Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Grandma Draws Bears

      Once upon a time, there was a Grandma. She was not a round, soft Grandma like some grandmas. She was more of a lean muscle kind of Grandma. But she did lots of Grandma things like making cookies, reading stories and snuggling little people. She also did other Grandma things like camping and hiking and hunting and shooting the eye out of a gnat at 300 yards with a .243. So she was a pretty cool Grandma, and all nine of her little grandchildren thought so. All of us here at 3EM think she’s pretty darn cool, too.
    Now our home country is really not very good bear country. We have only a few black bears, and we get at most an occasional
grizzly. But the thing is, you see,
Courtesy Dave Glenn
Grandma draws bears. Not with a pencil and paper. She can draw a bear with pencil and paper, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Grandma draws bears the way flowers draw bees. If you spend much time with Grandma, you’re going to have some sort of bear adventure. Consider, if you will these vignettes:
Bear One
      A number of elk seasons ago, Grandma and I accompanied a good friend into the West Fork of Notellum Creek. It was a beautiful October morning. It had snowed a few inches the night before, and then cleared off cold. The snow in the West Fork was soft and silent and the grass was studded with frost that shimmered like diamonds in the morning sun. It was simply glorious.
       She walked with us as far as the second crossing on the West Fork, then hearing the siren song of her hot chocolate at The Cabin, she thought she might head back. She made a little circle back through the timber to the trail we came in on. And what to her wondering eyes should appear but a humongous black bear track following the tracks we had made only 30 minutes before. A coincidence? Perhaps. Curious bear? Perhaps. Hot-footing Grandma back at the pickup in record time? Definitely.

Bear Two
       Several elk seasons ago, Apprenticedad walked right smack into the middle of the main herd way up in the top of The Saddle. Almost in self-defense, he shot a cow elk. He was happy. We were all happy for him. Grandma was so happy that she volunteered to help him pack it out while the rest of us tried to find the remnants of the now scattered main herd.
       It was all going just great until they got down into the dense timber above Giffey Meadow. The trail winds down through the spruce and fir here, and you can’t see more than a few feet in any direction. So when something said, “WOOF!” Grandma stopped. She asked Apprenticedad, “What do you think that was?” His response was a game attempt to reassure his beloved mother-in-law, “Oh…uh…nothing.” But as always it is the nonverbal that gives us away. As Aunt Carol would have said, “his face looked like two sheep turds floating in a bowl of milk” and instantly Grandma knew exactly what was woofing at them and she knew Apprenticedad knew as well. Abiding by the rule that when the going gets tough, the tough get the heck out of there, they did.
     There are other days and other bears, too. There will probably be more days and more bears. Maybe she smells like donuts and we’ve never noticed. Maybe she just looks tasty, like one of the chocolate chip cookies she bakes at The Cabin. But we all carry bear spray now, because no matter how much we love her, the fact is…Grandma draws bears.



  1. I love this story! Yes, she is one tough yet tender Grandma!

  2. Glad you liked it. If anyone should know about tough/tender grandmas, it's you!