Friday, January 3, 2014


Yesterday, I forgot to mention that I shot things.

No, really!

My son really enjoyed archery in school and asked for a compound bow for Christmas. Now, once upon a time I was a heck of a shot with a bow! Back in school with those bows that were almost as tall as you were, I kicked butt! I won silly little gym class contests! I imagine it was due to my hand eye coordination (artist, and all) but who knows. I was good at it, and I actually loved it. 

My husband found a good deal on a compound bow (not just for teens, this can be modified down or up, so adults can use it) and a target. New Year's Day was the first day everything was ready to be used, so they all stood outside in the ridiculously cold weather to shoot arrows. 

At first, I stayed inside. But the more I watched, the more I realized I wanted to try too, especially since I had never shot a compound bow before. I started to remember that I liked archery, back in those cobwebbed corners of my mind. So out I went, and you know what??? 

BULLSEYE with my first shot!  Oh, yeah! I still got it, uh huh! Katniss, eat your heart out! 

I want one now. Apparently, this may turn into a case of mom sneaking into the toys while the kids are at school so as not to get into trouble. 

I also shot a gun. 

I've never shot a gun before. Well, a BB gun when I was in grade school at a friend's house, and my mother would have killed me if she had found out. I grew up in a household where my mother didn't even allow squirt guns because they were shaped like guns. Guns were bad. To be fair, my mom worked at children's hospital, and she even had a friend who's young son accidentally killed himself with a gun he found in their closet. She had her reasons. Although, I still think the squirt gun rule was a little excessive - I would have loved to annihilate my brother with one (instead, I had to resort to water-balloons. Interestingly, it turns out you can cause a concussion with a well placed water-balloon. Which in my failed argument with my mother through my bedroom door after being grounded life, was an excellent reason in favor of a weak little ole squirt gun. She was not impressed and tacked on toilet scrubbing duty to my sentence.)

I've carried this fear of guns from my mother forward into my household, but not to the same extent. There are squirt and Nerf guns. Because, really, what fun is life if you can't organize the children into a full on ambush of your husband? Also, there is a shot gun. Now, this is where I drew all sorts of lines in the sand. The gun is in an Alcatraz type safe, where it cannot possibly see the light of day. In pieces. With bullets locked in another safe in another location. Images of my precious children injured by a gun kept flashing before my eyes, so that sucker was locked down hard. My husband came from a bird hunting family, so having a shotgun was just natural.

I'll be honest, there have been times when it was a very good thing that we had a shotgun. We DO live in the country, after all. One memorable (as in it brings tears of laughter to my eyes just to think about it, and is one of my most cherished memories) experience comes from hearing something in the hen house in the middle of the night. It was the third night in a row that I heard a scuffling in the coop. My husband, who never hears anything at night, was seriously irritated. You see, with the shotgun all locked up, by the time he had anything put together and made it outside, the bandit was gone (usually with a chicken or three.) 

On the third night, my husband had had it with me. He wasn't even sure I DID hear anything. So, he decided to head out in his boxer shorts, jacket, mud-boots, flashlight, a decorative samurai sword (wedding gift), and our Labrador. I watched from the window of our bedroom. At the coop, our dog refused to go in. My husband was grumpy and was calling our dog a big chicken before he went in himself. 

From my vantage point, I couldn't see anything except my dog suddenly bolting from the coop, and just as suddenly my husband streaking a moment after behind him - coat flapping, boxer shorts billowing, sword and flashlight pumping with his arms. Apparently there was a huge raccoon trapped in the coop, and one hiss at the dog had him heading for the hills. One jab by my husband, who figured as long as he had the sword... never mind that it's dull... Well. Let's just say that my dog and my husband learned that a dull sword is an excellent way to tick off a massive raccoon. 

My husband had to go back with the gun and deal with it (I always thought raccoons were sweet, but they'll kill an entire hen house.) He also once had to put a skunk out of its misery after it had gotten on the wrong side of a porcupine and was trying to catch our chickens anyway (it was sad.) Other than that, I don't think we've used it for much. Hunting maybe once or twice over the last 15 years, and more recently shooting at clay pigeons with my father.

Well, imagine my surprise on New Year's day when my dad showed up with a Glock. Apparently, my dad had always been interested in shooting, but my mother would never allow him to pursue that. Oh, and big revelation there? Apparently, little miss you can't even have a squirt gun had won medals shooting when she was young! My mom looked mortified when my dad mentioned that one. All these years, and I never knew! Of course, she won't touch a gun now, though.

Honestly, I had never even been that close to a handgun. Sitting there, I realized these things really do look fake. Like plastic guns you can buy at any toy store. That's even scarier to me. 

I lectured until my kids' ears were probably bleeding. Don't touch without permission and supervision and don't point and don't, don't don'tdon'tdon'tdon't... I have apparently turned into my mother. But for whatever the reason? Guns scare the begeezus out of me. 

My son had no interest, but my daughter wanted to try shooting it. I decided to go with them. They set up a safe area with cans (and I'll be very clear here - we live in the middle of NOWHERE. This is not in some suburban area where a bullet is going to snag the neighbor's cat on the other side of the fence. This is not the type of activity you can do anywhere.)  I watched them shoot. I finally decided that if even my daughter was going to try it, I might as well too. 

My experience? I hit the can I was aiming for dead center. Apparently, I have good aim with a gun too. I'd feel good about that, if it wasn't for the fact that it took no strength. It just feels like something that destructive should require more effort to accomplish. Instead, you barely have to squeeze your finger on such a light little gun and off a bullet rockets. I completely understand how guns changed the world forever by making the weak strong, but it just feels... odd.

I'm still basically anti-gun. I'm finding my household order rather challenged at the moment, as guns are a no-go here as I said before, yet this was an experience my daughter and I had that was new. She's not sure about it either. 

I will say that hitting the target with the arrow was far more satisfying. Something about having to pull back 44 lbs, aim, breath, let go and seeing it thunk into the target just does it for me. My husband wants me to try shooting the clay pigeons with the riffle (something else I've never fired.) I'll try it, but I'll bet it's still no bow and arrow!

So, I've learned something about myself that I had forgotten and experienced something new. I'll never hunt or anything like that (I just can't kill something), but I plan on killing lots of paper targets now!


Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

I love this! It's so great to rediscover something about ourselves and especially if we enjoy it!

Leslie said...

You are the best writer. I love reading your posts. You are so descriptive :) I also just love how everyday is such the adventure :)

PlumPetals said...

Bullseye with the first try? Cool! I've never tried archery before, though I'd like to. I enjoy going to the shooting range once in a while :)

Vickie said...

Does your dad have a gun safe?

Kyra said...

After hearing about my mom and guns, you have any doubt? Of course they do. I think she's trying to set it up so even he doesn't have the combination, LOL

Kyra said...

Yeah, I just had totally forgotten how much fun archery is!

Kyra said...

Thanks Leslie :) It gets pretty adventurous around here sometimes!

Kyra said...

You should try it! It's so much fun!