Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Hunter: The Teacher

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.

True to his word, he went back in the afternoon with Evan. And, true to his word, Evan got his first deer. There were lots of lessons in this exchange... and even more, there was a new appreciation in my heart for Zack's generosity in sharing his passion... and his patience and diligence in teaching. Good job, Son. Great shot, Honey!!
Now, my brother, Greg... story is the Burberry after-shave and Clark shoes gave him away... no deer for him this time... lol.... Love you dearly brother! You are the best! And, you put up with our ribbing with such good grace!!


nanny said...

Zack would fit in perfectly at my house....My husband killed a deer Thursday am and we just finished freezing the tenderloin with my game saver.....the rest will go to market to be ground up...
Was Evan excited with his kill?
Sounds like a fun holiday with family!!!

Noni at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Yes, Nanny. Evan was MOST excited! He is in there right this moment putting up the tenderloin with the vacuum packaging thingy. The rest went to the processor as soon as we hit town yesterday! He is ready for the next hunt! LOL! It was fun; sounds like yours was, too! Did miss my Little Man and his folks though!

Amanda said...

What a great Thanksgiving story. Zack never ceases to amaze me. I think he should be a professional hunting guide. He'd be fantastic. Congratulations to Evan and Zack on their successful hunts! =)

Katherine said...

That is such a great story Tanna! I love it! I'm so glad not only that Evan got to experience hunting for the first time but that he actually got a deer. How exciting! He must have had an awesome teacher! Way to go're awesome!

Blue Creek Home said...

I am so glad that you came over!
Lovin' your bungalow a lot! I can't wait to see it all decked out for the holidays!

*Nice deer!

Shyra said...

I need to show this to my husband and son who are also hunters. My husband took our oldest daughter (she's 28) hunting this year and she got a big one! It was her first and my husband, also a teacher at heart, is a very proud dad!

Dana said...

Oooohh, how exciting. My dad just came back from his annual Missouri hunting trip and they did well too. I love that Zach has something to be so passionate about. I think it keeps lots of guys out of trouble! haha

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Wanted to come by and welcome you to my blog. I look forward to getting to know you so don't be a stranger.

Lauri said...

You are such an incredible story teller, Tanna. It's so wonderful that Zach has discovered his passion and gift--and that you are able to recount it for the rest of us! Thanks for sharing!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I left you a note on my blog. I figured others would want to know as well. Thanks for asking!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

If the ash is very light, just move down one shade and get the next darker color. And I don't mind the questions...smiles

~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving & Congrats to Zack! I love deer meat & am hoping TZ will get one this year too! Great pictures!

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the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
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