It's amazing how much can change in a year. My first time seeing the Ohio house was actually this time last year. Then I headed to Svalbard to collect my settlement plates, and that trip certainly does not feel like it was 12 months ago. I remember telling my brother about how I had to be trained on a 30-06 rifle in case of polar bear attack, and he positively freaked. I've never been much of a gun person, so he was proud of me for my new skills. Immediately, he announced that the next time we were both in Ohio, he would train me on his own collection of rifles.
|My target for the day. Not perfect, but I was still pretty proud.|
Dad trained me on my grandpa's old .22 caliber "varmint gun," and Wes trained me on his AR-15. To be honest, the .22 was my favorite because it was so simple. It turns out I'm left-eye dominant (despite being right-handed), so I do best when shooting left-handed. Good to know for any future trips to Svalbard!
Whenever I talk about the American Midwest to my west coast or European friends, I get a lot of weird looks. The beef-guns-and-Jesus trifecta is difficult for some people to understand. But to someone who grew up in the middle of the country, it just feels like home. The flat landscapes, the acres-wide cornfields, the sweltering summer humidity - all of it feels comforting and familiar.
I'm grateful to spend time with my family in Ohio, the heart of the American Midwest.