since I have communicated to all of you loyal Up North Journal followers!  It hasn’t been because I didn’t want to talk to you that is for sure.  It has come with much difficulty that I have reached this point in time that I am now ready to reach out to our audience and explain what has transpired to me in the last 9 months of my life.  As most of you all know we have suspended our podcasts and vidcasts until further notice and our blog site has been non-existant for quite some time now.  This post is what I’m calling the Up North Journal Phoenix, literally!  We are taking the first steps of rising out of the ashes to try and start a rebirth of what and who we are as a group of outdoorsmen and move forward to once again provide content for you to enjoy.  This process will by no means be at a lightning quick pace by any means!  So be patient with us and I will explain along the way!

To put things into perspective I will explain the basics of what has transpired since last May.  The third week of May I received a call that my grandmother had passed away and this began the long life journey that I had no idea I was going to travel.  Three days after I returned home from her funeral finishing up my turkey season and trying to get my youngest son Jacob out for his turkey hunt little did I know, my whole world would began to crash down.  On May 28th my home was struck by a F2 tornado, luckily my family and dogs were all ok, but our home suffered extensive water damage along with other cosmetic damage to the outside of our home.  We spent 19 weeks out of our house in a camper in the front yard.  It was supposed to be a 6 – 8 week process that ran amuck!  I thought we would have an extended camping trip in the front yard so it would be an adventure, boy was it!

Early September I began to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel when as I was heading to the Bass Pro Shop store for an outdoor event, a young kid crossed the center line in a curve and took me and my car out!  After being shaken up I realized I was only sore but would be ok.  My car on the other hand was a mess!  I  began to wonder what was happening to me.  I knew the best thing for me was to continue to plan for the upcoming deer season and trapping season.  Jacob and I hung treestands and trail cameras for our up coming week off in October to bow hunt.  Late September we moved back into our home after our 19 week camping adventure!  It was so good to sleep in a normal bed once again, life was back to normal or so I thought!

Sixteen days after we moved back in to the house, I was checking some trapping land with a good friend of mine looking forward to the up coming trapping opener on October 15th.  I was running late getting home to get ready to work, so I hurriedly jumped into the shower to get ready.  This is when tragedy struck again!  As I was in the shower our house caught fire!  I managed to get out along with our three dogs but the house suffered severe smoke and fire damage.  I made it out with a pair of pants on, my family arrived to what was left of our home with the clothes on their backs and that was it.  This is why we have put the entire UNJ adventure on hold for the time being.

This is what has put our hunting and trapping season on hold for last fall.  All of our hunting gear was either damaged or destroyed.  Quite honestly I didn’t even want to get in the outdoors after this!  It has taken me four months to reach a point of writing this article.  The one constant I have had in this time of trouble is my faith in God.  I won’t brow beat you since I respect everyone’s right to believe or not believe, but I mentioned it for the simple reason that this was the only constant bright spot in my life that kept me going.  My family has been extremely strong through this but there were days that they couldn’t even talk with me as you might expect.  As time has gone on we are getting stronger each and every day.

What inspired me to begin writing you are probably asking yourself?  Well it was a chance email Jim Miller, President of our local National Wild Turkey Federation chapter sent out inviting me to a wild game dinner at a local church.  He has been trying to get me to go to this event for the last five or six years.  I thought to myself this would be a good chance for me to get out of the house and spend some time with some of my Up North Journal brothers.  Four of us UNJ members went to the dinner, but I honestly must say I wasn’t expecting much.  The guest speaker was Jimmy Gretzinger Host of Michigan Out of Doors that night.  As he began to speak about his love for the outdoors and tell some crazy stories, it had me on the edge of my seat listening intently!  He began to tell life stories about his ups and downs and his own walk with God and the outdoors.  I couldn’t get enough of what he was saying!  This got me so excited to get back into the outdoors and sharing with others that I simply could not wait to start writing again!

This simple event of a wild game dinner showed me exactly what I was missing and why I loved the outdoors so much!  So this is the literal Phoenix rising out of the ashes to once again share our outdoor experiences with all of you!  Thank you to Jim Miller for inviting me to the dinner and thank you to Jimmy Gretzinger for inspiring me to once again do what I love so much, and Thank YOU to God for giving me another chance to share it with all of you who will listen!

There are several other people (you know who you are) and companies that I have to extend a HUGE thank you to and I will in future posts.  I didn’t write this to evoke pity or sympathy towards my family and myself or to draw attention to us.  I simply want to pass along our experience as it relates to the outdoors.  These first several months will be about what I have experienced during this troubling time that hopefully I can relate to the outdoors that it might save you some money, time and effort.  I hope to also give you some tips on how to work through such an experience as it relates to the outdoors, along with things to think about to avoid some of the problems I faced and that I’m still facing today.

Stay tuned for more updates and stories in the upcoming weeks and months!  My next article will be about Dead Down Wind and how it saved some of my hunting clothes!  Shoot Straight and Be Safe!

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