The sound of gunfire carries on the winds of May
We have done this before. I remember. It will, however, almost certainly be the last time for a while. My final day at work was Friday. Quitting a job without going to another immediately is sort of like setting out in a canoe for the first time on a particular river. A touch of excitement, a taste of nervousness and a trace of anticipation. "Here I Go Again," to quote Whitesnake.
Life goes on, and so does the gunfire. My fifth range trip in eight weeks took place on Saturday. With each excursion, I become more comfortable, more relaxed, more natural and less artificial in movement. It is just like James Dickey with his archery; the Zen of delivering the missile, whether arrow or bullet, from me to the precise point sought. Less aiming, more pointing; more speed, more fluidity; less thought, more like gentle breathing; more dream-like. You really should try it.
Saturday's selections begin on the top with a .22 caliber Ruger Mark II Government Target Model. As the name implies, and with its heavy "bull barrel," this pistol was primarily designed for target shooting at medium to long range. They also have been used for first-step military training for inexperienced handgunners because there virtually is no recoil. With its six and one-half inch barrel and reputation for accuracy, the military found other uses for it, as you might well imagine. Mine has the original grips replaced with rubber wrap-arounds from Pachmayr.
In the middle is another Browning Hi-Power. You already have seen one Hi-Power in this space before, however, the configuration is different on this one. It has what is called a "tangent sight," and is adjustable to 500 meters down range. So much for the range limitations of handguns, hah? Pistols with sights such as these generally were issued to artillery units who were behind the front lines and might engage in long-range, defensive firing. They were popular in Canada and European countries, and often came with a wooden holster that could be attached to the pistol as a shoulder stock, turning it into a "mini-rifle" for more accurate shooting. It is in 9 mm caliber, and was made in Belgium.
Last, but not least, is a Tanfoglio, made in Gardone Val Trompia (Brescia), Italy. This version was distributed as a Springfield Armory pistol in the United States. It is in .45 caliber, and a double-action, semi-automatic handgun. Most of these now are made for competitive shooting and personal defense, but mine is set up in more of a military configuration. I bought this a number of years ago, and will sell it at some point because it is a bit too large for my hand. Otherwise, it is a neat pistol.
Saturday dawned sunny for me, but with the temperature at 34 degrees Fahrenheit and a stiff breeze blowing. At first, I wished there was no wind, but the goal of shooting is to do well at it no matter what the external conditions. Within moments, I was appreciating the wind, and wishing to also shoot again in the rain, or as dusk draws down. Those times will come again for me, too, I am certain.
When all is said and done .... who knows?
I was asked last week how my summer plans are progressing. I am sorry to admit I am being a bit indecisive on this situation. But, to toss out what I do know: Either Thursday or Friday, I will be leaving home to attend a graduation ceremony in another state, and not returning until the following Monday (or, possibly, Tuesday).
Then, there will be a few days of being a bum and trying to get my house and property in order. Then, from June 8 or 9 until July 2, I will be handling business for a friend to allow his family crew an extended vacation. I agreed to do this way back around Christmas. This will be the important time for me to finalize my own plans.
Greece definitely remains in the cards, sometime after, say, about July 4. Two to three weeks there, then, who knows? Maybe longer roaming in Europe a bit; maybe not.
The odds probably are one in a million that I will stay with my original plan, which was to look around southern France for a place to settle in for a year or so. My half-plan there was modified some weeks ago, and mentioned here at least once before. Upon return from "vacation" to the U.S., I now want to do something of a driving tour, seeing the sights and looking for a place to hang my hat; searching for a potential, new Sanctuary/Refuge. I have been looking at maps and geographic descriptions for a few minutes nearly every day recently. It is on my mind more than anything right now.
If everything falls into place, I will be relocated before the snow flies again, ideally, but not necessarily, to a place where the snow does not fly (at least, not often). If everything does not drop into place, I will turn my house into a home for wayward young ladies who play the guitar and love rock and roll. I probably could tough it out for another Minnesota winter under those circumstances .... whatever ....
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,