They drove the 16 hours to Matawaska, Canada and I'm fairly certain it took all of 30 seconds for Brandon to fall in love with the lush forest and countryside. He came back with all kinds of scenery pictures on his phone insisting that we should buy land and a cabin in Canada.
Meanwhile, back at home - the kids and I were busting through the weekend partying (happy 3rd birthday Lilly!)...
...feeding animals at Living Treasures zoo and playing mini golf with Gigi...
...and going for long walks at Staple Bend tunnel with Abba, Chum, Kevin, and Aunt Uch
...but all along we were missing Dadda and counting down the days on our paper chain until he came back home to us.
The men were living their dream life each day by drinking beers and fishing all morning and then heading out into the woods in the late afternoon to sit in treestands until dark. After they trekked back through the woods after a day of hunting , they sat around drinking some more and eating a vast assortment of manly meats around a fire. (Shall I note here that Brandon and my 'dream lives' are so different it borders on hilarity).
|coolers loaded with everyone's preferred brew|
Meanwhile back atop our mountain, I was
And we had a video of B that we kept running on repeat so that we could see Dadda's face and hear Dadda's voice any time we were missing him (which was just about 24/7)
Dadda must have been missing us too in Canada because he returned with a bunch of random animal photos on his camera. He was snapping pictures of things he thought Booboo and Gemmi would have liked to have seen on his trip too, like sneaky turtles and hoppy frogs.
We were making good use of family back in PA. We stopped by for dinner and to commiserate over being wives of hunters with Gigi and Mimi.
We also headed out to the county fair one night with my family to visit with the animals (kids' favorite part) and Grey took a super excited-turned-horrified ride on the mini-rollercoaster. He quickly recovered from the traumatic experience and happily enjoyed every other ride at the fair.
I rode my first amusement park ride in about 4 years with Uch and we could not stop laughing for the entire 3 minute ride.
Brandon was so excited for his dad and cousin - which only made him even more eager to snag his own bear.
Meanwhile, back at home - things were starting to unravel. The children were eating me out of house and home
And no amount of fun projects could keep them occupied
|painting with blueberries|
|practicing buttering toast (with a plastic knife)|
And then, finally, on day 6 (the last day to hunt), Brandon headed out to a tree stand with his Dad who came along to watch. Brandon was situated up in his tree stand and Pappy was on the ground sitting in a fold-out chair a few yards back near a pine tree. The sun was beating down and after about an hour of hunting, a bear lumbered fairly quickly right past Brandon lounging with a snuff in his treestand. He thought he had missed his chance, but after the bear snapped a log in half a few yards out of sight, the bear mosied on back around right into Brandon's sight path.
Then the bear started walking straight at him....Straight at Pappy. At that is the story of how Brandon saved his Dad's life. haha, just kidding. But the bear did walk right up the middle of the path towards Rudy. Brandon got off a shot at it with his bow and they tracked it 370 yards. They felt most lucky that they found it before dark and didn't have to worry about the wolves.
That night, after the little gremlins were in bed, I climbed in bed myself to watch mindless sitcoms with a beer - celebrating both my burly man's success in bear hunting....and my own success at surviving a week atop the mountain with two small humans and an assortment of pets.
When Dadda got home, two mornings later, we were all relieved to see him. The dogs went bonkers, Grey wouldn't let anyone else hold him, Gemmi showed off her crawling skills, and I got a big kiss and then secretly went into our bedroom to stare at the wall in silence for a long series of uninterrupted minutes.
Now we have a freezer full of bear meat and sausage and a bear hide on its way to be mounted (oh, joy! another trophy for our living room to decorate according to the holiday). Bud had a great time on his trip, and it was time that he definitely deserved after such a long year of working and projects (both home and at work). But it is always better to have our team all together.