Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cast and Blast at Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods...and this's me!

Roni taking a stroll down Main Street attracting a crowd

My children have grown to be quite the conspirators in the progress department wherever we may go in our small mountain community.  I spend the majority of my day "preparing" to be efficient while Cutter and Veronica have a completely different agenda.  While there are many advantages to raising kids in our "Blue Ridge village", the lifestyle has it's pitfalls.  For example, there is no where to hide...ever.   Each uncontrollable behavioral milestone is confusing enough but now it all happens in slow motion as an entire community of locals and tourists thoughtfully look on as if the "Oyster kids" are a new TLC show. 

I guess having a shop (and raising kids in it) on Main Street in any type of tourist town has an expected "fish bowl" effect on a family.  The fish bowl feels more like the "carnival effect" on busy weekends.  When Cutter panhandles sells his flies, I hear the proverbial, 

"Step right up...step right up...see the boy who ties flies and is raised in a bamboo
fly rod making shop...and when you are done marveling at him...there is a toddler 
girl dressed up as a Jedi casting a rod around the corner...step right up..."

Oh well, seems perfectly normal to me.

After a month and a half of arduous work for all of us here at Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods (including the kiddos because they had to put up with the schedule), we decided to treat ourselves to something special.  Listen...the months of which I speak were truly "get yourself something special" worthy.  I am talking 7 days a week (okay that's not so unusual for us), 14-18 hour days (while long hours in itself are not unusual) for 6 weeks straight.

So, after three classes and an unusually hectic time of custom rod building, Bill announced that he had a surprise for me...ahhhh, what could it be?  Jewelery? No, I don't really care for the shiny stuff (I am one of "those people" who question the true value of a rare gem).  Was it a quick get-away to Belize?  No, I still won't leave the children because I am a good martyr  mother.  What about a new pair of boots?  Okay, now we are getting close...I secretly hoped he knew to "size down" if he bought me Fryes.

No such luck...none of the above...

Bill bought me a shotgun.  (insert sarcastic tone here) What every girl dreams of, right?  Especially this girl.   And, I should mention that since I started writing this post, Bill has purchased yet another gun for me.

While I do not have a moral issue with firearms (feel the detachment in my voice), I have chosen not to own one for my entire adult life.  It has always been best (for everyone really) that I do not own and therefore use a gun.

Fast forward a few weeks after receiving my special gift from Bill...and...

Sooooooo, guess what? I love my shotgun.  Love it!  I shot clays for the first time with a friend that was in town from New York for a class that has experience and (most importantly) patience.  He showed me how to hold the gun and not shoot myself.  Whew!  He threw my first 25 clays and I was officially hooked!

I am even the first confirmed Oyster "staff " member to have an unauthorized "Cast and Blast" day at NCF.  The fishing was great and all...but shooting was the highlight.


My form has greatly improved since this photo...

But the shooting...what can I was something.  I just love to shatter a clay.  That would make a good t-shirt.  I even love the smell of the gun powder.  It's just so cool to walk through the woods from station to station and shoot your gun.  And, if you don't feel like walking, there are golf carts.  Who knew!?!

I wonder what life will introduce as my next unexpected "leisure activity"?