Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bear Hunting


Last summer, like a lot of people, my husband, son, and I began to get a little stir-crazy. (My younger son, not my older one; sometimes I wasn't sure the older one actually knew there was a pandemic.) My younger son and I had been home since the schools had closed their doors in mid-March. My husband, a grocery store manager, had been working extra hours and under rather insane conditions, what with all the toilet paper hoarding and all. We decided that what we needed was to get out of town and go bear hunting.

It was mid-July, when the temperatures in the Sacramento Valley can get pretty unbearable. (See what I did there?) An escape to the cooler temperatures of Lake Tahoe were welcome relief. Actually, just being in the car heading out of town was a relief. I didn't really care where we were going as long as we were going somewhere.

We had a good idea where we could find some good bear hunting. We had seen many of them gathered across the street from our favorite pizza place in South Lake Tahoe, so that was where we headed first. Sure enough, there were what seemed like hundreds of the them standing around, like they were just waiting for us to show up.

My husband, son, and I walked around, looking for just the right one. Finally, we found one we could all agree upon. He was about the right size and he had a sweet little grin on his face. He looked like he would be pleasant company. I was a little hesitant at first, though, about the sign he was carrying. "Go away," it said. I had imagined something a little more welcoming . . . like "Welcome" for instance. But my son convinced me that this was the one. Once I thought about it, I came to appreciate the humor in it.

My son decided that we should name this bear Jeff. So, we put Jeff in the car, fastened his seat belt, and headed back home, thoroughly satisfied with the success of our bear hunting trip.

All strapped in, ready to go
It's been almost a year now since Jeff came to live with us. We brought him in to hibernate for the winter, but now that the weather is warming he seems quite content in more natural surroundings. 

Jeff seems to like his new home.
I think we can all agree that 2020 was a pretty messed up year. But there were some bright spots and one of them for our family was Jeff.

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