Rosie Serves Sunny Side Up
I awoke to the sound of men busily preparing for their workday. Boots made a large thud on the wooden floorboards as men clomped across what was last night’s bed. A waft of eggs and bacon came drifting through the drafty space, tantalizing our taste buds. A man whom everyone referred to as “Pistol Pete” remarked that “Rosie will surely save us a scrap or two.” Even though these men had spoken few words, I knew they were in the same boat as me. Down on our luck but not yet out of the race. I followed the grisly crew down to the dining room.
Upon entering the fancy setting, I felt like we didn’t belong here. Eyes of paying guests gave us a stern gaze, pondering our presence. Would we be asked to leave?? Before I could contemplate further, a plump, jolly and sweet-faced woman came flying out of the kitchen. “Oh, good morning boys! Now you young lads have a seat right over there and I’ll be with you in a jiffy.” We headed for the long table in the corner as we were directed. Before long, Rosie was back asking us how we wanted our eggs. In a weak voice I replied “Ma’am, I always take mine sunny-side up but I’m afraid I might not have the change to pay for a meal. I’m good for it though.” “Now don’t you fret one bit; Rosie always makes sure her boys get a hot tasty meal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day you know.” As she spoke the words, the sparkle in her eyes assured me that we would never go hungry as long as she was around. When the food was served, we shoveled it in our faces as fast as our forks would deliver it. Then, the guys said it was time to head down the hill to the new stamp mill. With a full belly, I felt much more confident in starting the day’s work.
It didn’t take long for my knees and back to let me know I wasn’t quite the “young lad” as Rosie had remarked. I was amazed at the work this machine could do. Sure beats my old sluice box any day. Working the ore carts was hard on my body and the tension mounted in my shoulders. My mind drifted for a moment to my sweet Carol. She always gave the best massages after a hard day’s work. Back to reality, Carol wasn’t here. I’ve disappointed her so many times, I’d be amazed if she hadn’t found someone else by now…