Thrown off-center by the quest for Archery Zen

Staff archer sounds off

I failed miserably at being "one with the arrow" at a recent Appleknocker Bowmen indoor shoot in Odell. To be perfectly honest, I didn't really even understand the logic behind that directive from the Archery Zen Masters in charge of my biweekly training sessions.

How was I supposed to relate to a stick that had pink and white fletchings glued onto it? What did the two of us have in common? I just couldn't envision myself being shot from a bow and zinging headfirst into a target bale without cringing.

I wondered why I wasn't allowed to just bond with my bow since it simply had the responsibility to fling the arrow into space and then watch the result from a safe distance. With that line of thought came the sudden realization that I am very proud of my beautiful bow but don't harbor the same appreciation for my rather mundane arrows.

And they apparently are very aware of that fact. Or they are trying to avoid dealing with that reality by continually veering left of the bull's-eye -- which is perhaps the center of truth in Archery Zen?

I now need therapy when all I wanted to do was shoot straight. I did manage to get off a few great shots when I assumed my "Xena" stance, so maybe that is how the "one with the arrow" thing starts to evolve.

Seriously, I am honing my archery skills at the Appleknocker member shoots from 6:45-8:45 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday through February in the Mid-Valley Elementary School gymnasium.

My aim (pun intended) is twofold; to enjoy a good time in an individualized sport and to win a trophy at one of this year's competitions. I wish I'd known about the educational value of archery when my two sons were younger because it is great for hand-and-eye coordination and definitely sets the stage for quality interaction.

The Appleknockers are now holding their annual membership drive, with a discount given to individuals who join the 70-member group before March 1. It's worth checking out and Roy Nellermoe, Appleknocker president, is pretty sharp about answering any archery questions you might wing his way. He can be targeted at 354-1007.


RaeLynn Gill is also looking forward to becoming one with her computer keyboard.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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