Memories .... that storage vault filled with everything you have ever done since day 1. Notice we are referring to "your" storage vault , not mine. That would be reminiscent of dredging through maral. No that isn't a made up word. It is ground coral, silt and sand ..... a moderately thick substance similar to quicksand but sinking usually stops between knee and hip..... found under salt water, as in the gulf's bottom; you really needed to know that .... right. Trying to make a point regarding a vault crammed full of disorganized "stuff" UNTIL a key word causes misfiring and wheels whirl. Suitcase Deer ..... AEDC Management Area ..... TWRA Diana Hunts.
Halloween weekend 1968, he is watching TV as I completed dinner that Friday evening. Was entertaining thoughts of a cozy fire, some wine .... oh, you know .... when I was confronted with a man so excited coherent communication failed. All that was heard " forget dinner, find a motel in Manchester, you are going on a Diana Hunt at AEDC". Before there was time to consider this, he was a whirlwind of packing, loading and waving me goodbye. I was departing and hungry and shocked that a man that size could be so lithe. [Oh, he was 6'2" and 240/50 lbs .... little fella to my 5'4" and 128lbs] He was like a running back receiving the ball on the 1 yard line, miraculously avoiding the opposing hoard to make the unheard of return "touchdown"!
Passing through some of the small communities, there were those miniature ghost and goblins collecting many TREATS. It was just me and our '67 Ginger colored Bronco heading west with not the first idea of what I had been shoved into. Looking back, this seems to be a continuing thread in my life. Lets skip ahead a few hours; checked into a Holiday Inn, then looked for food. Have you ever walked into a restaurant and noticed immediately "you weren't alone". Right, 70% of the diners were women in camo and they really weren't military. At least, I hoped not with all that big hair.
Taking heart, asked if I might join 2 ladies and that was the beginning of a friendship that lasted for years. Alma and Virginia became my new best friends from St. Petersburg, FL. Life is. The evening was a beehive of talk, prying area information out of others .... I felt as though my playmate had thrown me out into a lake with no preserver. So, if you paddle in one direction long enough, you'll reach the bank.... ha!
That Saturday, at 5 am, found me searching for the oak tree on the left corner of that 12 acre field just off the second dirt road on the right. RATZ!! O.K., you are absolutely correct, nothing. Lunchtime was spent at the checking station with a few Wildlife Officers picking their brains collectively. AH HA!! a little southern charm can go a long way weedling out information and the directions to an out of the way, quiet, little 5 acre field that seemed to have attracted a bit of activity. Pulling in to park, there was Virginia's station wagon well,drat .... all the same, grabbed my 12 gauge with a buck barrel and my Bernnike slugs . Slipping down the right side of the field, spied Virginia facing off to the left and she indicated Alma was further to her left in the woods, leaving the right for me. We left the field that evening with a better sense of where what and how we would hunt Sunday.
The morning was so foggy one could get lost in the parking lot. Being the first actual organized Deer Hunt ever, we seemed to require alot of "checking out" many possible areas bring us to lunch. Girls, we have to decide ..... you are welcome to join me at the "little field" or you may like another place better....... so we went to the "little field". Funny, for all our future hunts, Mitchell and I would scout the areas and line up good, active locations AND we were successful.
Settling into a honeysuckle screen had a grand view of a fireroad that appeared to be well used. NOW, one of the very few things I resent about men IS ..... they don't need to remove 90% of their clothes to relieve themselves. Over the years, this one thing has been a burr under my blanket. Well, any way, there I was pulling up and fastening snaps/zippers/etc. when movement caught the corner of my eye. Oh, crap ... the head went down, my hand moved toward the tree, head up, I froze.... what seemed a week of stop and go and nearly breathing, he stepped behind a tree, the stock settled into my shoulder and I leaned into my tree. I could have smoked an entire pack waiting then there he was ... broad side ... no thought, found the spot, fired, could not have missed. After the initial back flip ..... quiet. Not wanting to jump him, sat down to wait 30 minutes. Soon there was the sound of crunch crunch crunch behind me. This continued until I was able to scoot around the base of my tree and see behind me ..... through the woods came Alma and Virginia to check out my harvest.
Lapsed time, we were surprised to find .... nothing!! After much looking, Virginia signaled she heard movement off to our left. Again, barely breathing we stood frozen in the middle of that fireroad when all of a sudden there right in front of us .... as though presenting himself to his fans
..... Alma was first to shoot, he didn't flinch; then Virginia caused him to jump sideways; well, what the ..... my shot and he did that back flip and down. Needless there was enough adrenalin raging that we probably could have picked up a car and run down the road. WOW!!!! just remember to breath. When we finally stopped congratulating ourselves and realizing the afternoon was waining. Need to get him to the checking station. Makeing our way to him, we almost tumbled over his twin brother from earlier. Oh, lawrd, thank goodness we hunted in threes. Two clean shots; a nice 6 point and a 7 point brother ..... Virginia checked one out and shared the meat with Alma that year, and we had forged a lasting friendship. I learned recently that Virginia had died and Alma was dealing with Alzheimer's.
By 8 pm that Sunday, Ginger Bronco and I rolled into the drive. What I didn't tell you early on was the statement, if I bring home a deer we would buy a long wished for freezer. Descending the back steps "Well, how'd you do? ..... You owe me a freezer!" Oh, yes, I also failed to mention I was "a little bit" pregnant with our first baby. My goodness, odd what tumbles from that stuffed vault amd it's Holloween weekend. Unfortunately for the ladies of Tennessee, we no longer have Diana Hunts.
Memories like bubbles burst and evaporate into thin air. Sure glad we can share these moments. Are you ready for that cup of Ginger tea and honey? It's chilly, let's have a fire too .......... what do ya say ......