I’ve been meditating on transitions lately.
As we prepared for Aly to leave the “homestead” to return to college, I grasped at straws, looking for the positive aspects of her departure, and for “the next event” to distract me from dwelling on the loss of our daughter’s presence.
The straws are few and far between. Economy offers one of the few bright spots in the equation. We’re low on water, so one less person to bathe, one less person’s dishes to wash, eases our water use. One less person reduces all resource use slightly—hardly, I would say, enough to counterbalance having her here—but straws are there to be grasped, no? (see Homestead 2.0).
A better strategy to distract a dad desperately missing his daughter is a new project. It just so happens that the day after Aly left, the Tier II Subsistence Moose Hunt began.
This hunt carries so many restrictions on allowable kills that it’s extremely daunting, particularly to those permit holders, like me, who have never killed a moose. Before all the responsibility and work of actually harvesting a moose, comes the process of deciding whether or not the moose is legal. The only logical response to all of this is to apply for the permit in the hope that I might stumble upon a legal moose sometime between now and October 7.
However, the paperwork I need to file as a permit hunter includes listing the number of days hunted. Pride dictates that I supply a decent figure for this survey.
Now, as intimate neighbors of the local moose, we are, in effect, always hunting moose. It’s not so much a matter of bagging a moose, as knowing where they are for our own safety (see Charged By a Moose). Like last year, I’ll likely take my rifle with me on other errands into the woods, ready, if the opportunity arises, to harvest my bull, but not necessarily devoting days on end to actively hunting it to the exclusion of all other necessary chores.
Even so, the first day of the hunt dawned sunny and unseasonably warm. For a hunter’s comfort, it was an excellent day to hunt. From every other aspect—likelihood of moose being active during daylight hours, ambient temperature to control loss during butchering, that sort of thing—it could hardly be worse.
The next day, which began very rainy, was the kind of day that made me search for moose…on line. Inside the cabin. In the bottom of my coffee cup. Cozy places like that. You never know, right?
In other words, the moose hunt isn’t off to a great start for me. Hopefully my attitude will improve. For the moment, though, I wish my transition away from having Aly home were something a little less drastic.