Slow It Down

When a weekend trip turns into something more.

Erika Cochran | January 25, 2019

This past weekend I took a weekend trip to Asheville. Driving through the curvy mountain roads gave me time to reflect on this past hunting season and what I wanted to accomplish this coming year.

This past season I didn’t hunt as much as I wanted, due to work and school, as well as for the obstacles that I previously mentioned in my other writings. With this past season in our rearview mirror, I have already started thinking about next season and what I am going to do during the off time.

During my time of reflection, I decided to make a list of goals and wants for this year.

The first goal I thought about was to make time to deer hunt more this upcoming season. The hard part with this is the possibility of losing the lease that I currently hunt. I, unfortunately, cannot prepare for next season as I should, so the first step I know I should make is finding other possible places to hunt. I am currently looking into public-land options that are available around me to hunt, as well as reading the many articles GON has online regarding public-land hunting.

The second goal I made for myself this year is to explore other species to hunt besides deer. I want to try hog hunting and am currently figuring out how to accomplish my goal of killing a hog this year. Turkey season is right around the corner as well, and I do have something that is in the works that would allow me to kill my first turkey. If this does pan out, you will be able to get to read all about it.

Fishing more turns out to be the third goal I set for myself. I used to fish at my grandparents’ house on Lake Oconee every summer growing up. There were a lot of memories made at their house while fishing from their dock and the neighbors, and I want to continue to grow those memories. I believe we get so wrapped up into the here and now and don’t take time to stop and enjoy life. This summer I plan to take more afternoons and weekends to stop and enjoy life and just fish.

After my reflection on fishing more and why I wanted to fish more, I realized I was in my little world driving not paying attention to my surroundings when I saw in my rear-view mirror flashing blue lights. If you know me, this isn’t the first time I have seen this. My initial thought was, “I’m in his way, I need to get into the other lane.”

I was wrong.

He followed me. His flashing blue lights were for me.

I pulled off, and he got out. Unfortunately, I knew the routine of license and registration and was proceeding to get them as he walked up to my truck. Turns out he was a state patrol officer for North Carolina and not a local police officer.

He said, “Ma’am, do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No sir, I don’t.”

“Well, you were going 75 in a 55.”

At this moment, I just thought this is my second super speeder ticket, what am I going to do. After the explanation of why I was pulled over, he asked where I was headed and where I was from, I gave him what he needed.

It did not take him long to process my information and get back out of his car with a white 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. Unfortunately, that piece of paper was telling me I had a $218 fine to pay to the state of North Carolina. The officer told me a few details about the ticket and the laws in NC and the consequences I could have had if he didn’t put my speed into the computer as 70, and then he sent me on my way to continue my travels to Asheville.

Lesson learned. Slow down. You would think with this not being the first time of being pulled over for speeding I would have learned, but boy do I watch my speed now. I have other places I want to spend my money, and it is not paying for a ticket.

Slowing down isn’t just with driving, but with life. In the moment of thinking about slowing life down and taking time to enjoy things, I received the ultimate sign I should. I needed to slow down.

Slow down, take some time to make goals, and then see them through. Along with the three goals I mentioned earlier, I set another goal for myself, which is to be more involved in the outdoor community. I’m not sure how yet I plan to achieve this goal, but with the way I figured out to slow it down, I do believe God has a plan to help me in this, as well.

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