Today I’m thankful for shooting rifles. (Doesn’t seem very Christmas-like does it?)
When Dominic went hunting with his Grandpa Ken this year he didn’t have a rifle that fit him quite right. After talking about it We thought about letting him use my old hunting rifle. It’s a little smaller and we thought it would fit him better. With the weather still being pretty warm his grandpa said we should bring it up to his house for Christmas Eve and let Dominic shoot it.
So I brought my old rifle as well as my grandpa’s old rifle for a little target practice. Nothing too crazy, just a few shots to get him used to it and a few shots for me to bring back some memories.
Ahh… The memories that came flooding back with the feel of holding a rifle again, the smell of the powder, the sounds of the cartridge being loaded and then the shot. They all brought back different memories.
Shooting .22’s in the gravel pit. Collecting the spent shells in the orange see through box with the sliding top. Getting frustrated that I wasn’t instantly good at it. My dad being incredibly patient while raising his voice to the exact pitch needed for me to understand just how important something was. Hunting with my dad and my grandpa. Falling asleep in a tree stand my first time hunting. Waking up to find my dad sleeping in the tree stand my first time hunting. Shooting rifles with cousins. One cousin telling my dad, “Uncle Pete, it’s not my first rodeo,” just before he shot the 12 gauge shotgun with a 1 1/2″ gap between his shoulder and the butt of the stock. Spending time with my dad and just enjoying the time with him.
It was pretty wild how something so minor like shooting a rifle could fire up that many memories. As we were getting things put away I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the start of similar memories for Dominic. And that’s why I’m thankful for shooting rifles today.