What’s Happening in Obscurity?

Kid hunter

Deeper Into the Woods

 

 People like to decorate back here.  But they can be a little slow to take things down.  A porch one half block north of us is currently displaying the American flag, a hanging corpse, and eves hung with Christmas lights – plus a wreath and bells.

My son wanted our home decorated better than his friend’s (different home) up the street, and to have a ‘lighting ceremony’ to celebrate it.  So we scheduled it to be on the evening of Black Friday, and got to work with lights and extension ladder.

Once the relations had all arrived and had their drinks, we marched them back outside into the cold and dark to witness.  As they stood muttering through shivers, I laid the intellectual foundation of the event with a short speech about the historical sources of our current lighting ceremony; from the first candle-lit German Christmas trees, to Queen Victoria’s embrace of the tradition, to the lighting of the first electrified Christmas tree in a ceremony at the Grover Cleveland White House in 1895.  From there we touched on the “Grand Illumination”, in which whole towns would participate in a lighting ceremony – first begun in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1935.  All of which led eventually to lighting ceremonies, throughout the country, including fireworks and parades, and the eventual term, “turning on the lights” (I said, with a bit of flourish.) –  and with the tradition of fireworks added – …which is believed to have been descended from the custom of putting lights in the windows to celebrate an armistice, or a disaster.

Our designated ‘Grand Illuminator’ was my father in law.  Once I had adequately roughed in the intellectual foundation of our event, he flicked the switch, (with the help of my son) and POW!  …almost daylight.

All sang, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, while waiting for the inflatable dachshund on the porch roof to fill – just finishing the last verse as our Great Weenie fully engorged!  to a great hue and cry!   Then we all went inside to watch a Griswold Christmas.

But enough of that.  All of this is a lead-in to my being kicked out of my wife’s bed for snoring last Sunday night, and sleeping in my son’s, who was not there, due to his sleeping over that night at his friend’s.

“Why do you think you can sleep over on a school night?”  I had asked him earlier.

“Because Monday is a holiday.”

I couldn’t think of any holiday that fell on December 1st.

“What do you mean a holiday?”

“It’s a school holiday!”

“You didn’t have enough of a vacation with 4 days off?  They had to add an extra one?”  I huffed.  I wasn’t swallowing this easily.

“It’s the opening day of hunting season.”

“?”

Apparently everyone takes off the first day of hunting season around here.  Over 450,000 hunters will enter the woods.  And over 75,000 deer will be carted out, say the newspapers.

As it so happens, I had been talking about hunting earlier with a relation that wasn’t long married, had a ‘teething’ baby, just moved into a new home whose walls they were trying to get painted first, plus a part-time job shepherding cancer patients to their labwork through the outside wintry cold, while her new husband had just spent the last month hunting.

“They all have a piece of land you can’t live on, and you couldn’t farm, hours away, where they go.  And he has these cameras planted all through the woods, and he pours over the recordings.  He knows everywhere they go.  And he has every deer named, and has picked out just the one he wants to kill.  But, he hasn’t killed him yet.”

She nodded grimly over the steering wheel at the lit nighttime highway ahead.

“I told him, just kill one!”  She sighed.

“But is has to be THAT one.”

 

Later at the dinner I related all this to his father.

“Yeah,” he said, not at all astonished, but a little tired of the thing.  “He’s been trying to get that one for the last four years.”

 

All of which brings me back to the story of sleeping in my son’s room.  He leaves his drapes open and at the tick of 5 – all of the outside icicle lights clicked on…  …POW!!!

I awoke.

And as I watched, a huge dachshund slowly enlarged, filling the window.

 

Photo from Google Images

Postscript:  This just in!  Apparently they got THAT one: their buck, a record 162 on the Big Buck rating.  But it was an uncle, rather than her husband who shot it.

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