Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TGIC- Thank God It's Christmas?

I was sitting here throwing around ideas for my next post.  I was listening to Christmas music while I was "thinking".  "How can I think and listen to Christmas music at the same time?", you ask.  It's simple friends.  I am a multi-tasker.  I can do many things at once and none of them well!  It's how we've all learned to live in the 21st century.  What was I talking about again?  Ha, Ha, Ha! I remember.  Just testing you. 

Really, I should say Ho, Ho, Ho because that is the time of year we now find ourselves in.  Can you believe it?  I was listening to a Christmas song by Relient K called "Merry Christmas, Here's To Many More".  The first 2 lines of the song really describe how I, as well as, many people I know and come into contact with feel.  They say:
I made it through the year and I did not even collapse
Gotta say "Thank God for that."
Wow, Isn't that true?  This year has sped by.  It has also been tough.  As a small business owner, the economy is really hurting my business.  Many of my customers have had hours cut back, or even been laid off.  The other day a customer said, "It sure takes a long time to make the money, but a few seconds to spend it."  I couldn't have said it better.

The thing is, yeah the economy is bad, but maybe it's made us think about the important things.  Instead of spending money on things we don't need, we save for items we do need.  That's one of the great things about our store.  If you come here, you can buy products that will help you eat- like a fishing rod and reel.  Of course, you'll need some tackle with that to catch a fish, but you get the idea!  How about if you know someone who is an avid hunter?  Why not get them some gun cleaning supplies?  Knife sharpeners are always good gifts whether or not you hunt or fish.  How about some hot hands for folks you know who work in the outdoors?  Or, better yet, a set of gloves!  If you want to get back to when kids played outside instead of vegged out on a screen, we have kickballs, footballs, basketballs.  If you have a friend that camps, we even have items like compasses or fire starters.  Many of these gifts are less than $10.

You see, we understand how it is to use coupons and save your pennies.  We aren't a big box store offering layaway.  I don't even think we have anything that you would need to put on layaway here!  We are a business in YOUR neighborhood.  We live here too.  We shop here.  Pay taxes here.  Some of you may even know me as your child's coach!  When you shop with us, you keep that money in your community.  So this Christmas, come by and shop local.  I'm not the only small business in Broadway.  There's a lot of us.  In my building alone, there are three.  If you come here, we'll greet you with a hello and help you the best we can.  Most of all, we'll always be grateful for your business.

By the way, if you'd like to hear the song by Relient K.  Here's a link to it on youtube:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

True Grit- in real life...

I'm going to warn you.  This one is about football, again.  Yes, again.  How can I not brag about the Broadway High School Fighting Gobblers?  This team has something special.  They never give up.  They have GRIT!

Dictionary.com defines grit as "firmness of character; indomitable spirit".  Perfect description of this year's football team.  I, and half of the Shenandoah Valley, saw it last night.  There was a beautiful catch by Jefferson Forest.  The Broadway defender even got a piece of the ball, but the JF receiver stayed with it and subsequently scored a TD.  Mind you, it was one of those touchdowns that takes the air out of the fans.  It was so quiet you could hear a mouse fart!  Ok, maybe not that quiet, but you get the picture.  Come on folks, I'm typing a dramatic sequence here!  Anyway, the Broadway boys went in at the half down 14-6 after that stinkin lucky catch.  Seriously, he couldn't have done it twice if he tried!  Just sayin...
The second half began.  What would these boys do?  Would they respond to the challenge or just give up?  Not this team.  This is what I'm trying to tell you- Grit.  They are marching down the field.  Closer and closer to the endzone they come, QB Quinn Arbogast, who is tough as nails, goes down on the 5 yd line.  Folks, there is no feeling like seeing a young man hurt and not able to get up.  You feel for these kids.  If you could take injury away from sports, it would be perfect.  I thought about his mom and how she was feeling.  You know it's different for us moms.  Your instinct is to go down and fix it, but you can't.  For one thing, your child would be utterly embarrassed by you doing such a thing.  Secondly, you would never hear the end of it.  These are teenagers after all.  So these "rules" make the wait to see if your child is ok agonizingly long.  They finally helped him off the field.  I'm not sure what happened, but he was on crutches later.  I hope he heals quickly and completely.  So, the boys compose themselves, attempt and make a field goal after what could potentially throw another team into a tailspin.  Now it's 14-9 JF.

G R I T... this is where you see it.  Do you give up?  I mean your starting QB is out of the game.  You have a back up who is not tested in this type of fire.  Broadway kicks off.  The JF receiver fumbles and the boys get the ball back on the 14.  One play later, the Gobblers score!  It was crazy at the field.  I bet they heard it miles away.  They tried a two pt conversion and failed, but they now had the lead 15-14.  They were pumped up.  They were raising their hands to get the crowd more pumped.  Pandemonium had broken out now.  Ok, maybe not that wild, but it was loud and uproarious.

Broadway starts the fourth qtr, the untested QB pulls it off with a touchdown pass.  Without the receiver's effort the TD would have never happened.  He gave his all and so did the entire team.  The Gobblers ended up winning the game 29-14.  They never gave up.  They played every minute on that field.  They believed in each other.  One guy goes down, another steps in for him and does the job.  It's expected, not a surprise.  This is why you want your kids to play sports.  Not to be a "jock", but to learn how to work together and to believe in one another.  To learn that you do not truly have to do everything yourself.  If you work together, you can accomplish great things.  They have.

Congrats on being the Regional Champs, Broadway!  Next weekend at 1pm, Christiansburg will play at Broadway High School.  It's a semifinal game.  I guess the whole town will be shut down and at the game.  If you come, don't expect some showy team.  What you will see is a never-say-die team with GRIT!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why Hunt?

Well, hunting season is in full swing here.  We have been very busy at the store selling licenses and equipment to hunters.  You may ask, "Why do people hunt?"  Some people think it's barbaric.  To others, it's good stewardship.  It's my blog, so I guess I'll give my opinion.  Isn't that the whole point of a blog?

Let me start this out with, I do not hunt.  Again, I promise to give you a blog entry on that soon.  I have many friends and family members who do.  I also have many who don't.  My siblings do not hunt, but love deer meat.  We live in a time when everyone is talking about organic foods and health.  Deer meat is very healthy.  It's also low fat.  There are no hormones, antibiotics, or other additives.  It contains many key vitamins including Niacin and B12.  We all want to be healthy, right?

Also, let's face it, the economy is BAD!  Hunting is truly a way to feed your family.  Yes, you have to have a license, etc... but have you seen the price of meat lately?  Unless you live on a beef ranch, I would say hunting is great way to get your family meat.  I have customers who live basically off of venison, fish, other forms of game.  They truly live off the earth.  They would be recyclers in the truest sense of the word!  What about single mom's?  Oh yeah, women hunt as well!  What about the ones who don't?  The ones who are struggling to get by.  Wouldn't some fresh meat donated from a hunter be welcome.

Can it taste gamey?  Sometimes.  If it is cooked properly, I can't even tell.  There are so many ways to cook deer meat.  Many folks also make jerky, sausage, bologna... the list goes on.  I even know folks who can it.  Again, another way to be thrifty in tough times!
Come on!  You know that looks good!

There are many people who make hunting look bad.  As in any other part of life, you have bad apples.  Please don't let a few people skew your judgement of many good ones.  Has it become a major industry?  Yes.  Hey, this is America.  We are supposed to make money.  Capitalism is good.  In the end, many people benefit from harvesting a deer and my family is in that group.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Friday again...

Well, as Rod Stewart said, Tonight's The Night!  The Broadway High School Fighting Gobblers have made it through the entire regular season without a loss.  They have already won the Valley District Championship and a place in the playoffs.  Tonight they play for something that has only happened two other times for the football team.  Tonight they play for an undefeated season.

If you have never played a sport, you may not understand the significance of this.  It's hard enough to make the playoffs, have a winning season, etc.  An undefeated season is perfection.  It's the standard you want to achieve, but often miss.  They have that chance tonight.

The amazing thing about these kids is I don't think they believe they can be beaten.  You never see them quit.  They are a hardworking group.  Maybe it's due partly to the fact that every game is dedicated to a fallen member of the military.  Or, maybe because many of them have played together since pee-wee football.  They just believe in one another.

So tonight, I will be at the game.  I'll be cheering on the kids and, of course the award winning band, along with about everyone else in town.  Go Gobblers!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Beauty of Fall Trout Season

Fall trout season is interesting.  It's like the stepchild of fishing seasons.  See, everyone and their brother (sometimes literally) are hunting.  All they can think about is deer hunting, hence, fall trout season ends up being the hard core fishermen/women. 

So what helps fall trout season to stand out as a good opportunity?  Lots of reasons.  It's not as crowded.  It's generally a bit colder than spring.  Who wants to go out in the cold?  As a customer told me once, "In the spring you are ready to go out.  In the fall, you don't really want to be in the cold."  Hey, amen to that!  I hate cold weather.  It's one of the reasons I don't hunt.  We will discuss the other reasons in an upcoming post to the blog.  I've been known to have the wood stove so high in the winter that folks wear shorts and t-shirts in our house like it's an August afternoon!  Trout like the cold water and will continue to feed in the cold water.  The water is generally higher in the fall because the trees have dropped their leaves and are not using as much of it.  Maybe it's just me, but the water always seems more crisp and clear in the fall!  You are generally not going to have to worry about a snake in the colder weather.  Even if you do walk up on one, it's gonna be a little slow moving from the cold.  

Perhaps the best part about fall trout fishing is the surroundings.   The leaves and fall foliage.  It's like a beautiful painting that can not be reproduced.  I will leave you with a couple of photos from West Virginia fall trout fishing a couple years ago with my family.  If you get a chance, get out there this fall and catch a stringer of trout!