On the trail with Stephen Bly
Tate Aragon asked to look in the glove compartment of his pickup for a tube of deworming paste. I couldn’t find it, but I did discover a rusted spur rowel, a hatchet head, three 12 gauge shotgun shells, an “I Like Ike” campaign button, a petrified half a cheeseburger, an elk-head carved bar of soap, a Susan B. Anthony silver dollar with a hole shot through it, and a rubber rattlesnake. Tate explained, “That’s where I stow my dofunnies.”
Dofunnies—a cowboy’s name for trinkets carried in his war bag, usually tucked in the center of his bedroll. The old time trappers and scouts coined a similar word for anything fancy, whether shirt or boots or hat: fofarraw. Some fellas packed around plenty of dofunnies and fofarraw, that often slowed them down on the trail. We’ve got a junk drawer in our house for such things, where we toss odds and ends we don’t need, can’t use or don’t know where else to put them, but can’t bring ourselves to throw them away. No harm in that, as long as this stash doesn’t rob us of the space needed for more critical items.
We can hang onto spiritual dofunnies and fofarraw too…little needless details and habits and fillers…that can slow down our vitality and effectiveness. “Throw off everything that hinders and so easily tangles,” the Bible says. Sounds like dofunnies and fofarraw to me. I consider myself a pretty hard-working, organized kind of guy, but I’m sure I’ve got plenty of my own. I think I’ll start by dumping that whole junk drawer and starting over with practical stuff, while I think through one time-wasting activity I can change or delete.