The Montana Mule Deer

In early November, Dad took me out of school for a week so I could learn about the geography of Lewistown, Montana and the lifecycle of a mule deer. It was our first big trip in my new truck and I was pumped! However, because I’m generous, I let dad drive so I could play on my new iPhone, ’cause you know: priorities. (And safety.)

The trip started out a little rough, as it was my first time away from mom for so long and I got homesick – all over the airbnb bedsheets. So, I also got to learn about public laundromats. Let’s just call that extra credit.

In time, I settled into mule deer camp. But it wasn’t easy. When we hunted hard, we braved deep snow with our chained up tires and hiked through sharp winds just to get our eyes on several mule deer and a herd of 500 elk. Luckily, when the hunt was over for the day, we played hard, too: Cory and I threw the football back and forth, we went out to eat at a restaurant, I gulped my new favorite beverage (Prime Hydration Drink), and we patronized the local movie theatre to experience Wakanda Forever.

Eventually, Dad and I got the job done when we harvested a 4×4 mule deer. It’s never easy, but we do whatever it takes to bring home the bacon. Or, venison, in this case. We knew the ladies would be proud (although, truth be told, Genesee would have preferred bacon.)

But home seemed pretty far away since we had to navigate a scary winter storm on our return trip. It was a stressful and nail-biting situation, especially for a worry wart like me. So I did the only thing I knew how: I cried and FaceTimed my mom in case we didn’t make it out of the snow globe alive. Since I inherited my anxiety from her, it probably wasn’t the best idea to alert her worst-case-scenario brain of my predicament, but she set aside her own worries to keep me calm. And I survived.

Little did we know, while we were in Montana, mom was trying to keep my sister alive, as they experienced a scare of their own when Genesee spiked a fever of over 103. Per advice from the nurse hotline, Mom rushed Genesee to the emergency room at 10:00 p.m.

Turns out, Genesee had a bacterial infection from an open wound and also tested positive for RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus).

And then the Goodenough family had two kids out of school.

Thankfully, Genesee made a full recovery a couple days later, and she now believes popsicles are the cure to all ailments. And who am I to burst that bubble? Especially if it means we can stock the freezer with flavored ice on a stick! ….That is, if any room remains after we fill the shelves with our hard-earned deer meat.

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