Trina Machacek: Layers of layers

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

It’s not just because we are in the throws of deep winter. It’s not because we are reaching for extra layers of clothes. It is however because of those things that layers of different things have come into view in the past few days. Let’s peel away some layers to peek at a few examples.

It all started with the layers of things one might put on when building those turkey sandwiches of November. Ah, you remember those don’t you? With the turkey, mayo, cranberry and STUFFING! Some of you even put lettuce. We all know the lettuce was just for show!

We next moved on to Christmas cookies. Piling them as high as we dared as we carried them out to the living room, plopped down on the couch to watch yet another version of Frosty the Snowman. Quite pleased that we ourselves were not as rounded as Frosty. We could still zip up and wear pants. Poor Frosty shed his pants quite a few Christmas cookies ago. We forgave him the fact that the cookies he had eaten gave way to the fact he could not even see his feet! All that said, we do slip a layer of sweats on occasionally.

Then the New Year rings in. We, OK it was just me. As time and knowledge washed over me, I threw out all notions of resolutions. Pishaw on promises I came to realize I could make to myself until the sun started to come up in the west instead of the east, and still not keep said promises. Now I let new year’s come in as the 7, yes, the deadly 7-layered taco dip is put out next to the mountain of chips for the football season games of January.

Followed by many layers of left over and stray “eat this so I can get rid of it” amounts of ham and turkey and boxes of petite fours and baklava sent to us by far away relatives and friends. I might have a box of petite fours hidden away in the freezer. Under layers of leftover stuffing. You know, just in case.

All that now brings us to the layers of our clothes of winter. No doubt we all feel a chill as winter envelopes us. Yes, even some snowbirds are feeling the cold of winter. Temperatures are relative to where we are. Just because someone lives in Florida or even Hawaii doesn’t mean they too can’t feel the cold of winter.

If you are shivering at 60 degrees because it had dropped from 85. Oh, I feel your pain. Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, we Nanooks of the North feel for them. Wink. Wink. I on the other hand start to shiver when the thermometer drops a titch below zero! I got up the other morning and I don’t know what my indoor/outdoor electronic weather station was trying to tell me. It read -0, yes minus zero. What is a minus zero? Cold. That’s what minus zero is. Just layers of cold. Oh, it got colder for sure. I mean its winter of course it got colder.

I put another layer of wood in the wood stove. I always enjoy the layers of temperatures that are reported as it gets colder and hotter. We all play at that. “I was at minus 14,” to get come backed at with “well I was at minus 17 at six forty this morning.” It’s fun to see and participate in those. I start adding layers about November and begin to peel them away come May.

Layers we all have depend on the work on our schedule. Luckily my schedule has lightened over the years but! Yes, a well layered “but.” Layer knowledge and how to best use it is indelibly itched in my pea picking brain. Two pair of socks with a bread or other plastic bag between them to keep any wayward water from getting to toes. Layers are added up and out from there. Of course, just as you get to the door to open it to venture out into the frozen world of wonderment? The bathroom calls. Happens every time, doesn’t it?

I think about moving from the cold to the warm every midwinter. I have a vision white board I work on all the time to keep me on schedule. This year I wrote about moving away. Envisioning me in some southern paradise where my cutoffs, sandals and T-shirts were all that I have to wash because they are all I’d need to wear. Then I look around, noting my roots are too deep to dig up. THIS IS MY HOME. Every layer of dirt from floor to ceiling.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her books are available wherever you buy books or email her at to buy signed copies.


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