Ode to the Squirrel Commander

           For some reason, January has been a month for loss. I don’t think I have noticed there are certain months that seem to take others away from us, more than other months. This month took away the father of a friend of mine, Donald Ray Crum. Tonya and I have been friends since the fourth grade. Her dad has always been an avid hunter, his favorite being squirrels. It was even mentioned in his “going home” announcement how he might even be considered the squirrel commander. How appropriate to relate him to this little animal!

            Squirrels are some of the most loved animals in the wildlife world. Squirrels love to talk or chatter, they have similar systems to ours, and are very smart, and that makes them handy to hang around. Squirrels are known for their puffy cheeks. Squirrels are foragers. Squirrels are described as inquisitive, tenacious and persistent.

            If you knew Don, well, this says so much about him. He was much like the squirrel himself with his family and friends. To know him, was to love him. He loved to talk, and he could talk could about anything. He was so smart, and he could fix or tell you how to fix just about everything. If he didn’t know how, well he knew somebody who did. He was so amusing, his eyes lit up when he laughed, and like the squirrel he had those puffy cheeks. Not cheeks with rosy patches and such, but cheeks that looked as if he had a secret in them, almost as the squirrel with a nut. He was also a hunter, a gatherer like the squirrel. He was the forager in pursuit of his prey. He had a curious nature, and was both stubborn and determined when he had his mind set on something. A trait passed to his daughter and his granddaughter.

            I know several of these qualities have been passed to Ton over the years. They have also been passed to her daughter, Hannah. I can honestly say these two are the perfect example of like mother, like daughter. Hannah will never admit it, but she is just like her mother. Her mother, well she would tell you, “I am a lot like my mother.” Over the years though, she has become more like her father in so many ways. That’s not a bad thing. I have heard people referred to as being “squirrely” before. Tonya definitely fits that description in more ways than one. I guess I should say in more ways than Don. Hannah, well she has some shoes to fill, but her feet are growing. Welcome home Donald Ray….Till we meet again.

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