Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
Winter's Creative Adventures @2000
You folk who were born recently have missed a great deal of life’s adventures. It’s true I tell you. And another thing; it makes a difference where you were born. The geographical location of where one was raised tends to expose us to varied abuses.
In the place where I grew up, there was little between us and the north pole to keep those terrible old blue northers from biting into our hides causing just plain pain and anguish on a daily basis. I’m talking about the kind of cold that sweeps in on a twenty mph wind and hits you so hard it makes you angry. Not angry at nature but angry because you have to be subjected to this kind of punishment. Look real close at all those old time photographs of our pioneers and you’ll notice dang near all of their expressions reflected anger. I wasn’t a pioneer but I was raised by two of ‘em. Believe me, they were tough.
And another thing, rural people are some of the most creative people you’ll ever meet. It’s true I tell you. It probably comes from sitting around the fire on those long winter days with nothing much to do ‘cept crochet, plait whips, mend harness, and chew tobacco? Sometimes, I could see the wallpaper pucker outward when the cold wind blew hard against the side of the house.
As I recall, one of our most difficult deeds was the walk to the outhouse to do what comes naturally. I’m convinced that most of us were in a bad mood nearly all winter because of constipation. It’s true! It took real fortitude to walk our there in that cold. It took even more to sit down on that icy seat. You won’t ever catch me griping about a Doctors cold stethoscope. That’s nothing compared to sitting on the throne of a drafty county outhouse. Not to mention that Sears catalog.
Of course, everyone owned a chamber pot. Or thundermug. That was the alternative to taking that frosty stroll. I never had one. That was for women to use. I’ll always remember the sound of that chamber pot being used. It made a unique sound that is unequaled anywhere. When filled to some degree, it could formulate a tune all its own while being pulled from beneath the bed. It’s true I tell you! I’ll never forget the night I dropped a whole tube of alka-seltzer into it. You can’t see them in the darkness and it scared my sister half to death. Lamps were lit and a long discussion took place betwixt her and mama. I never had the guts to ask whether or not they ever figured it out. I know they never suspected me or I would’ve been driven out into that cold night to die! Sis was rather quiet for a number of days afterward.
Today, everyone is intrigued by an ‘old-fashioned’ wood burning heating stove. I ain’t. Many a cold morning I had to roll from beneath my toasty warm covers to walk barefoot across that frigid linoleum floor to poke little splinters of pine (kindlin’) beneath larger sticks of oak, strike that match and try to hold it steady long enough to light yesterdays newspaper. Oh yeah! Just try, sometime, to hold a match firmly in place while you’re in the first stages of hypothermia! Once I decided to accelerate the process by pouring a liberal amount of mama’s kerosene lamp oil onto the stack. It blew the lid off the stove and filled the room with black dust (sut) that covered everything. Needless to say, I was quickly joined by the whole family. I didn’t do that anymore. I guess sometimes we can be too creative?
But about that hypothermia - years later, I read all about it in a medical book and learned that a great deal of my childhood was spent while in the third stage of hypothermia. First one shakes and shivers. Then comes difficult speech followed by silliness and bad judgment. We were often uncomfortable in those days. But I have to admit that we were seldom really bored for very long. And we were always coming from or entering into an adventure.
~ Weakeyes Cody 2000