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Culture Shock

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.)


Alana said…
Okay, so I've gotta know, what's IN the backpack?

I didn't even know they sold tree stands. I thought you had to build them yourself. Funny!
"Hey Faith, What's in your backpack?"

"A telescope, camera, bait."

"Do you keep a sword in there?"

"No, there's no sword in my backpack. The sword is stuffed in my shirt."

So there you go. The mystery of what is in the backpack is solved.

kittyhox said…
What do you mean by tree stand? Like a Christmas tree stand?

I'm afraid we would also feel out of our element among gung-ho hunters. Not to knock 'em, it's just not us. I told my husband about those "announcements" in your classified ads. We both wrinkled up our noses. Kinda... weird.

I'm always trying to guess where you live! :)

We've been to the actual Smallville! The small town in BC where some of the show's exteriors are shot (The Talon, etc.). I don't want to badmouth another person's town. So I'll just say, it was a little disappointing.

It's so nice to hear from you!

A tree stand is a platform. Hunters sit up there and wait for a deer to walk by and then they shoot it.

Faith said…
You are cracking me up! Thanks for explaining tree stands; I have not lived in the South long enough yet to know that one. ;)
ValleyGirl said…
Oh my goodness, you and I live in very similar areas, though very different locales!! I came across your blog through Christine's and I can tell I'll be adding you to my list of favourites!
ValleyGirl said…
P.S. I love the caption on the would-be potty picture! I'm sure we have one of those around here, too!!
Mary@notbefore7 said…
I am so glad the tree stand was clarified. I thought it was like a Christmas tree stand too, but maybe for outdoor trees in the summer? To decorate?

Needless to say, I was confused and had no idea how a comparison was being made to a dunking booth!
Janelle said…
Great captions! I love your girl's spunk...and her collection in her backpack.

Don't you wonder what she will be like when she grows up? Will she remember this backpack wearing phase when she is a mom?

Too cute!
Meg said…
Hi Kate. Thanks for the anniversary well wishes...we are a peculiar people, aren't we?!? Have a good weekend. Love, Meg

Not a day goes by that I don't wonder what Faith will be like when she grows up.

That picture of Faith is priceless! What a girl. Always prepared. :) And the "caption" under Charlies's "photo" made me laugh out loud! Only in smallville!

I sure miss you all.
I know what tree-stands are because hunting (deer, dove and turkey) are passions here. Thankfully, passions that hubby doesn't share. Our men's ministry even had a wild game banquet last spring (it was only for fathers & children, and I was so glad!). Hubby & CJ went...he "borrowed" some deer that a friend killed.

I don't think our Walmart sells tree stands, but maybe I haven't looked in the right place!
lori said…
been here in the south for about 20 years and still can't "get" hunting...i LOVE a full pantry, not willing to send hubby out to get it!:) cracks me up...seems like a lot of wasted time sitting up you think they bring a good book?

Your daughter is hysterical...have one much like that...her OWN person! I love that!! The world needs more of them!!
have a blessed day!

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