Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Days of Hunting

Hunting season was always such an exciting time while I was growing up. I still get the phone calls from my Mom telling me whether my brother got his deer or elk---or whether his boys did. I love those phone calls because it keeps me connected to Montana and to my childhood.

There was a time years ago when our children were little that we thought about moving back to either Bozeman or Missoula. Dave's only opportunities would have been at the universities in those cities. But then we thought about the winters and about whether this would have been a good step in terms of Dave's career. And we love Seattle and it has turned out to be a great place to raise children after all. He needs to be at a major medical/public health/ biological sciences university like the UW. Luckily, though we have lived here for 26 years, Dave's job has not been the same. He has done many different things and has had several different offices. And evidently, my husband told me last night, he has an opportunity to move on up yet again.

My husband makes me laugh. He is truly brilliant and one of the smartest people I have ever known or met in my life. He doesn't think so; I guess when you are a kid from Montana State University and you hang out with Nobel prize winners and human genome mappers, you feel a tad inferior. This promotion, according to hubby, will prove the peter principle and that this may be the time he reaches his level of incompetence. But I know better.

Whoa! What does this have to do with hunting? It is just that it is that time of year. My husband and I started dating during deer hunting season. One of the first times I flirted or talked much to him was while I was decorating for a school dance. Dave, a senior, had skipped school to go hunting but he stopped by the dance venue to see his friends and I guess, me. And then not our first date but our second or third date was during Thanksgiving break. I had been deer hunting with my Dad. Usually, I did not go hunting with my Dad; my Mom hunted and brother did, of course, but I was younger so usually I stayed with my Grandma. Knowing me, probably I refused but then in high school, women's rights came to the forefront so I thought I should go hunting.

I'll never forget that day. There we were in the woods somewhere near Helena and a buck was standing not far from us. I had been in rifle club; my Dad had taken me shooting and I was a good shot. I aimed and fired....and missed. My Dad knew why I missed and it was ok. It was ok. I couldn't.

That night, Dave came to our house and we went to an Elvis movie. But of course, I told him all about the day I had spent with my Dad.