Chicken Fried Skeet And The Dreaded Handoff

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Well, I woke at 4am this morning and it was different. My 11 year old grandson, Kasen was not here. He had spent the weekend with us at the farm.

We have our deer blinds and feeders ready. I have six more years of youth hunts with him. I had many with his older brother until girls and driving bumped Papaw down the priority scale.

Two weeks ago, I played music and had an Authors Table at a music festival in Delight, Arkansas. I had noticed that the Testimonies were playing at Midway Baptist that night. I finished in time to stop by and hear some great music. I’m so glad I stopped by because of the blessing I received from the music AND we received an invitation to their Fall get together at the beautiful home of Barbara and Kenny Dixon. There is something intriguing about an invitation to a church function that includes, “bring your gun and guitar.”


You know it’s a beautiful setting when an eleven year old says it is beautiful in every direction as we drive in.

There are great activities. Kasen gets to shoot skeet for the first time. There is a hayride, great food, fun, fellowship and music. Even Kasen couldn’t name a favorite part. He said it was all fun. Thanks to the many folks it took to put this together.
Keith and Tracy Mays, I want to thank you for inviting me to sing a song and tell a story years ago at Midway Baptist. Without this, I may have missed knowing many of these great folks. I might have missed this “first time.”

I am so thankful for the many “Firsts” I have witnessed in my kids and grandkids lives. The more candles I get on my cake, the more I see that life is a huge collection of memories. The secret is they are normally not created accidentally. We must be intentional in creating memories.

When my family is under one roof, I love listening. I hear “Dad or Papaw, remember when we went here or did this?” I’ve never heard, “remember when we bought this or watched that TV show?” It’s about memories. I commit to making as many as possible in my remaining years.
One I will remember is our trip to the Arkadelphia McDonald’s yesterday. This has been our half way grandkid hand off location for about 13 years.

Somewhere along the way, I told Kasen I had retrieved some of the skeet he had shot. I said I could freeze them and when he came back, Nana could cook us a chicken fried skeet. This opened the flood gates to;

Sausage and Skeet omelets

Chicken Skeet Salad

SLT – Skeet Lettuce and Tomato

Skeet Sandwiches

Sandy had a dessert item; Skeetles

Everyone slapping their arm because a Skeet-Ter was flying around in the car.

I don’t know if there is a bigger blessing than a child’s laughter. There was even laughter between items because we were all thinking of the next item. We don’t need no stinking Six Flags amusement park.

I’ve always joked that my 12 years in Human Resources cost me my hair but I kept my sense of humor. I had much rather be a bald headed guy that loves to have fun than a stick in the mud with a full head of hair.

Kasen couldn’t wait to tell his mom some of our ideas when we arrived for the handoff. We all hugged and said our goodbyes until next time.

It’s always sad leaving that McDonald’s. I am so thankful for the relationship we have with our kids and grandkids. I have my favorite grandaughter, Addison, that is six-months old and will be making this trip in the future. I’m also grateful that Sandy and I can have fun like that even when it’s just the two of us. We enjoy the company of others but it’s not essential.

I know Sandy and I have been on the verge of tears many times leaving that McDonald’s. It all depends on the length of the visit. We have been fortunate enough to keep our grandkids for weeks during the summer and holidays. We normally just ride in silence until we get to Gurdon or sometimes Prescott. I think it takes that period of time for sadness to be replaced by gratitude.

In our many years of handing off at Arkadelphia, I’ve seen many of what I think is parental hand offs. I’ve seen crying children led between what I guess is mom and dad’s vehicles. This breaks my heart. This makes my Papaw to daughter handoff seem so trivial.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so deep. Create and enjoy your memories. Cherish your family. Create and enjoy those “first times.” If you come to a fork in the road, take the path of the memories.

It’s nearly sunrise. I think I’ll microwave a sausage, egg and cheese Skeets-skit.


Greg Gilbert

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