The Whispers of my Ancestors

(Revised and expanded upon from a Facebook Post)


Dear Friends,

Since shortly after the riots in Charlottesville, and with the Wheel of the Seasons turning towards October and Samhain, I’ve been looking at this bottle a lot this week-end.

It came down to me from my Mother, who got it from my Great Aunt Lois. Lois picked it up in Egypt during WWII. What was my Irish American Great Aunt doing in Egypt you may ask? Working for the OSS (the Wartime forerunner of the CIA)  or so the story goes.

One time when my mother and older brother were visiting her, in the early 1980’s, Lois received one of her letters from the CIA. She received these every once in a while, basically telling her that she could now speak about her activities from such and such a date to another, as the information had been declassified.

The one mission I know something about involved sneaking onto a Nazi occupied air-field and spreading caltrops to destroy the tires and hopefully sabotage and crash Nazi planes.

Now I face the reality that a young woman died, was murdered,  in Charlottesville  standing against Nazi’s and White Supremacy on U.S. soil. At the same time as a realist and someone who is reasonably historically informed, I know that she was hardly the first to be killed by Nazi’s or White Supremacists on U.S. soil in history, or even in my lifetime, perhaps not even the first this month.

Holy Mother in Whom we live, move, and have our being;
Holy Father Who lives, moves, and has being in every atom, every cell, and every soul;
Help me, please, I pray, in whatever way I may,
Contribute to the world in such a way,
That she is one of the last.

Disaster Foreplay, the Disney Scale, and me.

Dear Friends,

Living in Hurricane Country is not so different from living in Earthquake Country is some respects. You tend to try to keep a full pantry and emergency supplies read. But it’s in the predictability of hurricanes. You can see one developing and coming, but you can’t really uproot for every storm…and sometimes they change track and sometimes they suddenly develop in scale. The meteorological foreplay over a developing storm can be nerve wracking at times.

With earthquakes…they happen or they don’t. *shrugs*

Then again I grew up with them, we did earthquake drills when I was in grade school.

I remember one time I as out to dinner with a friend who was new to Alaska and he started freaking out… “What was that?!” I blinked, confused for a moment, and then saw the hanging light fixture above the table swinging. I realized that a minor earth tremor must have happened. You get so used to them growing up in earthquake country that if they are below a certain level you stop noticing them.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, you get used to Tropical Storms and Hurricanes… in a different way of course.   It becomes a level of worry and preparedness.  You have so much more covereage of the weather in an area prone to hurricanes, every local tv station has an extensive weather bureau for example.  If it’s ‘just’ a Tropical Storm or below a certain level of Hurricane of if the dominant storm track isn’t to bad, your kind of zen about it.

Last October with Hurricane Matthew for example, the storm was going up the Eastern Coast of Florida.  Orlando and Central Florida were expecting high winds and heavy rains, but would have been on the outer edges of the storm.  Even though it was a Category 5 it was not actually making landfall.  Even with the curfews and the constant emergency alert coverage, and the mandatory evacuations along the coast, Central Floridians were relatively ‘meh’ about it.  We bough our supplies and prepared…

But then Disney announced they would be closing the Parks…

(Which they have done this 4 times since the park opened in 1971 )

THAT was when folks in Orlando and Central Florida started to get *real* nervous…

Anyway, the Fabulous Jonathan and I are keeping an eye out and my fingers crossed…


Pax / Geoffrey