It’s amazing how quickly a black ball of marshmallow goo or poking a bonfire with a stick while listening to someone say, “If you keep playing with that fire you are gonna wet the bed”, can take us back to a childhood full of fond memories. The simple pleasure of hearing a grandmother squeal with delight as her grandson takes her on a 40 mph go-cart ride through the woods is just one example of the adventures my family enjoys every Thanksgiving at deer camp!
We call our deer camp “Bakersfield”. The name stems from my maiden name of Baker and the fact that the woods are connected to a great big…you guessed it, a field. I know…original, but hey, my dad has all rights to the name because it is his land and for us…that means free deer lease, woohoo!
This little slice of heaven has much more to offer us than just deer, because it is fun, fun, fun! My family includes my husband, three kids, my mom and dad, my sister and her husband and my mother-in-law. (I know, right? Both sides actually like each other!) We come to Bakersfield every year and spend the whole week of Thanksgiving. We stay up late, sit around the campfire until our cheeks are bright red from the scorching heat, and when we go on a hayride through the pasture we giggle like little kids. We play in the woods on the tractor and tear up the paths with the go-cart while the kids hang like monkeys from the trees. Just think, all this fun and we haven’t even talked about hunting yet.
We do enjoy hunting on this piece of property. I remember the day my, then 8 year old, son took his single shot .22 and 5 shells into the woods declaring he would be a man upon his return. Well, I don’t know about the manhood part, but he did return with a trophy squirrel. He then proceeded to skin it and demand I fry it up and that is just what I did. We all share the joys and stories of the many deer that three generations have harvested on Bakersfield.
For my family, this has and always will be the best week of the year. We are able to leave the cares of the world behind us and focus on each other. The fun that we have there and the activities we enjoy are merely the surface stuff. The most important thing is the bonds that are formed as a family. The memories that are being made here will hopefully continue for generations to come. We are truly blessed by God and extremely thankful for the refuge that Bakersfield is to us all. To some, it may just be a deer camp, but to us it is so much more!