As my son and friends readied for deer hunting season, I dreaded my upcoming loss of sleep. I don’t hunt, but I do have several important functions to help stock both family freezers with venison.
The first day of the season, the phone rings at 4:00 a.m. “Mom, we’re on our way!” My son carols when I pick up.
“Urf?” I whimper.
“Mom? Mom, are you awake?” he asks. Silly boy, I think. I’m vertical and clutching the phone two hours earlier than usual and haven’t had my coffee.
“Yeah,” I sigh. ”I’m up. C’mon out.”I start the coffee and grab some dog snacks. My first job is to keep Bear-Dog quiet. I see the lights of the truck turn into the drive and I leap (stumble) to the door with snacks. I’m astounded at the decibels Bear can produce; deep, booming barks that originate from his toenails.
The deer will scatter if he gets started, so I stand next to him on the porch, garbed in my ratty sleep shirt, stuffing him with treats. Truck parked, the boys and grandkid of the day check in, exchange the news, and steal off to the deer blind. I stuff seventy pounds of protesting dog into his crate. He thinks our morning walk is starting early, rateand takes the hunkered down stance of dog-stubborn. He follows the handful of treats I toss into the crate and I slam the door shut. I drape an army blanket over it and tell Bear to hush, wishing I had my own crate and blanket; yearning to retreat back to bed.
Grandson “Spud” is an active child, and the hunters need a break from what my husband refers to as a reprise of “Sponge Bob’s Greatest Hits.” Bless a talker. We select a movie and Spud entertains me with family tales his father wishes he’d left untold. Always infothe child; he’s quite rmative and very entertaining!
When Spud gets bored with his Nana, I call his dad’s cell phone to tell him Spud is on the way back to the deer blind. Later in the morning after the deer bed down, the hunters return to the house to share leftover baggie omelets and blow by blow descriptions of the day’s “hunt.” By this point I’m totally awake.
We repeat every weekend as necessary, until someone gets a deer. Earlier would be best, or I’ll have to drag myself from the bed every weekend for the rest of the season. I’ve found nothing is as determined as a deer-less hunter, but Momma needs her sleep!