There is no short-term parking lot at the Minot Airport for it may quite possibly be the smallest airport that boasts international relations. Obviously, its worldwide claim to fame is based on its jaunts to Canada, a mere 90 miles north. Its parking lot is atrocious, as long-term extends past the lot into an adjacent field. Cars are packed like weary strangers in a custom’s line at LaGuardia, each mumbling about their weary feet and why on earth anyone would think it a good idea to allow seven international flights land at the same time, forcing them into this godforsaken line. Their metal backsides and rubber fronts smashed against one another and the back fence.
“Would you look at that?” he asked, pointing in the direction of the strange shuffling sound.
I strained my neck, searching the air past his New York necessary backtag, over his shaved head and outstretched finger. I gasped as a wild turkey deflated before my eyes. Half his previous size, the turkey looked puny, no longer the width of the forest itself. He knew these woods, that I could see, for when his bulging eyes swept in our direction, he ran off, a flurry of white, brown, blue, red—an impressionist painting where a tom once stood.
"This isn't going to work," I mumbled, watching two grown men extract a cow from the back of a tan pickup.
"Seriously, guys, there's no way this is going to work," I said louder this time, invoking images of the cow retaliating against our plight, running away only to be found living a solitary life on a far-off meadow in Ireland, chomping away on cardboard grass happily unaware of its Trojan ancestry.
I felt a gentle shove towards the front of the church, an indication I was to move with the mourning crowd. I pressed back against the forward motion, knowing the seats saved were for family, those marching in two by two. The hand's voice read my mind saying, "You're family, go." But I wasn't, not in the blood or marital sense, but the voice rang true-- I was.
Before I could see them, I heard the distinct fluttering of their wings. Woosh-swish-swish; Woosh-swish-swish.
Doves began their not-so-clandestine parade from one tree to the next- a safe haven game of musical chairs- as our awaiting barrels exhaled in the morning fog. Reloading could not have happened quicker, for the delicious feather balls whizzed by with the quickness of jet fighters, each struggling to stay aloft in order to make it home.
When I was in high school, I worked at Seabreeze, a water park in Rochester. I was a lifeguard which I, at the time, thought was the coolest job known to man. I accumulated a gaggle of friends, all of whom were native to the area but hailed from different schools. I went to one of the three private high schools so my selection of friends was limited at best. In reality, I hated everyone that went to my school. Being the only hockey-playing-1996-Oldsmobile-driving girl amongst hordes of BMW-driving rich football players and cheerleaders made me a little bit of an outcast. I had a small group of close friends but this job made finding people I could actually stand relatively easy. Hence, I took advantage of this heaven-sent situation by blindly following whomever told me to go anywhere.
A plastic monster truck, fabricated in some far-off land motorized by donkeys, stands atop the black counter in the middle of the kitchen. A second truck, swathed in green hues revs its tiny, imaginary motor, waiting to plow over the muffin crumb, discarded by breakfast plates of yore, just feet away.
Through child-lidded eyes, these two products of foreign engineering were representative of a surprise, of a night spent with dad, deaf but for the cacophonous raucous occurring in the arena outside of our earplugs.
Guilty pleasures add spice to an otherwise dreary existence. For some, guilty pleasures are rehabilitative, moral-boosting activities, like eating chocolate while crying softly to Celine Dion or watching Rudy for the millionth time, chanting RUDY, RUDY along with the crowd. For others, the pleasure is more guilty than anything else, an action one keeps hidden from the world for fear that a mere mention in its direction will incite a riot amongst your friends, family, and respective canines. Examples of the latter include, but are not limited to: a deadly biker man enjoying luxurious pedicures once a month, a suburban housewife heading to the range to fire off her M-16 when the stress of constantly acting happy finally wears off, and a certain huntress watching a certain show about gypsy weddings.
"My Big, Fat Gypsy Wedding"* may be one of the best shows ever aired by TLC. It combines the drama of planning a wedding with the grandiosity of the gypsy lifestyle. If you haven't had the pleasure of watching this train wreck of a show, let me paint you a picture of how these confusing affairs tend to go:
1) Boy meets 15-18 year old girl.
2) Boy, without ever spending alone time with 15-18 year old girl, proposes. She, of course, says yes.
3) Girl prepares to leave family where she's been acting as Cinderella since she quit school at 13 to raise all the children her mother no longer wants to watch.
(Are you starting to see why I absolutely, secretively love this show?)
4) Girl plans for wedding she's been drooling over since she was 4; Her dress, conveniently enough, hails from her childhood mind as well. The gowns portrayed in the show barely, if ever, fit down the isle. They generally weigh more than 70 pounds and span my height in circumference. Extra points are added if the dress lights up, is either pink or purple, catches on fire, has pictures of cats on it, or obscures the bride completely, acting as a literal shield against the proceedings to come.
5) The wedding happens. The girl, her army of bridesmaids, and her partially-clothed mother, scream over details, get thrown out of reception venues and get stuck while attempting to exit or enter the 87-person stretch hummer limo. Meanwhile, the future groom goes to the pub, gets wasted, struggles up to the isle, gawks at the tissue-paper-wrapped bride, barely says "I do", then returns to the reception to drink away the woes of being married to a girl who can barely spell "orange".
The weddings, as bizarre as they seem to us here in the States, are commonplace to the European gypsies who primarily dwell in campers at campsites where they are free to box, wear little to no clothing, and plan their future nuptials all the while holding steadfast to their moral principals. I, amazingly enough, am happy to find that the degree of separation between my beloved show and what I consider reality is becoming smaller by the day. This is because DU and I have decided to host a big, gigantic, over-the-top, gaudy wedding move across the country, in a home on wheels of our very own.
You may have noticed that as of late, my posts have been few and far between. You may have also noticed, given your keen perception of everything going on in my life, that we aren't doing a whole lot of hunting lately. This is because we have decided to do away with life in North Carolina, the land where we met, fell in love, and got engaged. Oscar passed away here, Dixie's namesake was borne from here, Rudy filmed me here, Avery was adopted here, HLYH even began here; yet we do not want to be here any longer.
Two weeks ago, DU interviewed with a railroad company in Bismarck, North Dakota. During his visit, he fell in love with the open spaces, the beautiful people, and the breathtaking hunting lands. He also scored five interviews in two short days, jobs that were paying twice what he would have made here. I, likewise, have my sights on a job that I have also interviewed. I will make my primary trek to the unpopulated, cold land on May 1st to conduct a face-to-face interview for a job that is more of a dream than anything else.
Yesterday, DU received a formal offer from one of the job interviews in Bismarck. Upon hearing the benefits, salary, and hours, he quickly accepted. In so doing, he turned this life of struggle, monotony, and mundane into an adventure. Leaving here will be difficult, any move, especially those that will take over 30 hours to complete, is difficult but this will be much more so. We're saying goodbye to most of our possessions, friends, and the wedding we had begun planning so many months ago. In the place of all that, we're greeting new lives, new friends, new adventures, and a less stress-induced wedding sometime in the future.
During his extensive research into everything Bismarck, DU came across a law that stipulated that it is illegal for unmarried couples to cohabit. Therefore, it seems that I am not long for the non-wedded world. I will become Mrs. DU, albeit sans the big wedding which will surely happen once we're settled, at the same time that I will become a whole host of different things as well. I will (hopefully) become an amazing associate editor for an equally amazing company. I will become a trailer-dweller (close to a sea monster or Sasquatch in folklore, without the tentacles and multitudinous fingers). I will become a nomad, I will become a huntress who takes chances and makes change when absolutely necessary. Most of all, for me at least, I will become an adventurer; I will stop merely existing and begin truly living.
"She is clothed in strength and dignity,
and she laughs
without fear for the future"
* This is a satirical representation of the show. I have nothing against Gypsies, their lifestyle or their weddings. I simply find the show absurd, which probably does not accurately represent the gypsies, their lives, or their weddings. Hence, if you are offended by this post, please be aware that it was not written with malice intent.
**Please Note: This whole process will be documented, for the most part on Twitter. So, if you haven't, please follow @WritingHuntress for this lovely transformation.
*** Many thanks go out to our amazing families for supporting our insane whims, our friends who have bought our entire lives from underneath us, and to all of you, my dearest readers, for it is your patronage that got me here today. To all of you, with my sincerest heart; thank you, thank you, thank you.
Many years of self-loathing has forced me to evaluate my life action by action. I have a running laundry list of talents that make me grin with at least one of the seven deadly sins. Amongst these positive aspects of my person include: playing hockey, skating extremely quickly, eating rare steaks, understanding the deeper meaning of an obscure dead poet's divine masterpiece, realizing when wine has gone bad just by smelling it, adopting dogs that look sad (especially on SPCA commercials), cooking venison, and stealing every cover, pillow, or blanket within an 8-hour sleeping period (according to a study conducted by DU). The opposite list, chock full of those talents that I either need to work on or are wholly absent from my imperfect person, is much longer. For instance, I have no clue (really, NO AWARENESS WHATSOEVER) where any state is positioned on our beautiful map. Geography, a lesson in school that I must have slept through year by year, is beyond my intellectual grasp. I argued with my mother for a good week about where Montana was, I believed the state was just next to Ohio (wherever that is..) and she contended that it was quite a long ways from where we unpacked my college life in Niagara Falls. In addition, I lose everything. This little tidbit is a flaw which angers me to no end, one that I wish there were some pill to cure. Daily, every remote in the house, whether I have touched any of them in the previous twelve hours or not, always ends up in the crevice next to the wall on my side of the bed. My phone, of its own will and its interesting ability to sprout marathon-running legs whenever I require it, turns up in the most random of places from the inside of the refrigerator to in the yard, buried underneath 6-inches of canine-dug clay.
I was tricked into tasting my first piece of venison. My ex-beau was an avid hunter and while it was a tad off-putting that he still cohabited with his parents at the ripe old age at twenty-five, I, my innocent, stupid self, thought myself in the throws of love and didn't care. Within his parent's home was a large edifice known as "The Room of Death". Along every inch of the wall hung beautiful bucks, flying geese, snarling coyotes and even a lone mountain lion (this kill is due in large part to the overpopulation of deer that was experienced some years ago in upstate New York. The sheer number of deer in that part of the state was becoming problematic for both humans as well as the animals so the powers that be decided that throwing in a pack of coyotes was the best option for control ((apparently it didn't occur to them to decrease the price of hunting tags to allure more hunters to the area as my first set of in-state tags ran a staggering $150)). When the yotes became more of a nuisance than the deer, you guessed it, mountain lions were introduced. To inject brevity into an otherwise lengthy tale, the mountain lions, shockingly enough, also became a problem, which is why one is showcased within the Room of Lead Departure).
The Writing huntress
I hunt. I write. I wear what some consider an unnecessary amount of camouflage face paint.