Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My Shotgun...

OK, drinks were offered...well, one drink, but I'll take it. So now I'll tell you the tale of my shotgun. Go ahead, sit a spell.

Now, I may be a card carrying liberal...I drink Chardonnay, give money to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, I believe in gay marriage and a decent living for migrant workers. I'm a secular christian, meaning I don't really think there's a god above, but I love Christmas and Easter and Hannukah and all of that (I know, Hannukah isn't Christian, but maybe Jesus had a dreidel? You think? I don't know tech stuff.(quick, what's that movie reference? The tech stuff one?) ) But I have me a shotgun, and the 2nd amendment says you'all can't touch it. But you can, if you ask real nice, and bring me wine.

Gosh, I'm in a silly mood today...I've aborted a post or two already, because I just couldn't get to my point and started inserting stupid lyrics. Must be all this sleep I'm getting, now I'm working from home and I don't get up until 6AM. It's crazy.

So, on to my story. I am the kind of person who thought she would go her whole life without even touching a gun. I tend to think they're for killing people or animals, and I like to be a bit more removed from the food chain than that, so not so much a gun person. There are those who know that I did kill a salmon once, but it was for a good cause, and she was very yummy. Well, on Thanksgiving Day of 2004, my Grandma (not the one with the coat, the other one) fell and couldn't get up, and had to have neighbors come and help her. She hasn't stood much on her own since then, and since she was 88 and living all alone at the time, the decision was made to move her to a retirement home. Turns out she has a bit of Altzheimers disease, so the decision to have her somewhere where she can be cared for was a good one.

When we were talking about moving her out of her old house, where she had lived for about 60 years, that her husband literally built with his own hands, Ted said he fancied her shotgun. That surprised me. He's as gun-shy as I am, or so I thought. Then I thought about it a bit more...and I thought, why not? I asked my dad about the gun, and he said that it belonged to his Grandfather, who lived in West Virginia, near the Ohio border. He used to own some oil fields, before Standard Oil and that crowd made owning oil fields VERY profitible. He would take the gun with him when he drove around to look at the fields and make sure everything was OK, and he could shoot some squirrels for dinner. (As my dad puts it, they didn't have Whole Foods back then...) Well, my Great-Grandfather was killed when my Grandfather was about 4 or 5, because his car stalled at an inopportune time on the railroad tracks. My Great-Grandmother took my Grandfather and went to live with her side of the family, and the shotgun was all that we had from my Great-Grandfather for years and years. Please, don't tell me it needs to be cleaned. I know it does.

So, when I told Maya that we were going to inherit the gun, she cried, and said she was afraid that burglers would break into our house and shoot us with it and kill us. I told her that couldn't happen, because we don't have any shot for it, and it hasn't been fired for about 80 years or something, so we have nothing to fear. I told her how it was all we have from her Great-Great-Grandfather, and that it's a part of our family history, a link to how people used to live. Then she cried again, becuase I told her, no, she could not take it to school for sharing. I'm pretty sure that's against the rules, no matter how cool it might be. She could take a picture of it, or trace it, or something like that, but the actual gun? No. So, that's the story of the gun. It needs to be cleaned, and several gun-loving folks have told us how, but I suspect we'll just take it to a gun shop and see if we can pay someone to do it for us, because we're just THAT lazy. Genevieve is in the picture too, because she looks so pretty after her grooming the other day. :)

The other two things I wanted from my Grandmother's house were a pewter plate that says "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread", and an old potbellied stove. The stove (which reminded me of one we had in the wilds of Alaska, when we burned coal for heat, with no regard for the environment whatsoever, but since our closest neighbors were two miles away, it probably wan't ENOUGH coal smoke to do a lot of damage) wouldn't fit in our trunk, and I don't know where I would put it in our tiny condo anyway, so we asked for the gun and the plate. I know, the plate is funny for someone who doesn't believe in a higher power, but I like it, and, reminds me of the one that Laura Ingalls Wilder had when she got married. You thought I was a dork when you saw the picture of the coat? Now it's CONFIRMED.

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