Friday, November 25, 2011

Sporting Clays - A New Thanksgiving Tradition

You know what they say, "The family that aims together, stays together."

Okay, so they actually happens to be my sister-in-law, but nonetheless, I think she might just be right.

It's traditions, actually, that have a magical way of bringing families together.  Traditions provide a common goal, a common experience and quality time together. For some, Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without a competitive football game in the backyard or a poker showdown after dinner.  This year for us, the holiday went something like this:

In celebration of our religious freedom, we prayed together.

In remembrance of the first Thanksgiving feast, we ate together.

In honor of all the other fine firearm families (the Remingtons and Rugers of course) we aimed together...

And, I have to admit, it was a blast.  (Just me and my girls!)
Now rewind a good two months before Thanksgiving, and just try to imagine what our dinner-time table talk has been. Being outnumbered 6 to 1 by males, the chance of it being about anything relatively feminine is slim to none.
All the buzz has been about pheasant season, deer season, gun lingo (which is totally a foreign language to me), camouflage and taxidermy (I know, it's just too much, the whole taxidermy thing. Just what I need is a bunch of creepy beasts on my trailer house walls staring at me while I fold the laundry. Eeeww.)

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Steve bought a clay thrower.  I always knew that the time would come when guns and ammo and testosterone driven activities would take over our lives, but really can any mother ever be truly prepared?
What could I do?
A.  Wear a set of ear plugs so I can't hear a dang thang thay say?
B.  Spend an equal amount of money on a machine of my choice for the house? I think a Hobart dishwasher would look splendid in my wittle kitchen!
C.  Put them in piano, chess, fencing and art lessons so there's simply no time for weapon mastery?
D.  Try all of the above, and if they fail, get out there and get my Annie Oakly groove on? (I was gonna say Sara Palin, but the only reason I would hunt an animal is if my family's survival depended on it. So, that pretty much means never, ever, ever, ever.)

Ya'll know by now that I chose D. Minus the lessons and the Hobart, but I'm still thinkin' about buying the Hobart.

When my dad was in Vietnam, he was awarded a sharpshooter medal.  It is given to those who earn high marks in weapons mastery.  I wish some of those sharpshooter genes found their way to my DNA, but alas they did not.

Almost all of the shooting I've done in my life took place during my youth when I went to 4-H camp at Rock Springs Ranch.  And, it wasn't pretty then either.  It takes me about a good five minutes just to load the gun, because I have to check every few seconds to make sure that it's still on safety and pointing away from humans or windows.  These things just take time.

The boys are so much faster and better than I am, but despite my lack of natural talent, they still smiled and acted happy that I was there.  And, in the end that's what counts.
I've always imagined that when my boys grow up, the things they will remember most about me will be our time homeschooling, great meals and laughter around the table, reading and singing to them, and cheering them on at all their activities. Now they can add our new tradition of sporting clays to the list.


"Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful day, for my new clay thrower and for my wife who can shoot the turkey and cook it too.  I'm a lucky man."
"Take some notes, boys, take some notes."
"I'm so good I can shoot from the hip. They don't call me Bulls-Eye Bob for nuthin'!"
"Another shell please, Mr. Ammo Assistant!"
Like mother like son??
Lock 'n load.
Just so ya'll know, she's the one who put up the "No Trespassing" sign in the front yard.
Charlie is the reason Steve's Browning Citori 525 over and under wasn't too heavy for me to hold.  I've had the little guy in my arms non-stop for the past 8 months.  It's all about the training, folks.


  1. What fun! It has given me a good idea for Brian's birthday.

  2. Susan, Thanks for always putting a smile on my face and warming my heart with your beautiful blog! Luca needs to come visit you all. He idolizes his granddad for lots of things but the fact that he owns a gun is high on his list. He's be in heaven with your family.