Autumn is my favorite season for several reasons. Mostly because it was my dad’s favorite, too. Not only was his birthday in September, but Hunting Season started then. He said he never remembered the correct date for his birthday because it always came in the middle of hunting season, and he was more excited about that.

So I became excited about hunting, too.

On those magical autumn mornings, we’d get up early and enter the woods before the squirrels started looking for their breakfast. We’d walk as quietly as we could, though acorns continually crunched under our feet. Twigs snagged our pants. Trouncing through the ground cover, the crisp morning air would wrap around my face. My boots would get soaked from the dew. Dad would lead us to a spot—a perfect spot—where we would wait for the squirrels.

That’s how it went—every time. Every magical and perfect time.

No talking. Hunters don’t talk. Instead, we bonded over milk-coffee (mostly milk in my case) and snack crackers or the occasional piece of candy. After all, hunters needed to keep up their strength up as they watched and waited for a good shot.

Thoughts of squirrel hunting came to mind as I walked from the car and to my office building today. On the way in, I stepped on fallen acorns and listened to the crunch of them under my feet. I stopped for a moment and looked up into the oaks that stood around me—and waited. After a moment, a squirrel scampered down a nearby tree and chattered. Had I disturbed his sleep? Was it the sound of the cracking acorns that made him holler at me? Standing there, I felt the crisp air wrap around my face and felt the dew cover my open-toed shoes.

In that moment memories of a simpler time flooded my mind. I thought about early morning adventures with my dad. When I thought I would always be his sidekick and he would always be my hero.

But Life took different turns … for both of us.

I sighed, wiped a tear from my eye, and continued my trek to the office building. Reaching for the door, I paused for one last moment and listened to the sounds of Autumn. After all these years the sounds were the same. And for a moment, I remembered why Autumn was my favorite season of them all.

Parents, take time to enjoy your children. You’ll make memories for them that will last long after you’re gone. And children (even grown children) give your folks a hug. Ask about their day. Let them know you appreciate them. They won’t be around forever.

There is a special time for everything. There is a time for everything that happens under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

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