Rootin’ Tootin’ Weekend


Crazy, busy day yesterday. I started off right away going skijoring with Java. We went to Elm Creek park instead of Bunker, in hopes that the trails might be in better condition there. With the repeated thawing during the day and freezing at night, the snow has become crusty, icy, and packed.

Elm Creek wasn’t quite as icy as Bunker, but the snow did not have much give and there are no grooves for traditional cross-country except where the two trails intersect, so it was some work keeping my skis going where I wanted them to go. The truly nice thing about the Elm Creek trails is that the trails are pretty, there are several options on which way to go, and the hills are gentle slopes instead of sharp up and downs, like Bunker has. I didn’t fall once. That’s really probably because I’m getting so much better. Right…

Java and I went skijoring at Elm Creek again today and managed to pass by several people. Some she went by with no problem but a jogger had to leap sideways and she passed a lady but then doubled back to say hello. But still, it’s progress. Java ran really hard for a long ways (chasing a skier) and we cut 15 minutes off our run. She was a little pooped when we got home.

Gun Class

I wasn’t even going to talk about how I spent my Saturday afternoon, as I was afraid some people really don’t like guns, but the class was so interesting, so I just have to share. If you have strong anti-gun feelings, exit now.

I took a ladies only Basic Handgun Familiarization Course at a gun shop. I have never handled a gun in my life. I’m actually pretty afraid of them, which would explain my shaky hands in the class. I must have looked like Deputy Barney Fife from Mayberry. If you are too young to know who I’m talking about, you’ll just have to google him.

Anyway, the best way to handle fear is to either avoid what you are afraid of or learn as much as you can about it. Plus, if I’m going to go camping and road tripping around the country by myself, I’m considering that I might want some kind of protection.

The reasons, ages, and “types” of women in the class were pretty varied. There was one lady that looked like June Cleaver (I’m really dating myself; you might have to google her too) who said she convinced her husband that they should buy a gun. He was out in the lobby holding her coat and purse during the class.

Several women were there because their husband or boyfriend had guns and wanted them to learn how to shoot. Gee, my husband refused to teach me how to use a gun. I think I know why now.

One young woman, who had moved here from the Ukraine and looked fashionable in that way that only Europeans seem able to pull off, didn’t really say why she was there. I think she wanted to buy an accessory for her “Almost Famous” jeans and designer purse. OK, I admit it, I’m being catty. It’s what happens when you wear “Lucky” jeans and are feeling anything but lucky.

Then there was the lady that was taking the class because her husband was recently diagnosed with prostrate cancer. At first, I thought that meant she was really angry and wanted to shoot something. But in talking further, it seemed that learning to shoot a gun was something she’d wanted to do for a long time. Oh, I get that. When faced with our own mortality or the mortality of someone close to us, people tend to decide to quit putting off some of the things they’ve always wanted to do. In my case, during my marriage, I held back on doing so many things that I’m passionate or just plain curious about that I’m now on a mission to try and make up for lost time.

The class instructor did a wonderful job of explaining things, with a big emphasis on safety, and answering questions. Being a technical writer by trade, I found the diagrams and explanations of how the different types of guns work and the various kinds of ammunition to be fascinating. I know, it’s kind of sad.

The instructor had us practice loading and unloading the guns and had us handle a couple different revolvers and about ten different semi-automatics to see what fit our hand best. After we picked out what we thought felt the best, we went out onto the range and were able to shoot thirty rounds with various guns we wanted to try. I liked the Ruger SR9c, Sig Sauer p239, and Smith & Wesson M & P. I forgot to even try the revolvers, which are certainly simpler than the semi-automatics. Next time.

I was pretty nervous and worried about making a fool out of myself but I’m actually a pretty darn good shot and it was fun! Well, except I must have pinched the tip of my ring finger in the semi-automatic slide. I didn’t notice until I had blood all over my hands. Funny how those little slices bleed like a son-of-a-gun. Maybe that’s where that saying came from…

I almost went back to the shooting range today because my church had a couple hours reserved for people to go target practice at the same gun shop. That’s right — my church. Christians packin’ heat. It’s scary.

I will need to go back and try my favorites again as I was so freaked out by how loud the durn things are (how can people shoot without ear protection?) and trying not to do something stupid, I forgot to keep track of which one I was able to best handle the kick from and still be accurate. Like I’ve said before, I like learning new things and striving to get better at whatever it is. I think this might be a fun new challenge for me.

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  1. The pic of the oh so tired Java just cracked me up, girl. You had the perfect weekend pushin’ yourself and movin’ forward. You go girl!!!

    God bless and have a marvelous day!!!

  2. Love the skijoring and stories. Sounds beautiful.

    I’m afraid I’m one of those folks who thinks that guns should be outlawed (not that I believe that such an extreme option is feasible). But, after watching a drunk guy shoot my dog to death 20 years ago, I’m pretty set in my opinion that either there needs to be extremely tight control of who can carry a gun or they need to be outlawed.

    However, since moving to the west, I’ve learned that almost everyone here has a gun. And, I called on one of them when I had to visit the deer carcass that the mountain lion was still working on (although the lion was not there not right when we went to it). So, maybe I’m softening up – but not that much.

    Don’t worry – I don’t intend this as a condemnation at all. I just thought that you wouldn’t mind me expressing my opinion. You seem like an open-minded person in that regard!

  3. Nezzy – Java is one laugh after another. Silly girl.

    KB – Yes, I was thinking about you and how you when I wrote this. I worry about writing something that bothers people so I’m glad you did comment in the way you did. I’ve lobbied for stronger gun control because of working with battered women. But then, it only seems like gun control works with honest people who don’t need stricter laws anyway. I’m glad I took the class because people do own guns and it’s nice to know some of the safety stuff, like how to tell if one is loaded or not and if someone won’t prove to you that their gun is unloaded, you should leave the room and not just take their word for it. Thanks for letting me know what you think.

  4. Christians Packin’ Heat! *snort* That just made my day! lol!

    Learning how to shoot is on my bucket list, too. I’ve shot bb guns and some shotgun shell type guns at a summer camp with my kids guns and that was fun. But those little ‘pocket’ guns look kind of cute and somehow less intimidating. Probaly not an accurate assumption, of course, but I’d still like to try it someday.

    It would be good to have a gun when out riding in the National Forests, for sure.

    Love the photo of Java in the snow. I’m glad you had a great time and didn’t fall.

    You said: “Anyway, the best way to handle fear is to either avoid what you are afraid of or learn as much as you can about it.”

    I think that’s how I’m forging ahead with horses and riding again, even after I was seriously hurt. You’ve got lots of wisdom. 🙂


  5. I love how you spent your day trying to figure out what trail is best and I spent my day trying not to punch the people I work with. Man what I would have given to be on that trail instead of running around my office looking for a desk to hide under. Wanna trade?

  6. Last year I got my CCW (carry concealed weapons) permit here in Michigan. When I went to the county board to get the permit I was surprised to find a room full of people waiting to get their permits. There was about 32 women and 2 men waiting! I was surprised so many women were getting their permits.

    When I finally got into see the board, they told me CCW permits and applications were way up and many of the new permits were for women. I didn’t really get a chance to talk to the women about why they got their permits since I was one of the first people to see the board. Interesting.

  7. I’ve always wanted to learn how to shoot, too. Living in the country, there are the critters that you don’t want around such as oppossums (wh’s urine can cause EPM in horses). I’ve had barn cats who were injured & a bullet would be kinder than suffering. I don’t like having guns around with kids in the house, so I’ll wait for now. But someday.

    You must be really getting a good workout with the skijoring. I wish I had your ambition!

  8. Far Side – That’s how I feel. I want to know about things first hand.

    Lisa – Wisdom and humor – thanks for the compliments. I hope you are able to get past being hurt and regain your horse confidence. Actually, I know you will. I did!

    Boomka – You need to get out on some trails! Punching someone at work is generally frowned upon. But I do know the temptation.

    J.P. – I can believe it. Our class was filled to capacity. I’m not sure if women are feeling more in danger or just feel freer to do whatever they want and I guess they want to shoot guns.

    Tammy – Yes, I had a seemingly sick possum in the barn that scared me to death with the fear of EPM. And I’ve had coyotes try to lure my dog away. The coyotes, I’d just like to frighten away, not actually shoot them.

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