Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

Lots going on in the land of plenty.  Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, wiping out New Jersey and New York.  We weren't really doing anything with New Jersey and I think perhaps God was angry that Jersey Shore is still on the air. It's sad, but finally a bipartisan effort is undertaken only in times of national disaster.  Better late to the party than never, I guess.

Snow Man!
I hope you voted.  I am voting by mail, which is how we do it in our little town. The trees are putting on their best fall displays and the days are chilly and sometimes downright cold. I like that part.  On the morning of October 24th, I woke up to snow showers at 5:30.  Wonderful, wonderful day! It snowed off and on until about 1, and even though it didn't stick, I felt a thrill and a yearning for the long winter ahead. We are tucked in, the house is drafty but loving and Eleanor is all fluffed out in her winter coat.  Bring on the snow!

Hello, Happy Tree!

We turn our clocks back on Sunday, so instead of getting dark around 6:30, it will be so by 5:30.  I suspect that by the time of winter equinox, 4:30 will be our sundown.  Lots of people dislike living in the dark in the dead of winter.  But for me, I'm a homebody.  I have indoor projects and reading and writing to do.  I have yoga and good company and my blog.  I walk to work and have a month off at Christmas.  What more could I want? Oh, and the beer is better here too.  And the wine.  

Charlotte.  I want Charlotte.  I miss her.  I miss Cathy Klasek too.  And Keegan and Kimberly and Tammy and Greg (Albert and Horton) and Matt (all 7 of you sons a bitches) and Jon.  I would say "My Jons", but that just doesn't sound right.  And Bethany, and Kendra and Brandon- who just got married and honeymooned in Ireland.  And my cousin, Christian.  I think I miss him most of all.  So yes, I miss my friends.  If I could import them and perhaps my two favorite restaurants, Victoria's Pasta Shop and The Earth, I would be all set.

Know what else makes me bloom? Coffee.
Winter is the time of the defiant; the season of starvation and death. I have never seen it this way.  I see good cheer, time to visit with family, warm firesides and deep drifts.  I see children making snow men and farmers finally having time to work on their equipment to prepare for the spring.  I see mares in foal and sheep and cattle grow heavy. It is a time when I bloom.  

There is something I do not miss about Oklahoma.  Today, on Dia de los Muertos, an open carry law went into effect in my old home state.  Open carry, as in openly carrying guns and shit in public.

Let's let that sink in for a minute.

So if you have a concealed carry permit, you can now run around town with a Gloc or a Colt .45 strapped to your hip or hanging out of a shoulder holster.  Not on school property or in courthouses or jails, but pretty much any business or public place where it's not posted against it.

And people are carrying. Like idiots.
I'll shoot if you get too close to my multigrain!

Yes, it's an idiotic law.

We have police to take care of dangerous situations.  We don't need a disorganized band of yahoos to dispense some brand of vigilante justice through the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area.  You carry a gun in public, you scare people. Some idiot with a gun is going to attempt to use it and it will go badly.  Someone is going to get hurt. Someone is going to die.  This someone will either be an innocent bystander or the poor dumb bastard who walks around with a gun on his hip looking for trouble. He may even have it taken from him and used upon him.  While that is some poetic "justice", it's still not right.

No, it's not Second Amendment rights and this is not the wild West.  Let me tell you what I see when I look at someone carrying a pistol inside of a grocery store.  I see someone with something to prove; an axe to grind and a chip on their shoulder.  I see someone who needs a tee-shirt that says "I can't handle my own problems so I'll MAKE people take me seriously, by God".  Add in a "Fuck yeah, America" and the ridiculousness of the situation comes to light.

I urge you, fellow Okies, to not stand for this.  When you see someone with a gun, point at them and scream "Oh My God! S/He's got a gun!".  Then grab your kid/mom/friend/dog and get the hell out of there.  Let business owners know you won't come to their establishment if they allow that nonsense.  It is simply unsafe.

Having said that...

Yes, I am aware that I am pro-gun ownership.  I approve of guns for home defense and for hunting.  And if you're out in the country and have to shoot injured animals or a poisonous snake at the house, that's also a pretty reasonable thing to do.  But this bullshit about automatic rifles and open carry? Aww, hecks naw!

Probably the next post you read will be about the election.  I have made no secret of my love for President Obama.  I adore him even more for cancelling last-minute campaign stops to go to New York and New Jersey to offer help and friendship.  And it was big on the part of Governor Christie to put what is best for the peole of New Jersey ahead of his own need to tow a party line.  That's the way people should behave.  None of this cutting FEMA or outsourcing to private companies.

Dia de los Muertos; Day of the dead.  It's a distinctly Mexican holiday when the spirits of the dead come to visit the living.  Instead of pushing death away or fearing it, Dia de los Muertos honors that and acknowledges that life and death exist side by side. They often make fun of death rather than revere it.  Children play "funeral" and parties are thrown.  Oftentimes, and altar is made and a photo of the deceased loved one is placed on the altar.  Incense is burned and sometimes "offerings" are made in the form of skull or coffin shaped cookies.  It is intended to honor the person who is gone. An interesting concept, to be sure.  One I find intriguing.  Lots of people that I love have died.  Their names are rose petals on a wilted flower that I am unwilling to throw away.  It smells familiar and takes me back to summer days, my youth and happy memories.  I'm not always close by their gravesites to clean them or bring flowers or whathaveyou.  I have my little blog and I write about my love, admiration and the ways in which I keep their memories alive.  I pass on their stories, recipes, susperstitions and sometimes those quirky habits that made them who they were.

Verline Fae (Jennings) Marll - Age 18
But I never laugh at death.


  1. All your Jons miss you too! Your words are so evocative I feel as if I just dipped my toe into winter.Oh but the true cold grip of icy ignorance and fingers clinging desperately to the hardened heavy cold steel of death's harbinger galls the senses until senseless is the only choice numb minds make. Bring out yer dead!

    1. I miss you too! Come to Washington sometime.

  2. The astronomy nerd in me can't let this stand. In the winter and summer we have a solstice, in spring and autumn it's an equinox.

    I would think trying to carry a handgun openly would be more hassle than it's worth. Aside from the aforementioned scaring the crap out of people, most places don't allow firearms on their premises.

    1. Ah! Equinox, not solstice. Thank you, my friend. You are a Matt that I miss!

  3. Also, business owners do not have to post a sign that states firearms are not allowed. They can verbally tell people. I'm sure a sign is a lot more non confrontational though.

  4. I love Dia de los Muertos as well--we got to go to a festival and see quite a few authentic ofrendas. Some were entertaining, some were moving, all were wonderful!