Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
Friday night a buddy calls me with the news (make that a notification) that we're going pheasant hunt'n on Sunday.
I have to met-up with the guys by noon.
Girlfriend and I had been chilling-out at the tree farm since Thursday. She - recovering from a brief illness and me - juggling the day job and farm stuff - somewheres at the opposite corner of the state.
We'll pack a shotgun, the boots, the cold weather gear, a couple handfuls of shells a snack for the both of us, hit the road early and be in Jefferson County before lunchtime.
Then it hits me.
Right smack between the eyes.
Today is the anniversary of my mom's death.
It was on a cold and sunny Sunday not too many years ago that I stopped by St. Joe's after a pheasant hunt to see how mom was doing.
She was doing terrific.
She was doing so well that she informed me she expected to be released the following day.
We talked about hunting. We talked about her coming home. I reminded her to have pop give us a call when they got home.
Early Monday the phone rang.
The caller ID said St. Joseph's Hospital.
I took the call thinking mom had an update.
It was the nursing station on her floor with not so good news.
Mom died peacefully between the time they had woke her to take her vitals and bringing breakfast.
Today we had a similar sunny and cold hunt.
We killed some birds.
While walking thru the snow and watching Girlfriend work the cover I had some terrific and lasting memories of mom.
Post Script -
Grace Gaertner was a substitute teacher for the Milwaukee Public Schools from the 1960s through the early 1980s.
Oddly enough that was her career.
She did not drive so she either walked or took the bus to wherever she was assigned on a daily basis.
She took pride in never having to shut or lock the door to any of the city classrooms to which she was assigned.
She was practical, tough, but loving.