Some of you might not know about the magazine, Wheelin' Sportsmen. It's the official bi-monthly publication of the Wheelin' Sportsmen, National Wild Turkey Federation, an organization that "is dedicated to providing people with disabilities opportunities to participate in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and target shooting." It's a chapter of the NWTF that is sponsoring the disability deer hunt that my husband, Don, is going on a week from today. There are chapters sponsoring outdoor disability activities all over the country. If you're interested in find out what might be available in your area, you can find the WS, NWTF by clicking here. If you know a wheelchair bound person who used to enjoy the outdoors, a Wheelin' Sportsman magazine subscription would be an inspiring Christmas gift. Their glossy pages number around eighty and are filled with articles like 'Access Alaska, Discovery the Barrier-free Frontier' and 'Sightless Fishing for Reds.'
Well, enough about them. The excitement is building here in our house. The hunting stuff is coming out of the closet, the deer scent has been purchased, Don's license and standing vehicle permit are sitting on the table, and today we took a little trip up to the sportsman club that will become the deer camp base next weekend. Last year it took us two trips to find the place which is tucked away in a blending of farmland, woods and state property. This year I drove right up to it. I will be going out to the place on the 20th about dark to join the hunters, volunteers and other hunters' spouses for the deer camp's wild game dinner and I wanted to refresh my memory for the landmarks along the way.
It was beautiful, sunny day today and it was nice being out in the country where the cornstalks were so close to the road that we could hear them talking with the wind. The farmers were busy cutting them down in the fields every where we looked and we saw three or four large fields full of plump pumpkins. Coming home we found a little town that was filled with little ghosts, goblins, pirates and ballerinas all trick-or-treating the merchants on Main Street. Thankfully I was able to get through the narrow, congested street without running over one of the costumed kids.
Little trips like this can't help but bring back memories of past vacations we've taken in the pre-stroke days---of times with alternating deep conversations and contented silences as farmland passed by the truck windows on our way out West each fall to go hunting. I can't image traveling long distances now like we used to do in the past with the silence of aphasia taking center stage. Now, a word here and there pointing out something of interest is the most I can hope for. Good conversation, sleeping in tents or in sleeping bags thrown in the back of truck, bumming around on the mountain roads are all things of the past. Memories like that can bring a twinge of sadness. But good things are coming our way so I try to stay focused on them. Things like the upcoming deer hunter where a bunch of great volunteers will make sure that Don has the best and safest hunt humanly possible for a wheelchair bound guy. Hey, I just had a thought: if aquatic and physical therapy keeps going as well as it is, maybe hunting season, 2008, I won't have to say I have a "wheelchair bound" husband any more. By the way, the photo of is Don on one of our first trips together.
Jean Riva ©
NOTE: I posted about the disability hunt on a stroke support site and I got some negative feedback. If you are offended by the practice of legal hunting, please read the replies I made there and have reposted here in the comment section.