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We have officially crossed the threshold into my favorite time of year.

The air is growing cooler, the leaves are ever-so-slightly changing in color, I have baking on my mind, and my seasonal candles are burning every waking hour.

Ahh . . . sweet, sweet fall.

Of all of the delights I could add to my “Team Fall” list though, there’s one negative about this time of year for me: I’ve entered the months when the minutes of quality time with my husband are few and far between.

Because you see, God gave me a hunter.

It just so happens that the time of year when I start to see everything through a lens of pumpkin spice is precisely the time of year when he starts to see everything through a pair of binoculars.

He leaves the house before the sun is up, and often finds himself on top of a mountain somewhere after his work day, meaning that I won’t see him again until long after dark.

During these months (and I say months because as he loves reminding me, September through January are fair game for hunting), a big lump sum of his “usual duties” are tossed not so gently my way.

The early morning cartoon and cereal duty that he usually handles while I catch a few more winks of sleep? Mine.

The cooking duty that we often share? All mine.

Bathtime, reading time, bed time. . . all duties we usually tackle together? Mine, mine, mine.

Because God gave me a hunter.

On top of my usual laundry pile, there are now random articles of outdoor clothing strewn about the house for me to deal with as well (it’s a good thing his butt looks good in those camo pants).

The boots that see miles of hiking each and every day, through streams, up mountains, and down rocky slopes, now grace our house each night with their, ahem, pleasant odor.

Because God gave me a hunter.

We almost always have at least one extra body in our home, as his equally hunting-obsessed friends cycle in from out-of-town for their respective seasons. And while I can honestly say I enjoy their company, it does take a little more effort on my part to keep the house looking presentable and their bellies full, not to mention making sure I actually remember to shower and get properly dressed each day.

My couch is now the hub of many a late-night conversation over hunting strategy between the guys, and the TV more often than not has elk bugling from its speakers as they watch the latest episode of whichever hunting show is on their radar at the time.

Because God gave me a hunter.

And as much as all of these things come to wear on me during these months, the pill that is the hardest for me to swallow is this: I miss my husband.

I miss waking up to him beside me in the mornings. I miss adult conversations. I miss my partner in parenting; the one with whom I can lean on and laugh with.

I just miss him.

Because God gave me a hunter.

It may be hard to understand from the outside. In fact, I’m almost sure that my woes are eye roll inducing to anyone who has never been here, but I know I’m not alone in feeling all of these feels, because all of those hunting friends my hubby has? They have wives too. And it takes a special breed of woman to be married to a hunter.

But here’s the secret (that I of course would never readily admit to my guy): even if I had the choice, I wouldn’t trade the hunter in him for anything.

The trees are where we fell in love all those years ago, when I hunted by his side one magical fall. And now, on the rare occasions I’m able to join him on his excursions, I find myself falling in love all over again.

On those days, I’m grateful to him for letting me share such a sacred, almost spiritual, passion of his with him.

I’m in awe of his strength, his knowledge, and his strategy.

I’m refreshed by the cool mountain air and the early morning sunrises I get to experience by his side.

I’m giddy with excitement as I see the fire dancing in his eyes for something he loves second only to his family.

And above all, I find that I’m blessed. . .

Because God gave me a hunter.

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward

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