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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Things they don't teach you in seminary

Warning: the following post is not vegetarian-friendly.

On Monday, I got a call from a Kind-Hearted Parishioner. Her husband is an avid hunter, and had taken an extra deer this year. Would we be interested in some of the meat? Oh, certainly! We are not hunters, either of us; but two of my husband's brothers-in-law are, so we are accustomed to eating wild game. One of the bittersweet realities of our move here was the need to empty out our chest freezer. It was great fun, giving the contents away; but I will admit to some regret over the departure of the venison. So we were delighted to accept the gift.

KHP: "Well, good. He's got it skinned, so it's all ready for you."

Silence, on my end, as I realize that a) she means to give us the whole deer; and b) it is still. . . assembled. I am clueless-- my role in preparing wild game has always been further down the line. I'm a dab hand at wrapping it for the freezer; but someone else has always done the butchering.

I explain this to KHP, who then offered to help with the chore, bless her heart.

So Wednesday I spent the morning at her house, reducing one of Bambi's relatives to his component parts. It was an education-- both in the work we were doing, and in the lives of these good people. We talked about her being raised as one of nine children on a family ranch; about her husband's love for the world about him (this is a conscientious hunter, my urban friends), and how he expresses that in his art. The taciturn Mr. KHP is a past-president of the Montana Back-Country Horsemen, and a recently retired blacksmith who does incredibly beautiful work in wrought iron. Plain, practical people, with faithful and caring hearts.

I came home feeling that the cooler full of meat was not the only gift I had received.


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