Billions and millions

Wow! What a beautiful morning! Although you won’t be reading this until two weeks down the road from time of writing, happy is a word quite incapable of expressing my feelings this morning. Spring has sprung!

My feet hit the floor about an hour earlier, copasetic with the “spring ahead” time change, just as the sun peeked over the horizon. I dawdled around getting dressed, not in a hurry, but as the sun’s glow swept across the ceiling, I thought I’d better take a peek out the window.

Wow! Wow! Wow! What a sight! Mother Nature had treated us with a hoar frost during the night. The entire surface of everything – ground, fences, trees, rooftops and sundry sitting-around machinery – glistened with diamonds. My first thought was to go out, grab a stable broom, a scoop shovel, as well as a wheelbarrow.

My thoughts drifted along the lines of gathering about six loads of the diamonds that were strewn about, call the mass media, have them snap a picture of me slouched among them, and headline the news worldwide as  yours truly being the richest man in the world.

But that didn’t happen. It didn’t happen for two reasons. The first reason was that I lacked the gumption; I was feeling lazy. The second was that I was not filled with the desire to make Bill Gates appear as a pauper. He might get a little perturbed if I did that.  

And from my dusty grin bin, on the poetic side, comes this:

The House Behind the House

One of my fondest memories, as I recall the days of yore, was the little house, behind the house, with the crescent o’er the door.

`Twas a place to sit and ponder, with your head bowed down low, knowing that you wouldn’t be there, if you didn’t have to go.

Ours was a multi-holer, three, with a size for everyone. You left there feeling better, after your job was done.

You had to make those frequent trips in snow, rain, sleet, or fog – to that little house where you usually found the Eaton’s catalogue.

Oft’ times in dead of winter, the seat was spread with snow. ’Twas then with much reluctance, to that little house you’d go.

With a swish you’d clear that wooden seat, bend low with dreadful fear, you’d shut your eyes and grit your teeth, as you settled on your rear.

I recall the day Ol’ Granddad, who stayed with us one summer, made a trip out to that little house, which proved to be a bummer.

’Twas the same day that my Dad had finished painting the kitchen green. He’d just cleaned up the mess he’d made, with rags and gasoline.

He tossed the rags down the hole, went on his usual way, not knowing that by doing so he’d eventually rue the day.

Now Granddad had an urgent call, I never will forget! This trip he made to the little house stays in my memory yet. He sat down on the wooden seat, with both feet on the floor. He filled his pipe and tapped it down, and struck a match on the inner side, of the outhouse door.

 He lit the pipe and sure enough, it soon began to glow. He slowly raised his rear a bit, and tossed the flaming match below.

The blast that followed, I am told, was heard for miles around, and there was poor ol’ Granddad, sprawled out there on the ground.

The smouldering pipe still in his mouth, his eyes were shut real tight; the celebrated three-holer was blown clear out of sight.

We asked him what had happened. What he said I’ll never forget. He said he thought it must have been the pinto beans he’d et!

Next day we had a new one, dad put it up with ease. But this one had a door sign that read: No Smoking, Please!

So there you have it, folks! Though the author is unknown to me, I doff my soggy sombrero to whomever. I lived in that era.

Take care, ’cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins