Sunrise in West Texas.
Warning: further photos may be offensive to some.
We are just back from our Thanksgiving trip. This year it was Zack, my son, Evan, my beloved, and I who loaded up and drove five and a half hours due west to my Mom's for the family gathering. I have three brothers and a sister... so, as you can imagine, it is quite a gathering. We ate LOTS of great food Mom and my sister, Melanie, had worked all week to prepare. We laughed and ribbed each other unmercifully. We played Spinner, worked puzzles, solved the world's problems and discussed recipes. We enjoyed lots of hugs. Lots of hugs.
The story I am going to tell is about a teacher... a hunter... my son. Zack is a hunter to the core. He will get up at the wee-est hours of the morning to get to the perfect spot. It is a rare event for him to come home empty handed.
From the time he was four, he would don his little life jacket and take a cup of frozen corn to fish ALL day at the pond near our house. We'd have to take him lunch or he would go without... whether the fish were biting or not. That kind of focus has not waned. He hunts and fishes... whatever is in season. He harvests his game and makes no waste. He abhors those who only kill for the fun of it. He lives by an unwritten code and honor system. He is a crack shot with honed instincts... he is a survivalist.
I have known all of that for a long, long time... What I did not know was that he is a teacher. Evan, his bonus-dad (I HATE the step parent label), had never been hunting (during this trip, there was much laughter and ribbing about the eggs and meat coming from the grocery store wrapped and ready for Evan growing up on Long Island... as we all told tales of gathering eggs and dressing various food stuff). I listened with amusement and admiration as, on the long trip to my Mom's, Zack gave instruction to the novice hunter. His voice was patient and encouraging; his message was informative and detailed; and his enthusiasm was nothing short of contagious. Now, I might also add that he made it perfectly clear that he was getting his buck first and then he would sit with Evan to help, if necessary. Hunter before teacher. My brother, Greg was in for the hunt, too (he, also, would fall more into the novice category). Zack promised he would help them get their deer.
This is Greg, Evan, the buck, and Zack.
They came home from the first outing... Zack had his buck. He was giving lessons on field dressing and preparing for processing.
I laughed at this shot... the new age hunter... texting photos to all his hunting friends back home.