Monday, November 17, 2014

Deer, & the Trophy Wife

I was born in August.
My Dad came home from a deer hunting trip and my mom was "Happy to see him".
My Dad was always a hunter. Northern in the summer and Whitetails in the fall.
In the archive of my parents photo albums, there is a photo of my mom carrying me, well into her 8th month. There next to her was my Dad, with his big old brown aluminum cooler, and his catch laid out along the driveway. It wasn't until recently I made the connection, "Dad went to Canada when you were 8 months pregnant with me?" Yes, he sure did. Apparently, with 2 other girls at home, he thought a "little fishing trip" would be all right.
If you know me, at all, you'll know this is my favorite story. This is the story I tell every fall. Even if it's just in my head, as soon as the trees are empty I start thinking about it. When the days get shorter and I still get a homesick feeling. This story is to my Dad that House of Cards(July post) was to my Mom(Read it, it's pretty damn good) Both speak massive volumes about the people they are, and were.
Every fall my Dad would pull his gear out in the garage to air out. My Mom would mend any patches it may need, and made sure his tag was visible on the back of his jacket. He would stay with a family friend and hunt on the land he grew up running through. His daughters were born in August, September and November, and he never missed an opener. I can still see his Orange hanging in their golden kitchen every November. He always came back for Thanksgiving, weather the hunt was harvested or not. Like most men, I believe now that he mostly went to avoid the daily grind, and get back to his glory days roots. And that was perfectly good for us 4 girls.
One year, while he was gone, we even got our first puppy! She was a beagle mix, and through his best act of disapproval, upon his arrival back home, I knew he really liked her. She was a good one, and she waited up every night till he got home to hear about his day, and hound around the yard.
The year came when he caught The Big One. The one that deserved to be displayed in our home. The one that P hopes to hunt this year. He got up before dawn and drove that deer out of the woods. Afterwards, he came upon a man while he was moving it. He'd never seen him before in those woods, he wondered what he was doing there. The man was a new father that had not been out that way to hunt before. He was there to provide for his new family and my father knew the right thing to do. He gave up the display, he had waited some years to dote on and sent the new father with a feast for the next year.
You see he told the man that he didn't need it as much as him. That he also had mouths to feed, but he would find meat elsewhere. The mount didn't matter, because he already had 3 trophy's at home. And those 3 girls gave him more than any mammal making eyes at him on the wall ever could.
So this November, let your man get back to his glory days and get out in the woods. Have some girl time of your own and make new traditions. Greet him at the door and let him know, you're "Really glad to see him". He may just give away a potential trophy, if he decides he's already got something at home worth dying for.

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