But life with Andy means life with deer season and I think I've transitioned into my role as deer season widow rather seamlessly. I've learned to like venison. I've learned to make a mean sausage.
But I'm still learning. The take away lesson from Deer Season 2012 to date is that deer season doesn't really start on the date determined by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. (Which, for the record, the firearms deer season begins on November 3 this year and goes until sunset on November 18.) No, deer season actually starts on some arbitrary date in early October.
And that makes some of the cabin inhabitants very happy indeed.
A couple weeks back, Andy proposed a spontaneous overnight trip down to "the big city" to "get away for a little while." Our night "out on the town" ended with us sitting in our hotel room, eating potato chips and ice cream purchased from a gas station because we were both too exhausted to actually go out. By early the next morning it was apparent that Andy's true motivation for the trip wasn't really fun and games. Nope, the trip was strictly business. He wanted to pick up a new rifle and scope in time for deer season. (See above).
I really had no idea what happens when your significant other buys a new deer rifle.
Suddenly your significant other starts picking you up from work all the time. But instead of heading home, you end up in a gravel pit or a shooting range so he can sight in his rifle - aka shoot the gun a gazillion times, while making minor adjustments to his scope to make sure the rifle shoots accurately. Your job? Using your keen eyesight and the spotting scope (at left in picture above) to tell him where he hit the target after each shot. This continues until it's nearly dark and the smiles of the picture below are distant memories.
Each evening, about 9 p.m., your significant other will announce that it's time for a "deer drive." These exploits usually take .5 - 1 hours and involve driving slowly down the road, watching for wildlife along the shoulders. You'll see foxes, bunnies, even a raccoon, and plenty of deer, and every time you see a buck during one of these drives, your significant other will be so excited that he'll chatter incessantly until you've both stayed up way too late.
Oh, does it sound like I'm complaining?
While I'd be lying if I said deer hunting didn't try my patience at times, I'm not so selfish that I don't see the value of Andy wanting to share one of his favorite times of the year with me. There may be times when my eyes glaze over when he goes on (and on) about rifle and scope characteristics. There are most definitely times when I wish I had more appropriate footwear on. But the truth about deer season is that I don't mind that much. There's a gentle lulling quality to our deer drives together and I'm happy to support Andy in his excitement and ambition this time of year.
Life is full of lessons and surprises.And I'm still busy relearning October and November as the partner of a deer hunter.