Sunday, October 31, 2010

Great Joy in the New!





the Trick or Treaters are all home getting ready for school tomorrow or may-be even asleep by now now.
Sometime tomorrow the spider webs and skeletons, jack-o-lanterns and bats will packed away for next year. Softly the messages from the old ones will fade as the worlds grow apart and and with dawns light, it will be a new year.

Perhaps not officially, but for a very long time I have reckoned my years this way. As did our ancestors, the harvest was over, the fields were silent, dormant, and resting.
The ancestors had celebrated with use and we with them, and now it is time for the long sleep of winter.



Halloween, being the final celebration of the year, bonfires on hilltops and soul cakes, a night of accepted rebellion. A night when one could dare to dress up as anything they would like to be, and hope for great joy in the New Year. The idea was that a revelers should dress up as someone that was above their current station in life, in hopes that this would influence their chances of improving their lot in the new year.


The old year is dying fast, and the last flickering stumps of candles sputter, flicker and dim in the jack-o-lanterns grin, even the jack-o-lanterns features remind us of the inevitability of death, as it must reminded our ancestors, who's chances of making it thought the bleakness of winter were not at all certain. But their revelries with death like the more modern Dia de los Muertos celebration remind us that that there is always hope.


Great Joy in the New!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the calm before the , uh, something or other





It's not often that there is a "tornado watch" issued during the last week of October.
So last night was promising to be a particularly interesting evening, after securing anything that could be blown away, I set out and array of candles and flashlights, made sure that the cell phone was on charge and, then went outside to take some photos.


Photos of the wind, um not as easy as it sounds, and blurry too



It grew increasingly dark and windy, the rain began to pelt the windows, "this is it!" I thought and
put my flash light into my pocket.
There I sat though, Castle Ghosts of Ireland, Castle Ghosts of Scotland and most of a movie starring William Bendix as Babe Ruth. The rain was still clattering on the window, and a few gusts of wind rattled the windows,the watch would expire soon, and feeling somewhere between, relieved and disseminated I crawled into bed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

the Halloween tree



I haven't put this up in a few years, but for over 20 years it has been the center piece of my Halloween decorating.

I saw it in a magazine and, well, just didn't have the $25 it cost. I also knew that the Old Farmer has some scraps of thin plywood and so I walked over to his house asked him for one, he said "Sure, I was probably gonna burn them anyway." I thanked him and turned to walk home with my prize, I heard him call after me "Farmer what are ya gonna make outta that?"
"A Haeeallloweeeeen tree!" I replied, he roared with laughter.

I took it home and carefully drew the trees finger-like limbs onto the scrap of wood, freehand, and I was very proud of myself. I had a very small hand saw and went to work cutting it out, it was turning into a long and difficult job, about then the old farmer showed up and stood watching me for awhile, then offered to take it home with him and finish the cutting with his new jig saw. It was there on the back steps when I went out to the garden. It was painted and in place by the time my son got home from school that day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Moon of Convivality


October Full Hunter's Moon This is the month when the leaves are falling and the game is fattened. Now is the time for hunting and laying in a store of provisions for the long winter ahead. October's Moon is also known as the Travel Moon and the Dying Moon.
-the Farmer's Almanac.

The mysterious and magical moon of October, for some reason a full moon is associated with Halloween, though this is usually not the case. Perhaps it is the belief that majikal denizens gather under the full moon to dance. Who knows.
the October moon is also known as the blood moon, one queses it is from the fogs so common at this time of year.

Still, it is this moon of children of all ages dressed up and hunting for merriment and a chance to laugh at death. that last excursion out into the warmth and feasting and conviviality. I think I would call this the Moon of Conviviality. this full moon will soon be here, laugh and enjoy, be a kid at heart.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Orange candy slices


I love HALLOWEEN!! it was one of the best times of the year. We would dress up and walk as far as we could, even across town, trying to fill our decorated grocery sacks with as much candy as possible. As we got older we would tell ghost stories and watch for shooting stars, even listen for owls when we took the shortcut through the woods.

Many houses looked a bit spooky, all on their own, as decorations were rare in our part of town.
There was one house set back from the rest, none of us had ever seen so much as a dim glimmer of light in the windows and there was never a car or any people spotted around the house, no one seemed to know who lived there, but most people thought some one did.
Patty, Margret and I walked cautiously up on the porch that was beautifully decorated, "It looks like they bought all of the Decorations Murphy's had." Other kids were going to the house so we thought we would too, our paper grocery bags were nearly full, but just a few more houses couldn't hurt, even though the place gave us the creeps, even in the daytime. We were ushered inside by an elderly couple, who tried to guess who we were. Then opened a black box with gilded writing on it and dumped a generous handful of candy orange slices into our sacks.
The the man ushered us to the door, the house was beautifully decorated, crepe paper streamers, pumpkins, large paper skeletons and ghosts made from sheets, We thanked them and left. After stopping at a few more houses an getting a few more candy bars and took the shortcut through the woods, each of us savoring one of the orange slices, I have never tasted one like this since. There was not only a hooting owl, but also a shooting star, for our enjoyment as we scurried thought the woods. This had been the best Halloween ever.

The next morning we al agreed to meet early and go through the shortcut and see what the house looked like in daylight. On this bright and crisp morning, we thought we would get one more look at those decorations. We turned up the walk and were stunned, no decorations, but broken windows, door hanging off the hinges and missing floor boards on the porch.

Perplexed and a little scared we turned to go to school. Kids from all over town were talking about the house.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Now that summer has slipped away




The past few days I have spent spading my vegetable garden, getting it ready for it's winter dormancy. But, I have also been enjoying the wonderful autumn display.
Autumns is a feast for my senses, the gold color of the sunlight is enough to make me weep, Even though I know it will lead to the long dark nights of winter, I am still transfixed by it's beauty, and spend considerable time try to capture its glow in photos. Which never quite happens to my satisfaction.



The soft sound a leaves falling and the gentle clatter as the wind scoots them across the ground, are soothing, sometimes even sounding like a gentle rain, the reds , yellows. and oranges put on all too brief a display this year, seeing them on the ground slowly fading to brown, I feel so fortunate to have been able to enjoy them.
The early morning bird chorus is long gone now.
Though a curious chickadee will sometimes perch on the fence and chirp. I have been told that they live for several years and the they often seem to know who's door to beg for food at. Their almost melancholy song, is so welcome in the quiet landscape.



The bees are still working the last of the flowers and the drifts of St Michealmass Daises, I know that some people consider the daises weeds, but I think they are a beautiful flower, with their delicate tufts of lavender petals, nodding gently in the breeze. They are a part of the celebration.

There weren't a lot of apples this year, but sometimes the breeze will carry the scent of apples, or burning leaves. and soon the frost will cull what hasn't grown itself to exhaustion in this year with a seemingly endless summer, the air will be scented with wood or coal smoke while I rush to do the last chores. i can close my eyes and time travel back to the days when we would go to my Grandfather's house and pick apples and hickory nuts. while I lift the last of the potatoes, their aroma making me hungrier and hungrier.




Now that summer has slipped away.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

LIl orphant Annie and the 3rd grade



I was in the 3rd grade, a bright and sunny room on the corner of and ancient brick school building, and looking out the huge windows, one of my favorite things to do, we could all see the beautiful turning trees that lined the well manicured streets in that part of town. Our teacher believed that we should memorize several poems, and for Halloween she chose this one.
It scared the hell out of me as I was hardly a model child. Politically incorrect as it may be I am posting it here, as a trip down memory lane.




Little Orphnant Annie
bJames Whitcomb Riley

Little Orphan Annie's come to my house to stay.
To wash the cups and saucers up and brush the crumbs away.
To shoo the chickens from the porch and dust the hearth and sweep,
and make the fire and bake the bread to earn her board and keep.
While all us other children, when the supper things is done,
we sit around the kitchen fire and has the mostest fun,
a listening to the witch tales that Annie tells about
and the goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!


Once there was a little boy who wouldn't say his prayers,
and when he went to bed at night away up stairs,
his mammy heard him holler and his daddy heard him bawl,
and when they turned the covers down,
he wasn't there at all!
They searched him in the attic room
and cubby hole and press
and even up the chimney flu and every wheres, I guess,
but all they ever found of him was just his pants and round-abouts
and the goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!!


Once there was a little girl who always laughed and grinned
and made fun of everyone, of all her blood and kin,
and once when there was company and old folks was there,
she mocked them and she shocked them and said, she didn't care.
And just as she turned on her heels and to go and run and hide,
there was two great big black things a standing by her side.
They snatched her through the ceiling fore she knew what shes about,
and the goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!!


When the night is dark and scary,
and the moon is full and creatures are a flying and the wind goes Whoooooooooo,
you better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear,
and cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphans tears
and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about,
or the goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Trick or Treat


Halloween approaches
Trick or Treat

YIPPPPEEE SKIPPEEEE


So today i wish to discuss the Halloween food pyramid.
Looks remarkably like candy corn,but this could be some trickery, it could be a slice of brown bread spread with yogurt, carrot yogurt and lemon yogurt.
It could also be a piece of liver with mashed turnip, rutabagas and yellow beetroot spread on it.

Put as simply as I can, the foods associated with Halloween are, candy, popcorn, chocolate, apples, lollipops, cookies and candied apples and donuts, washed down with cider. And that don't
exactly give me much to work with. But it surely does sound tempting.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Loss

I have tried to write this so many times, and set it aside, because the words just didn't say what I wanted them to.
May-be this time.

I have been around for about 60 years now and in that time I have loved and lost many people, places and things.
I have also found ever so many more. It has happened that I refound what I lost. The facts being, at least as I see it,
that is a loss is a loss, no matter how small, it is not just the loss of a family member, to what ever cause,
or the loss of a beloved animal companion, a job, or a prized possession. It is also the loss of tiny things,
and loss through the inevitable changes inherent in any ones life. Decisions that have to be made, and sometimes lived with.
The compromises made for personal or business reasons, even because of aging, that leave one feeling diminished.
It all adds up, my friends.

"I guess loving anyone or anything comes with the inherent notion that it will end someday.
My mom was fond of telling me that "every love story has a sad ending". A statement that is true but
more comfortable left unsaid :-) And I suppose it's not so much the
endings themselves that define us but the grace with which we make the transition
and whether we choose to dwell on the love or the loss. "- Barbara Whitehead ( my Renaissance friend)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I did say that didn't I !



IT would seem that right on time fall has arrived. The sunlight its a warm and golden color, and the prisms that have been hanging in the window cast rainbows around my kitchen.
Autumn's final show of color is beginning, supposedly the colors will not be as vivid because of the hot weather. The trees in my woods are still sporting green leaves, however the trees along the highway are starting to drift into golds and reds, pale though they may.
There are a scattering of leaves across the lawn and a wiffs of coal smoke in the air.
The apple trees in the woods are loaded with small scrubby apples, fragrant but it would take a lot of peeling to make a pie.


As much I want this endless summer to go on for just a while longer, the universe has other plans.
It is indeed time to start preparing for the cold months ahead.
Damn, can't believe I just said that.

Familiars, with guest blogger Carolyn Emerick

Familiar and other sinister spirits riding with the witch, on a vintage Halloween postcard. | Source The Familiar Spirit: Compan...