People Who Live In Stick Houses…Shouldn’t.

Welcome to Fridays in Two Pan. A place for Pioneers who hate change.

Bricker, anxious to begin panning for gold, put little effort on “proving up” our farm.  So me and the 6 kids went about building a stick home like we had in the Midwest prairie.

It allowed a breeze through and kept the coyotes away.  I couldn’t cook in it, but after months in a moving wagon train.  I could make anything in a Dutch oven.

So I whipped up the chili recipe given to me by a Curmudgeon who sold us supplies as we passed through  Colorado.  He had peppers that would make you go blind and give you the runs for a week.  I used deer instead of pork (like his recipe called for) because we have deer lounging behind every tree out here.  They’re sagey tasting, but I added more peppers to kill the deer flavor.

Bricker , ravenous from sluicing grit out of a stream all day, ladled up a heaping bowl of chili stew.  After a few bites, he broke into a sweat, and drank out of his snake-bite jug.  By mid-bowl he swore he couldn’t feel his tongue.  Food was sliding out of his mouth, and he was acting like he’d been kicked in the head.

After the first issuance of intestinal gas, the kids and I cleared out of the stick house. However,  Bricker stood in the doorway,  emitting gases and lighting them like a torch ( much to the delight of the children. And while I thoroughly disapproved, it was touching to hear their laughter.) His eyes were spinning in their sockets,  and he swore his lips had burnt away.  I’m not sure if that was the chili or the snake-medicine talking.

For a finale he tried lighting both ends of his body, by spitting 100 proof and spewing gas at the same time. He succeeded in burning down our hovel.

The resulting guilt and hangover weighed on Bricker like ravens on a carcass. (Perhaps a bit of nagging on my part also helped?)  He gave up prospecting long enough to build a new domicile for me and the kids.  How quickly things happen in this new country.  I’m hoping this “new”  Bricker, who says his gut has finally unkinked and his eyes uncrossed , will be inclined to return to Smith Mountain where we abandoned my 4-burner stove before we started up the pass into this country.

I have just enough peppers for one more batch. I’d like my stove by Christmas.

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
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19 Responses to People Who Live In Stick Houses…Shouldn’t.

  1. Pingback: Birth Control in Two Pan: 1871 | Before Morning Breaks

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  3. I was all ready to say something and then I got completely sideswackled by Roxie’s comment.


  4. Helen Wand says:

    They say a “man’s home is his castle.” That must’ve been powerful chili to allow Bricker to “blow up his.”


    • Barb says:

      Helen, Bricker looked like a dragon ranging from dungeon to tower of his castle. I’m not sure we could have lit a match in there even a month later.


  5. Alice Lynn says:

    You look downright house-proud in that magnificent photograph! I assume you just taking a breath of fresh air. 🙂


  6. Snicker, snicker. Do what ever it takes to get your stove back.


    • Barb says:

      I corrected the “want” because I know how frustrating it is to hit the wrong key, then see it later. I like your idea. If burning down the house didn’t get my stove, I may have to start cooking tree bark for Bricker.


  7. rose lefebvre says:

    Hope you cooked something over that bonfire. At least now you have a better building for now.


  8. moma escriva says:

    It’s time for Bricker to shove a stick in the ground and come up with oil, git rich and move to Cal-i-for-ni-a and join up with the Beverly Hillbillers and fight the gov’ment of Cal-i-for-ni-a or maybe a Hatfield or a McCoy.


    • Barb says:

      Bricker shoved 4 sticks in the ground to stake a claim. Nothing gushed out except rocks. We’ve had more Californians than I can shake a stick at, drop by promoting get get rich schemes. (And I can really shake a stick.)


  9. Roxie Matthews says:

    I used to know a Marine that could send brief messages at night by farting morse code over his Zippo.

    I take it that you and the 6 kids avoided the chili? Wise. If you soak rags in the leftover chili and jam ’em between the logs, it will keep out the wind and kill the insects and rats at the same time. Though it IS pitiful to hear the rats screaming.

    Six kids? Doctors have found out what causes that, you know.


  10. Spectra says:

    It’s ashame about the stick house goin’ all up in flames, what with that modern airy breezeway an’ all. Bricker lightin’ hisself up from both ends was surely a comic scene, and may jes explain why television were’nt a needed an’ therefore left uninvented for the next hunnerd years. I think I too would embark on a similar dastardly plan to get my four-burner stove back. Ahh, the good ol’ days… When men was men and daddys’ sparklin’ farts were better entertainment than a gameboy…


    • Barb says:

      I don’t know about gamin’ with boys, but it seems living in the sticks (literally) has brought my children to more natural forms (healthy) forms of entertainment. Thanks for dropping by with your great attitude. Have some of the chili, we need someone on harmony.


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