Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The past few days have been wet and dreary, perfect weather to cuddle up and slurp big bowls of soup. Today was different. First of all, it is Brian and my fourth anniversary. That definitely alters the general outlook of the day. Secondly, you could tell it promised to be a beautifully sweet day by looking out the window.
A touch after 8am Wilder, Savannah and I strolled down our driveway and drank in the fresh, wet smell of morning and took a long tour of the neighborhood. Birds singing, sun shining, you could even sense the grass growing and the tree buds pushing their way out with new life. What a marvelous day to be alive! Catching the exhaust from cars on their way to work as I walked by the busier roads I was transported back to France where I studied a mere 5 weeks (walking everywhere in a city, exhaust is immediately associated with France in my mind.) In several tenths of a mile I determined to somehow make money, save it and focus on relearning French so I could take a trip in six months and enjoy the rich culture of The Continent. In reflection a touch later I figured it would be much more realistic to learn Spanish since we're a heck of a lot closer to a fun destination spot. But I don't know any Spanish. Thought abandoned and continuing to enjoy this delicious morning.
I sliced apples for pies I would later make today, put Wilder down for a nap, readied myself for my excursion and waited for MiMa (Betty) to arrive to have playtime with Wilder while I did the obvious: go fire off my pistol. Brian gave me a 9mm semi-automatic for a wedding present. That and a pair of platinum and diamond earrings. (Yes, I married a Texan.) Therefore it was only appropriate that I pull on my tightest jeans and my cowboy boots, gather my ammo, ear protection and weapon and head out to the country to blast holes in a paper target.
I must be honest, I had only gone shooting perhaps 4 times in my life. No, make that three. Today was the fourth. And I had never shot unaccompanied, so I was sweating this endeavor. I was sure to look like a silly girl who couldn't shoot worth a nickle and break some rule or another at the range. And, really, how many women do you see shooting alone -and doesn't everyone keep staring at them expecting them to either be some wonder shot or an idiot? Yes, even I held that presumption and it made me nervous to try. What got me out the door and loaded in the car with my weapon (which wasn't loaded, Brian, fyi) was that I had told my husband (although jesting) that I was going to celebrate our anniversary in this way and he responded very enthusiastically. I couldn't back down now...
I had an audition at 4pm so I made sure I had plenty of time to drive out, shoot, come back and change, then head into Austin. 30 minutes into my 50 minute drive to the range I realized that I forgot my range card which would allow me to shoot. I turned around, headed home and decided up until the last three minutes before arriving at the house that I would just go get some gardening supplies and maybe enjoy a quiet cup of tea so I wouldn't be late for the audition, now that I fumble my plans. Yet I could go to the nursery for plants with Wilder or Walmart for gardening tools. I couldn't go shooting on the range with him, that much was certain. So, I resolved to continue as planned; grabbed my card, changed my clothes into what I'd wear for the audition (thankfully the wardrobe was "casual" so I wasn't in business attire, though that would have been a hoot) and headed back to the sticks.
The perfect day for shooting. Crystal blue sky with precious dots of clouds, an easy 80 degrees with a light breeze and only two other folks shooting at the pistol range. Paying my $10 I told the slightly crotchety man behind the counter, "It's my anniversary today and my husband gave me my pistol for a wedding present -he's deployed right now- and I thought it a perfect idea to go shooting today." He agreed and wished him a safe return. Yeah, too much information for that grandpa man, but I figured my enthusiasm couldn't hurt.
I ended up shooting off about 150 rounds, much to my surprise. But even better -Brian called as I had two more clips to finish off. We chatted for awhile and he said, "Don't let me keep you if you need to shoot some more. You can just set the phone down and then pick it up when you're done. Actually, it'd be kind of fun!" Really?! I was so excited, I must have been blushing. I was in the exact stall we shot in when we came to Eagle Point Shooting Range over Brian's midtour leave. Having him on the phone, reminding me of various safety precautions to take and helping me solve a problem I kept having with my weapon -it was like he was standing beside me. Also, at first I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but as I went through the magazines I noticed my mark hitting more on the red, less on the white of the target. And, perhaps the funniest thing, every time I fired I imagined an intruder walking into our house and all I could think of was, "Don't you hurt my family!!" I deduced that it was the steadiness of will and holding my arm firmly in place that increased my accuracy. Girls, it was a blast.
With Brian still on the phone, I packed up the gear, got in the car and headed back into civilization and down into Austin for my audition. My darling and I got to talk for 1 hr and 37 minutes. It was heavenly. I just love that man, and I love us as a couple, and a family -oh, love, love, love, there's just so much it's coming out me ears -and that makes me overjoyed.
The audition went well and soon I was headed back home. I constructed the pies and made BBQ chicken for dinner. MiMa arrived back with Wilder and Savannah after an thoroughly adventurous trek around the neighborhood and we chatted as she wrangled my son while I continued cooking. Soon after she left, Anissa and Ray (who recently returned from Iraq, as well) came over to join me for a very American meal. Guys, we should have had cornbread! Next time. So here's how I figured I had an All-American Anniversary:
-Apple Pie (the pursuit of happiness -AND being married to the best man on the planet)
-Husband's a deployed soldier (the pursuit of freedom)
-The right to bear arms (or wear sleeves, whichever suits you)and shoot them in appropriate and designated areas
-Enjoying the freedom to pursue a career in what I love (acting) and (here's the capitalism) hoping I get a part so we can put some more into savings
I know, you may be wondering why I haven't put baseball or football on the list. Well, it just didn't happen today. Baseball hasn't started yet, but we'll be there this season, don't worry. Other than that, it has been a very American day and a wonderful Anniversary. I look forward to spending all the rest of them WITH my marvelous man. Happy Anniversary, Honey. Here's to the next 44 years!
Posted by Kelly Cameron at 10:00 PM