It’s Opening Weekend…..

Of deer season.

Early morning departures and very tired dirt faced okie kids on Sundays. (Not to mention paying $75 for someone to butcher anything that’s shot…..what is that, like, $10 a pound?)
Actually, I love deer season. There’s a feeling the Redneck gets that has nothing to do with hunting for meat. It really has to do with being a part of a culture that is dying. Oh sure, some would say “Good Riddance” but I am one who believes the cycle should continue. After all, my husband-descended from the Karuk and Hoopa Indians–studied history at a time when Indian culture was still vilified as “barbaric”, “backward” and “violent”. Has anything changed?
In a world filled with confusing technology and easy acquisition of goods and services, it’s a beautiful thing to see a man and his boys head back to a simpler time. I want my children to have the heritage that dates back to the local Indians here. The men in his family have been law enforcement, train engineers, bridge builders and fishermen. He and his brother represent a way of life that may not survive the new technology and global economy. But he passes it on to our children.
I have no culture to pass on. My family can trace it’s roots to French nobility, but we have always been gypsies, rootless, changing locations as quickly as the next generation appears. My father’s family history is even more transitory, running from Jewish persecution in Poland and German totalitarianism. He was the last of his line–the last boy with the last name that changed from the very German sounding “Joffa” to the more streamlined (and acceptable) name “Jeffrey”.
Scattered and homeless, we are not a family that stays in one place. And then I met the Redneck. His last name is on the rolls of some of the first records in Eureka. His Grandmother is half native American and part of the decimated Karuk tribe. The roots here, for him, go down hundreds of years. It’s no wonder he attracted me.
In marriage to him, I have been privileged to be a part of something special-the continuation of a dying breed. Men have forged new frontiers and broken stony ground to bring the world to its current frenetic state. Men like the McKenzie’s have always stood for the solid things that mean home, stability, warmth.
Like the turtle Mack in Dr. Seuss’ “Yertle The Turtle”, men like the Redneck have born the weight of all the better known and wildly popular men. There aren’t many of them left. They aren’t always easy to spot.
It isn’t surprising that I have Demolition Boy’s teacher telling me “Most boys his age are compliant. Demolition Boy stands out among the other children.” I’m afraid I’m unwilling to view it as negative. My boys will have minds of their own, with a new brand of stubbornness I never thought of having.
I’ve been reading “Harriet The Spy” to the boys before bed. I remember relating to her so much as a kid. Last night, I realized that “different” in any culture is frowned upon. But I revel in the fact that my kids are “different”. Train Boy writes poetry. Demolition Boy makes up his own songs. Train Boy loves John Denver and Demolition Boy loves Linkin Park. They aren’t going to be cookie cutter kids.
So, this weekend, I send my children with their father knowing that they are being given something special, something I never had.



Filed under Life Stuff, Whatever category

8 responses to “It’s Opening Weekend…..

  1. What a wonderful post Jen. I never associated hunting with something so beautiful.

  2. This is a great post Jen. You are lucky to have such a wonderful man. And your boys are so lucky to have a great father! What are you going to be doing while the boys are gone? Writing? I hope you have a relaxing time… I’m jealous…. happy for you, but jealous, ya know?

  3. Jen

    Thanks Lothian. Most people just view hunting like those trophy shows with some rich guy paying a guide to take him to Bambi’s home to kill him. What you don’t see is how many hunters go home tired, hungry and frustrated. LOL.
    And JavaQueen, I am lucky. The Redneck is an awesome dad. Yes, I’ll be writing. I don’t blame you for being jealous. I’m very, very happy to have some time alone.

  4. Amen, Sistah. My three little monsters and their head monster, left this morning to stay the night at our hunting cabin. We’re on the Ferndale side so rifle season opened up a bit ago and it’s closing soon. I’m not a hunter, but I do love the family bonding you get in a dirtfloor shack and no running water :-). Our cabin and this tradition had been passed down in our family for the last 100 years. Good stuff.

  5. Jen

    Oh, I’m jealous of your cabin, Sandi.
    They leave me home. It’s a male bonding thing. LOL.

  6. This is a beautiful post, Jen. My uncle enjoys hunting, and we’re decended from the eastern First Nation called Mi’kmaq. We all love being in the woods, hunting or not.

    Hey Jen – what French family line are you decended from? We’re from the Mius-d’Entremont line.

  7. Your post reminds me of all our family trips to WA during hunting season. All the photos, long since lost, of my dad and my cousin Lois’ husband Don with a buck strung up between them. Of the 12 point antlers, head and neck of a buck my dad got in Dunsmuir, hanging on his shop wall with those big fake taxidermist made eyes… I miss how excited my dad got every season. It’s a wonderful heritage for some families.

  8. Jen

    Oh, I wish you could find some of those pictures, Winter. We always take lots of pics.

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