He shows up once a year, maybe stays a week, not more than two, and then if I talk to him or his wife, during the off season, it’s that one of us needs to notify the other of a recent obit. It’s an odd relationship in that we never seem to talk all year, then for some span in the two weeks we just about jaw each other to death. Nothing to say all year, then he visits and we can’t seem to shut up.
I’m always up first, then he drags his carcass into the kitchen, I make the coffee, he makes the eggs; I stay out of his way, he stays out a mine. While he’s preparing breakfast, I make a feeble attempt at lunch and he asks about a weather forecast for today, instead of answering, I just turn on the radio.
He knows I don’t know what the weathers gonna be, and he thinks like I do in that the weatherman barely get yesterday’s weather right, but instead of me answering his masked question, I know him so well it’s just his way of getting me to turning on the radio, because he doesn’t care one leaky boot about the weather, he just wants his morning background noise. We know what nerves work and which ones not to work over.
His wife knows I love lasagna, she always sends a pan. This morning I found it on the metal table I have in the screen porch. When I come in with the pan he sets my breakfast in front of me, toast dark, heaped with butter, no salt, just pepper on my eggs. He doesn’t eat eggs.
He always drives, but he never drives his truck, he drives mine. We get out of the truck and I grab his rifle, he loads the daypack. He holds up a finger and asks me which way is north, we look at the ground, then we both show each our hand held compasses and we laugh until water comes out of our eyes.
We both graduated the military survey academy together, after the days classes we dated a set of sisters and the head instructor said we both had the worst sense of direction, not only in school, but in life. Funny how all the way through school we didn’t know he was the sister’s father and He got lost on his first deployment, completely missed the movement and had to walk two days all by himself to get rescued. When we picked him up we all held up a wet finger and looked at every cardinal point and said sir, north aint under your feet.
We tell that same story to each other every trip, hoist the compasses, then we go hunt the maple ridge all day where in the last 14 years, we’ve never shot one deer. Not even shot at one, but we sure like the walk and so far, we never have gotten lost. The trout whisperer