Massaged a particularly tight bed today, it hadn’t been turned in a long time, tore it up and had a brilliant idea. Will work on the redesign. My elbows hurt, lots of rocks and clay.
Just when I start to doubt myself and question the path I’m on, we have a breakthrough!
In the mailbox: “Please help me. Joan Fonfa is an old friend with whom I have lost touch. I knew Larue as a pup and all of Joan’s other dogs, Nigia, Tigera, and LaRue. Please, I google Joan’s name every year or so hoping to find her out there. This is the lst I have found her. Please will you contact me and help me to contact her?”
We assisted Joan last year when her precious LaRue passed, Joan chose the Purple Passion Urn, although she preferred to think of it as LaRue’s Purple Palace! Joan is one of a handful of people I’ve met in the last couple of years that have purchased or built a home based on their pet’s needs.
Anyway, let’s get real….most people don’t visit the Urngarden unless they have to…and Joan called last week regarding another sad matter. The end.
Until this weekend…Joan’s long lost friend Googles her, lands in the Urngarden and I called Joan to give her the contact info. She was surprised and delighted.
Next, we’ll dig up some connections to the past, we discovered an old favorite on the bookshelf “Ozark Magic and Folklore”, by Vance Randolph.
We’ll start with death signs and wood, since many Ozarkers have lots of firewood from the recent ice storm:
“The typical hillman avoids any firewood which pops or crackles too much, in the belief that burning such wood will bring about the death of some member of his family. To burn sassafras wood is supposed to cause the death of one’s mother , and although sassafras makes very fine charcoal, no decent native will burn it, or even haul it the kiln, unless his mother is already dead. There is an old saying that the Devil sits a-straddle of the roof when sassafras pops in the fireplace.”
It is very bad luck to burn peach trees, and dreadful results are almost certain to follow.
The transplanting of cedar trees is a bad business, and the old-timers thought that the transplanter would die as soon as the cedar’s shadow was big enough to cover a grave. A man told me that the curse could be “throwed off” by putting a flat stone in the bottom of the hold where the cedar is planted, but others shook their head at this theory. I know of some boys who hired out to transplant cedars in a nursery, laughing at the old superstition, but their parents were horrified and ordered them to quit the job immediately.
The prejudice against transplanting cedars is known all through the Ozarks and parts of the South. There are people in southwest Missouri who will not under conditions plant a willow. I once asked a hired man to “stick” some willows in a gravel bar, in order to turn the creek the other way and prevent it from cutting into my field. Without mentioning the matter to me, he hired another man to attend to this. “It’s sure death for us folks to fool with willers,” he explained later, “so, I just got one o’them Henson boys. The Hensons is eddicated, an’ they don’t believe nothin'”.
When a big tree dies without any visible cause, it is a sign that a human will die before the year is out, exactly one mile north of the tree. If nobody lives there, it doesn’t matter, the old folks insist that a man, woman, or child will die at the designated spot anyhow.
Tip for today: Google a long lost friend.