Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Traveling to Plymouth, Washington

Eldo gets around, doesn't he? We debated staying another day at Mountain Home. One of our readers told us about the dunes, and although they are very cool to see, we just weren't up for a hot day on hot sand, even if they ARE 300 feet high! There were some other things to see in Mountain Home, so if we ever stay here again, we'd go:
     To the Bruneau Dunes Public Observatory, the Bruneau Canyon Overlook (1200 foot deep gorge)--dang! Sorry to have missed that one! Play golf at the Desert Canyon Municipa Golf Course in Mountain Home, and check out the Carmela Winery at Glen's Ferry and eat at the great restaurant there...
Restaurant in Jerome

We decided to head west on highway 84...heading towards Washington....While we are driving today, I thought I'd post just a couple more photos from Jerome, an interesting town that has reinvented itself to attract tourists and some thoughts about other stuff, too...Being that it's a mile high, Jerome has an interesting history behind it---town buildings have slid off the mountain into oblivion, there are remnants of old ghost town shenanigans, and some great old west history behind it. Like "Husband's Alley", where the prostitutes kept a lower profile so their customers could come see them.. There seemed to be quite a few "psychic readings" kind of places--that's always fun!  And places with names that kind of stopped you in your tracks to wonder....."Belgian Jennie's Bordello Bistro and Pizzeria" !!! Is that the west's version of a Hooter's? We didn't try it but we did try the Mexican restaurant called "Quinze" ("15") ...excellent southwest style food...My entire family of 8 that were there that day loved it!

We saw a lot of interesting figurines that were skeletons dressed in all kinds of outfits and finery in the shops...coasters with "Day of the Dead" figures on them, and books written about this particular event. First, I thought that was kind of macabre, but once you gain knowledge about another culture's traditions, you develop an appreciation for that culture and understand how they handle a very difficult life transition.

My daughter explained to me the Day of the Dead is like a holiday in Mexico. It occurs during the last days of October and the first few days of November. It's a festive and friendly observance that lasts for a few days for departed family members. November 1st is set aside for children who have passed, and November 2 for adults. People in Mexico (and in other countries as well)  celebrate death with color and costumes on these days and honor the memory of their deceased loved by making shrines in their homes, telling funny remembrances and stories about their loved ones, and serving their favorite foods and beverages. They celebrate with dancing, skull masks and other specially shaped masks. Skull shaped sugar candy, is a popular sweet at this time, too. Flowers predominate along with skull faced costumed dolls and figurines. We saw many, many of these skull faced dolls in the shops. Ah-h-h-h...Now I understand what this is all about!

I know before my mom passed away a couple of years ago, she told us she would not want us to be sad, that we should have a party and celebrate her life, and we did! It was wonderful! I made a large tall photo book with stories about her life from the very beginning to the very end of her 96 years, and everyone came to my sister's house instead of going to the funeral home, and we laughed and shared many, many great stories about Mom. I know she was looking down on us and laughing and partying with us. It was our way for our family to find some joy in a very sad and difficult time for us.....Not everyone feels this way or would choose to handle a passing in this way, I just know this was a very healing way for our family to handle our loss.

And so....back to the road again we go.....We'll catch up with you later!

1 comment:

  1. I love what you did to celebrate your mother's life at the time of her death. I've always wondered about "wakes" and the agony. I guess it's cathartic.

    The Latin American folks who celebrate Day of the Dead are continuing in a Pagan tradition. One of the 8 Pagan "Holy"days is Samhain which falls at this time and is also a time to celebrate one's honored dead. There are Celtic traditions in this vein and others. I think the Catholic Church incorporated it, like they did others of the 8, and call it All Souls Day. But don't quote me on any of this.

    I remember when Carrie & I were in Greece, we asked our bus driver why so many women were dressed completely in black. He said they were in mourning for their husbands. How long do they wear black we asked. The rest of their lives he said. And the men? He said they wear a black arm band for a week or so. LOL

    Happy Driving!