A Special Day for PROVAEA

     I couldn’t take it any longer.  I had to go South to get away from the cold weather.  Unfortunately it isn’t that far south and there is still plenty of snow and cold to be found. 

     St. Cloud, Minnesota is where both Mike and I are originally from.  Both of our families still live there and like to have us come to visit.  Actually I think it’s our children they like to see and until they can drive themselves our families are stuck with us bringing them down. 

     We weren’t too disappointed when school was cancelled yesterday because our kids would have missed half of the day anyway.  Mike’s family was having a surprise birthday party Friday evening  for his mom;  the surprise for us was having to leave town by noon in order to make it there.  Of course we had to leave Voyageur 2 hours prior to that because of the list of errands that had accumulated while Mike was in Ohio for the week and I hunkered down at Voyageur during the cold spell. 

     We provide services to cabin owners on the Canadian side of Saganaga Lake and one of them needed a favor.  Pulling a boat behind our Suburban down the Gunflnt Trail in January did get us some odd looks from those heading up the Trail with snowmobile trailers in tow.  If the Deputies didn’t know our vehicle then they surely would have pulled us over as they have done to others in the past. 

     In any case the drive to St. Cloud was uneventful and we made it with a few minutes to spare.  As we were walking into the restaurant Mike asked the kids if he thought they would make Grandma cry when she saw them there.  My reply was, "That shouldn’t be too tough, they make their mom cry all of the time!"

     Now that birthday party is done and over but there is more to this weekend in St. Cloud.  Somehow, someway, the "annual turning of venison into something almost edible party" just happened to be planned the day after his mom’s party.  It’s a sight and smell that both Ed Gein and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre would approve of.  Bloody venison, raw meat spewing out of the meat grinder and fresh loins sizzling on an electric fry pan in a basement.   It’s enough to make anyone not want to eat venison, unless your last name happens to be Prom. 

     This ritual is a family tradition if your last name is Prom.  Both young and old alike gather in Uncle Mark’s basement and/or garage to partake in the macabre custom.  Years ago at my first "ceremony" I was greeted by the youngest member of the clan, Mike’s cousin Sheri.  She didn’t give me a hug, or say hello, she just sauntered over to me with a pig’s tongue in her hand and made it "lick" me along the top of my hand.  That "act" was my indoctrination to what I have now sanctioned the PROVAEA : Prom’s Royal Order of the Venison to Almost Edible Alliance. 

     No one asked me if I wanted to belong to the PROVAEA it was compulsatory.  As it is with anyone who marries into the family, man or woman.  You need not partake in the ritualistic hunting of the animal, or the eating of it, but you must sacrifice yourself to the Allah de Venado, my name for the deer god. 

     So I will go with bowed head(so I can’t see the meat) and plugged nose(so I can’t smell it either).  I will move amongst the cult members and appear as though I too belong for my children have been born into the clan.  Josh went willingly with his bucks at 8 AM, Abby with now 60-year old Grandma Doe at 9 AM, and I will follow, reluctantly because it is the sect to which I belong. 

 Long Live PROVAEA: Prom’s Royal Order of the Venison to Almost Edible Alliance!