Hey there! This is probably one of my most favorite projects to share since I’ve started blogging. It’s about my husband’s personal bond with his father and the preservation of family history. It represents decades of love and it tells a story between the past, present and future.
Our Start Together
I wasn’t born into a hunting family, but at the age of 18 I met the man who would change my life, and in 1998 I became the wife of a hunter. One of the first reasons I fell in love with Mike was because he had such a beautiful relationship with his mother and father. He and his father did everything together, from washing trucks every weekend, to fishing Long Beach, California or Big Bear Lake, hunting elk in the mountains of Colorado or just playing cards at the kitchen table. So naturally, spending time with Mike meant I was spending time with his dad. This wasn’t hard at all. In fact, I actually loved hanging out with Pat. I very quickly became a permanent fixture. If they went fishing, I went fishing. If they were washing trucks, I helped them dry. They taught me how to play Texas Hold’em and Gin. The only thing I was never invited to was the coveted “Elk Camp” in Colorado. It was a guys’ trip and I totally loved that they had this time together.
Pat (Mike’s father) began hunting when he was just a boy. Hunting became his first means of income. As a kid he was paid a couple of dollars to help manage the pesky little skunks and raccoons that terrorized the local arboretum and its paying visitors. When he was older he was paid to help with population control on Catalina Island. In 1968 Pat began saving all of his hunting and fishing license. When Mike became of legal hunting age Pat saved his license too. Every year he would stash away these license in a little baggy that he kept in his desk.
Preserving More Than Just Certification and Authorization
In 2002 Pat passed away from an aggressive cancer. He gifted us with many beautiful memories that we still laugh (and cry) about today. Funny stories to tell, words of great wisdom share, his past trials and tribulations of which we’ve learned from and a bag of hunting and fishing licenses to cherish are among the pieces we will keep forever in our hearts.
When Mike helped clean out Pat’s desk he took the bag of license that Pat had spent over 30 years collecting. The contents of this little bag meant more than just the state’s certification and authorization to hunt and fish. They represented a time that a father and a son spent endless hours doing what they loved to do most- spend time together.
When Mike and I decided to makeover his office (read here) I knew this was the perfect place to display these cherished license. Not really sure how I was going to go about it, I began sorting through the bag and organizing everything by date. I was amazed by the beauty of each piece. The colorful front shows the state’s stamp representing the year for which the license was valid along with the applicant’s signature. The back displays the state’s US Fish & Wildlife stamp representing the year. For this reason, it was clear that a floating glass frame was the best option so that everyone could enjoy the beauty of either side.
Preserving Our Future
Thank you for allowing me to share such a personal piece of our lives with you. I hope that I have inspired you to begin looking for ways to preserve your family history. Even more so, I hope that I have inspired you to begin a collection of your own to leave behind for your loved ones. Mike now saves each of his tags, along with our son’s tags, (and beginning this year our daughter’s) in a small plastic baggy he stores in his desk. 😉