Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Gold Nuggets, a Model A, an NDE

Anywhere We Go, 
There We Are

"After that little quake," the old guy said, "a stream bed dropped and in the shear wall exposed, folks were finding gold nuggets... the size of potatoes."

My head revolved like an owl's and my ears all but flapped. I was sitting for hours, waiting on my car being fixed and reading a good book, but give me a good story any old day.

Sounded like a fisherman saying, "And that trout fought me to the finish and was THISSSS big."

Uh huh, but this was a man with some years on him and good-natured light in his face. I closed my book. 

"All kind of sand got stirred up and the placer miners moved in. Hikers were all but stumbling over nuggets in the disturbed ground."

I didn't discount this out of hand. I'd heard a fellow discussing coming earth changes that would alter coastlines, leave harbors dry, raise land from beneath the sea and change the course of rivers. He added that wild new lands would be exposed, including hidden gold and rare earth minerals. 

"But WHERE?!!" everyone in the car dealership waiting room wanting to know. 

The rock hound came out then, eyes twinkling, but distant.... "Oh, way up thar, to heck and gone in northern Colorad-ah." 

I had a hand cupped around my ear, being on the other side of the room. I shifted into comfier position hoping that wasn't all he had to say.

"My wife and I were on one of our trips in the Model A Ford. We'd stopped by the stream to picnic when we heard the gold fever news. 

 Picture of 1930 Ford Model A, exterior, gallery_worthy
"I got three Model A's, including a truck; they're fun to maintain and sturdy as mules, if you do maintain them... And improve the old brakes."

(He noted as an aside, that in the transition from horse & buggy to horseless-carriage, many new car owners had no clue that metal parts needed oil and grease... Mr. Toad's Wild Ride ended in screeching metal on metal.)

"We were toodling on down, the wife and I, to Phoenix before hot weather, but my wife is English, still has a beautiful complexion and red cheeks. We live here in cool mountains and that suits her just fine.

We got to Phoenix, and she got to fussing; it was 85 degrees... wanting me to put air conditioning in the mint-condition, everything-authentic Model A.

I pulled on over by some cactus and blooming yucca, and came to a stop. "Fifty-nine years ago, there was nothing about air conditioning in our pre-nup!"

Pre-nup indeed. He was a funny old codger and gave me hope for a wicked sense of humor and of adventure, in great old age. 

Conversation next turned to knitting. A lady was working on a pretty heathery orange piece for her daughter, with an intricate border. "I like to do lace, too" she said.

My own cheeks got red at that. "You mean those airy Scottish shawls you can pull through a wedding ring?!" 

"No, I mean, Russian lace!"

She had learned in the high country of Colorado, but her gold, was being taught by a Russian lady on a weekend in May with the Saskatoon in bloom.

I was reading and listening all morning till I heard my automotive tale of woe, pocketbook woe.

Before that knell of doom, I had looked across at people siting between two flat screen TV's with static on both screens. I asked if they minded if I turned off the fuzz? They didn't.

Pulling the plugs, I mentioned in passing, "I was struck by lightning and it's hard being around a lot of electronics." Headed back to my book.

"Wait!" a woman called. "What happened?"

Not easy to talk about it, but I slowed down and had a look. She seemed genuine.

"It was during August hay season on my farm in the Blue Ridge Mts, where we got sudden thunder-boomers like here in the Rockies.

"Two of the hay crew saw what happened when a huge boom and flash shot blue-white light all around me and blew me fifteen feet.

"I died and was off and away, but one of the guys knew CPR, pounded on my chest and all that, and dragged me back...

It was years before that seemed like a good idea; you get blown all to bits. I was trying to run a farm barely able to walk."

The woman, big-eyed, who'd asked the question said, "Did you go into the light?"

"You betcha; that's real." 

I did a quick errand and realized she wanted to talk some more. So I strolled on over.

"You know, a lot of folks are having that experience now that there's so much resuscitation in the hospitals. They come back maybe not as they were, and sometimes with a tale to tell.

I looked at her, at her frightened eyes.

"There's no fear of death then. It's magnificently beautiful. And there's welcome."

"Dying, that's my fear!"

"It's beautiful... and there's welcome."

She nodded and went quiet. Everyone else listening went quiet, and remote.

 This photo, posted onto the I Love the Sierra Facebook group, appears to show the moment the lightning struck 
Photo taken by a hiker as he was struck by lightning. Next photo shows him sitting in a wheel chair.

Thank you for reading & reviewing 
Wayfaring Traveler books. 


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