Dear Faithful Readership, even those who delete my blog mid-sentence, halfway through,
This is Trailer Park Girl. It's been a two week desert, dry and barren.
Partly because of the villain; that addictive beast known as Facebook, which keeps many of us from doing the shit that truly matters, but also due to, as my aunt would say, "the this's and that's" of day to day living. When it comes to words, I'm usually not at a loss, yet I have been. But, I'm finally back on the camel; feeling hydrated and somewhat refreshed as I sit before you pounding away at my keyboard...
I didn’t see one damn Prius on a recent drive north; up the 505 and then, up highway 5, between Corning and Anderson, Ca. It’s as if a hybrid is as foreign to the folks of these parts as the location of Russia from Alaska or a homosexual neighbor. Lots of tractors though (in the left lane), also big rigs, Ford and GMC pick-ups, horse trailers, cow trailers filled with cattle on their way to the slaughterhouse. (I couldn’t look.) Lots of rice fields, wheat fields, weed fields…lots of decrepit looking barns with decrepit looking stock in tiny pens, each animal on top of the other, crowding for their share of the much sought after 5 foot slice of shade.
Billboards with cheery sentiments like
HIS BLOOD WAS FOR YOUR SINS and IF YOU WANT THIS COUNTRY BACK VOTE REPUBLICAN. It’s all good by me, mostly because I don’t reside in these here parts, and you
probably don't either. The yard sales are worth a look though, and VW Upcycling, the business we have to make sure we can keep food on the table, cannot afford to rest. I must put aside my uncomfortable stereotypes, which have grown out of these people, who seem to have caravanned from North Carolina, to all these whistle-stops in Northern California; areas like Cottonwood and Red Bluff, Ca. Somehow, "California coolness" hasn’t infiltrated the pores of their rosy necked skin. Lots of sales are “drive-bys” in this area and here's how you know. When you pull up in front of the driveway, there are 3 folks sitting in recliners that they just drug out of their living room; all 3 are eating Hostess berry pies and screaming at their kids to
“Get the hell outta the street!” Another distinct clue are the endless rows of tarps filled with Christmas decorations from The Dollar Tree, a hundred VHS tapes and five or six identical Mr. Coffee Makers. Drive-by.
My mother-in-law is like a hawk on road kill when it comes to spotting the posted street signs, including one we recently saw in Redding:
YARD SAELLOTS OF BARGUNS
At first, I thought it was a joke. Then I met the hosts. Triple exclamation points. They were peculiar, but their goods were even more peculiar to a girl like me… "tools are located in the man area" the toothless woman yelled out to me as I was heading toward a table of shovels and gloves and other “Home Depot” type stuff. There were over 2 dozen single coffee mugs; none of which had a match and all had logos from various churches, casinos and motels. There was (only) one taxidermy duck. Sometimes it takes every bit of self-control that I can possibly muster up to not unleash my anguish and just completely lose it. I’m talking my tongue requires more than just a 3- inch Band-Aid ‘cuz at times like this, my tongue could gush. I hold back in order not to embarrass my mother-in-law, but also to find those good bargains, fix ‘em up real nice, re-sale for a higher yet decent price and live the American Dream.
Dear Yard Sale Hosts in Shasta County,This is Trailer Park Girl, Part Owner of VW Upcycling. Keep the coals of your hoarder tendencies stoked.
You know there’s a cool guy who writes a cool blog called Dear Blank, This is Blank.
And I must admit, I’m stealing from him because as you and I both know, nothing says it clearer; nothing is more ‘straight-shot, nothing matches the honesty of a short, to the point, letter….
Dear Space 3, This is your beer guzzling, spur yielding, angry as a wasp in a disturbed nest, next-door neighbor. Tell your damn hound to shut the hell up ‘fore I call the Poe-leese!
Dear Mayonnaise, This is tpg's hips. I’m bidding you a tearful farewell as your contribution, though generous, hasexpanded these babies to a far and wide that can no longer be tolerated.
Dear Monterey High School Students who just got out of their daddy’s Mercedes and tossed your McDonald's wrappers in the street, This is a wild and crazy, flaming hot, menopausal, Aries lunatic of a woman who lives near your high school. “PACK YOUR TRASH, YOU SPOILED BRATS!”
This is John Lauber.
You do remember, you lying SOB.
Letter writing and also card sending is becoming a lost art in my opinion.
But I'm a little 'old school' because I dig sending letters via 'snail mail' and even more, I love getting them! Nothing is better, except maybe a romantic (wink) evening, than after a long day, heading out to the mailbox only to find a card or letter from a friend. Now I'm not talking about an eviction letter or a nasty letter. I got one of those in middle school. I was in 8th grade and we were between classes. I turned the combo of the lock on my locker, and inside, in front of my textbooks, was a big bottle of Scope and a letter that read,
Dear Girls Vice President, This is the Green Phantom.
Pleeeeeeeze use this asap.
I was mortified. Triple exclamation point again. Traumatized to the point of brushing my teeth and tongue hourly for years to come.
Now those kind of letters, though helpful in the long run, hurt like hell.
What I'm actually advocating here are two other kinds of letters.
First, the good old-fashioned Letter to the Editor, which is the public's mighty megaphone to their community; a shameless way for each of us to express whatever the hell we are enormously passionate about. These have proven quite effective for me.
And, the happy letters; those that make your tummy do the Cha Cha and your face ache from smiling. The ones where you're reminded of your friends' cool handwriting or your family member's syrupy choice in Hallmark cards. It's so refreshing and nothing, except maybe a phone call, makes you say, "tickled pink" more.
Yep, I like those.
That's probably it for today, folks. Wishing you all a plethora of things:
a billboard-free drive north, yard sales with lots of bad-ass stuff at cheap prices, a spiffy clean linoleum, a letter in your mailbox.
And maybe an acknowledgement of this happy thought...
Dear President Obama, This is Trailer Park Girl.
Thank-you very much.
Causes Valerie Fern Supports
AFRP (Animal Friends Rescue Project), POMDR (Peace of Mind Dog Rescue)
CWOB (Compassion Without Borders)
Bead For Life...