a gathering place…

A place of comfort and warmth are the first things that usually come to mind when one thinks of a fireplace. For me, and possibly you, there is so much more that rushes to my mind when I think of the hypnotic blaze of fire.

Running back to my early childhood I have pleasant memories of a gathering spot in the corner of my Grandfather’s now long gone country store where farmers, fox and bird hunters, fishermen along with local codgers as well as the lone lawman would gather to exchange stories, farm reports, victories afield and the news and gossip of the day around a red-hot pot belly stove watched over by my Great Grandfather. With every visit I had an excitement to be gathered up listening and learning the lore of the community at this comfort spot. Damn sure wish I could enjoy one of those gatherings again!

For many years in my early adulthood I occupied a membership spot in a hunting camp in the Blackbelt of Alabama, making a short 90 mile trip up every Friday of a long hunting season doing the typical weekend hunter thing. The camp house of this 5,000 acres naturally includes all the amenities that most have come to expect but still holds on to the typical “hunting camp” feel. Evenings during Summer work weekends would usually end with a “porch sitting and sipping” but those Fall and Winter deer camp weekends included the warm fire gathering after the hunt! A place where we shared our successes and failures and where we worked out our strategies for the next hunt. This ritual continues today as it has always been at most every camps I have had the privilege of visiting. In the community of hunters we learn so much during these type of gatherings that help us grow as sportsmen and this camaraderie generated at these gatherings is one I will continue for many more years to come!

Today, 2 heads enjoy the warmth and comfort of a fire in our home during these cold winter days and nights. It is not only a  comfort place but an area where we exchange ideas on how best to maneuver our lives going forward. As you know that is a work in progress for each of us and one that needs to be checked often! We are also fortunate to have a gathering spot outside, a large fire pit that we refer to as the “Strategy Pit” because of the exchange that usually happens around this big pot when a fire is stoked! We certainly entertain at our home but we also work out of it so the workday often transcends into the evening. So, these “Strategy Pit” gatherings are a fun exchange of camaraderie but often are where we are able to plan the next step in someone’s strategy of how best to market their product or service. A place of comfort and warmth that seems to make everyone feel like a friend and foster conversations and an exchange of ideas on how best to maneuver going forward!

The gathering around the warmth of a fire is certainly a comforting place but also a place of learning. A place for plotting ones strategy and a place that holds so much more, a fact I learned as a young boy tucked in the corner of an old country store. We hope to enjoy a fire with you soon!

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