Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ROAD TRIP (vacation) (07/02/15)
TITLE: The Heart Throb of Pittsfield
By Cindy Duncan
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I didn’t want to go, and I was not her first choice of travelling companions either. But she was desperate, and I couldn’t refuse those sparkling blue eyes, barely containing the tears she was trying so hard to keep from spilling out. “Please go with me, Mom, I have to be there,” Paige pleaded.
It was late October; prime deer hunting season, and my daughter was obsessed. I have three sons, you see, but none of them hunt. My only daughter, my youngest child, thought of nothing else, especially this time of year. She was only nineteen years old, but she already knew what she wanted to do with her life. Her goal was to be a professional hunter, make videos of her hunts, and someday to have a hunting show of her own.
Paige’s father, my husband, was also obsessed. He was the one who introduced her to the addiction when she was just six years old. They had planned this trip months ago, but things had come up with his business, and he was not able to leave. He was also her cameraman until, of course, she convinced me to be his replacement.
I have to admit; I was not excited about learning to operate a video camera while sitting in a tree stand that was about fifteen feet above the ground. In fact, I worried about it for most of the ten-hour trip from our home in Georgia to our destination in Pittsfield, Illinois.
After we arrived and checked into our room, Paige immediately took me to see some of the tree stands we would be hunting in, and to check her wildlife cameras. When it was time to hunt, she took me over a barbed wire fence, across a creek, and up a tree. It was dark when we came down from that tree, stumbled across the creek, and carefully climbed back over the fence. When we finally got back to our room, I couldn’t help but wonder how I had gotten myself into such a mess.
The next morning our alarm went off at 4:30. You must realize how much my daughter hates mornings for you to fully appreciate how much she loves hunting. And by the way, she inherited her dislike for mornings from me.
The morning hunt was cold. We didn’t see many deer, but what we did see was the masterpiece that God revealed to us at sunrise. The colors being painted across the sky, and the sounds of the woods coming to life were almost enough to make me forget that my fingers and toes were getting numb. Almost.
That afternoon was filled with more of God’s handiwork, from having flocks of thousands of birds flying above us as we walked across the field, to seeing a cow just meandering down the middle of the road. As we enjoyed these unusual sights, I was reminded of how different this place was from our hometown.
The highlight of this trip, though, was the second evening. As we were sitting quietly in the stand, Paige whispered to me, “There’s Big Eight, on the horizon.” I looked to the right, and at the top of the hill, with the waning light of the day showcasing his silhouette, was a big eight-point buck. He was beautiful. We watched him for a while, hoping he would come closer so she could get a shot at him, but he never did. Just a few minutes later, Paige stood up, and slowly reached back for her bow. I couldn’t see what she was aiming at as she drew the bow back, but I could see her shaking. She made the shot, but missed the deer. Then I saw him, and he was huge. Paige named him Heart Throb, and the chase was on.
She saw him several more times during the two and a half weeks we were there, but never got another shot at him. Some would say that this trip was unsuccessful, because we didn’t go home with a deer. But it was successful, even in my eyes. It gave me invaluable time with my daughter, watching her do the thing she loves to do more than anything else. It reminded me of the amazing beauty of God’s creation, and it gave me a break from thinking about all my problems back in the city. Successful indeed.
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