We pulled up to Wal-Mart today and walked across the parking lot in the blistering heat. High above me, I noticed a chair on a stand enclosed by a railing and supported by thirty-foot metal legs propped against the storefront. Some of you already know what this is. Maybe most of you do but I did not. What is that dunking booth doing in the outside display area? Is a carnival coming through town? Or maybe it’s an announcer’s chair or a referee's chair. Football season is starting. Why would Wal-Mart sell announcer's chairs? There's only two schools in the area. Surely they wouldn't stock chairs for just two high schools. OOOHHH! It’s a tree stand. Leave it to The Land Flowing With Milk and Honey to sell tree stands at Wal-Mart.
We were at a cookout last weekend. Most of the conversation centered around dove season. How hunting season is just around the corner…the best places to hunt doves…how many doves the hunters got last year. I did not join in this conversation. I didn’t have a thing to contribute. I didn’t even know what they meant by doves. Are they pigeons? (Later Internet research indicated that they were talking about mourning doves. Why would anyone want to shoot those? They would hardly make a meal.)
Stuart is not a hunter. Neither is his dad though he collects guns. Once his father gave his mother a shotgun that he was impressed with as a Christmas present. He gave her a beautiful pair of emerald earrings as well to sweeten the gift. Much to his dad’s disappointment, Stuart doesn’t even like guns. So he cannot help me out with my hunting questions.
The local classifieds carry advertisements for pickups and gunracks. In the fall, tucked between these ads are tributes to young hunters. Joseph Dudley, age 11, shot his first deer on 11/11. A four point buck. Joseph is smiling proudly beside the deer hanging from a tree by its ankles. Somehow I can’t picture my children on these pages for their deer-hunting prowess. A different milestone, maybe. How’s this one?
A photo of Charlie in his underwear (his favorite outfit these days) standing by the potty with this caption: Charlie, age three, used the toilet all day today. He did not try to sneak out to pee in the yard even once.
Or this one:
Faith, age 7, has changed uniforms. We have not seen the royal blue shirt for days. Now she wears a green Gap shirt with her jean capris, a black baseball cap, a backpack, and flip flops. The backpack does not come off, even at mealtimes. We're so proud!
On second thought, maybe we fit in here better than we'd like to admit.
(For those of you who do not know what a tree stand is. It is a raised platform that a hunter stands/or sits on to wait and watch for deer. When a deer goes by, the hunter shoots at it. A tree stand is also known as a deer stand.)