Sunday, February 20, 2011

Country life = Boys and guns

Yesterday, George and I went for a walk in the woods of his father's farm. We walked down a very, very, very steep hill to check out a pile of logs. When we were done, we had two options, go back up the very, very, very steep hill, or walk out around the hill to the road, then walk up the mild hill on the road.

We stood at the bottom, looking at what seemed to be straight into the sky. "Oh those West Virginia hills, so majestic and so grand". And steep. Very steep. Very, very steep.

Around the hill to the road it would be. Except for one problem. We could hear gun fire ahead of us. Bang, bang....... bang, bang, bang, bang. Someone was target practicing up ahead. We were several feet up a bank above the creek, and it sounded as if someone was down at creek level. We figured the neighbor's boy had probably set up targets against the bank.

Hmmm, what to do. We couldn't be positive that he would be able to see us. We didn't want a stray bullet to hit us, or one that had ricocheted off a rock or tree. We looked at the very, very, very steep hill again..........and decided to take our chances with the bullets.

We walked ahead, slowly, watching closely for the shooters. Ahh, there they were, 3 teenage boys. When they saw us, they turned and started walking back to the house.

We stood there for a little while, admiring the beauty of a February day without snow. You can see the creek in this photo, and you can also see that since the boys were at creek level, we were quite a bit higher than them.

Today, we were talking about our walk, and it occurred to us that lots of people wouldn't understand what had happened there. We were in the woods, heard gunfire up ahead, and didn't feel the least bit afraid. Yes, we were concerned about walking into it, but were we afraid of the shooter (or shooters) himself? Not at all.

Jessica had an interesting conversation with a big city friend one day about guns. Her friend was aghast at the news that "Back home, everyone has guns. Most people have several".

Her friends reaction? "You know people who own guns!?!?!?! What do they do with them?"

Jessica has had the experience of living in two different worlds, right here in America. The simple country life, vs. the big city. Two completely different cultures. Neither is right or wrong, they are just different.

Her friend would have been terrified if she had heard gunfire up ahead. In fact, she would have been terrified to be in the woods at all. For me, the woods are a sanctuary, a solace, a friend. To her, they would just be a nightmare.

And why DO we have guns? To hunt mostly. And for the fun of target practicing. And, if absolutely need be, for protection. No, we don't have assault rifles, no good can come from those. Around here, guns are as common as the food on our tables, and are treated solely with respect.

We felt no need to be afraid of 3 teenage boys with guns. We would much rather see them target practicing for the fun of it, than sitting around with nothing to do. THAT'S when teenage boys seem to get in trouble.

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