My friend who is like a sister often regales me with tales of family to the point I feel I know some of her relatives I've never met. Her Aunt Jessie is a kindred spirit, a former rebel of the family who settled down in a remote country acreage for most of her years and even now in her advanced years pores over the seed catalogs and plants her yearly garden with great anticipation. She offers sage advice and self-sufficient pragmatism, and her mind is seldom far from her old home place.
When it comes to self-protection, she carries a tiny pearl-handled revolver tucked neatly beneath her skirt in a concealed holster something like a garter belt. Her advice for women's safety is something along the lines of "I know you have yourself a gun, right?" To her, that's the most obvious solution for home protection based on her own experience...political correctness never quite made it that far out into the Mississippi bottomlands.
Tonight, I was alone at home and I heard Jack trying to open and unlock the front door. Kaleb began barking menacingly, as he's so good at doing when I'm alone, BUT it dawned on me that Jack was not due home from work until hours later. In fact, it was not Jack...he was still at work.
Somebody was trying to get into our house.
Long story short, they gave up when they heard the dog making a racket. But the area in which we live is not heavily traveled nor very populated in comparison with the town we're near, so it was not an accident...not a salesman, neighbor, or door-to-door evangelist.
We had a lot of near misses in the past compared to some of our neighbors whose houses have been broken into. I was home a couple years ago when someone was scoping our house for entry by trying windows before realizing that we were inside the house. This time was different because I now have a pistol of my own.
I had wondered how it would make me feel if I were ever in a situation where it might have to be handy. Well, though I was a bit nervous and went through the obvious steps of notifying the police and turning the outside lights on (even thought it was daylight), etc....it felt just fine. I did not feel like I'm just sitting around hoping not to be a victim.
I grew up with an aversion to firearms, probably because my household never went hunting or had much need for them for protection, but my comfort zone has transitioned somewhat now. The point is to never have to use one but to have one if there's no other choice than being a victim.
I was pleasantly surprised at how calm it helped me be, how un-panicked. And then I thought of my friend's Aunt Jessie, who was probably at that very same moment in her own house sitting with her knitting and her seed catalogs...and her concealed little weapon.
I smiled to feel a connection to someone I don't even know who has old school ways and thinks there's nothing abnormal about a woman keeping herself protected, that it's just good sense.
My own handgun is now named in her honor.
May I never have to resort to "fetchin Aunt Jessie," but at least I know she's there if I need her.