No Experience. No Problem.

 

“There is deer season and there is waiting for deer season.”

In my house we are hunters. We keep the above saying to the letter.  From October to March our weeks are all about preparation for the weekends. That is when we drive four hours every Friday to the Hunting Camp just to be in the woods waiting for the perfect buck. We hunt Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning.  This is the best time for us to bond as a family – no electronics, and we all enjoy everything that is involved in hunting.

In the woods, each of us has a spot to be, either a tree stand or a box blind. First time Vivian went with us, she reassured my husband she could stay by herself.  Reluctantly, he agreed after reminding her of several rules and gave her a .243 riffle, which is the weakest one we have.  He left her in my box blind because it is elevated from the ground about 5 steps, a little safer, and that was the place we saw the most number of deer in the motion camera.

We usually arrive at our spot in the woods around 5:30 am when it is still pitch black, having only the path underneath our feet to guide us.  We don’t use flashlights.  We stay there until around 11:30 am when we go back for lunch and return in the afternoon.  I wish we could stay much longer but for us girls there is no bathroom break.  No fun in that!

On this particular day, my husband and I didn’t see a thing.  Not even a skirl entertained us.  All was dead calm.  Then, around 10:15 we heard a shot from the direction Vivian was sitting.  Immediately my husband called her on the radio in a very low tone to avoid noises.

“Was it you?”

“Yes, I killed a buck,” she answered still with a trembling voice.

“Do you see it?”

“No, he jumped into the woods.”

“Stay put till I get there.  Do not get down,” he said emphatically.  There are many hogs in the area and they attack.  Wagner was being a protective dad.

“Ok.”

I was excited for her and so proud.  First time ever and she kills a buck? Or so we thought.

Time to leave.  Wagner came from down the stream where he has his stand in a tree, met me up the path and we both went to see Vivian.  From a distance she saw us through the box opening and came down excited to tell us how it happened, pointing to the spot where the buck was when she fired.

No blood.  No pattern to follow.  We looked, and searched, and nothing.

Frustration grew stronger as my husband, a veteran hunter, kept saying she probably missed the shot.  After all, it was her first time and the riffle was not that strong for such a distance.  She insisted.  We broad the search area to no avail.  No signs of any killing.

We tried to comfort her for the disappointment.  In private, she would say to me that she had shot in the right spot, and she was absolutely sure that the buck was there somewhere.  She always talks to me more than with dad – a closer bond, I guess.  What could we do?  Maybe the shot just scratched him and he fled…

One week went by.  We, the girls, had an event to attend so Wagner went by himself to the camp.  He decided to try his luck at my box.  As soon as the sun started to push down the cold fog and warm the woods a little, he felt a stench coming from where Vivian said the buck was.  He went to check and sure enough there he was, at least what the coyotes left of it.  He called us.

“You’re not going to believe it, Vivian really killed a buck.  An eight-point buck.”  He said like he was so regretful for not finding it the week before.

And he continued,

“It was about ten steps further than where we stopped looking.  The coyotes ate most of it but I’ll take the head for her to see.”

“Imagine that, she was right all along,” I responded with a grin on my face.

We boiled the head with borax to clean it.  The skull had been crushed but the antlers were fine.  It’s hanging on our wall as Vivian’s proud reminder to all of us that she had the right shot just as she had said.  For us it is a reminder that we should not doubt the inexperienced.  With patience, attention, and determination one can accomplish great things.

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Love Conquers

 

It was April 2008; I was home alone in the afternoon waiting for my daughter to come back from school.  Suddenly I heard my husband’s truck entering the driveway.  It was a little early for him to be home so I went to the door to meet him.  I had no idea what it could be but from that day forward my life would change considerably.

My husband has always been a lover of dogs.  Ever since we got married he mentioned, almost pleading, for us to have a dog.  I ran the thoughts of hair, pee, chewed up shoes, scratched doors, and the prison of not being able to travel without concerns, so my answer was a repeated “NO”, over and over again.  In an attempt to justify my negative answer I would explain we lived in an apartment; then, when we moved to a house, there was no fence; and I kept pushing the idea away.

In 1999 I lost the power of excuses.  We bought a house with an all fenced back yard and it even had a doghouse ready under the porch.  Therefore, I knew dog’s days were not far from us.

He told me to wait in the driveway as he went to his truck and secretly between his arms he placed this light beige, blue-eyed puppy on the ground.  I froze for a second, my heart was racing, and before I had time to ponder the situation the little one came running as fast as his tiny legs would carry him and rested right on my feet.  Needless to say I melted.  He stole my heart right there and then.  The ‘NO’ I have said so many times before vanished like a puff of air.  There was a huge unspoken ‘YES’ inside of me. This pit-lab had an adopted family from now on.

I took him into my arms and walked straight up the road to meet my daughter who was walking home from school. It was love at first sight and she named him Romeo. She took him with her everywhere. His fur felt like a teddy bear and still does to this day. When we take him to the park, people make comments about his fur and how gorgeous he is, and they ask to pet him.  His fur is just different and soft!

Romeo was like a newborn baby in the house. I got up at least twice during the night to check on him, to put him outside, and just to admire him. I was happy and my husband was even happier. He had a dog and surprisingly, I was ok with it. We decided he would rather stay in the cool of air conditioning, so he lived inside the house.

Everything was good, but then…

A friend found out that Wagner liked dogs and decided to give him another dog, a pure breed white lab.  She came to us at only six weeks old just couple months after Romeo’s arrival.  I got so angry with my husband and with his friend who never asked me my opinion on the subject.  I gave Wagner the silence treatment for quite a few days.  Silly me! Looking back, it was so senseless.  I grew out of this foolishness.  Praise God we mature.  Time and experiences take care of that.  Although I was playing tough, I was in love with this little cotton ball that fit cozily in my hands.  She had huge ears and when she ran it reminded us of Dumbo from Disney.  I named her Angel.  It really describes her inside and out.  Even after nine years she still has the puppy look as before. So cute!

Time passed… They grew older. We grew older. All is well.  Sometimes they still play cat and mouse and get angry at each other, but they are best friends. Romeo protects her like a little sister and Angel follows him like a leader. Love took over.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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Sleep? Me???

The sun is still asleep and I’m out of bed.  I’m an early bird for sure.  I even received an “Early Bird Award” at work.  Five days a week I get up at 4:00 am to start my routine.  No coffee.  I don’t drink coffee.  It’s pure, natural adrenaline within me.  The only day the sun has a chance to start his way up before me is Sunday.  In rare occasions it may happen on Saturdays too.

I’ve been at the same job for about seven years.  I just kept pushing to start earlier until I got to the present schedule, starting at 5:00 a.m.  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, not for me.  That’s when my energy level is through the roof.  It may stay that way all through the day.  I’m super active, always looking for something to do even during resting times.

The biggest advantage of working so early is that I have a lot of time on my hands in the afternoons, since I work so close to home and I’m never stuck in traffic.  But in reality, I’m a very busy woman.  On regular days, the first thing I do when I arrive home is clean the floors.  Yes, everyday!  I can’t stand dog hair flying around.

I have two dogs living inside the house.  I love them, but they work me good with all I do because of them.  I vacuum, sweep, wash floors, clean the front and back yard, brush them, file their nails and the list goes on… I have to admit, some days I regret for having said yes to keeping them.  I’m sure you already felt like that one time or another.  We are not perfect.  We are humans, right?

After it is all clean I do whatever else is there needing my attention.  It maybe laundry, clothes to be mended, cabinets in need of organization, and of course the kitchen.  Oh! The kitchen!  It is a never-ending cycle.  I guess there are a lot of you who think the same way.  Anyways, I don’t cook much but I clean – all the time!

My husband is a wonderful cook.  He already had the skills when we got married.  I couldn’t even prepare ramen noodles without instructions.  Literally.  There is a saying that reads, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  Obviously, that was not my case.  He helped me with the basics and so did my parents who lived very close by.

Now, I have to say I learned well.  I don’t enjoy cooking or baking but sometimes it turns out pretty tasty.  I’m especially happy with my three-milk flan recipe.  Everyone says it is very good.  Also, the deer tenderloin I prepare in the slow cooker.  It comes out tasting like beef.  No one can tell it is venison.  At least this is what they tell me.  Would that be true???

Interestingly to me is that my daughter is an excellent cook.  Everything she prepares tastes just like if it was made by a chef.  It marvels me because I never taught her anything in that area.  My bad!  Or maybe not!…  Somehow she learned well, better than if I had taught her.

So, back to my afternoons… By the time all is clean and done, my husband gets home from work and requires my help with his projects.  Right now, a tool shed.  An idea I had to empty my garage and make it look nice.

He is doing it really well, despite being his first one.  However, I need to be by his side.  I’m like the “do this”, “hold that”, “throw me that” kind helper.  I enjoy it, though.  I’m learning and I get to voice my opinion.  It’s coming out just the way I wanted it.  My mom used to say, “The man is the head but the woman is the neck.” I’ve been turning his head quite a bit lately, LOL.

We work on it till it starts to get dark. Then we stop to shower and have dinner. After the kitchen is left ready for the morning, I finally have a chance to sit at my desk.  Once I pay bills and sort some papers, I login here to type, to post, to update the blog, and to enjoy doing all of it.

Although I’m an early bird, I’m also a night owl.  I like to stay at the computer till late.  As long as Wagner is watching TV, politics or old western movies like Bonanza, he doesn’t notice me being at the computer late hours.  I know sleep is vital for one’s health but I think when I’m sleeping I’m wasting time.  I feel like the world is passing me by when I should be catching up on my to do list – one that exists only on my head, never on paper.  So many projects, ideas…  But my body fights my mind, the desire to keep on going against the need to rest.  The body wins.  I go to bed.  There the Spirit of God speaks to me.

“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”  Psalm 127:2 ESV

Tomorrow is another day!

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