Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Hunt

This post has been on my mind almost everyday since this adventure started.  It's weird how writing things out help me put things in perspective.  It's not as much for everyone else as it is for me, it has surprised me how therapeutic this blogging thing has been.  I have gone back and forth a few times, trying to decide how much depth to go into.  But the last few days I have been feeling a little better about things and I think I would rather not relive the whole thing at this point.  So here you go.  The shortened version.  We hunted our tails off and came home with the stupid tag in our hands.  Yep, no deer.  It's not that we didn't see any, we did, just not any that we deemed worthy of a once in a lifetime draw unit.  It was hard, both physically and  emotionally.   All the early mornings and cool weather didn't bother me.  And the hiking was pretty awesome actually, it felt so good, and I was so proud of myself for keeping pace.  But wrapping my sleeping baby up and pawning her off on Nicole at 6 am was hard.  After all it was Nicole's vacation too and I felt like I was taking advantage of her, a lot.  But of course she never complained, and she had a smile on her face every time I invaded her trailer to dump my kid off.  She is one of those people who are few and far between, a true friend.  Shes obviously easy going and fun, but most of all, she's genuine.  I just can't say enough about how grateful I am for her.  There were also several more people who were there to get up early and sit for hours and spot and spot and then spot some more.  They hiked, they cooked, they laughed, they were what made everything OK in the end.  I feel so unworthy of all the time and effort everyone went to just to help little old me.  But despite it all, I missed Chad.  I tried hard to stay focused, but I found my mind wondering almost constantly.  I wanted him to help me, to show me, to tell me where to go.  I held out hope, until the very end, until Ben finally looked at me on the very last day and asked me what I wanted to do, and I had to call it.  It felt like losing him all over again.  It was definitely the very hardest part.  I wanted to scream and yell and call him bad names, and I almost did.  I had a good cry, ripped off my orange hat and after a few minutes I was OK again.  OK until Jason told me as we pulled into the drive way that I had done a good job and he was proud of me for being a true hunter and holding out for the buck I wanted, even if that meant coming home empty handed.  I was so honored to receive such a compliment from someone I consider my big brother.  I now realize, after a few days of trying to sort it all out in my mind, a pair of antlers could never mean as much to me as all the love and support I have felt over the last two weeks.  A huge thank you to Jason, Jed and TJ, my big brothers, (weather you like it or not) thank you for everything.  All the days off work, days away from you families  all the driving and advice and help, I wouldn't have even seen one thing without all of you. Collin, I know you love to camp and hunt but I really am so grateful to you for helping out with Ty and Ally.  I am glad you were there and I think you are a pretty amazing and awesome young man, keep up the good work. Waylon, thanks for being patient with Ally, you are the cutest happiest boy ever and I just love you to pieces. To Nicole, well I just can't find the words to thank you, I love you.  Even though I felt bad leaving my kids I knew that they couldn't be in better hands, you are and amazing Mom and friend.  My Mom and my Uncle Tim, two of the most special people in my life, my world was complete with you there, you provided some sort of calm I was unable to find after you left, thank you for everything over the last 30 years.  To my kids, thank you for being good sports, Ally thank you for not crying for Nicole and only being a diva when I was around.  Ty, you are one funny and amazing boy.  I am so proud of you for always finding the good in any situation and being a happy fun kid.  And to Benny, NONE of this would have happened without you.  You were the first one up every freezing cold morning and you sweetly and calmly asked me if I was awake and told me it was time to get up, even though it wasn't your hunt and I know how much the whole getting me out of bed in the morning drives you crazy.  You never complained about anything, you never told me no.  Someday I hope I am the kind of person you are.  I love you so very very much.  Thank you for listening to me and holding me while I cried.  I know you are the only one who truly understands what I went through and I know you felt Chads void just as much as I did.  There is no one else on the planet I would have wanted to be with for this adventure.  You kept me positive and you still helped me see the good after it was all said and done.  You are my rock, I love you.

OK now that I have spilled my dramatic guts, how bout a few pics?  I only got my camera out one day, boo. But can I just say how much I love sitting in a camp chair surrounded by friends.  There can't be anything better in the world than that.

It started out with a little friendly shooting competition. Can you see the cans?

Somehow they ended up shooting one of Collins Gatorade's because of who won, or lost,
 I can't remember how it all went down.

While the boys were having their fun, Nicole and I loved on our little people. 
(Don't his curls just kill you?)

 Ally slept on my lap for what seemed like hours, I loved every single second of it.

After that was a friendly game of pine cone baseball,

 Which turned unfriendly pretty quickly.

Ben found this 4 wheeler for sale on KSL two days before we left.  It wasn't running, of course my handy husband had it fixed in a few hours, and the part to fix it was only one dollar, sweet!  

Ty rode it non stop for 4 days.  Ben told him only First gear, that lasted almost a whole day.

 This was the view out the windshield on the way home, it was sad to say goodbye, bittersweet.  But I am so grateful for the opportunity and I am doing my best to find all the good in it.  Which there is, a whole lot of good.  Thanks again everyone.

PS  I asked Ty when we got home if he was glad to get back to normal? he said "Yeah, like making cookies and going to the movies...."  What? that's not normal? How about cereal and cartoons buddy.  I love you.


lori said...

what an adventure. and such tenderness behind it all! thanks for sharing these glimpses of what i'm sure were truly heartfelt moments. love you, friend!

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