What do you do when the weather is gorgeous and you have the most beautiful niece on the planet? You fill up as many memory cards as you can with her perfect little face! I mean, obviously.
We’re right in the middle of a big family move and renovation. Everyone’s changing places and it’s sort of a long story, but every Randle household is in a state of disarray, to say the least. In the end, we’ll all end up living much closer together. I LOVE my family (especially this little nugget), so I’m pretty excited about it. A few times this week my sister in law and brother have come down to the beach, my parents have stopped by, and my grandma will wander down to say hello. It’s a sweet little glimpse into what life will be like on the regular pretty soon.
Tonight my brother and his family came down while he straightened out our fire pit on the beach so we’re all ready for the 4th of July. Ellie was pretty serious about lending a helping hand.
She helped shovel and carried buckets full of rocks to fill in some blank spots, stabilize some makeshift stairs, etc. She’s a regular little workhorse. Drink break! (Kidding! They’re empty and she’s well-supervised. Promise. Plus, is Rolling Rock really even beer? Really?)
Eventually it was time to sit back, explore the beach, and throw rocks with daddy.
Pretty soon we’ll all live on the same little island within about seven minutes of each other and we’ll get to do this all the dang time! Having family this close is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m lovin’ it.
When we were kids my dad used to go hunting up in the Olympics. After successful trips, he’d come home and hang his deer under our carport right off the back yard. Right outside our playhouse window. So, picture this if you will, you’re seven and having a tea party with a neighbor girl, drinking fake tea with your pinkies up and commenting on invisible tea sandwiches, all the while framed in the window is a slightly drippy, skinless Bambi with glassy eyes and a limp tongue hanging to the side.
That’s my normal. That’s what October looks like to me. Well, that and pumpkins and falling leaves and steamy mugs. It just doesn’t feel like fall to me, though, if I haven’t seen a buck in the back of a truck or hanging in a shed.
All that to say, or to warn you, really, that there are some pictures coming that I’m completely ok with but that YOU might not want to see. It’s hunting season. We’re in Hooper. Two of our guys both got their bucks and were back in town before noon. I took pictures.
That’s a warning photo. You still have time to turn back. It’s not too late.
Seriously…dead things are coming.
I am not pulling your leg. Two deer. Dead ones. In a truck.
Ok, at this point, whatever you see is on you. I tried to tell you. If you don’t believe me and you keep scrolling, well, whatever bile rises in your throat is entirely no fault of mine.
Oh, man, but if you LOVED a good dissection in high school biology, are fascinated by those true life medical documentaries, grew up on a farm, or consider yourself even the tiniest bit of a redneck, you’ll be fine. Sit tight.
(That’s a test photo. If this blew your mind, time to switch to Pinterest and think happy thoughts.) Theo and Conly’s deer all snuggly in the back of Urkel (the truck).
June said, “Here, Cathy, want to hold these?” Theo saves the hearts and livers. Cathy in no way wanted to hold them.
Once you’ve sufficiently shown off your buck and handed your hearts and livers off to your wife to rinse and refrigerate, it’s time for skinning and hanging. Our cousins have a home they’re remodeling down the road with a big outbuilding and all the things you might need to process your animal.
Conly collects old trucks. I feel like if this one could talk he’d have a lisp.
The outbuilding. Betty said, “Man, that makes it look like we’re way out in the middle of nowhere.” Um…yep. Five miles down a dirt road.
(Ok, now. For real. If you’re the person who only eats chicken because the entire butcher section of the grocery store grosses you out, you’re done now. Read this instead.)
Here’s Theo working on Conly’s deer. They started cutting away skin on the hind legs, then they hung it upside down and kept cutting and peeling. It’s kind of like pulling a t-shirt off a wet kid, if you hung that kid up by his ankles. Except it’s skin. And that’s kinda yucky.
THAT right there…that’s the yuckiest picture I have ever taken.
On to the next!
He’s just been the most patient little friend.
There might have been some inappropriate jokes batted around regarding the state of this guy’s legs. I’m not going there.
And when you’re as good of friends as these guys are, and you find yourself essentially straddled by your buck, things can get a little silly.
And then Conly said, “Hey, you remember I’m the one holding the knife, right?”
That’s the end, guys. From here those two bucks will hang in that giant garage for a few days and then they’ll be butchered into steaks and burger and whatnot.
So, how’d you do? Was that so terrible? Did you barf? Do you totally wish you had my life and got to see dead animals cut to bits on the regular? No? Well, I guess that’s your call.
Wanna see something cute to sort of cleanse your brain?
Beautiful Betty! She just retired and can’t you kind of just see it in her smile? The relaxation and peace? Or maybe she’s just remembering how June didn’t hand HER the bags of guts to hold.