I’m going to build myself a new office. One that is far away from the house, away from the kids, away from the wife – away from everything. But not too far. Just across the lawn at the edge of the woods. A place where I can think and write and dream all alone or with a special friend.

I’m going to keep it pretty simple and put a little wood stove in the corner right over there. I’ll add an old, leather couch against the far wall, and a couple of old, wooden chairs with lots of character, and an antique table for my desk. A rod rack hung from the rafters and a nice gun cabinet with a few doubles and a rifle, so I can dream of the guns of autumn and the rods of summer whenever I want.

I’ll put an old refrigerator beside my desk like the one I had in college – in case I get hungry or thirsty while working. And a fly tying table. Got to be able to tie some nice saltwater flies while dreaming of stripers, bonito and albie – all while working on my next column, of course…

Let’s not forget the big book case piled high with sporting books and magazines of every kind. All my friends will be there: Hilly, Hennessey, Tapply, Foster, Bryant, Sheldon, Woolner, Spiller, Ford… The list goes on. One of the joys of stretching out on the old leather coach by the wood stove with a good book, while looking around at the fine rods and guns, is dreaming of the way things once were. And discovering when you get out there, that its all still there. You just got to get up and go. You got to go a little further and look a little harder, and find the magic that is still there for those of us who long for a life outdoors. The grouse and the woodcock, the ducks and the geese… The deer and the bear and the snowshoe hare… The quail and the pheasant and even the snipe. Striped bass and brook trout, giant tuna and footballs. “Bucket-mouths,” “tommy” cod and coolers full of flounder. It’s all there if we really want it, if we are really willing to get up and go and see and learn.

So, amongst my rods and guns, decoys and ice traps, pack baskets and tackle boxes, I will sit in my new office and think and write. And hopefully I will inspire others to consider a simpler life, a rewarding life, a joy-filled life of living and working in God’s great outdoors.

Capt. David Bitters is a writer/photographer and a striped bass/sea duck hunting guide from Massachusetts. His photos and essays have appeared in over one-hundred magazines. Capt. Bitters is currently finishing his first book, A Sportsman’s Fireside Reader – Tales of Hunting, Fishing, and Other Outdoor Pleasures. Contact him at captdaveb@baymenoutfitters.com or (781) 934-2838. You can also write him at P.O. Box 366 Duxbury, MA 02331