Thankful Outdoors: A Tribute to Dad

Photos by Scott Hopperdietzel

OnFocus – The outdoors have been put on the back burner for this week. It has felt like a burner all week, and the desire to go sweat on the boat did not rise to a level of a priority this week. My inbox and junk mail have increased with Father Day’s specials offerings. As I look at them, I can’t help but think of just another occasion to make money or increase sales.

My memories go back to one of the first writings (Hunting with Dad – The Unspoken Bond) that I shared about my Father.  Someone had recently asked me where I get my “Zest for life from?” I guess some of that is reflected in this story.

As I sat and thought about things this week, I paused to appreciate that I still have my parents in life and the memories made with them. I shared a moment talking about this with my friend Rick, who had lost his Dad in his early adult life.

As the family got together to enjoy beer and pizza on the deck, we started to plan our river trip for Father’s Day weekend (weather permitting). I have been very blessed to have these moments and still make these moments happen.

If you feel the need next week to get a gift for your Father, maybe instead of an item that you had delivered or picked up off a retail shelf, you could let him know how much he means to you with written words. I still have several of the homemade cards that my boys have given to me over the years and cherish those as some of the best things ever received!

Hunting with Dad – The Unspoken Bond

I have spent 23 years hunting with my Dad. We have shared all kinds of hunts from rabbit, turkey, deer, and even a couple of elk trips in the mountains. Of course, some trips allowed us to bring game home, and others didn’t. But, no matter if we brought the game home or not, each outing was always successful because it allowed me to bring back memories.

These memories are more important than any amount of game that can be brought home because they will never run out. Unlike the last package of venison that I pull out of my freezer, these memories will remain with me forever! I find that as each year passes by, the outings that I share with my Dad become more and more special to me. However, I realize that, at some point, we will not always have the ability to share these outings.

I don’t think my Dad realizes how he has been such a great teacher to my three brothers and me. He passed his love and passion for the great outdoors down to all of us. Each of us took this love and passion and had different levels of commitment to the outdoors. The one thing that I can see, though, is that this passion will never be taken out of us. Each of us has had events in our lives that allow this love of the outdoors to become a small flicker, and then all of a sudden, something will change, and it turns into a roaring fire.

Spending time in the outdoors is such an excellent medicine in the world. In my life, it has always been there to fill me with any voids that I may have. But, it has also been there to give me some of the most joyous moments of my life. The artwork of the outdoors is breathtaking and ever-changing. I have my Dad to thank for opening up this incredible world to me. We have never shared these thoughts verbally with each other, but when we are together, it is the unspoken actions that let me know that we have this bond.

Thanks, Dad, it has been one of the greatest gifts you could ever give, and I hope to pass this same unspoken bond onto my boys.

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.