Rifle season came in for deer this past Saturday. Tim was pretty excited about this. He wanted a hot beverage and I knew that I'd seen a small thermos, just right to tuck in his vest. It was upstairs in his hunting room on the third floor, so I dug it out and brought it down. I had two turkey salad sandwiches in the fridge, and I bought him some little snacks.
He came out into the kitchen, and was examining the thermos. It was brand new, still in its box. "Where'd I get this?" he wondered. I said that I thought it had been a Christmas gift. I didn't remember any more about it than that.
He took it out of the box and opened it up as I was leaving the room. A minute later, he followed me out and said, "I got a note." He handed it to me without saying anything else.
I read it, and it was a very touching note written to him from my youngest daughter, thanking him for taking on our family. She was eight when Tim and I married. I'm not sure how old she was when she wrote that note. I said, "Oh, how nice." Tim said, "It was," and his eyes were strangely shiny. He left the room.
Saturday morning, he went hunting with his thermos and his lunch and he saw five deer. None of the other hunters in our family saw any. They were all doe, and so he did not shoot. He wanted his buck first.
"I don't know," I said doubtfully. "It seems as if I remember this strategy not working out so well for you. You're the hunter, I'm not, but don't you think it might be a good idea to shoot what shows up?"
He can shoot a buck and a doe. Our deer population is out of control, so they held a lottery for extra doe tags. He got one of those, so he is allowed to take two doe and a buck during deer season. He took a big doe during archery season.
He went back out again today, along with his thermos and a packed lunch. By 9:30, I received a message. He'd gotten his second doe. He's still on restrictions from his surgery, and so the deal was I'd go down and drag the deer out of the woods.
I trekked down through the woods. It was windy and spitting snow, but unfortunately, there was none on the ground. It is much easier to drag a deer across snow than a bare forest floor. While we walked, he said, "I think that thermos is my lucky charm. I was in the blind watching, and went to pour a cup, and two deer came out of the woods. They seemed to know that I was in the blind and they went running off immediately. They were never close enough to take a shot. So I sat there a while longer, and I poured a second cup, and as I did, I saw a deer coming down the path the other way. I didn't even get a chance to set my cup down and he was gone. I thought I'd blown my chance."
He waited a while longer and reached for his thermos. Two deer came walking towards him. He picked the biggest one, shot once and shot well. He marveled. "Every single time I reached for that thermos, I saw deer!"