Monday, December 12, 2011

Deer Hunting

Since I did not kill the animal, and did not have to face it, and did not have to field dress it, I can't say what, if any, revelation might have come from a clean shot and a good kill. I suspect that while I enjoy eating chicken fried deer steak with wild rice*, it would be quite another situation if I'd had to "finish off" a wounded animal.

And I don't know if my stomach would of held up to field dressing one.

But I think that in the coming year, I'm going to take an opportunity to target shoot a little and get myself a little better prepared for the hunt next year.

**That's the only way my Mom ever cooked it.

A Prayer for The Big Family

Lord we thank You again for the privilege that we have to assemble here again this year and this season. Lord we ask You to bless. Bless everyone that’s here, bless this family. Keep Thy hand upon them, and Lord those that are not here in the family You know the reason. Those that are sick we ask You to touch their body. God we give You the praise. We ask You to bless this food and the ones provided it. In Thy name we pray.


Another Family's Prayer

MyFella's extended family has a twice a year dinner that includes all sorts of cousins and in-laws and out-laws. One dinner is during the Christmas season, and another marks what they call "Decoration Day" at the cemetery.

I'll need to look back and see if I've ever done a posting about Decoration Day. The whole concept was quite new to me. But I digress. . . .

The dinner is always pot luck style, and many family members bring "their" dish. Such as MyFella's mother brings a bowl of green beans cooked in her particular style. One aunt of his makes homemade, hand breaded, fried okra. (I got the last of it this year, and no, I did not feel a bit guilty.) MyFella does this odd thing where he tries to prepare an entire meal himself - this year he took a dessert, a pork loin roasted with potatoes and carrots, and a pot of home made chicken and dumplings. Which is aside from the big roasting pan full of cornbread dressing that he indulged me in making just because I wanted to try and make it, and not including the big thing of corn he had intended to cook but forgot.

The event takes place in a community center building rented for the night, and all sorts of relatives are there, young and old, big and small. And it all begins with a prayer.

I thought the occasion deserved remembering the words. . .

P.S. I will not post this until after Christmas, because I intend to come up with a printed and framed version of this for MyFella as a stocking stuffer.


It was maybe about 6:30 to 7a.m. when he looked at his iPhone and said, "It's 21 degrees." And I believed every degree of it. We were sitting in a tent in a cornfield somewhere in Tennessee. I believe I could have, eventually, found my way out of there, but I could not find my way back in without a guide.

My guide was my almost-brother-in-law. Married to MyFella's youngest sister and sibling, he had offered to take me deer hunting. I'm not entirely sure that I had not been almost blatant in my hinting. It would have been simpler to ask outright rather than keep hinting around.

I'm not really sure why I wanted to go hunting. Sometime during the day I confessed to him that I had not been hunting since probably 8th grade, if that. And I'm well into my 40's now. It's been a long time since I've held a rifle or a shot gun. It's been a long time since I've pulled a trigger.

Early morning had found me struggling into layers of clothes including a new set of long johns*, a borrowed pair of insulated camo overalls, and layers of jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts. If I remembered anything from the hunt, it's the feeling of being cold. I discovered that I can not wear 3 pairs of socks and put on my boots, and I discovered that I'm too fat to add the bundling and then try to bend over and pull on my boots. Once on, they would not come off until I was back home.

I think that just for the experience he insisted on driving the Rhino to the walk-in site. Since the entire way was paved, I don't see why we couldn't take the truck. But I suppose there's no point in delaying the inevitable cold.

Safely hidden in the tent, we took turns with the binoculars. We stretched a little. We looked here and there. He told me not to shoot anything in a particular direction because that's where the prize cows reside, and at $2,500 a head, we didn't want to kill them. I watched the tree line. And I marveled at how-not-too-brutal cold I was - the layers were mostly working. Only a slight chill set in. I was grateful for the little hand warmers he had given me.

I told myself to practice moving in the bundle, so I could be smooth if we saw any. Practice holding the gun. I knew my weakness was years of not doing this. But it seemed a little cheesy to do in front of him.

I thanked him for giving up a Sunday morning for me, and he told me that he believed it was all God's house, and he was OK with it.

And there they were. Three of them. I didn't see them come out of the tree line, but suddenly they were there. He directed me to slowly move into position and put the gun in my hand. I tried to steady myself, to line up the shot. I took it.

I missed.

I was never a marksman or a sharp shooter as my father's son. But there was a time when I was somewhat trained. And back then, I knew when I had missed a shot, and I knew I missed that one. He held out some hope and we looked for blood and looked in the adjoining woods for a wounded animal. But there was none.

But I took the shot.

Somewhere just after the dark, in the dawn, I became a deer hunter.


*I liked the long johns. It had a distinctly Hillbilly feel wearing them. All that was missing from the show was the back door flap.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Just Like Us!

Last night I went to a local movie house with friends to watch a fundraiser event of "Make the Yuletide Gay." You would instantly recognize a couple of the cameo performances and a few others you would sit there a few minutes thinking, "WHO is that?" until the person next to you whisper-screams, "OHMYGODTHAT'SSOANDSO!"

The movie was a bit predictable, and adorable, and cute and has some bad acting, some over the top acting, and some really funny acting. Plus it has the obligatory happy-Christmas-ending we were expecting. In short, I loved it.

The interesting thing about me watching indy-gay movies (don't they all look pretty much like they were recorded with a really good home system?) is that I always sit there and imagine me and MyFella in the roles.

Yes, I know I would probably have been more Nathan than Gun. Not that I don't think I'm more like Gun than Nathan, but with MyFella and myself I'm more Nathan. But in real life, I'm definitely more Gun ~ at least in how I try to act when I go home to my parents.

But I digress. I sit there and I think with such a smile on my face how much I enjoy my relationship with MyFella. And I like occasionally to see a portrayal of a 2-guys relationship and think, "THAT'S just like us! JUST like!"

( ! )

and then this morning I realized that I work with a place that has air. The mechanic asked me to wait until the boss is not around, but he'll help me then.

I guess when you're dealing with vehicles that have over half a dozen tires and cost close to half a million dollars, it's not your average gas station air tank.

- Later ~ Yeah, the wand is like 3 feet long and one part comes off and back on, and the on/off switch is a big lever on the wall. I would never have figured it out without his help.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

( ! )

The dreaded air pressure symbol came on my car dash this morning. I hate that symbol, and sometimes when it comes on it catches my attention and won't release it. When the weather changes, it alway seems to come on, and I tell myself to go get that stuff put in my tires, the gas instead of compressed air, that isn't supposed to fluctuate. I hate seeing the symbol, and I hate gathering up quarters, and I hate messing with an air tank thing at a gas station.

And this morning, I literally had the thought, "Oh, it's Thursday. I'll just ride it like this til tomorrow because MyFella is coming to town and he'll fix it for me."

Because, well, I'm like that. I'm not proud of it, but I admit it.