There is nothing so good for bonding as husband and wife than going with your husband on a hunting expedition. Getting up at 4:30 to make it to the deer blind and stand at least two hours before daylight somehow brings man and wife together in a way that sleeping until 10:00 a.m. on a weekend can’t.
The alarm sounds off at that ungodly hour afore mentioned. I fight the urge to pull the covers up and turn over. Half asleep, I throw myself out of the cozy bed to pull on my matching Gander Mountain pants and shirt and grab my backpack stuffed with gloves, fleece neck collar, cap with cap light, granola bars, and hunting license. No time for a shower, but I wipe my face and smelly bits with a cleansing cloth and then I head to the kitchen to fill my backpack with hurriedly-made sandwiches, granola bars, bottled water, and a Coke for my hubby. Then I fill my precious Stanley thermos with freshly brewed coffee. With my 243 encased in its pink trimmed camo rifle case, I sling by backpack over my shoulder, grab the thermos, and climb into my husband’s classic 1966 Ford pickup. It comes to life with a roar, and we head to my brother’s property about ten miles away. Jimmy has his compound bow, backpack, and our Li’l Buddy heater all packed and ready.
We get to my brother’s house and pull up to the gate behind his house, the pickup rumbling loudly, but my brother and sister-in-law have gotten used to the noise, so we don’t worry about waking them up. Even the dogs don’t bark anymore. Jimmy gets out of the truck to open the gate, climbs back in, drives through, and gets out again to close the gate. Yes, I should do the gate, but he is so good, he just does it. I clutch my thermos, anticipating that first, hot cup. Jimmy drives his truck down the by-now-worn path to our blind, startling my sister-in-law’s horses, who jump up, wild-eyed, trotting away from the truck. There is the blind, quietly awaiting our arrival.
Jimmy snaps on his caplight as he climbs out of the truck. As he goes to unlock the little wooden storage building that he converted into a blind and moved to this sight, I gather my things and open the truck door as quietly as possible. The air is crisp, the night still dark, and all is quiet. The eastern horizon is showing some color, a promise of the sunrise to come. I step up into the blind as Jimmy opens the wooden shutter of the front window. I feel the cool breeze through the opening. He makes sure I am securely inside and then shuts the back door before he moves off to find his tree stand. I am alone in the dark, just me, my rifle, and the hot coffee waiting in my thermos.