Friday, November 27, 2009

Cool Hand Lex

Growing up as a kid in the Midwest, I couldn't wait for Thanksgiving.  Truly, it was off to Grandmother's house we go... in Joplin, MO.  Lot's of touch football with many fun-loving relatives of all ages.  The men were always so nice to include me in the football games... even as a squirrely 7 year old girl.  I appreciated that then and I do now.  I mostly remember laughing.  I come from a family of loud laughers and this annual family event fueled that birth defect for all of us! 

Now, as an adult with my own family, we have another family tradition for Thanksgivings.  We go to my brothers farm in Bucyrus, KS.  That's Blue Sky Ranch to the rest of you.  It's a beautiful rural oasis on a hill next to a Christmas tree farm on the outskirts of Kansas City.  The view in every direction is fabulous.  The winds rarely stop blowing and several times my brother has called me from his cell phone outside to yell "I'm standing at a 90 degree angle into the wind and not falling!"  

This year, Owen and his wife Laura, along with their two young children, graciously and dare I say excitedly hosted Thanksgiving again. For a decade they've pulled out the stops for up to 25 of us, continually wowing us with the details. We know we can count on a hayride no matter what the weather.  Sometimes we'll ride the ATV's, pet the horses, throw the football...  but this year we got something new.  We had the first annual TURKEY SHOOT!  We used my great grandfathers rifle, given to my father in 1938 and then to my twin brother when he was in high school.  We grew up in a nice surburban neighborhood of Kansas City, but what do you with an urban teenage boy who's infatuated with westerns, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, John Wayne and Paul Newman?  Apparently you give him a rifle.  Many times my brother would shoot the gun in our basement, at a target built from many blocks of wood hammered together... it even caught on fire one time.  We'd all be about the house, doing our thing and then "BOOM!" and the windows would rattle... and the smell of gunpowder would float up through the vents.  I never shot the gun.

Yesterday, I did shoot the gun.  I don't want to brag, but maybe I do...  I'm a born shooter.   Here's the proof in the photo...  My first time at bat, I got a 10 pt. shot just outside the red bullseye.  My 2nd and 3rd shots were IN the BULLSEYE!  The raised eyebrows by the rest of the men/boys witnessing, was totally worth the wait of 44 years to figure this out. My father however, thought the event should have been us running with the rifle shooting at the target and probably yelling... like a pioneer might have, and not so much in the "sniper" position I chose.  I went on to the 2nd round with Owen, Scott and Cotton Smith.   I didn't get a bullseye to move on to the final round... but was thrilled with my efforts nonetheless.  Mainly because I wasn't really trying.  I pondered if my success was genetic especially this being my first time. Perhaps. 

I can't wait for the next Thanksgiving... my membership to The Bullet Hole begins Jan. 1st.

No comments: