With great interest I read the article outlining Kelly Goodman's seminar on teaching women some of the basics about football. Had that been held any night but Wednesday, I would have been there in the front row.
I am a huge sports fan and have been since I began following my now 55-year-old son to his Little League games. I listen to Cory Giger's radio show daily. My advice to those who complain because their wives don't want them to spend so much time watching football is to encourage them to go to such seminars; once a person learns a bit about the game, they begin to enjoy watching it. Problem solved.
Last Sunday, I watched the Steelers game with interest, holding my breath and during commercials, flicking over to the Pirates game. That happened to be a really good game, which the Pirates won after 2 out in the ninth inning.
It all takes me back to the day when, as a newlywed and a girl who had never been exposed to the outdoor sports, my husband asked me to go hunting with him. That was 1953, and women just didn't hunt then. I certainly had no interest in going out into the woods and freezing myself and shooting things. It's funny how small things often alter our lives.
My husband broke his leg that summer playing softball. But when September came, he was determined that, crutches and all, he was going afield with his beagles to train them. Pure foolishness, I thought, but like a "good" wife, I went along only because I thought I should be there so I could go for help when he fell and broke the other leg. This was the days when cell phones were several light years in the future.
But when he loosed the dogs, and they kicked a rabbit out of the first brush pile they came to, and the rabbit took off, the beagles behind them baying as only a beagle can do, a metamorphosis took place.
My heart started to race, and I didn't know why. But that beagle music stirred something in me that I didn't know existed. Adventure and excitement began to perk in me, and I stood transfixed, listening to that sound. I shook out of it when my husband yelled at me to come with him, and we hobbled to a place where he said the rabbit would pass on its way back to the brush pile. I didn't understand any of it, but an outdoors fanatic was born that day.
My husband had no idea what a monster he was creating. Like many men, his idea was that I would be a buddy, a pal that would traipse along with him when he went out. He never dreamed I would or could develop an independent interest - and certainly not any skill - at hunting or fishing. But he did keep encouraging me.
He never lacked for an outdoor buddy after that day. He did get a bit testy with the times he came home from work and found the crock-pot and a note saying I was out hunting or fishing. And the times he had to rescue me when the car broke down on some mountain somewhere. Or I hit a deer at 3 a.m. on my way to scout for spring turkeys. I will only note in passing here the budget-busting double purchases of everything: two licenses, two rifles, two shotguns, double the number of shells, boots, hunting coats, knives and all the other assorted hunting gear.
He has long ago passed to the happy hunting ground in the sky, but how he would laugh if he could see me now with my 45 pairs of yard-sale boots. In fact, I went to a yard sale last week and had a ball rooting through piles of hunting clothes and gear that were for sale. I got a box and started throwing stuff in. After I overturned every pile, I forked over the princely sum of $3, but I had a new camouflage face mask, exactly the kind I like, plus a pair of camouflage gloves, three boxes of large matches that I use for my fireplace, a camouflage t-shirt, a complete safety and first-aid kit with all kinds of stuff in it, a suede case with an atlas inside, a block of fire starters, a bait can, a bag of heavy gauze pads, and much more. I was like a kid at Christmas going through all that stuff. But alas, no boots that day.
I smell hunting season in the air. I'm getting restless. I listen for geese flying over, for the smell of wet leaves, for the sight of hay bales in backyards. It's getting close, and I'm excited.