HOME PLACE - Nuptials planning, huntin' and fishin'

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I thought I would be writing about the final hour of wedding planning with this column edition.

There is more than enough to talk about, what with a zillion details to cover between now and then.

Stuff I've never considered in my life - should I try a spray tan? Should I wax (or "sugar" since that is supposed to hurt less) excess hair? Are sub sandwiches too cheap for the rehearsal dinner? Who's picking up the rented chairs? More importantly, who is returning them? Will this crazy plan for people to bring food instead of gifts work out, or are we all going to starve? Are fake nails ridiculous? Will we have enough cake?

What should we do with those turkey feathers?

Wait. That's not a wedding question, after all.

Nope, that comes from Camo Man taking Miss Tall and Blond hunting and fishing one recent Saturday.

Apparently it's youth turkey season in Washington state. That's what the hunting tag says anyway. Which comes during Fencing Season, previously whined about via a blog post.

Remember, Camo Man has been working to make hunters of us since last autumn. In fact, he took Miss TAB deer hunting in Dayton for hours, but she couldn't bring herself to pull the trigger.

Which was fine by me. The downstairs family room is becoming host to a zoo of animal heads as wildlife transfers from his house to mine. I know that should anyone else living here get that sort of "trophy," there will be an expectation it be displayed in similar fashion. Frankly, I don't know if I can have one more creature stare at me as I get sweaty on the elliptical trainer. I'm already too close to the world's sixth-largest Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep as I strive to keep elliptically going 30 minutes, let me tell you.

I warned Camo Man that Miss TAB was probably going to repeat her earlier (lack of) performance. "Just leave her home and save yourself some misery," I said.

He would not be swayed. That first nippy Saturday the two of them set up the hunting blind and sat out there on Uncle Jerry's ranch. And sat there and sat there. Sure enough, Miss TAB simply could not resolve to committing to the shot. Not that she seemed very bothered by it, happily diving into the available movie supply when she came back into the cabin.

Camo Man would not give up and he took my youngest to Dayton again two weekends later.

The phone rang on Saturday about noon. "Guess what," Camo Man said, nearly shouting.

A hunting victory was so far from my mind, I took the bait. "What?"

"Tall and Blond got her first turkey. Then she decided she wanted to catch a fish, and boy, she pulled one up the size of a salmon," he replied.

It must be said, this was in Uncle Jerry's stocked pond, so the odds were on TAB's side. After winter, those babies are hungry.

I congratulated one and all, and waited for the hunter-gatherer duo to come back to town. And they did, bearing cut up wild turkey and a LARGE steelhead trout. Which, Miss Tall and Blond learned, would mean she had to follow the rule of hunter-gatherers everywhere - you take the life of an animal or fish, you use it to nourish yourself and your family.

Even fish. Even if you have to pinch your nose to eat it.

Camo Man and I set to grilling and baking. In the end, we had a fish that was just downright delicious - the teens ate all I heaped on their plates - and a turkey that no one wanted seconds on, what with the dark, dense meat of a wild critter that noshes on bugs. Such good protein, however, will be revisited in a soup on some early autumn evening.

Miss TAB wants to bring home the turkey's tail feathers, to add to the dad's collection. We're in negotiation.

Really, when it comes down to it, I guess this is a wedding story of sorts.

Back when I was just beginning to think about what kind of man I'd want to share my life with, "wonderful father to my children" was at the top of the bulletin points. I planned to never settle until I could cross that one off the list.

Which, you know, made me think I'd never be planning another wedding. Huh.

I'll go back to shopping for paper plates, plastic forks and tablecloths now. And should I get a garter? Should Camo Man get his hair cut a week before or two weeks before? Should we ...?

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