If that had been a squirrel, the family would eat.

Yesterday our friend K. took Neal and me to his gun club to try out a very special gun: my great-grandmother’s .22 Winchester single shot rifle, circa late 1920s/early 1930s. My dad learned to shoot with this gun, and when my grandfather’s Alzheimer’s started to get bad in the early 1980s, my grandmother asked dad to get the old guns out of the house. I don’t know how the decision was made, but this gun was given to me.

My dad knows that the rifle hasn’t been shot since he brought it home, and he figures it may not have been shot since around 1956.

K., who is an expert in these matters, cleaned up the rifle, tested it, proclaimed it just fine for me to shoot, and like that, the rifle is back in action.

I’m no Annie Oakely, but I’m pleased with my early shooting attempts. The rifle is light, easy to use, and feels like it was made for me. I can’t wait to get back to the shooting range. Oddly enough, the gun makes me feel deeply connected to my family history.

What has made you feel connected to your history?