...because we all have our motley moments!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Thrill of the Hunt

As mentioned in previous posts, my hubby and I have been married for 20+ years and dated for three years before that (beginning in high school). Over the years one of his hobbies that ultimately became his obsession is hunting. He begins in the summer months with the "scouting" process -- hiking the woods where he will hunt, beginning in September, to find traces of his quarry in order to have his stand (see pic) in the "right" spot.

Summers also means going through the mounds of gear to see what is needed -- does the camouflage clothing still fit, do we have scent-free toiletries (I kid you not), how much ammo is left from last year, do the various calls that mimic animal sounds all still work (love those when I'm having a migraine), etc. Then the only type of shopping he does, beyond the Christmas eve mad dash for my gift, is to buy whatever gear is needed. Actually, now that I think about it, I could even say that shopping begins in the spring as he lovingly browses the mountain of catalogs he receives touting the gear he will decide he cannot live without the next season.

His final step of preparation is honing his skills on the weapons that go along with each season. When we were newly married he only hunted what is called general gun, the last season that doesn't begin until November if memory serves. Now he's added on archery (aka bow and arrow) the earliest season and muzzle loading (aka black powder -- picture revolutionary war style gun with powder and ball and long stick that shoves it all into the barrel) which comes before general gun but after archery. In other words, season officially opens in September and ends in January. However, he has also added spring turkey to his repertoire which adds in the month of March.

Through all of this over the years, my enthusiasm and support have waxed and waned with the seasons of life I had been going through. For example, while I was in college full-time and working full-time, I was relieved to have him out of the house while I concentrated on homework. But one thing I have never understood is what the typical outdoorsman refers to as the "thrill of the hunt" -- that is until now.

Some fellow moms have introduced me to the wonderful world of garage saling. Now I too know the thrill of the hunt. A caravan of us went to Celebration, Florida Saturday for their semi-annual community-wide garage/yard sale. I went with several items on my wish list, some of which I found, and other treasures I would have never dreamed of owning.

One treasure we went home with was this bouncing toy, called a Rody Pony, that I personally found tacky-looking but my toddler fell in love with at first sight. She cried, not the annoying I didn't get my way tears of frustration (which I got later over a juice box), but true heart-breaking tears for this toy not understanding that I had purchased it for her but was going to walk her in her stroller with our other purchases back to the car and drive back to retrieve the pony and a wished for table.

It turns out that what to me looked like a funny-looking, even somewhat ugly plastic inflatable toy retails for $50 (my more experienced friends recognized the treasure for what it was), and I paid $5 for it. Same went for the wood table I had been dreaming of so my toddler would have a place of her own to color and do other artsy projects. Most sets of tables with two chairs have run at least $50 retail, and I will have spent $10 for the same set up gently used.

Now I am totally hooked. Though I began my bargain-shopping, frugal mom life using Craig's List, which has netted us some good deals, I have found the ultimate hunting thrill -- a local garage sale.


Bryssy said...

Didn't we have fun, Cindy!! I can't wait until March when we go again. I sometimes think of myself as an airplane widow because of how much my hubby loves them (and therefore spends times flying them). Maybe you are a hunting widow? We need to go garage sale shopping together more often!!!

Rachel said...

We did have a great time, and what a find! I've never heard of those ponies--what a great deal on something your little girl loves!

Donna said...

Man, I am so psyched about going back in the spring! I loved finding "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" board game for $1, Pottery Barn heavy linen curtains (brand-new, still in their clear vinyl zipper packaging) with black-out lining for $20, and a beautiful, ornate gold picture frame (for the felt storyboard I am making for my kids) for $2...it was so much fun "hunting" for these treasures!
I found several items on my list, but the surprise finds were fun, too!