Captain’s Log 4,496
Montana is just four days away! Hurry up, days! I’m sure the hurricane is affecting air travel all over the United States, so I wonder if getting there will be an issue on Friday. I have been following my east coast friends on Facebook (they still have power), and it is looking pretty dire for them. I am always amazed to see pictures of people standing on the beach watching the storm. Growing up in the Midwest gave me a great respect for weather. We would have never done anything so foolish.
I did several foolish things when I lived in Minnesota, but the worst one was dashing outside in -35 degree weather to get my newspaper from the driveway. Barefoot. Let’s just say this. I burned my feet terribly from the cold. It was a truly foolish thing to do. And I have never done it since. Here in San Diego, one stays away from rapidly moving water that roils down the arroyos. Because…..that is a flash flood. The water is strong enough to carry away a car.
On a happier note, I bought some marigolds to celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 2nd. People go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages as well as photos and memorabilia. It’s actually quite festive here in San Diego. I guess I was supposed to put the marigolds on an altar. I planted them in the front yard garden instead.
Enormous blooms almost the size of tennis balls. Quite lovely for the dead or the living.
The pungent aroma of the marigold and the bright color of the yellow petals will guide the spirit to the home altar and to the cemetery. Quite an honor for such a humble flower.
Marigolds were the only flowers my mother could grow. I have always had a fondness for them. She allowed them to re-seed every fall, and in the spring, the marigold patch was vibrant with young shoots. Lovely memories. Cut flowers had no place in our world, but those marigolds were allowed to thrive.
My mother was funny about a lot of things – like her refusal to make popcorn balls when every other mom was making them for the school carnival. I was always the only kid to show up empty-handed. She had some very unusual ideas and NOBODY could change her mind. I wasn’t allowed to participate in any fundraising activity for the school or the church. No collecting money to “buy” a pagan baby, no selling of greeting cards to earn a statue of the Virgin Mary, and definitely no popcorn balls. She was very free with the coins so I could buy the popcorn balls that OTHER moms made, however.
One of the favorite things my mom would do was all about not eating meat on Friday. She would gleefully pop a piece of bologna into her mouth and say, “Oh, my gosh! I do believe I have SINNED! Might as well have a whole bologna sandwich now that the damage is done!” So can you guess who learned to question Catholic dogma at a very young age? Just guess!
In spite of her spiritual “flaws,” everybody loved my mom. She simply turned a blind eye to what other people did. When the church “assessed” her to give $500 a year to the church, she scoffed and handed the priest a check for $50. And she told him he was lucky to get that. NOBODY told her what to do or think. Gutsy momma.
I wish I was half as gutsy as my mom. I am creating an opportunity to test my mettle soon. I must always remember that a person’s fortitude is not always measured in how well one succeeds, but in how well one recovers from adversity. Going to admire those marigolds for all their power and influence. Indeed, I am.