Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Holiday Traditions


Our large family begins the holiday season with a massive Thanksgiving meal.  

All the women are excellent cooks and they compete in fixing the delectable items to line the counters and our stomachs.  
You might assume there’s a bit of a rivalry or elitist attitude toward being the best cook, and you would be right.  

I tend to step aside, let them tell me what to bring, while they duke it out over the rest of the food.

Late in the afternoon, the shooting starts. 
You know the old saying, “The family who shoots together, …”

Sean and Roxanne set up the throwing machine on the back of their truck for the clay targets, and instantaneously, shotguns appear.  

Some may call this skeet shooting; I call it another avenue to family humiliation.   

I’ve never fired a shotgun, nor held one, until this year.

Scott gave me some great advice on my stance, looking down the sight and the location of the safety.  
Everyone wanted me to be exceptionally aware of the safety.

I had heard of “kickback” and asked Will to tell me what to expect.  He gently pushed against my shoulder and said, “About like this, no problem.”

I was ready and everyone ran behind their vehicles.  
I yelled, “Ready," Sean released the target, and nothing happened. 
I didn’t have the force to pull the trigger. 

The next time, I repeated the procedure and this time I fired the shotgun.  
The butt of the shotgun kicked me in the shoulder like a battering ram, and I vowed to hurt Will in his sleep.

In case you didn’t know, humiliation in my family is best documented; my niece was photographing me.  
Perfect form...

Roxanne and Scott... Scott hit more than I did

Sean hit every target... showoff.

Will hit lots of targets until the beard got in the way...












Scott asked if I wanted to try it again, but this chicken little, went to the sidelines to shoot with a camera.   

About an hour later, Roxanne’s shotgun was offered to me to try; it’s a girl’s gun, so why not.   
Sadly, the trigger was even harder to pull, so I fired no bullets and the humiliation was complete.

I surmised that if I had to use a shotgun, it would be best for me to swing it like a baseball bat, unloaded.

The next week, Scott called Sean and asked him, “Do you think Helen would like a shotgun for Christmas?”

Sean replied, “Yea. She might like one, but don’t buy her any ammunition.”

I held my breath during Christmas hoping Scott didn’t buy me one.  After all, nothing says, “I love you” like a brand-new shotgun.  

Instead, pots and pans showed up.  
One humiliation after another, I can’t shoot or cook.  

I’m thoroughly convinced that I wouldn’t have made it as a pioneer woman.


I'd love to hear about your traditions.  Email me at aitken.helen@gmail.com.

Have a great day.

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