Saturday, January 12, 2013

Key Words

Reading A Farewell to Arms, last night(yes, I'm still reading it), one little sentence brought back a memory that I really hadn't thought specifically. "They smelled cleanly of oil and grease." He has hopped a train to escape. Under the canvas are guns.
I could smell my brother and dad cleaning their rifles with those words. I've thought before of the beautiful gun cabinet in our upstairs hall. The glass displaying the hunting rifles. But I didn't remember till reading those simple words of the smell with cleaning rifles.
We only had rifles. My dad and brother hunted. Dan started as early as twelve, learning to drink coffee to keep warm on those cold early winter hunts. Dan really took to hunting. At fourteen, trapping muskrat to make some money selling the furs. He was up at four, before school, to check his traps. Then he delivered a morning paper, the Pittsburgh Post.
Warm in the house, winter nights, Dad and Dan, grabbed the cleaning materials, soft cloth, oil, brushes, anointing the home with that fragrance of manhood. We girls didn't hunt, although, we knew of those who did. My cousin, another great hunter, married a woman who traversed the woods for deer. We felt it was a great match.
My husband grew up in the mountains, where people from the Valley had camps, as well as Pittsburghers. The first year, David could join his brothers and father in the woods on The Hill,  he ended up on his grandmother's couch, sleeping. He often said he didn't want to be out in the woods with the crazy people. The first year he did ask, "What did that deer do to me?"
In the Navy, he was given a pistol. They had target practice. He's a pretty good shot. Actually, he excelled. He then found a passion for guns, shooting. He joined many gun clubs, so he could practice. We have guns in our home, but they are locked tight in steel lockers. No pretty glass doors on ornate wooden cabinets in our house.
I've never held a gun or rifle, nor do I really want to do that. I thought at times of joining my husband at the range, but life has drawn him away from that. I admire his knowledge of artillery. When we watch a movie, he knows immediately what gun is there and if it is accurate. It's fun to watch a movie and hear him spout out about the guns.
 Hunting is not the only reason to own guns. It is for protection. But I have never felt the need for one. I trust in God for protection. I can understand though we need to have this freedom to own guns. Freedom comes with responsibility and risks, but losing freedom has a bigger risk.
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