Tuesday, October 29, 2013

surprise date : wine and guns

I shot a gun for the first time on Friday.
I'd like to say it was a really cool experience and I loved it and now am addicted to shooting things.  
But no.
I knew kind of already that I had a gun phobia.  I once burst into tears and had a panic attack when a friend tried to show me an {unloaded} pistol he had purchased.  I wouldn't calm down until he had put it away in its little box and the box itself was out of sight.
However, my sweet hubby didn't know this and decided to plan a secret date.
I love surprises from Hubby so I was pretty excited.
We left the sweet kiddos with the grandparents for the day and started driving to the secret destination.  I of course was guessing the entire time.  Sky diving?  Hot air balloon ride?  Mini golf?  
The morning weather was absolutely gorgeous - frosty, but sunshine and not a cloud in the sky.
Perfect fall day!
We took the scenic route (Dad, you would be proud!) and I was enthralled with the beautiful Kentucky countryside.  A million times I wished we could have stopped to take pictures of pretty tobacco barns and fields...but we had to our destination since we had a limited window to do whatever activity it was we were going to do.
Finally we turned toward Elk Creek Winery, and I was instantly relieved I wouldn't be thousands of feet in the air for anything, but happily on the ground drinking wine.
But we kept driving past the winery until we got to a place called the 'hunt club.' 
That was when I realized our date included more than wine...
but guns as well.

We were going to be shooting clay targets with a 12 gauge shotgun.
I grew up with two brothers who shot guns frequently on our farm, so you would think I would have done this before.  
I had avoided all gun shooting for 32 years...
but now that streak was over.

I knew I couldn't wimp out.

Our first "station" I watched Paul and pushed the buttons to release the clay targets.
Then, at my turn, I skittishly danced around
not wanting to really even hold the gun.
Finally, after asking if the safety was on about a hundred times,
I held the gun as Paul instructed 
(it was just me and him so I could be as 'fraidy cat as I pleased)
and shot my first shot.

I hated it.

It was scary and loud.  
My teeth rattled from the kickback.  
The gun was heavy.
I kept thinking of how easily it could kill someone
and worked myself up into a psychological tizzy.
I burst into tears, but then, after some convincing, 
shot it again.
(we weren't even pulling the targets...there was no way I would hit any in my emotional state.)
Still hated it.
So for the rest of the time Paul happily shot at each station solo.  I took photographs of him shooting - marveling at how he was surprisingly a very good shot - and of the gorgeous scenery on such a lovely autumn day.  I had a fine time riding down the steep hills in the golf cart through the woods and being the designated 'button pusher.' 
Okay, I did try to shoot one more time, two or three more shots.
But my hate had lessened to a strong dislike.
yes, I understand I look ridiculous holding a gun.
So while I wasn't a fan of shooting guns myself, it was still a fun morning.
(Plus, dearest Hubby, I saved us some money on bullets.  
You're welcome.)

+ + + + + + 

Then it was off to the portion of the date I could fully appreciate:
the winery.
We ordered lunch in the beautiful lodge
and I had a strawberry and brie salad that was honestly the most delicious meal I've ate in a long time.  All that fresh air and gun shootin' had given me quite an appetite...
...and a thirst!
We did a wine tasting, ate our lunch, walked around the art gallery and talked while drinking a surprisingly good cabernet franc, then ordered another glass of wine to bring out for a stroll through the vineyard.

Nice work, babe.  
You got me to try something new, and I love a new experience once in a while.
Plus, you topped it all off with some wine drinking.  Good man.