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The Thrill Of The Hunt

The Thrill Of The Hunt

Beep – beep – beep – beep – beep – beep…That’s the sound of H’s alarm clock waking me from the sleep of the dead. Five o’clock am flashed digitally from the screen. I fumbled for the right button to disengage the alarm, pushing every one but the right one. There seemed to be twenty, or maybe only six. Finally, along the front edge, I found the off button and the sweet sound of silence filled the room.

Normal people use their cell phones for alarms instead of the old-school alarm clock H leaves turned facing away from him at night because of the bright digital glare emitting from its face. He has upgraded from the relic he used in his college days to an upgraded version. The vintage clock is packed away, still in working order, in its original box – yes – because I saw one just like it on tv and I’m hoping it may be worth something. One day I may be glad he saves so much stuff.

I lay there silently, with my eyes closed, trying to go back to sleep. I could hear him in the kitchen doing whatever deer hunters do to at five am to prepare to go hunting. At five-seventeen he came into the room and whispered to me he was leaving.

“You don’t need to whisper. I’m awake. Next time you get up before your alarm, please turn it off. ” You notice I said please.

Then he preceded to inform me of where he would be hunting on the Eglin reservation – down to every bend in the road and whether or not the road was a clay road or sand road, and how many gates you had to go through to get there. Patiently, I listened, knowing there was no way in hell I’d be able to find him if I had to.

When he finished, I asked, “Will you be at the same place you were yesterday?” His answer was yes. “Then Andrew knows where you’ll be.” Just go. Maybe I can salvage a few winks.

Andrew was sound asleep in his bed. He was the smart one. I’ve often wondered what person in his right mind would trek out to the woods before daybreak to sit in cold temperatures in a tree.

It’s now one minute after six and I’m wide awake. Not going to bed until one-thirty makes that a short night. I may be a little grumpy today, so I might as well get a blog post from this fiasco.

H doesn’t hunt as much as he used to. More often than not, on the mornings he has planned to hunt, when I awake I find him sound asleep next to me or in the kitchen reading the newspaper. His excuse is that it’s too windy, rainy, or too cold. Fine with me. Just don’t leave your alarm set is all I ask.

I’m a worrier so when he’s out hunting alone I have no peace-of-mind. What if he falls out of his deer stand and has no signal on his phone to call? What if his old hunting truck doesn’t start, leaving him stranded in the woods? What if someone accidentally shoots him instead of a deer? It happens all the time according to the news.

And even this…what if he actually gets a deer? I lose interest in cooking or eating venison after a week. We just bought a new fridge, but there is not nearly enough freezer space in it to house a deer – even a small one. We’d have to buy a freezer. We got rid of ours when we moved into this small house because there was no room for one. To my knowledge, the house hasn’t grown.

I probably shouldn’t worry about where we would store too many packs of venison. H hasn’t seriously hunted since Andrew left for college and lost interest. I think he just enjoys the solitude of the hunt.

You see where Andrew is now. Home from school for the holidays and he’s sound asleep as normal people should be.

I guess I’ll get moving and maybe shove a few thing aside in the freezer, making it look like I’m excited to have fresh meat, while hoping it doesn’t happen.

~Elle

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The Hazard Of Putting Up A Christmas Tree And How To Avoid It

The Hazard Of Putting Up A Christmas Tree And How To Avoid It

I know Christmas is coming – every year – same time, same place. But I’m never completely prepared. I used to love to put up my tree when the kids were little. Everyone helped. Hot chocolate and popcorn was made and ornaments were fought over or broken, tears were shed, then replaced with smiles and laughter. It was a fun experience.

Now it’s just Harry, Andrew, and me to decorate for. Andrew flits in and out quickly, between semesters. But if I didn’t decorate for the holidays I would be sad and I hope they would be too. Sometimes I wonder.

To put up a tree now, I have to go to the storage unit to find it. I’m pretty sure I know exactly where it is in that mess of a storage unit. Someone has to keep inventory and since I’m the keeper of all things, that would be me, but I do not – I repeat – I do not take credit for the state of this storage unit. H is the culprit. The words I use when faced with this dilemma can not be printed here. This instead:

⚠️ WARNING – STAND CLEAR OF FALLING OBJECTS! ⚠️

The tree box is standing in the right front corner, with some bed parts leaned up against it, which you can see after you move the stack of never-to-be-used-again vinyl albums and some sort of mechanical part to something, off the top of Andrews chest of drawers which stands in the doorway because there is no more room, and then you can move the chest of drawers out of the doorway, so you can move the bed parts away from the box, so you can pull the tree box out of the corner and then shove the chest of drawers back in and re-stack the albums and the mechanical part on top of it, so you can, using great strength, close the door and lock it. Did I use too many commas – or not enough? Sentence structure does not apply in this situation. Now the box of decorations I can get to easily enough. I put them in Andrews storage unit. It’s nice and orderly and not junked up. I can open the door, walk in, and pick up the box. No shoving and pulling, or rearranging and cursing. I cringe every time H says we may have to put something in Andrews storage unit. I’ve dared him to do it.

I could string lights around this pile of boxes H moved to the living room, two weeks ago, and hasn’t sorted through yet. I guess it’s the thought that counts? I’m probably giving him too much credit though.

Pile of boxes After this year I intend to store the Christmas tree in Andrews unit. He won’t mind. That way I won’t be so stressed out about having to get to it and wonder, what’s the point? After I get the tree up it’s all worth the trouble it took! Nothing is more comforting than sitting curled up with a good book in the dark with the tree lights on. (On my kindle of course. I don’t have night vision!)

Have you done your Holiday decorating? ~Elle

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