I still have a lot to be thankful for in life

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On this week and day of Thanksgiving, we all have so much to be thankful for. As our family sits down to a bountiful dinner, I am given to thoughts about the last several months.

Our family has been blessed in so many ways, with each blessing overshadowing the setbacks, injuries, and problems.

Shoulder surgery

I underwent a much-needed shoulder surgery in April with every intention of being far enough along in the recovery process to continue a family tradition of a June week of men-only fishing and embellished story telling in Ontario, Canada.

All seemed well, even as my recovery slowed. My conservative surgeon insisted that I suffer a left-handed life right through June, so fishing would be out of the question, but I could still sling a good story while the boys did all the heavy lifting.

Then one of my grandsons, arguably the most avid young angler in the family, managed to get undercut in a baseball game, breaking leg and ankle along the way. He required a surgery, pins, and all that kind of bad broken leg stuff.

We decided to cancel the Canadian adventure since the ranks of the unable were overtaking the ranks of the able. But we are thankful that the shoulder and leg are working once again and we are already planning our next trip north.

Elk hunting

Just weeks ago, three good friends and I drove to Colorado to hunt elk. All went well until I stepped down from my horse to retrieve a map that dropped to the ground. We were just a couple of spectacular mountain miles from our camp site, a tent high in the Rockies, a bad time for a clumsy mistake.

I apparently placed my foot on a rock or clump of grass that rolled as I put weight on it. So did my right ankle, severely spraining it and causing me to fall against the hip of the horse. The animal lurched forward and I proceeded to fall across the trail and down a steep slope, a slide on grass and rock that could have ended in a much worse way.

Thankfully, I flopped onto my back side and came to stop to the applause and Olympic-like scores of my sympathetic buddies.

Obviously, my week of hunting the rugged country was severely limited, but I did manage to cover a few miles, see a few elk, and enjoy the camaraderie that is so much a part of a remote hunting camp.

The double sprain and fractured bone are still on the mend, but I am indeed thankful for the opportunity to experience the elk hunt.

Share your bounty

Ohio hunters and anglers have so much to be thankful for, including our great deer herd and liberal limits, the plentiful flock of wild turkeys, our many fishing lakes and rivers, our quick access to bountiful Lake Erie, and all the rest. We are fortunate.

This year, be generous with your bounty. Share your venison, your catch, your good fortune, and be thankful that you can.

About the Author

Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer, and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian. More Stories by Mike Tontimonia

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