I couldn’t sleep last night; which is rare. I tossed and turned and finally fell into a deep sleep just in time for my 12 year old to knock on my door to let me know she was up and getting ready for school (thank you, tall kid, since I was in a deep dream that involved severed heads). I stumbled down the stairs in the dark, without my pants on! My daughter was like, “Uh…Mom…why don’t you have pants on?…” I said, “That’s what happens when I get dressed in the dark and half asleep.” I was so sluggish, even after coffee that having no pants on didn’t seem to matter. But then I remembered, today was a hunting day! Both of my kids are in school!
My steps got quicker, my mood got brighter. First things first, I got myself dressed in my Wyoming winter hunting gear. This typically includes a fleece base layer pant, a waterproof/shedding outer pant, a zip-up synthetic top, a vest, hunting boots with insulation, gaiters, outer jacket, blaze orange hat, gloves, and snowshoes. You would think I would be tired just writing it all out, much less putting it all on. But, NO!, I only want to do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next…
Second thing, get the short kid ready for school too. Here’s a tip to all you moms out there. Let them do things themselves. Let them dress themselves. Yes, the outfit will make you cringe. Let them brush their teeth. Don’t worry, those baby teeth all fall out. Let them brush their hair. I have no sympathy for any of you, my daughter has a golden afro. What I am saying is, let go of it! I was able to drink my coffee while admiring my new hunting boots, borrow snowshoes from my neighbor, research snowshoe hare hunting, and double check season dates…all while my short kid got herself ready for school! Yes! Score one for me!
After dropping the short kid at her daycare I headed out in a rainstorm, thank you “global warming” in Wyoming, to look for snowshoe hares. Not five minutes from the car I crossed tracks, I crossed droppings, I crossed more tracks. Four hours later, and four pounds heavier when wet, I was still crossing tracks but seeing no live animals. I finally saw a squirrel and might have shot at it….but I have a rule about eating what I hunt. Field dressing a squirrel seemed too much like dissecting a frog.
You would think that after four hours of all tracks and no action, rain that turned to sleet and then turned right back into rain, and a dog that didn’t seem to know what she was hunting for (SQUIRREL!); that I would be very dissatisfied with my day. WRONG! It was the best day ever! (I have lots of those out in the woods).
I tried out my new Kenetrek hunting boots and loved them. I ate elk jerky while sitting under a tree. I kissed my dog a number of times simply because she looks so good when she is wet. I learned to really tell the difference between hare and squirrel tracks (sounds easy, right?!). I met a coyote hunter who had just seen a mountain lion and admitted how scared he was! I only lost a snowshoe once (and it only took seven steps for me to wonder what the heck was wrong!). AND….I SPENT THE DAY ALONE IN THE WOODS AND WAS NEVER LONELY ONCE!
I love my life.