Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Outhouse Art

Rivers in North Carolina have odd names. I love "French Broad which conjures up visions of other streams with potential names like say, German Fraulein, Spanish Chica and Italian...well never mind. My North Carolina relatives find my puerile delight in the peculiar names of Appalachia to be a trial but I did marry into the family so I am not their fault.We have North and Little Toes and I wish there were indeed a Mistle Toe River but me chuckling to myself is unattractive so I must cease and desist. However this essay, generated by my interminable vacation jaunt to Asheville and environs, has a more rural flavor to it than most. In years past the rural and isolated nature of this stretch of Highway 80 upon which Celo (pro: see low) Community is located required the inmates to attain a degree of self sufficiency that they instituted a coop store along the roadway and next door the artists and artisans displayed their wares. Like everywhere around here it is a delightful spot. They still sell food and organic products that are much more common now, in bulk even, than they were decades ago at the height of the processed packaged boom years.And because I was educated in an English boarding school I really do have an appalling sense of humor. How could I resist this delight, tucked away in the bushes behind the Coop? Really an outhouse is nothing to laugh about particularly and I see a day when we will all have composting toilets in our homes instead of tossing perfectly good water down the loo in a mad drive to empty the world of drinking water. Cheyenne was disappointed by the amenity as there was nothing to drink.
And apparently I am not alone in my bad taste.
My wife is a patient woman, putting up with my delight at the convenience I had no actual need of, at that moment.
I looked at it and wished I did need it, for the opportunity to sit and reflect on the beauty of creation in one of life's critical moments."Get on with it!" she had shopping to attend to in the craft store.I followed reluctantly, made aware that my footwear clashed with the strident purples and greens of the structure.
So she shopped while Cheyenne and I sat in companionable silence and watched the pick ups roll by on Highway 80.
There was lots to read too as we waited.
Many I have seen before but they still elicit a chuckle, though not as deep as a well appointed outhouse. I particularly liked the new one to me, the silhouette of a portly trucker naked but for his cap posed like those ghastly silhouettes frequently seen on truck mud flaps of naked women. Another quiet afternoon on the banks of the Little Toe River.
Places to go and other things to buy, cold water and gas, ... an unusually trusting kind of purchase.I am trying to remember if I ever saw such a cheerful note in the laid back Florida Keys. I think the short answer to that is "never".

All this mad activity followed by a gentle stroll through the woods to this waterfall where we three sat for a while to contemplate the bounty of western North Carolina.