I’ve mentioned before that I now own…
1. One of my Father’s .22 rifles
2. One of my Father’s 30.06 rifles
3. One of my GrandFather’s .22 pistols
4. One of my GrandFather’s .22 rifles(the one that saved my life)
5. My GrandMother’s shotgun
This is a short story of my GrandMother’s H & R Topper model 88 .410 break-action single-shot.
While having both a washer and a dyer, GrandMother preferred to hang clothes out to dry on a line in the back yard. She constantly complained about rattlesnakes basking in the sun, which just so happened to coincide with her placement of the clothes line.
GrandMother wasn’t inclined to complain about something trivial and GrandFather wasn’t inclined to quietly listen to ANYONE complain about anything. Complaining to GrandFather was the proverbial double-edged sword. If you were stupid enough to verbalize your trivial displeasures to him, He would solve your problem in less time than it takes most people to spit. Exhausting all efforts before you went to GrandFather was a good idea.
Blah blah blah. Then some more blah blah blah. Not that GrandFather was rude or felt Himself superior, but if you aired some perceived problem in his presence, He took it upon himself to remedy the situation toot sweet. That was his nature.
GrandFather went and bought GrandMother the shotgun and told her to “sweep the area” before hanging the clothes up.
GrandMother would carry the basket out to the yard with one hand pinching it against her hip and holding the shotgun in the other.
She would then pour herself a glass of white wine and watch over the clothes line with the shotgun crossing her lap. Any rattlers killed would soon find themselves filleted, lightly seasoned and onto one of “the good platters” on the dinner table.
Some people grow up in an urban environment and I fully understand that. I even acknowledge that it has its benefits. Living inside town brings convenience. It’s so much easier to go shopping than keep a garden and hunt. It’s so much easier to drop the kids off at school rather than home-school on the fly when you’re snowed in and the scrapers don’t come for days. It’s so much easier to talk about the weather with a thousand acquaintances then have 3 rock solid neighbors that band together for any and all causes.
GrandFather didn’t call animal control, he was animal control.
GrandFather didn’t complain to the D.O.T about potholes in his road, He filled them.
GrandMother didn’t squeeze melons in aisle #3 at Safeway, She squeezed melons in row #4 of her garden next to the windmill.
When I got stuck in the dark five miles from camp on the side of a mountain because the Honda CRX Enduro had a busted headlight, GrandFather didn’t call the police, He tracked me down(to this day I don’t know how he knew where I went; I can only guess He followed my tire treads through the sage brush) and strapped a flashlight to the handlebars and told me to hustle.
In today’s hectic world, the benefits of specialization has it’s place. I don’t need to grow my own food. I don’t need to hunt. I don’t need to tune up my own car. I don’t need to do anything outside of my job and whip out the checkbook once a month.
Every generation enters a world a tad bit more comfortable than the one experienced by our elders. Everything newly placed at your finger tips eats a small hole in your backbone.
I don’t need to hang stuff out on the clothes line, but I do.