Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Surprise, Just Not A Party

Angie handed me her laptop and said, "Happy Birthday, sweetheart!" I didn't know what she was doing since I had bought the laptop for her birthday the year previous. As I sat on the hospital bed waiting for my discharge papers, I had no clue as to what she was doing.

What she was doing was trying to make my birthday somewhat special. After being prodded and poked and worked out on the treadmill on minimal sleep and even less food, I think she felt bad that my birthday was a bust. (Truth be told, she hadn't done anything for my birthday because I wasn't supposed to be home, I was supposed to be in Raleigh working.)

So, she came to the hospital today with some KFC and a birthday cake. I had just eaten the lunch that the hospital provided, so I think she wanted to do SOMETHING special - even if it was small. And, she decided to let me know what my present was...

Now, you have to step back about a year and a half to understand how our birthdays were planned. A year and a half ago, I had thrown Angie a big surprise 40th birthday bash with 50 of her closet friends and kids, catering from her favorite restaurant, etc. etc. That party was awesome and I assumed when I turned 40 she'd reciprocate.

Then, last year, I bought a rifle and hunted. At that point, I knew that for my birthday I didn't want a party but a hunt where I could have a reasonable chance at a large deer. Not necessarily a trophy buck, but something large enough to hang on a wall while filling my freezer. She's been tight lipped since then. If I asked her about it or even mentioned it, she'd give me that look she has; the look that says, "shut up!" For the most part, I'd shut up.

About a week ago I walked in on her while she was on the phone with was evident that she was planning my present. (Either that or she just got busted having an affair and since I really didn't think that was the case, I knew it was for a hunt). I honored her request not to bug her, so I didn't even ask. She asked if I wanted to fly or drive and indicated that she would accompany - but that was all she gave me.

Until she handed me her laptop. On the page, I saw:
I was blown away. She indicated that we'd be going for the pre-rut package. She then showed me pictures of the ranch, lodging, food, etc. I can't wait. This is going to be a hunt of a life time for me. If I never shoot at a trophy again, I know that this is the trip to savour and enjoy.

I don't have a lot of details yet and I have a list of questions for her and the ranch...but, Angie is real dedicated to pulling this off all by herself. I don't think she understands this, but she took such great care of me at the hospital and she's doing all the work for this hunt that even though I spent my 40th birthday in the hospital, this has been a really awesome birthday.


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