It ain’t easy being Indian… (May 2013)

By Ricey Wild 
News From Indian Country

At long last spring is showing up around here. Us Nort’ Landers just experienced one of the longest, most miserable, record-shattering winter snowfalls ever. The snow is only now beginning to melt and there are birds chirping but no dandelions as yet. The weather was so wretched it caused widespread crankiness with an 80% chance of depression causing moody irritable people syndrome. Ennit?
After suffering an impossibly long winter the sun has come out and I was able to open some windows and leave the door open. Yet I don’t want to move to a more temperate climate, awful as the weather here can be, the seasons are extremely gorgeous and gives us something to talk about other than snarking on each other’s business. If that subject tapers off there is always the weather conditions for lack of any conversation. “Hot enough for ya?” or worse, “Cold enough for ya?” I automatically snarl and snap when someone says that to me.
It is walleye spear fishing time which follows maple syrup making; both of which I have never done including harvesting wild rice (I know!) or making fry bread. In the past I’ve felt embarrassingly inadequate as a Native woman and tried to scoff and joke it away but I could never get rid of the shame I felt while confessing to either four walls or a deep well. But I think about it.
After 13 years living in Rezberry and in the little town under the hill I feel that I’ve finally adapted to my environment. Now I am from ‘the rez’ and the urban Indian lifestyle I came from is but a smoggy memory. The reason I say I’m “all rez” now is cuz even though I miss my friends and the excitement of city life I have no intention of moving back. What strikes me is that I’m far from the only urban Indian woman to leave the city; a lot of my dearest friends have made their ways back too-why I dunno. For me it was to be with my Gramma Rose.
I made a promise to my ole G-Paw that I would look after her but as it turns out she looks after me more! This month is her birthday, on the 15th and I plan to bring her to the new Walgreens in town and give G-Rose a whole $20 bucks to blow. That’s how we roll! Ay! Just because this little burg can support a Walgreens I feel better now. More comfortable, like I was when I lived in the ‘hood.
Our Rezberry Rest Stop & Mac Supply recently added a fried chicken n gizzards counter inside! I was so excited! I love me some chicken wings, livers and gizzards not so much. I tried the wings, pretty good but the grease is still too new. Just kidding! So anyway the next day I was in the checkout line and there was an older white man behind me; he looked familiar to me so I asked him, “Are you the chicken man?” LOL! As soon as that was out of my mouth I realized how absurd that sounded. The man said no, but at times he has been ‘chicken’. See, I had met the guy who set up the chicken counter; he was an older white guy with a balding pate and wire glasses very much like that man.
Then I turned to two women directly behind me in line and said, “Now there’s something I never thought I’d say!” we laughed and I even snorted. I hold funny occasions like that close to me so I can laugh again and again. Ah! What caused me to laugh heartily again later is this; and they said WE all look alike? Snort!
Recently I watched a PBS show about Urban Kangaroo Mobs. Now that is a catchy title! The show was about Australia’s kangaroos that are leaving the bush at night to feast on urban greens. Of course they made it sound like it was the kangaroos that were the problem. Even PBS diminishes or evades the point that it’s people who are infringing on the kangaroo’s lands. There are a lot of kangaroo/vehicle accidents happening because of the proximity and roos are frequent roadkill. I wouldn’t wanna hit one of those big beasts either.  
Later the camera closed in on one kangaroo’s headshot in sunshine. I was like Awww! They’re so cute with their big brown doe eyes, long ears, soft fur and they hop like a…? Hop…hop…? OMG! Those critters are the best of both deer and rabbits! Just what Shinob’s hunted and consume only super sized. Yum! Question: what hybrid, so to speak, would be your Tribe’s dream team?
I was gonna address Johnny Depp’s ‘Tonto’ hat, but hai! Next time. Happy Spring at last!!!