This post is about an individual who had a major influence in my life. Inspired by Kristine over at OBS and about giving "Thanks" this season. Firstly, thanks Kristine for the challenge as I have wanted to write about this for quite some time. Now, the time has come.
As I begin to write this I am flooded with memories from many, many years ago when I was quite young. It didn't take me long to realize that I had my own drummer and wasn't much into dolls or dresses. Mom wasn't thrilled about the latter. Anyways, had it not been for the quiet soft spoken man I called "Dad", I don't how I'd made it to where I am now. Being the youngest of three and the only girl, needless to say I hung out with the boys. I will touch on a few of the highlights so as to not get to long winded.
The beginning of a huntress, somewhere around 1968 I do believe. This was the Christmas dad gave me my first shotgun. A real double barrel side by side 410 gauge, with double triggers, auto eject, straight English grip and amazing fine point checkering. There was no makers name on it, only "made in Belgium". Mom sighed again. I was thrilled beyond belief. He had gotten it when he was in New York city at a business convention. He bought it at went to Abercrombie and Fitch. Back in the day when that was, the outdoor sporting goods store of fine distinction. Not long after he taught me the basics and I passed my Hunter's Safety class with a 96%. Only missed 2 questions, the best test I ever did take! We spent many evenings hunting Doves in September and then waterfowl come October and November.
We had a summer cabin and this was where my dad and I would spend many hours pitching horseshoes. He was good and threw a 3/4 turn shoe and I threw a flip. We both pitched from the same distance and I am sure he let me win on more than one occasion. So when I started pitching professionally a few years back, it was with great fondness that I returned to the horseshoe pits.
He was in the lumber business and had a shop in our backyard. He built a river boat with my brothers when I was quite young as well as many other items. That was where I got my introduction to woodworking. He would bring home bundles of Pine kindling all dimensioned at 2"W. by 3/4 T. by about 14" L. I would build chairs and tables out of the kindling and even though the chair seat was the same height as the table top, he told me "good job, very nice". Oh and how that made me fill up with pride that my dad complimented my efforts. WOW!
I realize that my mom had a big role as well and can not leave her out. She was the rock for my dad and kept the home front running smoothly. Never a meal missed, nor a dinner that we all didn't sit at the table together and enjoy. They were a team and I give my thanks every day for the gifts they shared as well as the values they instilled in me. I feel their biggest gift to me was one of allowing me to be me and pursue my interests regardless of "social gender norms". They were supportive and even though they have been gone for many years. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of them both and give thanks.
Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt