Trina Machacek: Reading the sign in signs

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

I don’t know about you, but I can stand in a store and read every cute sign, cup, poster, or printed note carried by a ceramic chicken tucked under one wing on a ceramic sign. I giggle at most of those little funnies. There are a few that I just scratch my head at.

We all have minds that work independently. That’s what makes us all, us. That little bit of difference is the salt in our caramel. I am not immune to a few of the cute signs in my home. But I do think I have reached my limit. I am of the age that there isn’t all that much more to say about life that I haven’t been told, read, written or said.

Well, you would think that wouldn’t you? I mean come on I am not as old as dirt. But. Yes, a dust covered “but.” My age is at that which can be divided by double numbers and still come up with double numbers. You're trying it with your age right now aren’t you!

Anyway. More than a few times I have cleaned out the clutter from my home. The first time it was so freeing. A very long time ago on a short vacation I picked up a cute little owl as a memento. I of course have a grand story of owls. I don’t have an aversion or am I drawn to owls. It was there. It was maybe one dollar, and it was cute.

Honestly, I don’t even remember where I was. It wasn’t like buying a hat or shot glass with the name of the town on it to remember the trip forever. It was just a cute little glass owl, and it came home with me. Then… That owl begot another owl on another trip. And just like in the Bible, that one begot another and that one soon begot another.

My mother-in-law then found it was her duty as she was traveling more that I, to buy and bring home owls from her trips. To bestow on me. To remind me of her travels. Let me just interject here. Do not do this! Although it was kind of her, it was not her collection. You get that right?

So, after one Christmas when I got a gift of a very nice curio cabinet to put all the winged friends in, and then dusting them once a year for a few years, I got a big ole box and away they all went. To ceramic, glass, stuffed, metal and plastic owl heaven!

I never felt as free as that day when I set all those owls free from my home. It was an amazing feeling. Now when I go shopping and see all those cute little signs, somewhere in the mix there is usually some sort of little animal toys or decorations. I really laugh out loud when I see the line of owls to choose from.

Don’t think I don’t appreciate each and every thing my friends have given me. The best one. Oh, my friend Candy gave me a sign for my birthday one year. It is a cut out rusted metal sign that hangs out my back door. I love it and the sentiment it relays.

It reads, “Today I Will Be As Happy As A Bird With A French Fry.” It’s so perfectly me. How could you ever read that, no matter what your mood is, and not giggle a bit? The picture it paints is vivid and real.

Coming in a close second is one that is also cut from metal and is on a rod that sticks in the ground in my flower bed. I often tell myself to buck up when I am down, and to stop sniveling. How amazed was I when a grand reader and new friend found a sign that reads, “Stop Sniveling.” And then it was bestowed on me.

There are many more in my world today. But those two are the two that will not be boxed up when I declutter next time. I’ll declutter soon as my dust rag doesn’t come out often enough to keep them all spic and span. But to all that have thought of me, thanks!

Know that each one is special and even the one that reads, “Sometimes you just have to say, “Cluck it” and walk away.” My friend Carole Bigrigg and I got that same sign for each other the last Christmas she was alive. Yes, you can find a sign in every sign.

Trina Machacek lives in Diamond Valley north of Eureka. Her books are available at or email


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