…yet we cannot choose our family! ALL four of these rules were repulsively broken! There was no asking for permission to hunt on properties and they admitted to Cowboy, of trespassing on those that were posted! This is a small community with vast open lands. These two brothers did not respect the fact that we are a part of this community…and their behavior could come back to haunt US! That does not sit well with us. Then, instead of hunting on foot, they drove everywhere! Their excuse was that it was too cold, too wet! They drove on the muddy steep slopes of our countryside, damaging the terrain and the owner’s properties.
A bittersweet reality...in our life.
If you are looking for a smile or to enjoy that cup of coffee in hand,
you may want to leave and visit someone else's blog.
This is MY rant, from MY heart.
Before I explain, let me explain!
A brief history:
Cowboy’s mom died when he was 6. His Real Brother, (RealB) was 10 months old.
FIL married a widower almost right away. She had 5 children.
One of which, I will call StepB (Step-brother).
FIL passed away 2 years ago last month. We were very close and he lived not too far from us.
Cowboy was not ‘close’ to either of the brothers.
RealB, we had not seen in about 9 years until FIL’s passing.
StepB, we had not seen in over 20 years until FIL’s passing.
(we had never met his now 14 year old son “K”.)
StepB called out of the blue while Cowboy was gone.
It had been 2 years since last hearing from him.
He and his son were drawn for the late White Tail deer hunt in our area.
“Could they come over and hunt and thus his son “K” could meet us?”.
RealB would be coming too, with one son “C", because StepB needed a driver as he lost his driver’s license due to a DUI.
I told him my ‘rules’…and he agreed to them.
Both brothers are “injured” and drawing off of the ‘system’…labor and industries which goes against our beliefs~knowing their cases.
(This is one HUGE issue I will NOT go into!).
The brothers and sons arrived here the 8th, before Cowboy
returned from his school.
It was a nice reunion after 2 years!
We were pleased to finally meet “K”; to see “C” again, now 17.
Cowboy and I were hoping that these 2 brothers had done a lot of ‘growing’ up over the years and we were thrilled to have this time with them.
I had high hopes that maybe, just maybe, Cowboy could fill the vacancy in his heart, build a relationship with these two, as he only has a few cousins left to call family.
They told me they brought food and that they don’t expect me to do all of the cooking. “Great!”...I thought.
Saturday, these brothers and their boys were
asked told to leave Sunday.
(Terri... No these “family hunters” were NOT appreciative! The other hunters Yes!)
This “family” of hunters brought one casserole that would feed 2 people
...and nothing else!!
Each night after hunting, they would plow through my doors, never shutting them , traipse around in their muddy feet, and call out “What’s for dinner?”
Each night, I’d kick them back out to the mud room to take off their muddy clothes, boots and to wash up! They never “got it”!
“K” did…but he was different than the other 3. “K” was very respectful.
Yes, the 14 year old!
In those horrific 8 days…I never received one thank you, not one!
(except from “K”).
I was seething! Each day I was getting closer and closer to grabbing one of their guns to shoot every bloody insolent bone in their torsos…and then some!!
I don’t have high blood pressure…but I might now!
Tuesday and Wednesday, the other seven hunters had left.
Luckily for everyone here, they had brought enough food to feed an army.
They had cleaned up after themselves, and never showed an ounce of disrespect for me or our home. I received a huge thank you after each meal and many hugs of gratitude when they left.
A magnificent bunch of guys! They are welcome in my home anytime!!
* * *
Now~ what do I cook? Four extra guys who brought nothing!
Two guys who’s wives work, two guys who draw more than several grand a piece, from the state each month with ‘play time & free money’ galore.
(I am going to be blunt here…)
We have food enough to last US…for awhile…until the economy turns around or something changes in our world.
We have a three (3) digit income each month right now.
There is NO room for recklessness, waste, or frivolous wants in the food department. It is the disposables such as produce, butter, milk, eggs, coffee, etc (not to forget the electricity bill) that we must ration with excruciating caution.
EVERY. Single. Shiny. Copper. Penny. Is scrutinized!
I am a light sleeper, so their nightly rampages through my frig and pantry,
eating anything they found, caused my hackles to rise.
Any other time, I may not have thought too much about it, and just let it pass. But we cannot afford this now and I’ve been very vigilant in my management of our food, to get us through these hard times.
The brothers were told. Yet, they could not or would not, respect our situation.
Friday night after supper, StepB asked RealB if he would take him to an 'AA' meeting 45 miles away.
“Would it be Ok if the boys stayed with us?”.
I was glad to have the brothers leave!
“K” sat and chatted with me and I helped him with his homework.
I love that youngster! He is the gem of the bunch!
“C”, on the other hand, ignored his homework, went upstairs and goofed around with the TV and literally blew it up!
YES! Smoke and all!
I don't know what would cause that...but he did whatever it took!
That was after, we heard him up there horsing around, hence popping one of the airbeds we had! He is 17 years old, remember!
I am at my blistering point! And I didn’t know I had one!
I went to bed. Frustrated and livid, I tossed and I turned.
Four a.m. rolls around and I hear the 2 brothers pull in. They are in the kitchen going through who knows what, making all kinds of racket.
Cowboy is such a sound sleeper, he heard none of it.
No, they didn’t go to an 'AA' meeting anywhere!
They went and got themselves drunk!
Six a.m. comes around, “K” and “C” are ready to be out to hunting again.
They convince their dads to head out by eight a.m.
I’m lying in bed listening and ... fuming!
I haven’t slept much this week, not a good sleep anyhow.
(I am still not sure why I didn’t have a heart attack, or go on that shooting spree!)
When I heard them leave, I got up to find my kitchen a mess ~again!
All of the eggs and milk are gone, and the last cube of my butter must have been smothered on their toast made from the last half of a loaf of bread!
$$$ Remember, my closest small store is 35 miles away! $$$
I don’t get mad easily. I usually hold it inside not allowing it to surface.
(I can’t hurt anyone’s feelings that way.)
This morning, the dogs ran and hid from me!
No one else was around and I blew up! I had had all I could take! (I thought..)
Luckily, those brothers stayed out, gone, away in their truck, ALL day.
They did not come back to our property showing their faces around me.
Just before dark, I saw their lights coming across the bridge.
A few minutes later, I saw them backing up to the pine tree. It meant one thing. Someone had got their deer, maybe both tags were filled.
They stayed outside until Cowboy got home.
"Something" was in the air.
"Were they feeling guilty for having lied to me the night before about an 'AA' meeting? "
I just sensed a difference. I didn’t know what.
I had made a pot of vegetable beef & barley soup and homemade rolls for supper.
Cowboy was hungry, as were “K” & “C”.
StepB and RealB didn’t readily come to table.
"Do you think they know by now how thoroughly disgusted and angry I am?
I hope so! I don’t care if they don’t eat! I’d just as soon not even see their faces in my house at that point, or even sitting at our table!"
After a solemn supper, without any conversation whatsoever, the brothers sent the two sons upstairs for their showers while they were next in line, they needed to go take care of the hanging deer. (yes, there were two).
Cowboy stayed in and helped me clean up. He was pretty ‘on edge’ I could tell, as we quietly worked together putting our house in order, as much as we could.
Finally, he took my hand and led me back to our room.
He had something to tell me.
Cowboy had been dayworking for a local rancher the previous 3 days, leaving at 5 a.m. and returning around 6 p.m. Each night, he was seeing my face laden with more stress, my tone shrouded with anxiety.
(I was holding everything in...I thought! After all, these are his brothers! I hoped, beyond hope, that they could build a relationship after all the years of never having had one. Maybe it was my dream…)
Cowboy had been biting his tongue all week too,
but he could not tolerate things any longer either.
The lack of respect for me, for us, for our home was beyond ~out of control!
This day, Saturday, the straw to the camel's back..was broken!
Earlier, standing outside with them when he'd returned from his daywork,
These two brothers had broken too many rules!
LL... Yes, some rules can be broken (fun blogging award rules..*wink )…but not the ones I’m about state.
Cowboy and I firmly believe that the most important word
in the vocabulary of this earth… is RESPECT!
In MY world, hunting dictates:
There must be the exemplary regard for safety! (“C” was not shown or taught this being his first time handling a gun, let alone hunting! I'm still surprised someone was not hurt...or...)
Then there is:
Respect for the laws
Respect for the earth you are treading upon
Respect for the owners of those properties you are treading upon
And ultimately ...Respect for the animals you are hunting!
Disregard for the laws?
I will not tell you how many of them or which ones they broke.
FAR, FAR too many!
Disrespect for the animals (pheasant & deer)?
I will not disclose because no one needs to feel the same repulsion I feel!
Cowboy, RealB and StepB were all raised by FIL. They were taught the precise rules of safety, the ultimate respect of hunting. They were enforced explicitly.
I have an unrelenting ache in my heart for my dear FIL. I pray that he does not ‘know’ that 2 of the sons he raised, with love and diligence-have tossed his teachings into the wind with total disregard and disrespect!
And what “K” and “C” were taught by their fathers those 8 days?
After Cowboy finished telling me what he had learned about those past 8 days,
I was a shattered. Worse than I’d been that morning.
My stomach wrenched, the tears would not end.
He went upstairs to tell StepB and RealB they must leave
the next day before I wake up. They agreed.
And guess what?
When I awoke, they were still here!
Not in the house, but they had walked out back to hunt one last time!!
They returned about 2 pm. Empty handed thankfully, because I know at that point,
I would have gone on a shooting spree!!
(I'd be in jail right now, unable to tell you all where I had disappeared to!)
Cowboy told them to get their sh*t together and get out!
Never... Never… again!
Unfortunately, Cowboy’s immediate family unit did not strengthen and rebuild
ALL four of these rules were repulsively broken!
There was no asking for permission to hunt on properties and they admitted to Cowboy, of trespassing on those that were posted! This is a small community with vast open lands. These two brothers did not respect the fact that we are a part of this community…and their behavior could come back to haunt US!
That does not sit well with us.
Then, instead of hunting on foot, they drove everywhere! Their excuse was that it was too cold, too wet! They drove on the muddy steep slopes of our countryside, damaging the terrain and the owner’s properties.
~it disintegrated ..beyond repair.
It is with bittersweet admission, those other 7 hunters, those wonderful friends whom we’ve shared our lives and our home with, for years….may not be our blood family…but we treasure, respect and embrace them as “our REAL Family”.
I am slowly...putting those 8 days of hell, behind the locked doors of my heart.