There are times when I wonder if my life is ridiculous. And then there are times when I know my life is ridiculous.
Take last Monday for example.
Just a typical workday out of the home office. I got a couple hours of work done on a contracted project, then headed out the door to head over to the neighboring youth camp to do an interview for an article.
The camp's about a five-minute drive away, but the camp's only two bays down on the lake and since I'm sans wheels at the moment, I was hoofing it. (Remember, anything with motors hates me. Yes, I think by now that might actually be a literal statement.) I pulled on my rubber boots, hopped onto the power line just a little ways down our road and made a beeline for the camp. If I went by road, it would take me close to 45 minutes to walk from the cabin to the camp, but by using the powerline shortcut, it's less than a twenty minute hike. I guess that thing about straight lines being the shortest distance between two points really is true. ;)
It had snowed the night before and as I walked along the powerline, I noticed all sorts of little deer tracks. A lot of the shrubs (aka, "browse" in the deer hunting world) had been chomped on by little deer mouths too. I internally rolled my eyes as I realized just how much time I'd spent deer scouting this year and how ingrained deer scouting observations had become in me. I'd left a monster deer hanging in our shop back in the cabin. Deer season was so decidedly over for our household and yet here I was, in the woods, by myself, and unable to not notice deer signs. *sigh*
I had a lovely interview with Will, the camp manager. We drank tea. We chatted about winter activities at the camp (as per my article assignment) and other things, like the awkward time that comes between college graduation and what actually feels like real adulthood, and deer hunting. Of course. Will was still hoping to get a deer and had been devoting most of his mornings to hunting, but with little luck.
After the interview wrapped up, we headed outside to get a photo for the article. We headed down the cabin path and out to the camp driveway so we could get a shot of the entrance sign.
And that's when we spotted just about the littlest buck you've ever seen.
"Are you kidding me?" Will said. "Did that thing have antlers?"
"Do you mind if I go get my gun?"
He ran back to the cabin. While he was gone, the deer and I stared at each other for a good long while, then the deer walked back down the road and hopped onto the powerline I'd been walking on the hour before. Will returned, I snapped a couple quick pictures for the article and then we went off in search of the buck.
Then this happened.
And yeah, and why yes, another deer was shot right in front of me, which I then assisted in tracking and which I then took the obligatory "hunter with dead animal" pictures of. Oh, and then I helped drag the deer out of the woods . . . all while wearing my pea coat and a fashionable (dare I say, jaunty) tartan scarf. Happily, this was a much (much) smaller deer than the one Andy'd shot the week before and we just had to drag the deer about 100 yards through the woods . . . all downhill! (Oh heaven's be praised!) While I'm a little sad that this deer didn't have a chance to grow up to be a bit of a monster himself, I'm glad I helped someone else stock their winter larder.
But seriously, you guys, I think I'm going pro next year as a professional deer slinger. For a totally reasonable fee, I will accompany aspiring deer hunters in the field. I will direct them as to which way the deer has gone, take the hunters' picture with the deer and then help them drag their deer out of the woods. Because, I kid you not, this is the third deer I helped move this year. I'm a lean, mean, venison moving machine.
Once Will and I had brought the deer down to the road, I headed back into the woods to head home via the powerline. After a bit of lunch, I returned to my home office to finish up my workday. Every so often that afternoon, I caught myself smiling whenever I thought of the latest "ridiculous" adventure I'd just added to my personal archives.
You know, life can be hard and frustrating, but at least there are plenty of surprisingly ridiculous moments in it to keep us smiling and in awe of all the unexpectedness life has in store for us.