The time Ray, 86, tripped and fell while hauling a deer to toss onto a Bad Boy Buggy was funny. He and I laughed then finished loading the deer. When we got back to the house in Tignall, wanting to share a good laugh, he told Brenda. She, imagining her Octavian plus father crashing to the ground and breaking something important, gave us both a lecture (lecturing is a skill retired middle school teachers never lose). Coming in from hunting on New Year’s Eve, we once again faced the wrath of Brenda.
First, let me point that Ray is 86 and I am 60 (soon). We are grown men and can handle ourselves. We don’t need a wife or daughter managing our manly adventures. Nevertheless, before Ray and I took to the woods we got the “lecture”.
“Daddy, don’t climb the tree stands,” Brenda
“I won’t,” Ray
“Carry your cell phones,” Brenda
“We will” Ray and I.
“Take those radios,” Brenda
“We will” Ray and I.
“When will you be back,” Brenda
“Around dark,” Me
“Be specific,” Brenda
“Around 6,” Ray
“Don’t get hurt, “ Brenda
“We won’t,” Ray and me.
Brenda headed over to Athens to meet Heather, our oldest, and shop. Ray watched Star Trek, the 2009 version; I practiced shooting long shots on the range. After Star Trek, we headed out to the woods.
On the drive out, Ray said, “I forgot my phone.” I added, “We also forgot the radios.”
Again, we’d have no way to communicate in the woods. Barring an accident, we don’t need to talk to each other while we’re hunting. Like I said, we’re grown men, we don’t need to talk to each other while hunting.
The hunt was not successful; neither of us saw anything. But, I could sense animals in the woods all around me. You know that feeling you get when you just know. I waited as long as possible and nothing came into view. To make matters worse, it was cold.
Now, I’m not talking Michigan cold. What I mean is the wet cold of Georgia. I’ve lived in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I’ve worked and traveled to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Canada in the winter. The coldest I’ve ever been has been in Georgia. On this hunt, despite 2 pairs of pants, t-shirt, long sleeved shirt, sweater vest, hoodie, jacket, hunting vest, hat and a knit cap over it, and gloves, I was freezing. Yet, I hoped and remained in my stand to no avail.
The result was we’d get back home about 30 minutes later than usual. When we got home Ray and I got that look from Brenda. My first thought was “We’re in trouble for something.”
“Why didn’t you answer your phone!” Brenda.
“It was in my backpack, I didn’t hear it.” Me.
She just stared at her Dad.
“I forgot mine.” Ray.
Trying to make light, I added, “Yea, we forgot the radios, too.” (That didn’t help)
“I was fixin’ to call Steve to get him to go look for you. “Brenda still apparently not relieved that Ray and I were fine.
“I was worried, what took you so long? Why didn’t you have your phone? Why didn’t you answer yours? If something happened, I couldn’t have found you! That was not responsible!”
I was happy that Ray was with me, he buffered the trouble. Having another guy to share the trouble reduces the direct assault facing a single individual.
Yes, I should have called after we loaded the truck and began heading home. Honestly, I do most of the time. On this day, however, I was so frozen all I could think about was getting warm. Being married to an ex-middle schoolteacher, I should be used to conducting proper and polite behavior. But, like any middle-schooler, sometimes I forget.
We’re not going hunting today. Best bet; enjoy the games on TV, grill, and keep a low profile.