Nov. 4, 2012: Today my husband, daughter and I made a stop to Gander Mountain. This is a weekly field trip as my husband insists that we collect the weekly ad. It is just down the road, so we pile in the car and make the effort to entertain ourselves while there. Today’s visit entailed a thorough examination of various folding chairs. At some point, I decided I must look at the outdoor magazines. We had headed over to the magazine rack and found some waterfowl monthly mags. For the most part, the magazines didn’t have many pictures; not so useful to a child who can’t read. But her interest was perked. She saw the various hunting tools and pictures of people hunting and her attention was drawn. I finally found and settled on Gray’s Outdoor Journal. I cracked it open, found short stories that were worthy of being called literature, pictures and works of art, and some poetry. A love of the outdoors in such a carefully put together magazine felt like a gem among the advertisement ridden magazines that in the end seemed strictly written for one type of hunter.
That afternoon, my daughter and I began reading ‘Waiting on Ducks’ by Gordon Neal. She loved how in the story the main character, who was referred to as ‘he’, would lay out his clothes in anticipation for the next day’s hunt. She instantly felt akin to the excitement that he felt. The story was about a twenty something man who was going through a break up. He used the ritual of the hunt to find himself again. While I think most of us aren’t twenty something year old dudes, I think we can all relate to having to rebuild ourselves and finding comfort in the rhythm of real life. Real life for the hunter in the story is a duck hunt. It is an awesome story and is brought to an excellent conclusion. I later finished the story and I now know the mag rack at Gander Mountain is awesome!