Sunday, December 7, 2008
Every year at this time, Mitch gears up for his fabulous weekend of deer hunting. Above is the kill from last year that is so proudly adorning my wall. At least he lets me add some festive decorations to it :)
The tradition with this weekend is very drawn out. Thursday night before opening day, all 16 of the hunters are required to show up to the person's house that will be allowing the trophies of the season hang in their garage. Once that is all done, beer drinking can occur. Although I'm sure that it helps out with the cleaning as well. Friday night is typically their "planning" session where, yet again, beer drinking assists. I know, is it really safe that all this beer drinking is happening? As far as I know, there have been no mishaps as a result. This year has proved these boys are a little older than they think and events have commenced earlier than in the past. Oh, and before I go into more Friday night's activities, I'll also mention that there is a meeting three weeks BEFORE deer season to go over the spreadsheet of landowners they need to ask permission.
This year some wives planned to do things a little differently. Typically we've had a family potluck on Saturday night but last year we waited for them all to get back 'til 7pm and then were ready to leave by result of sleeping by 8pm. So we decided to do the potluck on Friday night. There was a little resistance from the better-halves as we were cutting into their planning and...beer drinking but all must say it worked out fabulously. I have had the potluck handed down to me from the veteran wives. Although I think most of us are in that category any more. I had 28 adults and 18 children, give or take, at my house and it was not a problem at all. The kids stayed in the basement with the toys, wives in the dining room around the table and guys in the garage. We got the hint around 9:00 they were ready to have their uninterrupted male-bonding as they started hauling food in from the garage and putting tables up. They were off to do what they had to do. They wives and kids stayed at our place 'til about 10. We had some scheming of our own to do. First and foremost...should we just consider having the women "hunt second season", next year or not? Leave the kids with the boys? We're considering it and finding ways to extend it as much as they do. Another part of the scheming was done by those wives that had older kids...they got the kids home and then went to the newly tagged "man-shack" and moved vehicles that had keys in them. (mind you this is a small town and keys are very rarely taken out of the vehicle let alone locked) So some got moved and I guess it caused a little chaos for the evening. I had no part of that.
So Saturday, before dawn, they all rose to meet at the house of one of the older wives for breakfast and more strategies. I did hear from Mitch later in the day say that one of the fearless hunters did end up having an accident but no worries...just a few stitches above his eye from falling in the bathroom that morning before breakfast. Seems he didn't turn the light on and slipped. Good Lord, I would at least said his gun backfired on account of him shooting at a huge buck...I mean, c'mon!
Another reason we changed the night of the potluck is because five of us wives spent the night at hotel with a water park. It was really fun and actually relaxing to do that. I motion for doing it again next year. The kids had a blast and I must say I did too. It was nice to have our own thing to do rather than sit around and wait for them to get home. I think some of the dads missed their families but knew that they just wanted to go to bed after a day of walking through the cold Iowa winter weather so it was OK.
Today we got up and let the kids swim again until we had to check-out, ate some McDonald's on the way home and then crashed when we arrived. Margo is currently still sleeping and it's 4:30. She settled down about 1:30. Meredith took her typical nap and I rested during that time too. Mitch should be arriving home some time around 6:00 and will likely eat supper and head off to bed. Unlike some of the other more dedicated hunters, he has to go back to work tomorrow and they will be finishing out the season until Wednesday...then he has to spend his Saturday cutting up the meat and getting it ready to be processed.
I say two prayers every year...First and foremost, make them safe. Don't let any accidents happen. Although we raze them about the spreadsheets, aerial maps and syncing up of the watches, they really do make things pretty clear about what they should be doing. Second, don't let him shoot anything I have to hang on my wall. From the photo above, you can see the second prayer was not answered last year. I guess God listened to Mitch more than me that year.