The dude and I have found a horseshoe at each of the homes we have owned in California dating back to 1998. We found the first horseshoe in North Beach in 2001 when the corner store down the block was being torn down for a new modern condo building. Frank and Mary owned the lovely little shop that we stopped in for years to pick up milk we had forgotten for Saturday morning pancakes and of course pints and pints of ice cream to eat after the bars on Friday nights. When the building was torn down, the ground excavated, there was a brief period of time, maybe two days, where the site was not yet surrounded by fencing. The ground was choppy and at a close examination you could see old wood work from the building before, along with remnants of what was probably farmland. We quickly spotted a horseshoe, caked in petrified dirt, possibly manure, sticking up from the choppy city landscape. We grabbed it with delight, went home and placed it into a shadow box where it has lived ever since.

In 2004 we moved across the city to Noe Valley. The house we purchased was in great condition with the exception of a major rat problem (MAJOR RAT PROBLEM) between the first floor and the garage ceiling. Yuck. Before we moved in, we met with exterminators to devise a plan which included a thorough look at the backyard to make sure there weren't other areas the rats needed a little convincing in order to vacate. The Dude and I were moving a small patch of garden with over grown mint to higher ground, when he spotted a horseshoe a few inches beneath the overgrown mint roots. We brought the horseshoe inside, placed it next to the one from North Beach. Now we had a collection.

About 9 years later when we moved across the Golden Gate Bridge to the mountains and the house we live in now, we were once again milling around the yard getting essential, yet non-glamorous tasks taken care of. No rats this time, but a broken sewer line, a leaky roof, and a major renovation under way which included adding an in-law apartment for my parents. We were mapping out what would be the location of a toolshed when the Dude hit something metal with a shovel. It could have easily been a piece of bedrock, but the sound was different. More high pitched. Closer inspection revealed yet again, another horseshoe. This one looked newer and still a little shiny, suggesting that perhaps at one point the previous owners had a horse. We picked it up, cleaned it off and placed it with the others like it had just been waiting all this time to complete the tryptic.

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