Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sisters and Nephews :) Thanksgiving 2015

Me and My Yahoos 2015

My Favorite:

Thank you Aunt Bek, for taking these beautiful pictures!

My Thanksgiving Break

And so much to be grateful for:

  • My family - what a fun Thanksgiving.  Last year we did the Evolution of Dance. This year Bump declared was Alice's Restaurant. Oh yes, we did listen to the song every damn year while growing up - and for the most part I have kept the Guthrie tradition alive, KNOWING I'd be asked if I had turned it on. It was good times. 

  • My family - and I got to spend A LOT of time at the range - with my family - the best kind.  I think I may have overspent* (uhhh...I am so undecided whether to justify - because I can - or to accept failure but totally blame Bex....) on a 2nd AR-15 but it has already been so worth it.  The amount of conversation time I get to have with Emerson alone was worth twice the price.  I mean, the kid knows an incredible amount.  
  • My family - I have the best kids, ever.  I seriously have the BEST kids.  I'm not even biased (ahem), I'm just lacking in better descriptive terms.  Not only do I have a shit ton of fun with them, but they do chores in exchange for the things they want, like WHEN I tell them to do it.  They express GRATITUDE on days like today, when all I wanted to do was be lazy, but Riley asked "for a ride to the skate park" - like it's 10 minutes away and I can just go get him when he's done. [Captain Obvious Declares: BEST doesn't equal PERFECT.]
      • Of course, I would have taken him regardless, but it just so happened that I was given free range time - 5 half hours, specifically - and Emerson and I could do that while he was skating. 

    • And they were both like "Thanks Mom, you're the best." Sometimes when it's given so freely and honestly like that, it takes me by surprise.  They're clearly not perfect or gratitude wouldn't surprise me... but, you know what? I'll take it. 
    • Emerson and I played Battleship today - yes, Battleship, AR Style: where you know where his ship is, you just have to precisely shoot 3 to 5 dime size shots to sink it. SO COOL. I won, but if Emerson continues to go with me, he will kick my ass in one magazine. (And had I realized how spot on I am with my scope, I wouldn't have started with 10 shots...) We also got to shoot as long as we wanted - I really like the guys at CQT.  If they weren't all 21ish, I'd ask one out.  They don't gather at the window watching me shoot anymore, either, (it's actually funny to remember them doing that just a few short weeks ago) now they all know my name, say hi and are used to me coming in and shooting alone.  I've shed my Unicorn status there, lol. 
  • Seriously, I have a bunch of other good stuff to be grateful for: 
    • my sister started her new business, our party was a success
    • I have great coworkers who gave their support
    • I had my yahoos the entire break and I didn't once get tired of them
    • They spent a lot of time with their cousins
    • We had FIVE boys here during the make up party and you wouldn't have known it AT ALL
    • Bumpa rocked both Kira (Bear) and Melody (Baby), so frickin adorable!
    • And I only moped and cried about being alone a little bit.
      • It still feels like my heart has been sliced wide open with a jagged knife and left unattended to whither and ache from painful exposure - but only when I specifically think of Nate or it's after 9 pm and I can't stop specifically thinking of Nate. Trust me when I say that's progress.

* Not overspent on COST, I have been researching a bare-bones AR15 since the first one was complete. Than I asked around at all the stores if they were going to run Black Friday sales.  It wasn't really an accident that I ended up at CQT on Black Friday....anywho. Basically, I waited until the "bought assembled" price was as low as the "piece by piece" I would assemble and save myself a shit ton on shipping. 

The above reason is just ONE reason the AR is America's Rifle - when the options are limitless and the supplies are consistently available, it's no wonder the gun is addicting, quickly mastered and than expanded, accessorized, and virtually unrecognizable from the upper, lower, and barrel it once was.  I literally get the goose bumps thinking about it.  

And looking at the new one? OMG, all I see are POSSIBILITIES. It's crazy! Until I watch Emerson shoot it and think "naw, that's why I have that one - a simple, inexpensive one for THEM.  DO NOT pimp it out, DM*. Than you won't want them to shoot it. Why must you consistently convince yourself NOT to live up to your name? WHY?"

Just sayin ~ DM

*dufus maximus - No, I didn't choose it. The Walking Man did. I don't why HE gets to be a cool, romantic and mysterious name like The Walking Man and I get Dufus.  *eyeroll* It's so dumb. Yet, you same something enough times, it starts to BE. I do not hear dufus, obviously, I hear DM. 

That was for the newbies. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

This is NOT the Post I Started

I started a post called "In Which DM Agrees to a Date"

But I didn't finish - I found myself rambling on and on about shooting and research and statistics and the lack of women at the ranges and I ... stopped.

I do remember where I was going with it and how it was leading to me going shooting with a new guy, but the kids are home, and Abby is over, so I ran out of time to edit, shorten, get back on track and write a proper post.

I will try to do that ....Friday? *shrugs* 

What do you mean "What about Nate?" 
I DON'T FUCKING KNOW, that's what. 
I literally don't and I'm not waiting around to find out anymore. I WON'T be writing much about it either because I don't want harsh, hateful emotions published on this blog.  I don't want to spew off crap I may regret - because at the end of the day, you don't know what you don't know. 

INSTEAD, I am forcing fun on my family whether they like it or not:

I could look at this picture all night. :) I love him. 

Abby is SUCH a good shot, it's CRAZY. I love it! When she turned to me with that smile and I asked her "Do you love it?" "I do. I LOVE IT." I nearly cried. 

You're right, mom, indoor ranges are fun! I love being right him.

Yes. Every time. Every time I feel the need to take this picture.  Again: *shrugs*

He was too busy for pictures.  
"I really like that you can measure your accuracy, mom. This is sweet." 
If he is trying to tell me that shooting a stuffed dinosaur off the hill at the Pit doesn't award any certificates, he is oh-so-wrong.

Just sayin, DM.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Emerson's Favorite Moment

I was just about finished writing when I remembered this, and Emerson would be upset if I left it out. He was a little over-enthusiastic if you ask me.

By Thursday, I hadn't been shooting in 8 days.  Shut up, that's forever.  I broke down, called the indoor range, it was open until 9. Hot damn, I was up and packing.  I got everything in the trunk, went over the rules (more than once) said I'd be back in an hour and a half and left.

I got to the end of the driveway and had to reverse.  I ran in the house, Emerson called down to make sure I was ok.  And I said "Yeah, I'm fine, I just forgot my gun." I yanked the box of the counter and my yahoos were SPEED RACING down the steps.

Emmo: Wait, wait, wait!
Me: What? I got it, I'm going....
Emmo: No, wait. Hang on. [starts laughing uncontrollably]
Me: ...yes?
Emmo: So you LOADED UP, you got your car ready, you took your purse, you took your keys -
Me: I see where this is going and shut up -
Me: Are you done?
Emmo: Not even close! Mom, you're going to shoot your GUN and you took everything else but the actual GUN bwahahahahhahahah OMG mom, you're the best. I love it....

That is went I walked out, with my gun, that wasn't loaded, so there was no temptation to shoot him. I left, shut the door and could STILL hear those 2 assholes laughing at me.

Yep.  The house is chock full of assholes. Hands down, no arguing that.

the rest of my weekend.....
I cleaned, I scrubbed, I had numerous cleaning materials on hand, lists upon list.  I came home every single day and did chores all week, just to be ready for Bek's debut party.

The mud room looks amazing.  Other than paint, it is really only the 2nd room that I feel is *complete.*  The other is the downstairs bathroom.  I have been wanting to get the entryway of my house looking better, having more storage and actually look, oh, I don't know....presentable???

The party was a great excuse to do it finally. And I love it.  When I walk into the much warmer and homier mud room, it feels completely different. It's welcoming and cozy - exactly what I was going for.  I didn't destroy anything while installing the curtains, either.  Or getting the furniture in by myself. I am back to Lion, roaring away.

I also took the opportunity to have a somewhat relaxing weekend after winter fell in.  I enjoyed the clean, crispness of everything.  I even washed the moldings and floor boards of the rooms I completed. I WASHED the stairs (not that you can tell) and dusted my glass collection.  I love having a super clean place to relax in.

I never actually HAVE it except for when this shit happens: if the party hadn't been canceled, snow and dirt would have been trampled in. If the boys were home, I would have had 5.3 seconds of bliss before the boys' hurricane-like existence destroyed all sense of order.  So I had a rare chance to ADMIRE my work, and the sore arms from scrubbing didn't bother me much at all.

Nate continues to be a painful enigma. I am no longer telling anyone any updates, at all, until I KNOW for sure what the fuck goes through his head, what he is doing, why everything went to shit so quickly, why he'd want to come back if he was just going to disappear again....I'm actually worried about him. Not him and I - him.

On a completely unrelated note, I also have started to venture back into the indoor ranges - it was that or not shoot.  CQT in Shelby Twp is amazing - the guys there all know me, know that I am learning and trying to improve on my own.  They respect me, or at least treat me with respect and I like that. I appreciate other people's opinions, I do. WHEN ASKED.

But every experienced Gun Guy knows what is BETTER for me, what I should GET next, what I NEED, etc. Go away, I didn't ask, and you're being rude. I didn't walk over to YOU and say "hey that's a nice gun. But YOU NEED SOMETHING DIFFERENT. And trust me, I know everything, so I'm right."

Counting my blessings as this happens less and less. I am now meeting really cool people, really fun people.  I have met lots of people who treat me as an equal and say things like "I love seeing a girl on the range on her own.  More women should try it, it's a lot of fun, even if you don't hunt.  I wish my wife/gf/fiance would come with me!"  I've volunteered to meet them at the range if they do get their girl out - I would absolutely help recruit more women.  That's more women to shoot with, and that's more friends for me that I won't be tempted to date. 

That's a win-win, if you ask me.

I miss the yahoos, though.  I don't enjoy the quiet as much as I used to.  When Nate was here, the house was filled with activity whether or not the boys were home, and I enjoy that. I would trade my days and nights of solitude to have a big family enjoying life up here in Almont with me.  I miss the chaotic activity of the summer, it was the best summer of my life. It showed me that I DO want a family living here. This place deserves to be enjoyed by more than just us 3 and the dog.

I won't settle, though.  And if that never happens, it never happens. *shrugs* I don't have the energy to put myself *out there* any time soon - I wasn't looking for anything when Nate moved in to rent a room. It just happened.

It will most certainly just happen for me - I know this because God wouldn't have given me glimpses of that sort joy, happiness and peace with someone if he wasn't going to provide it for me.  I have that much faith.  The boys are 12 and 15 - plenty old enough for me to stay busy with their activities.  We have always thrived in the face of challenges - one of us will always say "we can do anything as long as it's us three."  And that is so true.

Emerald is encouraging me to be more social, even if I don't want to date - meeting people at the range and engaging them in real conversations is doing wonders for me.  It has been a minute since I had that huge circle of support with all of my AA friends in addition to my family.  When the shit hit the fan, EVERYONE had to rebuild.  I have written about the shock of that before - I didn't realize how much losing an immediate family member CHANGED EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.

I think we are all currently in that process. In January, two years will have passed - it has taken that long for this family to breathe again and truly feel like we're heading in the right direction.  My sister clearly will always have the hardest time, and will always be the most affected - but until she started to *regroup* - it was like none of us could, either.  We spent a lot time with our breath held in, praying, crying, WANTING more, NEEDING her back.  That part was the hardest.  It's still a roller coaster for her, but I think she has steadily gotten on smaller and smaller ones.

I'd say I'm excited for what the future holds, but I know it includes snow, so I'm not that excited.

Just sayin, DM.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Skies Opened, Winter Fell Out

Winter arrived in Almont sometime this morning before I woke up.  And continued to arrive when I closed my eyes again, remembering I could sleep in.  It kept coming at 1 when I went for gas, milk, food, and smokes, just in case. It was still arriving at 2 when I snapped these pictures. 

If it ever feels comfortable enough to stop ARRIVING and just BE, I'll update the pictures after I dig myself out. 

The back.

The car - AFTER being cleared once.

Somewhere in this vicinity exists my coveted side yard.

And that will be the bane of my existence while Winter feels the need to stay: my driveway.

Just sayin, DM.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This is How Bloggers Conversate

According to Dictionary.com, conversate IS a word.  Although if I type it, nearly every program feels the need to underline it and tell me *converse* is a better word. According to ???

Yeah, that's what I thought. Shut up. Not you - them or *they* rather. The infamous *they* who know and say everything. (My double-finger to life moment of the day, right there.)

TWM left a comment last night that will make the top ten one day if I ever stop to rank my favorite commentary.  Sometimes I get so bogged down with *life,* I need to be reminded of how amazing I am. It never gets old, either. 

[Red is not me.] 
[Red is the new black.]
*I did not change anything in the copy and paste - but I did leave some parts out. Just an FYI, the full comment is under last night's post. 

Look darlin' writing anything at all is not a goal, it is just something some people do, Bukowski says if you're struggling with it back away slowly from the keyboard and don't do it.
Bukowski must write for different reasons. I write as a therapeutic exercise to clear my head.  When I avoid it for too long, I develop writer's block from
1. not knowing which topic to pick
2. being overwhelmed at the blankness of an empty, white screen, and
3. laziness.
Making it a goal is a form of self-discipline for me - if I force it for awhile, it flows naturally again.  It's always been like that, but as the yahoos get older, my career gets busier, and my hobbies more interesting and more all-consuming - I NEED the therapy even when I want to avoid it.

Myself I am always compelled to write, but I have cut way back on thee doing of it because in my world which is one of a large worldview I am having a hard time wrapping my head around everything that is going on, more than just Paris, but the entire world, that I find it hard to write simply and concisely in poetry what I am feeling. 
I totally understand - I just tend to have a much, much smaller worldview, extremely egocentric, [that is not typed with pride] because I get beyond flustered and frustrated when I start to contemplate larger, ACTUAL world views. The solution seemed obvious.

Finally, Nate is an enigma to us beyond knowing you two were hanging in there and then you weren't--I dunno, it seemed like a good fit because you didn't discuss the relationship on either blog. Maybe that is the sort of thing you should keep 100% up there in corn country without having anyone's opinion or feelings on it other than what you two feel and think.
Yes, enigma is an excellent word.  And yes, the lack of publicity was intentional. I like it like this - it leaves less room for regret.

I am assured that once again you will muddle your way through, you will fall and get up, walk a bit and trip on your own big feet again but one of the things I HIGHLY respect about someone named DM is that you don't fear the getting up part and continuing on. What's it been now, I first checked in with you just prior to dh and you disentangling yourselves legally, what was that five years or so?
I have been divorced for 6.5 years now (crazy, eh?) and we blog met over 2 years before that - I once looked. You were my first real blogging/writing/sober pal - which makes you the oldest. [Hahahaha, oh in so many ways, too.]

My feet are NOT big.
I will most definitely trip. I may not fear the getting up part, but I do hate it. So there's that. I just keep doing it because I didn't know there were options. Are there? 
And I am not interested in any that will make my family drag my ass back to rehab. 

You have fucked up some in that time, [totally] you were fucked over some in that time, [totally] you laughed at some of it, you cried over some of it, but you never stopped going ahead--moving forward. I expect that you will never lose that admirable quality. 
Aw. Just aw. I hope not.

If you EVER need to know you are totally and fully accepted and loved, you just think on me, a flawed character who simply has come to love you as you were, are and will be. I don't know why the most easily lovable people are always the last ones to know how well and truly they are loved by so many.
As I mentioned earlier - sometimes I just need to hear that. And randomly is the best way.  Thank you Mark for always having faith in me, always laughing at me, and always taking Bump's side.  You're the best writing dad a girl could ask for. [awwwww, lol]

Speaking of parents - another great one is my mom.  Sometimes I forget that actually talking is helpful, too - especially in the areas that I don't want to write about. I try to group errands so that trips to the city (I LOVE SAYING THAT, btw) are more productive. So I texted my mom and asked if I could stop in for a little bit before I went shopping for curtains. 

I talked so long, I did not get a chance to go shopping before the yahoos were all like "hey ma, are you done working yet? Rie and I are ready." But I'll take a good heart to heart with one of my parents (even my honorary ones) over a crowded big box store ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.  

Slight tangent - it comes back around, I swear:
I was at dh's last night, having a much-needed and ever-painful meeting with our eldest about his grades. I hate doing that - it's just a very painful part parenting for me, two hours painful. I want so much for him. I hate that he struggles more than I hate ANYTHING else on the planet.  

I played with the baby. Dh, Stef and I joked around with the boys. We caught up with each other's lives. Stef and I picked on dh.  Dh and I talked about guns.  We all have a lot of gratitude for our relationship.

We're that rare couple who likes each other better divorced - and work together better, divorced, too. But it never ceases to amaze me, when I think about it after the fact: I can curl up on their sofa with Stef on the other end, and we can chat for hours.  I think I'm pretty awesome for being a part of this progressively close knit clan of Doyle weirdos - I really do.  [Sometimes I feel all martyr-ish, too, but I know that part is pure bullshit.] I got incredibly lucky when dh chose a really good person to marry/step-parent my boys. It takes the maturity, openness, ability and vulnerability of EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US to maintain that trust.  It would never, I mean NEVER be possible to have this unique family if dh had married an idiot.  I mean, it's not like we're taking vacations together or anything - but to feel like we're all on one team

Indeed, I have gratitude beyond words that dh didn't marry some bitch who was impossible to work with. Let alone enjoy and respect. Stef is actually pretty amazing and it turns out, it matters: I respect the third parenting opinion we've always had and used as our tie break. And that says it all. 

This is Stef's first holiday without her mom, who passed away just a few short months ago.  My heart aches for her.  It makes me want to enjoy my parents while we are all here together. Thanks, MOM.  I needed that, and it was nice to have a little one on one time. I forgot how much I talked while I did your nails. 

Just sayin, DM

[NO, converting is NOT a better option.]

Monday, November 16, 2015

When It Rains, It Pours

The last few days have felt like a hurricane hit my life, my emotions, my limits, me.

I thought about throwing the pics that I edited up here as a post and calling it a day, but I want to stay true to the commitment I made to writing.  Everyone sees the pics on Facebook anyway and I've been hiding behind them for months - writing-wise.

I always find it the most difficult to focus and write the way I want, when multiple areas in my life become chaotic at once.  I'm a mom - I can handle a few disasters at a time, so I mean, when BIG things are going on at once.

This was one of those weeks when just many things came at me at the same time and I kept trying to find the time and energy to focus on writing about any one of them, and I kept failing.  By far, one of the the best things I do for myself is good goal-setting: goals with distinct timelines and attainable outcomes - I almost always feel obligated to complete those things. (And no - they are not *action plans*. I am not management. They are not action plans. They are good goals, with details.)

(Thank you, AA for that. Out of the many lessons I learned, accountability was a HUGE one. I will always be grateful.  I even feel like I've reached a point where I know how to make goals that I can accomplish with self-guided accountability. It's actually enough for me to say "one hour when the kids aren't home, period." That is a one post, minimum, per week; 2 on non-kid weekends writing schedule.)

Additionally, I inadvertently made my life even BETTER when I started THIS blog because some of the things I want to write about are personal, and not crap I want to share with the world. I just want to write about for myself and maybe the few other writer people that have always read my blogs and I I mean ALWAYS.  But through the years, I definitely had to live through enough real life repercussions from my public writing that I have learned when not to hit the button: PUBLISH.

Now I can again - because I can say anything on the private one - and I will keep my thoughts somewhat edited for public consumption on this one.

Some highlights [as in, some light banter that can't get me in trouble or cause any such repercussions, lol] of the past week have been:

  • Nate and I are talking - and yes, I mean, talking with some semi-winks. I don't know. 
    • I had written a bunch more, than deleted it - smh - who really cares about the in-between days? Right? Do I, even? No, not really, it's not really the kind of journey that one wants to over-think, thus write about anyway...so a measly tbd here. 
  • I gave Bear her first hair cut. I love that little girl.  The fact that she runs into my arms and rests her head on my shoulder and doesn't leave my side makes it VERY damn easy to like that kid. The baby? ...I mean, she's adorable and all, but I know when she hits that 6 months mark, I am gonna be all like "OMG, Melody is so much fun to make giggle!" 
  • Ummm...I'm sure there's more. Hang on. 

  • I paid off some bills? 
Alright, not anything I feel the need to post and advertise, but an hour nonetheless.

*sigh* *deep breath* *draw strength* *early bedtime* *tomorrow is near* 

Just sayin' 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I Did It.

What's up now, beeotch? That's right, I'm still amazing. Or as one my favorite bloggers says: I am full of The Awesome.*

I fixed my AR15 bolt catch! I field stripped it, I cleaned the crap out of it (yes, the parts that are nickel are no longer black) and I put it back together again. It seems to be fully functional, too. (Until I get to the range, clearly I can only dry fire.)

I am so proud.  I just am.  I am so so so proud of myself, I don't even care that laughing makes me pee if I'm not careful.    [You're welcome.]

 That part sticking up is the bolt catch. It has a dent in it. 

 Right there, lol.

 As I laid the broken piece aside, I felt like a dentist extracting an infected molar. I was like, THERE YOU ARE, you stubborn bastard. I got you. 

Newly installed and placed correctly!

No dents!

The Nickel Boron BCG is actually nickel colored! Amazing!

Yeah, I couldn't get over the beauty of it. It looks new and perfect.....

Which made me feel like:
HA! Than OMG I'm so happy.

She's resting. It's best a rough week, medically speaking. I was giving her alone time. 

Just sayin, DM

*Aunt Becky, Mommy Wants Vodka

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thank You, Sweet Baby Jesus, You're My Guy

Hi, My name is DM and I'm a Shootaholic.
There's no such thing?! *Phew* and *Thank You, sweet baby Jesus, you're my guy.*

Sarah Gets Her Gun
Sunday afternoon at the folks has slowly become the old Friday night. As all of the yahoos (mine and my sister's) get older and make attempts at normal social lives, ANNOYING, ["No. You can only be friends with your cousins. Why do you think we had you all so close? So we didn't have to meet other kids."] Fridays have become tough.

And Topher works every Friday. [No comment.]

This past Sunday was like any other typical Sunday evening - dinner, smoking in the garage, catching up with G-ma and Bump, watching the boys fight over who gets to ride G-ma's tricycle. You know - same old, same old. And than out of nowhere, during dinner, while we eating, quietly enjoying a meal I didn't prepare, Bumpa says:

"You know there's more than 1000 rounds of .223 in the garage."

Just casually, like he was mentioning there was a stray cat who comes around once in awhile. Just like that. Mine and Bek's head snapped up so fast, I'm surprised neither of us got injured.  I don't remember who said what, but it was a simultaneous firing of the following:

"NO! We didn't know!"
"What do you mean? There is 1000 rounds of the ammo we shoot IN YOUR GARAGE?"
"Shut up. You're kidding, right?" 
"Haha very funny asshole, ammo is expensive."
"Seriously? How much do you want for them? Are they still good? Where are they? What the Hell? Do you know how much ammo is? What do you want for them?"

"Yeah well, it's just been sitting out there for years, you girls can go through it. After dinner." It's a good thing he added that last part or I'm pretty sure my mom's head would have exploded - I did already feel myself push the chair back to get up....

Yes, we finished dinner. Yes, it took forever. Yes, Bek beat me to the garage and I hate her for it. And absofrickinlutely, we started pouring through my grandfather, Hank's, old stuff. We started sifting through the rust-caked ammo cans and supply bags as best we could.

Ok, to be honest, it looked more like we'd just been given a Unicorn to take home and keep forever. I don't think I'm exaggerating, either.....

The evening felt like Christmas. The next day felt like Christmas. ALL OF IT FELT LIKE Christmas! The ones when I was YOUNG and not a parent, and Christmas was all about me and the presents I got - it felt like that kind of Christmas Awesomeness. Bek has caught gun fever just as badly as I have, so the next few days were filled with lots of texts, lots of research, lots of reading glasses as I poured through articles on my phone any spare second I could find, even at work.

We call it a Kaczorowski thing when we find an interest we like so much that it becomes an obsession that never stops until it feels satiated or a specific goal is attained. The goal following that Sunday dinner was this: we gotta find out if we can shoot this old ammo! And if so, what do we need to do to ensure they are safe and will load properly???

Yes, we can. And yes they're safe. Getting them to load properly is a work in progress: not having a clean AR to use for testing was a tad prohibitive in terms of completing the research. (And that is what started this whole new wave of frustration when I couldn't properly field strip my AR.) (I have accomplished that, yet still have not been able to remove the pin holding the bolt catch in. Slowly but surely.....) (Sunday Update: it's a roll pin that I can use a punch to remove. I thought so, but was nervous I'd break something.....)

Just really cool stuff. 

The next obvious thing to do was go shooting. I mean, of course, we had to test some shit. 

The next day, as we cursed daylight savings time for cutting short our sunlight, we met at The Pit and my sister, my dad, and I spent HOURS there. First my sister and I went and set up and we shot some while waiting for my dad, than when he arrived, he invited a coworker along also. 

I have opened this post and gotten to THIS point all week - I still can't find the right words to describe how cool it was to be shooting together, to feel carefree, to laugh, to not concentrate on anything but *who can shoot better, me or you?* and just have fun.  Especially with my family - despite the fact that I still miss Nate, and still have more moments of *FOR CRYING OUT LOUD* than I should - it makes me happy to have my family happy around me. 

Looking back now, just a few days later, I know it was one of those really special nights that will stick out in my head for years and years to come. Like that one time my dad got half arrested at the campground and was asked to never return again - it's going to be a night I'll remember, smile about and talk about for a long time. 

When the Bump's coworker showed up, I nearly groaned out loud and WOULD have to turned to Bex and said "please tell me he isn't fixing me up" but she can't hear shit when her earplugs are in.  I was wrong, It was WAY better: the guy owns every tool on the planet. My dad brought us a gun friend that owns EVERYTHING. 

[Who happens to be happily married, so TY. Dad. He was hysterical, too.]

We ran out of ammo and daylight at the same time because Bex and I budgeted our bullets - we fill about 12 mags with 10 rounds each at a time so it takes us longer to go through them.

Yes, it's a very effective strategy to save money and ammo, but the true perk is: when you know you're aiming for a specific target, or a number of specific targets, and you know you only have 10 rounds to do it in, you concentrate more.  I think I've improved more since shooting three times with my sister, competing back and forth, than I did in 6 months of weekly shooting with Nate.  In those 6 months, I learned HOW to shoot an AR, how to handle my pistol more tactically and defensively, how to build an AR, maintain several types of guns, and most importantly: how to google accurate info, even if I was just trying to prove him wrong....

When I shoot with Bex, I shoot to shoot BETTER than her. And she picked it up pretty quickly. (Although...due to the fact that I have the AR apart right now, the scope isn't on, so maybe...maybe I should put the rear iron site on and see how she does than.....)

Once we started packing up, I had to pee like a mutha and I really didn't want to go back up that huge-ass hill in the dark, so I was more or less done. I was ready to pack it in and call it a night when Bump called Bek and I over to tell us he was giving us the guns and I was all like *yeah, I know, you're leaving for 6 months and I'm keeping them locked up, got it. And I'll clean them, yep, got it. And I'll figure out what to do about Grandpa's gun, got it.*

"So, here's the thing. They can NEVER be sold. They MUST stay within the family..."

And I know I was still nodding in agreement despite the fact that my brain was doing this weird come-back-to-life-Sarah-he's-saying-something-important thing. It was processing what he was saying AND meaning, and yet, STILL what came out of my mouth was: 

*Wait, aren't you only going to be gone like, 6 months? You are planning on returning, aren't you?* Actually, I may have also asked if he was dying and this was his way of telling us. 

"The paperwork is under the felt. Keep storing everything in your Aunt's vault. The 1911 goes to Emerson, he already knows." And he's already read the manual you gave him, Bump. Which I found in his room the other day - and was like WTF, I'm not dying for MANY MANY years, dude. 

I am sticking around to enjoy being the proud owner of Hank's Colt 1911 for at least twice as many year as I have dreamed of owning it.  It was the very first hand gun I ever shot.  It was the only hand gun of my grandfather's that I ever shot. The classic lines and beauty of the design is just so flippin' awesome to me - I can scroll through images of 1911s all day and not get bored. 

It was with a 1911 that I hit a golf ball on the long range at The Pit - and yes. that really happened. It's about a 100 yards, Nate was texting every single one of his shooting friends. I loved it. 

I haven't been able to do anything near that with my Ruger 9 mm - yet.  But I understand that isn't what it's designed for anyway - I know, I get it, I don't try often, either. I typically shoot my hand guns at the close range - if I had a range finder, I'd tell you the exact yardage. Once it gets too cold to shoot outside, I'll go to the indoor ranges where I will know the distances.

Anyway - I totally digress.

The entire rest of the night was spent alternating between me telling myself that I own a 1911 and going back to my laptop to look up various random things. IT WAS A GREAT NIGHT. 

I am, still, ever so grateful to my dad for giving it to me. In addition, my sister was given hers, and she became a gun owner. It was a big night. It really was. I know because she sent me selfies of her and her new rifle all night. I was taking selfies, too, don't get me wrong. I was definitely clicking pics of 2 my favorite things recording the evening for posterity.  

The next day I took my new 1911 to the shop to show the guys. 

We started talking about my grandfather and it started making me even more curious about him. Realizing how LITTLE I knew about him is humbling and surprising.  I know things about him - but I never knew him as a person. I knew him, I mean, he was alive until I was in my late 20s. but I never got to know him. I really wish I had. I wish I had gotten to know ALL of my grandparents.  The way my kids are so close to my parents?  I never had that. My grandparents were different than my parents - all of them and all for different reasons. 

My grandfather [not pictured, that is Jeff] was a very, very interesting [if questionably moral and unquestionably insane] man. I wish I could ask him questions. 

 Where did you get that^?  Why is the slide like that? 
Why did you stock pile so much ammo? 
Was it the zombies or the Koreans you found scarier? 
Why were there multiple weed whackers in the dishwasher when you died? 

But mostly: Did you always love guns or was your passion for weapons born out of necessity, perceived or real? 

This is where the story of how I got my 1911 ends. 
Or rather, this is where the story of me and my 1911 begins. 

Just sayin'.