I have a comic magnetically held in place on my refrigerator that pictures a sway back, hip poking out cow with a wild eyed chicken on her back.
The two are looking up at a full moon and the cow is saying to the chicken, “Hold On!” I too look up at the moon, shooting for it daily. I know, I know, the moon comes out at night; use your imagination. Why is it important to make it over the moon you ask?
Besides getting to the other side, our silly human nature gets us on the road to the next thing in our lives.
That cow moved me forward in my writing life. When I was a teenager I began writing a story that my mother would read as I wrote. I would write a few pages each day and she would read them. She never commented on them. I presumed she always wanted to see them but she didn’t say yea or nay to any of it.
Eventually, after about a 100 pages the story ended. She didn’t ask for more and I didn’t write again for a long time.
Now she is gone and I want to ask her what she was doing; reading and not commenting. I was like that cow, looking at the moon getting ready to move forward just waiting for the chicken to say “JUMP!” It may have taken over 35 years but I finally jumped forward and now I get to tell you my strange and what I hope are amusing stories. Hoping you jump a bit earlier than I did. Forward is good way to travel.
Back isn’t bad either. The quiet town I call home has some old buildings, old cars, and old people. We like to travel back in time with the pictures and memories that lay hidden there. Sometimes even deep down in the dirt—of outhouses.
I have been part of the hunt of digging old outhouses. Digging outhouses, now there is a big backward movement. (Maybe movement and outhouse should not be mentioned in the same line!) The matter in an outhouse from the 1800’s is far past its prime. Its layers tell stories of the past.
From bottles deposited there, hopefully found unbroken, to mountains of oyster shells. Yea, oyster shells in the middle of Nevada. Oysters, a delightfully sought after delicacy for the rough and tumble miners. Worcestershire sauce bottles were plentiful too. The story goes Worcestershire sauce cured hangovers. Or was it just something put on the oysters? Does anyone know?
We have found gold too. A young man and my husband were digging and down 12 feet when out of the hole came a whoop and holler. A $20 gold piece was unearthed. I can still remember seeing the shine on that coin and the grin on those two dirt covered faces. It’s true; gold does not tarnish even after years of being in an outhouse. I wonder how long after that poor guy dropped that gold down the hole hearing ker-plunk did he think about how bad he wanted to retrieve it. Hey in the 1800’s a $20 gold piece was a ton of money. Was he was too inebriated to know he dropped it? Who knows? Traveling back is an interesting road.
Forward, backward—backward, forward. In both directions enjoy the ride—watching for that chicken telling you when to JUMP then hold on!
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org