The hunters have returned. Safe and sound. They came home tired but happy. They have lots of stories to tell - and venison for the winter! My sweetheart and our son returned last evening, proudly displaying their trophies from the hunting trip. Our son got the bigger of the two deer. This was a wonderful experience for father and son. It was the first time in several years they have been able to hunt together. Their stories have just begun - I'm sure there are many more to tell. They met up with other family members in the mountains of Eastern Oregon and spent time together trekking through the woods as well as times around the campfire in the evening. It was good for both of 'my' guys to get away from the routine and hard work of everyday life - just time together, doing what they love to do. And time with family and friends. That makes it even more special. In a few weeks they will join some of the family members in another place in Eastern Oregon where they will hunt for elk. Our son-in-law hopes to join them then and the three of them will return with even more stories to tell. These times together are so good for them. Sometimes people tell me that hunting costs much more than buying meat at a local market. They miss the point! My answer is always the same. It's not just about the meat - it's the good that comes from being away from home in the fresh air, doing something they enjoy, with people they love. Time to relax and think and reflect. It's cheaper than therapy! And sometimes they can catch up on their sleep.Maybe just a bit.
Edited to add: Our son just emailed me the picture my sweetheart took of him and his deer. The picture was taken with our son's cell phone. Love that new technology!
Poster: 'Deer Hunter' - Kate Ward Thacker
Photo: 'Sleeping On The Job' - Charles Alsheimer, photographer