Curse Of The Elderly – Bitter Sweet Memories…

It’s easy for the passing scene of everyday life to throw ordinary things in view that immediately, if our memories are long enough, remind us of many things that create sad smiles.  “The Gypsy Hut” discussed last week still hasn’t been explained, but a look through local history recently may have contributed to that recollection.  A passing and very small bit of naturalistic almanac advice happened to be about caring for strawberry vines.  That also did just that a few days ago. Strawberries alone would have little effect, but growing them recalls a beloved house. 

The house was old already sixty years ago and inexpensive from the start.  However, previous owners clearly had the idea of making something of it.  Across the middle of the backyard there was a drop of ground of maybe a foot.  The garage was set on the higher ground, with the back end to about the drop, beyond which was a flower garden.  A back walk was laid out to the lower part with stone steps down to it.  Above the steps there was a trellis arch.  A fish pond was there, too. It was fixed up except for four feet or so at the far end where the drop petered out. 

It seemed reasonable to completely divide the yard as the lawn mower could be rolled down those steps.  The lady of the house decided to build a strawberry hill, a graduated stack of rings of earth held together with bands on sides to increase the planting space.  Plants were set on every level.  There was a tiny crop in the first season, as the plants were getting settled.  Then before the year ended, it was necessary to move.  The new house, also well cared for, had a different beauty; but, it was the old one that most matched the spirit and was beloved. 

Many things stay hidden in the memory.Filmstrip 

The Gypsy Hut … A Small Village In A Strange Land — Part 10

Gypsies have a bad reputation.  Whether it is deserved or not is beside the point here as this isn’t about Gypsies, the people.  Recently, there was reason to come up with a clever or intriguing name for a little space to go with a moniker.  While it isn’t exactly accurate, what popped in mind immediately was “The Gypsy Hut” with such a profound force that it wasn’t possible to shake it for days.  Days later there was even a notion to make up a sign that said that to be hung on the apartment door.  A few other ideas also flitted through the thoughts. 

A great uncle and/or his son (exactly who began it is not known) once opened a family bar and grill in the midst of an area housing many Eastern European people.  Such folks have experienced notions of gypsies, mostly as people out of the realm of ordinary life, which may be the basis for calling the place “The Gypsy Hut.”  It was another branch of the family in another area of town. There was not much contact but, nonetheless, they were kinfolk.  Exactly who may have come from “the little village” is unknown, but a connection exists, so the reference. 

Great uncle, cousin and second cousin are gone now, maybe even the building is gone.  The place did exist, complete with little ethnic costumes.  Some people still recall it sometimes.  Why that came to mind (and stayed) when other more “respectable” names simply never surfaced (there are many likely possibilities that simply didn’t formulate to something concise) doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Maybe it is getting too hard to think, which is common among older people.  That cubby hole is now officially The Gypsy Hut, and maybe it’s time to go into ancestry again. 

Some things take expert explanation.Coffee cup

What Is Sacred?

There’s a local legend back in the hometown that merits a few words here.  Reportedly, the Native Americans used an area for hunting rather than a place to live.  When white men arrived, the natives told them that there was “sacred ground” there.  The “sacred ground” wasn’t built over but many years later (the warning evidently forgotten by some important folks) the empty area was rather sacrilegiously used for the town dump.  Perhaps unable to figure out how or why it was “sacred ground,” the powers that be decided to build something.  What was uncovered was a prehistoric village of some importance when they began moving ground. 

Life is sacred.  Creating it isn’t something humans build on an assembly line.  Maintaining it, likewise, isn’t too easy in many cases.  Things like a special gift from some person someone cares about can be personally sacred. It’s something that represents a part of someone’s life.  That might be something completely worthless to others.  There are also things that are very rare which might be held as “sacred” simply because they are rare.  None of those are truly “officially” sacred as they aren’t “dedicated” to a higher cause (including life itself).  But, just like the Native American site, they merit respect as special. 

There is such a thing as “dedicated” sacred, churches for example.  People, too, are so dedicated.  And at times it is the dedicated which turn out to be morally evil.  This all came to mind recently with the thought of some things that have been lost.  What really is sacred?  Is it those things that have been formally declared sacred, even with ceremonial blessing?  Or, is it more properly the type of thing described above, while those things declared sacred are merely things theoretically set aside for special use and are therefore really things more or less declared off limits for other use?  It’s a thought and might be so. 

Sometimes people think too much.Red rose

Labor Day U.S.A. 2015

A U.S. legal holiday, to some Labor Day is another day of work, and to others it’s another day off from work.  Some places are always open (like hospitals) and some citizens have little thought of respecting the working man.  For a lot of people, however, the fundamental meanings do exist in some way.  For someone like yours truly, there is more to it than just a day honoring those who labor for others in some capacity (even though the ultimate idea carries a notion that the “working man” means factory workers).  It is really a matter of circumstances. 

For more than 150 years, from back when the town was just the convenient place to buy farming stuff, the hometown’s been the site of the county fair, long established to run over Labor Day weekend.  When Labor Day falls on some day at the start of the month, for people interested in those agricultural things, September seems just a little brief; and when it falls nearly a week into the month, September becomes a very short month.  By the time fair entries are carted home and put where they belong (unless it’s food), it’s mid-September with vague thoughts of Thanksgiving. 

In today’s world (and surely into the future), joy over a great harvest and winning ribbons of excellence are items of long standing tradition immediately curtailed by those historic events that took place September 11, 2001.  Once happy times will never be as happy as they were for older folks, but among growing young people who personally know of no other times, maybe there will be something on a par with what was.  Talk is of building a new fairgrounds, in an entirely different location.  It would make an immense difference as much more will be “past.” 

May everyone have a good Labor Day.Black Sheep