2: Post Postscript
Continued Story. . .
Please start by reading first segment of story: 1: A Postscript
A Little Clearing In The Woods
And so we entered the deep woods and trekked along awhile, but he soon realized I was slowing him down, as I tried to pick my way along and through unfamiliar - nay, - totally foreign tangled ground cover, shod in my inappropriate shoes for the situation. Misery was also beginning to accompany the trek, as I became more apprehensive by the moment and more chilled to the bone. I wondered if it would ever end or would this woods become the scene of my demise before it ended on a less ghastly note!
So he left me in a slight clearing, where I sat down on a tree stump, trying to get a few rays of the sun at its long slanted, heat diffusing angle at that time of year in that part of the globe, the heat residue of which barely filtered through the remaining autumn leaves, as I tried to snuggle myself and hoped to minimize my surface exposure by almost curling up in a fetal position while sitting there on that hard lumpy stump, crying my eyes out. Oh, to have had a HandyCam for that scene! It would have been classic comedy - for the sadistic spectator! Of course, there was no such entity as Sony company then, much less a HandyCam! The videos displayed are late-vintage products.
Southern Indiana picturesque outdoors Scenario
What was I doing there anyway? I could've been shot!
There was a plethora of anomalies about the entire fiasco. Bear in mind that I come from a much warmer climate where September in Texas is among our hottest months.. It stays quite warm here even long after September, in fact.
As mentioned, I had chosen my trousseau carefully. Knowing we were to visit his home stomping grounds and mingle with many relatives and friends of a lifetime, I had attempted to allow for its cooler latitude in September while considering probable kinds of activities. There was no Google to ask about customs and the Britannica or the Atlas failed to reveal any help.
So what I didn't know was the types of activities I might be engaging in, So it had to be a basic and interchangeable set of things which could be dressed up or down for any occasions. For more casual ones, I'd packed some light-weight black wool gabardine slacks, a lightweight ivory cotton turtle-neck and a light-weight natural suede jacket. These items could go from one end of the "casual" spectrum to the other and not be too warm for indoors or too cool for outdoors, I hoped Even if I had known more about this particular activity, though, or if I'd suspected it might be the tour de jour, I'd have had no idea what a deep woods was like, nor how dense it might be nor how much chillier than even the surrounding areas it would be! All I knew about woods I'd learned from the stories of Hansel and Gretel and Davey Crockett. I'd never seen an actual woods, unless a mesquite thicket counts! But I thought I'd anticipated and covered a variety of possibilities, as far as my wardrobe and other preparedness went. Wrong! So very wrong!
It didn't help much that when I arrived in his habitat among his people, I was a and continued to remain a minority of one who was something of an oddity throughout the marriage. No one took me under a wing to give help or tips. Wasn't that they were mean or didn't like me. They just didn't know what to do with me, I suppose. That was OK except that it wasn't always OK.
I might as well have been a visitor from another planet! Otherwise they might have warned me that I was not going to be warm enough in the woods, that I could have caught pneumonia, nor did I have appropriate shoes to be trekking around in 'those-there' woods where a stray bullet aimed at some speck of fur on a limb might have gotten me! So in fact they might have been even more helpful and a lot more OK to just have told me that quite obviously, the woods were no place for a slip of a girl who was from Alpha Centaurior wherever they thought it was - at all, any, ever, no way, never- uh -uh! Especially not on first day of squirrel season with jittery armed boys and men stalking around and shooting in the direction of twigs if stirred by the minimal breeze or if snapping from any cause!
It just never occurred to me to pack mukLuks OR a suit of armour for my honeymoon, to be perfectly honest! In retrospect I guess it would have sounded a bit kinky but back then, that wasn't even a possibility! Fact was, I'd never even heard of mukluks - or kinky! And cowboy boots and chaps would have been very little improvement in the woods and actually would have worked against me trying to walk on its tangled floor while dodging its briars and tangled underbrush, though they might have at least provided a little needed warmth!
Below is a brief video illustrating the "sport" of squirrel hunting in that area. I hesitated to include it, but compared to most others, it is fairly tolerable to watch if one's sensitivities aren't too delicate; not saying it won't anger some viewers - as it does me. If one is unfamiliar with what is involved, though, it does demonstrate a bit of an actual situation such as I was called upon to join on my honeymoon and perhaps will make my situation more understandable.
if I had packed mukLuks, I might have started singing "These Boots Were Made for walkin' " - perhaps back to Texas - and proceeded to do just that! Hindsight is so seldom of any use, though. ;-)
Yes, this really is a least offensive glimpse of squirrel hunting :-(
At least it hadn't started snowing as yet on that September day I was out "hunting"!.
So while he was off searching for squirrels to shoot, I was becoming the object of their pity and the audience for their antics nearby where I crouched and trembled on my woodsy stool until they had cheered me back into my normal outlook. Literally a bunch of the little creatures began to gather around me and they almost seemed to be trying to comfort me and perhaps even to be hoping to raise the temperature of the area a bit by contributing their mass presence to my clearing, even though they may have been alerted by their lookout that my groom was prowling the area with an agenda to kill the regulated daily limit of them for his pleasure and possibly his platter! Eventually I had to master the steps involved in preparing them for him to eat, in fact. But then I was still reeling from having to pluck a chicken in Home Ec class!
My Squirrels Enjoying Romping and Playing
When my squirrel buddies came out to cheer and befriend me, it was such an amazing uplifting experience that I literally stopped crying and burst out laughing!
I'm not sure if they understood the improvement in my outlook, but I guess they were satisfied that all was well with me, since they scampered back into hiding, lest some hunter happen by and take aim at them!
The precious lesson of the squirrels does remind me that good intentions, good will and determination win out in the end, no matter how bumpy the road.
I realize that I've learned a lot from squirrels, when I stop to think about it. Though they are vulnerable to predators, they remain frisky and optimistic, but ever wary. They tend to the things they can do and improve and steer clear of the things beyond their control. They're willing to lend comfort to a sad young bride in an unfriendly environment and a miserable predicament, even at some risk to themselves. Try don't hesitate to make it a more cheerful place, either! And we know that a momma squirrel's instincts are for her baby.
Is that a kind of karma, do you suppose?
See you in the woods. . .
Folks willll do what they're going to do and be who they really are.
I probably should have bailed out right then. But though it went from bad to worse I didn't believe in abandoning what I took on. I still had hopes and intentions of being what Solomon described as the worthy woman and wife as well as fulfilling everything I'd trained be be as a homemaker. As happens in life, though, attempting to build something strong and good on poor foundations is unwise and hoping to correct serious bad choices by sticking to them can seldom change the course they set. I regret some of my bad choices but sticking by my principles is never regrettable. Without them, other choices are merely actions on the stage of life.