Sunday, September 1, 2013

Please Help

My friend, Red Woman. She has an issue with Blogger. She's a nice lady and I'd hate to see her lose her blog. It's technical.

Thank you.


I Remember

I still retain the weariness of my movements as I ambled the house well before sunrise - my gear and firearms packed and stacked and my impatience and the feel of loneliness the house gave with her out of state. I remember thinking, loose ends. Tie the loose ends. Don't forget a towel for the sweat.

I remembered to make a simple breakfast and then ate in silence and as I sipped my coffee I remember it was stupid of me to have locked the gun safe because now I remembered one more handgun to add to my list.

I had agreed to meet Senior at noon to help him mow the range, and now I remembered I'd had second thoughts to have set my departure so late in the morning. My skin crawled with the weariness of the wait. So I sat and once again penciled a list of items and chores. I remember it didn't help.

Then into the garage and to one of my work benches where I keep my gun gear and cleaning supplies and before long I've swiped several barrels and don't remember any of the process other than the wonderful scent of Hoppe's Number Nine, still my old standard.

Afterwards I remember I said, "The hell with it," and loaded the truck with my gear. The Coleman cooler tied securely in the bed, I drove for ice. The traffic was light and soon I remember placing two dollars into the slot and a nice bag of cold dropped. I poured the ice over my bottled water and three bottles of Gator Aid and the ice tea. Two store purchased turkey sandwiches were nestled into the cold and I remembered thinking - what a sorry lunch.

I knew it was far too early to head out, still, I was bored to tears. To kill time I topped off my trucks tank with expensive gas. Afterwards, I checked my watch for what seemed like the hundredth time then said, 'the hell with it,' and hit the road.

I remembered to keep my speed set to easy as the truck moved over the bridge and through the mist of massed humanity. Then out the other side and up onto the expressway and west. I remember thinking if a cop pulls me over he'll poop a brick when he takes a glance into the back seat.  Several hundred rounds of ammunition and several cased rifles and shotguns tends to make the average policeman reach around and tug his panties.

The drive was peaceful and about forty-five minutes later I was off the interstate and the truck moved along a black road enclosed in green. I remember the water filled ditches and the snow white egrets and the contrast of colors each species of tree lent the other and I remember I lowered the windows and allowed fresh country air to fill the cab and I remember how much I truly missed the smell of fragrant summer grass and acorn mast.

I remember when I reached the farm road I was unsure of the wet ground and traction so I flipped the key and sat in silence for a few moments. I remember, from the farm next door, the scream of goats, the heaviness of humidity, but most of all the horrid heat even so early of a morning. Our farm, my families, sits on the river and unfortunately is now all but abandoned. I remember the sadness of it as I sat and waited. How the farm is so ideally located butted as it is alongside state land. It is now only occupied by deer and coyotes. Turkeys and racoons. Skunks and shell casings. And, of course, memories and one lone horse.

I eased from the truck to test the wet ground and found it sufficient. It would carry the trucks weight. I drove slowly towards the range by easing between our Boar's Nest and the tack room. I parked close alongside the range shelter.

As I removed and placed my gear I remembered how we'd gathered last year to rebuild the shed after the one hundred year flood; how the ten feet of tannin stained water had moved over the land and tried its best to wipe clean the structure of the land.

I smiled at the memory of how we'd gathered and, without so much as a word, began to rebuild. I remember Duke dressed in his overalls and how he strained under the weight of two hundred pound crossties, and ShooterSteve's motor-mouth. I remember how PirateJim, our group medic, hovered, worried about injuries. Like a flash I remember Senior and his four wheeler as he buzzed about to move timbers and the quiet intense Gary as he studied solutions to difficult problems. I remembered it had been a fine day and now I once again stood beneath the result of our hard efforts.

I placed my gear and range bag on the board, and waited. I remember how I glanced down range and to find the river had risen close to the one hundred yard line. The dark water outlined an olive green Mayhaw bush now stripped by the deer. I remember my brother once mentioned he caught several deer standing on their rear legs to reach the tiny fruit.

I remember it wasn't long after when I was greeted by the sound of Gary's Jeep. He backed in and jumped out and I remember how much I'd missed his warm smile. I remember how he held my Colt Commander as we tried to sort a continued minor malfunction in its operation. I remember thinking the Colt should be dressed in a new set of elkhorn grips.

I remember when Senior arrived and then mowers and weed whackers and heat and fresh cut grass and sweat-soaked heavy shirts and towels and bottle after bottle of water gulped rapidly, the intense sun. Forty minutes later we're seated with towels wrapped around our necks. I remember it was about then Duke arrived and parked close behind my truck and soon we're all full of laughs.

I remember how Duke revealed his answer to the gun weenie problem, his newly painted orange flash suppressor. I remember we all agreed he'd found the answer to the left's fear of firearms - bright colors dispel fear.

Later, I remember the children's laughter, and my father seated with a quiet smile on his face as he watched Senior teach his little boys the art of rifle. I remember Senior's lovely wife, Glock Mom, seated to the left of my father, as they chatted while she kept a close watch over her two little boys.

Hours later I remember the sound of thunder and how the wind finally freshened and to the south of us the black clouds rolled and boiled and gave threat of rain. Senior and his family hugged and shook hands and then were gone. I remember thinking he and his family, those two little boys and their little rifles, are the future of this nation. 

Even as the storm clouds closed I remember those of us left continued to shoot. I remembered to practice my 'draw and twos,' fired a few rounds from my newly acquired thirty-eight special derringer then when we were down to three, Duke, Gary and yours truly, we sat and ate. I seem to remember we chatted for another hour but my memories of yesterday were tinted with a headache and the weariness of the heat.

And I remember this picture.

I remember how sweet the old classic Savage model 24 performed and how Duke asked if I'd be willing to fire a forty-five long Colt from its chamber...and I remember the nice thud the slug made on the metal target. I remember the nice explosion of Tannerite when I connected with a single round of five point five six. I then remember my father said, "That's enough, Son," him worried about the neighbors reactions. Even at my age I still replied with a 'Yes, Sir.'

Then, I remember the light rain. How we quietly packed and loaded our gear. I remember I followed close behind Duke on the long drive home and how we waved after we reached our separate turns. I remember the hot shower, afterwards.

And, I remember it was good - this freedom, yet.