Monday, June 18, 2012

Balloons Don't Stand a Chance

Thinking about our imaginary rural utopia last week really put me in the mood to do something outdoors.  Fortunately the weather was gorgeous last weekend while we were visiting my family in Virginia, so I went on a quest to dig out all my old archery equipment.

Since I am an admitted Tolkien nerd with a weakness for superhero movies, I may be accused of picking a trendy hobby.  But in my defense, I requested a bow for my birthday at least a full year before I had even heard the name "Legolas."  I spend a lot of time in the sweltering heat of our barn in Texas developing my own technique since formal lessons weren't part of the birthday package.  I was just starting to contemplate shooting from horseback when we had to pack up and move to a more suburban environment.  With all the distractions of the recent past, I thought I had given up archery for good.  I couldn't practice at our apartment, but suddenly I realized nobody was stopping me from indulging in a little target practice at my parents' house.  It took some sleuthing to find the quiver and finger-guard, and there were only two arrows left in serviceable condition, but in the end we had fun shooting at helpless balloons downrange.   It had been six years since I had practiced at all, but I wasn't as rusty as I had expected to be.  Even the husband, who had no archery experience outside boy scout camp, racked up a few respectable kills.

While we're on the subject, I should note that the skill seems to run in the family.  My grandmother was apparently an exceptional shot.  As the story goes, the man at the carnival archery booth finally offered her as many free arrows as she wanted so long as she left his balloons alone.  I can hit every target if you just give me long enough.  However, my baby brother (12 years old now) is currently the undisputed archery king of the family.  I don't know if he has defended his title lately, but this video was taken when he was 7.  Un-freaking-believable.

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