It has happened. Just like overnight it came; that soft golden hue that only comes with autumn. How you loved this time of year. You use to say that everything was better: your food tasted better, your home felt better, your clothes felt better once the dog days of summer gave way to the golden hue of autumn.
The leaves are starting to change. I noticed the red upon the mountains a few days ago and soon quaken asps will shed their leaves of green for those of yellow. They were your favorite trees. You would always say you could find a deer or elk hiding in their cover. How you loved your hunts. Hunting was your passion. I remember telling my friend that if they took out licenses to hunt piss ants you would be the first in line.
I remember the second year we were married and you were getting ready to go hunting with some of the guys that worked for you. You asked me if I would see if I could find a coat for you; an orange one. The weather was so cold that year. We had a lot of snow as I set out in search of one that would keep my man warm. Now, I laugh at what I brought home to you. It was a very warm, very orange, very ugly, one-piece, orange cover-all. It would have kept my man warm, but it would also had made him look like a giant orange marshmallow. My heart was in the right place, just my hunting dress style was a bit off. Needless to say, I had to return it. Thank you for not making me feel then as silly as what I feel now.
Being raised with just my mom, hunting was something we didn't do. Until I married you, I had the Bambi Syndrome; thinking hunting as mean and cruel. But when I married you, you showed me a man that loved to hunt, that respected the animals that he brought down, that was thankful for the meat that was put on our table. I think in some past life, you were an American Indian; that was the type of love and respect you showed for the earth and the animals on it. I learned to like to cook what you brought home...except for that goose.
It was a beautiful bird as I prepared it with sage dressing. It was only after I put it in the oven and the aroma drifted through the house that I started to vomit, and vomit, and vomit. Of course, it wasn't really the bird itself that caused my distress. It was the fact that I was pregnant with our second baby and morning sickness hit me with a vengeance. I think the scent of roasting goose got into every fiber of our house. I could smell it in our couch cushions, in the drapes, everywhere. Of course, when a woman is pregnant, their sense of smell is so horrifically strong anyway. After the goose was cooked (that's funny) you didn't even like the taste of it. We had invited your dad over for dinner though and for a night of playing poker, and he loved it. We sent it home with him and I never roasted another one. There are two things, that after 47 years I still shudder about eating. One is goose and the other is Dinty Moore Beef Stew.
Remember our hunting trip out on the southwest desert the first year we were married. We were hunting antelope and you fixed dinner over an open fire; dinner that consisted of a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. I was pregnant with our first baby at that time and with one bite, I became so sick. When I think of it, I can still smell the smoked taste of that stew and feel my stomach start to rumble.
I miss those days honey. I miss the days after when I wouldn't go with you hunting, but would stay at home with our babies while you went. I enjoyed getting you ready to go. I would plan your meals and purchase the food, and stock the trailer and watch you don your orange and take off. While you were gone, I don't think I cooked a meal. The kids and I would hit all the fast food joints in town until the night you came back home again.
You were my life honey; you and our kids, and you still are. Love doesn't die, does it. It stays settled right in your heart. As I sit here on my bed in the middle of the night, the love I had for you for all those years is still nestled inside me. I'm learning to deal with my grief from losing you. It doesn't go away, I just learn to deal with it. It's boils and steams inside me until the pressure reaches the point that the tears come and I open my computer and write to you. Then it is held at bay for a while longer.
I miss you honey and I will love you,
Far Beyond the 12th of Never.