“You Knew What You Were Getting Into”

by Debi

My dad’s family were hunters. My mom was repulsed by the bloody impulse that overtook her new family each autumn. Any time Mom expressed her feelings, my grandmother would say, “You knew what you were getting into when you married into this family.” So my mother usually kept quiet, shuddering on the inside while her in-laws hung that season’s kill to bleed in the barn.

I grew up in that environment. Going to my family’s property in North Central Washington was a beautiful trip I looked forward to, but the gore and bloodshed during Hunting Season was more than I could handle. A sensitive child, it upset me to look into the dead eyes of such magnificent creatures.

When feeling particularly frustrated with my latest crying jag, Grandma would sometimes confuse me with my mother, and she’d tell me it was my fault for choosing to be part of this family. Really, Grandma? I don’t remember choosing which womb to bring me forth.

Eventually my dad and grandparents stopped taking me with them to the family’s cabin during Hunting Season. A child wailing loudly over the death of Bambi’s mother or father evidently wasn’t conducive to enjoying the family’s favorite blood sport.

You knew
what you were getting into
when you chose
to be part of this family.

How My Folks Met

front yard

My grandparents front yard on Yarrow Point looking across Yarrow Bay to the Lake Washington Shipyards. The Kalakala ferry was being worked on at the time of this photo.

by Debi

My parents married in September (I think), but the anniversary they celebrated was the day they met. Opening Day of boating season. I always thought that was romantic and sweet, which is a bit ironic because “romantic” and “sweet” aren’t words I’d ever use to describe my parents. Or their relationship. I knew them when they were older and settled, however, and no longer the romantics they evidently were in their youth. Continue reading