So here am I, celebrating an empty nest when I suddenly get all ambitious and clean out my closet from all the clothes on my floor. I wish I could describe to you the sheer magnitude of stuff I hauled out of there. Stuff I forgot I had and how the closet space, according to the laws of physics, could not possibly have held all that in it.
Then I found a curious plastic toilet paper bag. It had one roll of paper left in it, and a can of tuna. Huh? Then I remembered, well, sort of. I must have been in survival mode when I stashed that from my son who makes termites look like light eaters. I laughed and told my Mom what I found, and she asked me if the tuna was for the cats? “Heck”, sez I “It was for me and the T.P. was for afterwards, after I ate the tuna.”
Then I told my friend Melissa, who also laughed up a storm. She
asked me if I had a fork and can opener in there, too? Well, now I
will. Everyone I know has ‘poor’ stories, and we all try to outdo each
other with how pitiful we once happened to be. Mine is that my son’s
father and I lived in a small, airless studio apartment with no air
conditioning, and if his friend had not brought over a paper sack of
potatoes he got from a free food giveaway, we would not have eaten for
At the time, I was not a very good cook but I learned hunger also
inspired my culinary creativity. I mashed, I fried and I baked. We
scrounged around one day and came up with enough to splurge on some
sour cream, probably about 69 cents at the time. Yum! What a feast. And
then when I get to feeling sorry for myself I recall just who I am; a
descendant of survivors of a holocaust.
There is nothing funny about starvation, disease or what the United
States government did to eradicate we Native people. No, never.
What is good is that they survived and passed those good genes on to
us, ergo the commodity cans under the bed and recycling of everything
we have. Indians are the original ‘green’ inhabitants of this country.
My Gramma said that her family never threw anything away, it just
simply served another purpose. About ten years ago now, I contributed
to a piece in The Circle called “Ten little Indian Myths”. I wrote
about recycling, all Indian women know how to make frybread and how all
Indians are the same. (I mention it now because it was my debut as a
writer and I don’t have a copy of that issue. I think it was August or
September 1998? Hook me up if you can).
One of my favorite stories about growing up is that our couch was
missing one front leg, and my Mom ‘fixed’ it by putting a can of
Campbell’s tomato soup in place of it. In all the years we had that
sofa she would periodically replace it with a fresh soup can, always
tomato and always Campbell’s.
In other news the new Risky Raccoon Kasino and Resort has opened for
business. There is a new hotel, a very nice one, and they are in the
process of renovating and redecorating the old one. The hotel was
selling off the old furniture for cheap, like $5 for a microwave and
stand, $10 for a desk, which is what I wanted, and other sundry items
like headboards and nightstands. Well, Rezberrians’ being very
enterprising and thrifty, promptly bought all the stuff up.
One person I know bought 4 microwaves, she’s not quite sure what
for, but now she wishes she had bought more. Maybe for when someone is
taking too long on the first microwave? Then another Rezberrian bought
a bunch of mini-fridges to sell later at a profit! Talk about
recycling. I see now that the homes of Rezberrians will all have the
same décor; original hotel circa 1996. Every one will feel right at
So if you find someone sleeping on your sofa and they ask you what
you are doing in their house, well, it will soon become a common
mistake. At least then no one can accuse other Rezberrian’s of being
tacky and having no taste because we will all have the same furnishings!
This year I am back at the Risky Raccoon Golf Course in the food and
beverage department. I told these two younger co-workers that I had
been going through some of my old school stuff and found some writings
from when I was little, and that what I really really wanted to be was
a beverage cart server! They looked at me all amazed and I lost it. I
said yes, I have done everything I set out to do – I am at the pinnacle
of my success, all the rest will be downhill.
At least I accomplished something, yanno? I missed last month due to
lack of a functional computer, I sure hope this makes it in this month.
The Rezberry Enrollee Appreciation days are coming up and I am happily
anticipating the goings-on!
Missed yooz, see you next month?