Monday, November 14, 2005

So Where Have I Been This Time?...

Well, I haven't really been, anywhere, except busy - if that's a place. In a sense it is a place. At these times I feel "removed" from the wider world in the activity of my parish and my priestly ministry, and while I listen to the news and read some of the other bloggers, I don't really pay more than cursory attention. Then I emerge, as I'm doing now, with a few observations and things to say.

But I've been having some fun as well. Last Thursday I went out for a few hours and did some pheasont hunting with one of my parishioners. He owns some property a few miles outside of town, and we walked the fields, following the trained nose of his chocolate Lab, Buck. A couple of times the dog got too far ahead of us and flushed a bird out of range, but otherwise he did his job well. I, on the other hand, did not hold up my end very well. Buck flushed 3 or 4 birds in my field of fire, and while I had good shots at them all, I must confess I failed to hit any of them. I do have the excuse of not having been out hunting for two years, and therefore being a rather rusty shot. After the third missed bird, the dog came back to me, and I'll swear he was giving me a quizzical look, as though he were saying "what's your problem?" I felt embarrassed enough to apologize to the dog, saying "Sorry, Buck. You did a good job, I just couldn't hit the broadside of a barn today." I'm going to have to go out and shoot some clay pigeons so as not to let the dog down again.

But my host did shoot a couple of pheasants, and, much like fishing, even a bad day hunting (or a day hunting badly) is a good day. And the following evening I joined him and his wife for a lovely dinner, featuring the pheasants he had shot, with some rice and a nice bottle of Italian wine.

This week the deer season opens here in Michigan, so half of the male population of my parish is off to various cabins and camps in hope of bagging that big buck. I've never been much interested in deer hunting myself. I like the getting out and walking around that pheasant and quail hunting entail. The idea of sitting in a blind or stand waiting for a deer just doesn't do much for me. But I wish the guys well.