Saturday, February 2, 2019

Post Departure, Retail Redemption, Hummingbird Herald

In case you’re wondering what happened to last week’s briefly-posted missive “Home on the Range,” I took it down, as I’ve decided to start a new blog, separate from this one, specifically to talk about my journey to firearms competence. I didn’t want the subject to begin looming large on this blog, which I prefer to reserve for complaining about petty domestic squabbles and the shabby state of retail. Also, while I make no apologies for my staunch support of the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, I understand that other people have different feelings about these things, and I don’t wish to contribute to divisiveness. This space is all about peace and love, man. So I’ll take my thoughts about my burgeoning passion to another venue; safely tucked away in another corner of Blogspot. I plan to get it up and running this week, so if you’re interested in following it, please IM me on Facebook or the Twitters, leave a comment, or zip me an e-mail.  

Speaking of retail, I have some vacation time I have to burn up, so on Monday, I took the day off and Mr. Typist and I motored off to Cabela’s, for which we had numerous gift cards left over from Christmas. I’d never been to a Cabela’s, and my friends, it is a place of glory. I was expecting your typical big box outdoorsy-type mega-store with glaring florescent lights, dirty floors and haphazardly organized inventory, but I found myself walking into a warm, soothing, beautifully designed wonderland full of gadgety goodness, all kinds of high-tech gear, and most delightfully of all, jeans that actually fit! They also had that unicorn known as good-quality cargo pants for women, which I have been seeking for months to no avail. I didn’t want to leave. The whole experience made me want to move to a cabin in some remote outpost in Wyoming and live off the land. I’m not very skilled at the art of survivalism, but I’m sure I'd be fine with enough gear.

I tend to put a fair bit of stock in the hidden meaning of random animal encounters. Let me explain: A few years ago, at least two or three times a week, I started seeing a blue jay in the trees near the building I worked in. This was very unusual. There just weren’t any in that area; at least I can’t remember ever having seen them before. Yet here was this dazzling blue bird, flying into my field of vision a few times a week for a period of about a month. Within that time, I was offered a transfer to a new campus, which ushered in the beginning of a major career transformation for me. When I looked up “blue jay medicine," it said blue jays represent change, transition, and new territory. There have been other such encounters throughout my life involving eagles, bears, wolves and other such roving wildlife. This morning when I pulled back the blinds on the sliding door to our deck, a stunning black hummingbird dove and hovered in front of me for a full five seconds, then swooped off to parts unknown. I take that as a sign. A sign of what, I do not know, but I’m enjoying the mystery of it.

--Kristen McHenry