Part 6: My Mother was Superstitious–A Month of Tales from the Dark Side

Superstition 2 ImageI thought I would spend this month leading up to Halloween telling stories of things that happened in not only my childhood, but in the lives of my Ancestors that helped form most of my Mothers superstition beliefs or were a result of her beliefs.  I will post a blog every Friday and Tuesday and I hope you will enjoy them and even get a laugh or two out of them.

Superstition #6 -A Friday night’s dream on a Saturday told will always come true no matter how old!”

Aunt Nellie

Aunt Nellie

In 1966 while we were living in Tucson Arizona my Dad received a phone call that one of his twin sisters, Nellie, had had a heart attack. Apparently it was a bad one and they didn’t expect her to live more than a couple of weeks. It was a Thursday evening and the decision was made to leave the 1966 Seattlenext morning and drive to Seattle Washington as quickly as possible. Because of the urgency my parents decided to drive straight through with them taking turns driving. The next morning we left before the sun came out and started the long 1650 mile one way trip.

Mary, Dad, Mom & me!

Mary, Dad, Mom & me!

We headed toward Los Angeles so we could take Highway 5 straight up to Washington. My Dad and Mom took turns driving for 8 hours each. First my Dad drove while my Mom slept then my Mom drove so my Dad could sleep and so forth. My sister and I sat in the back seat reading, playing games, watching the scenery and sleeping. About 10 pm that Friday evening my Mom woke up and took the wheel and my Dad found a comfortable way to recline and he was soon asleep. My sister and I also fell asleep. It was hard to stay asleep because my Mom had a horrible habit of whistling. It was never a tune, just a sound and it was never loud enough to actually hear it, but it was loud enough to be annoying. In the quiet of the car it made sleeping next to impossible, at least for me.

I guess I finally did fall asleep at some point because all of a sudden we were all 3 jarred from our slumber by a horrifying Sexton Mountain passscream. The sun was just coming up over the Western Mountain illuminating the gorgeous pine trees and making the sky appear red. Of course it was hard to enjoy these beauties because there was my Mom, sitting in the front driver’s seat, both hands on the wheel, holding it so tightly her knuckles were white. She had brought the vehicle to a complete stop and she had a look of terror on her face like none I had ever seen before. She just sat there screaming to the top of her lungs. My Dad tried everything to try to calm her down and he even tried prying her hands from the wheel. Nothing helped. Looking behind us there was a line of cars and trucks piling up for miles and some of them were honking their horns. Remember this was the mid 60’s, there was only a one lane road going in both directions. There were no passing lanes. My Dad climbed out of the car, walked around to the driver’s side, opened the door and literally picked my Mom up off the seat. He had to yell at her to get her to turn loose of the wheel. Finally, he was able to carry her around to the passenger seat and put her in the car. He then reached into the glove box and pulled out a large handkerchief and made a blindfold out of it. Once he made sure it was securely in place he then got in the car and he drove off. It still took about 10 minutes for my Mom to quit screaming. All my sister and I could do was to hold our hands over our ears.

Grants Pass RoadWhen we got to the next town we stopped at a rest area and my Dad had us all get out of the car. After eating sandwiches for breakfast my sister finally ask “What happened?”  My Mom just shook her head and looked pathetically at my Dad. He told us that Mom had always been afraid of heights and never liked driving through any Mountains. That night we had driven over the Sexton Mountain Pass just north of Grants Pass Oregon which was about 2000 in elevation. My Mom had driven all night through Mountainous roads but because of the darkness she didn’t realize it. Once the sun started to come up she could see where she was driving and panicked.  My Dad then told us that this is not the only thing that had frightened my Mom. Apparently about a month ago, on a Friday night, she had a dream that she was driving down a foggy road and she ended up having a bad accident and she lost her legs. She then told my Dad about the dream the next day. This is where the Superstition comes in. Mom believed ”A Friday night’s dream on a Saturday told will always come true no matter how old!” She was convinced that she was going to have an accident and lose her legs. It didn’t matter that in her dream she was driving alone and on a flat road, she had told her Friday night dream on a Saturday so she was doomed! From then on, all the way to Seattle and then all the way back home again, my Dad drove. We did stop for the night on the way back so we could rest. My Mom rode the entire rest of the trip with the blindfold on.

My Aunt Nellie did get better and went on to live a long and happy life!

Here are some more Superstitions that my Mother had:

If you lose an eyelash make a wish then blow it away  Lose an eyelash

bite your tongueIf you bite your tongue while eating, it is because you have recently told a lie

It is bad luck to open an umbrella insideopening an umbrella inside

 

Do you or anyone in your family have a Superstition? I would love to hear about them.

Come back on Friday for the next installment of “My Mothers Superstitions – Tales from the Dark Side.”

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Dreams, Family History, Genealogy, Halloween, Seattle, Traveling

Something to Ponder Next Time You Get Stuck in Your Family History

Pondering

Yesterday my husband and I went to the Arizona State Fair. Each year one of their biggest attractions is the Native American Dancers that perform throughout the day. I enjoy taking photos of the colorful costumes and of their dancing. Growing up my Mother had told me that I was part Creek Indian. Her SONY DSCGrandfather, Pleasant Smith, was supposed to have been a full-blooded Creek. I have never been able to prove or disprove this as he is one of my solid brick walls. I believe my interest and appreciation for Indian Culture comes from the hope that maybe I am Creek.

SONY DSCThe dancers who performed at the fair were all from tribes here in Arizona. One was Navajo, one was Hopi SONY DSCand one was Zuni. They sang, beat the drums, played the flute and danced. It was wonderful! After the performance we went to talk with the young men and during the course of the conversation the Navajo, Lane Jensen, mentioned that his Ancestors had all been Hoop Dancers. Ancestors? Did I hear him correctly, Ancestors? This is not a word that can just be used lightly around a Genealogist. I began asking him questions explaining that I am a Genealogist and I write a blog. He was more than happy to answer my questions.

SONY DSCThe Navajo Nation consists of about 90 “Clans”. When a Navajo baby is born, he or she belongs to the clan of the mother. The clan names always passes on to the next generation through the Mother. Whenever a young man or woman gets married they are not allowed to marry anyone within their Mothers Clan. This is also the line that they trace their Genealogy through, the maternal Clan line. Whenever a Navajo meets another Navajo they always include an introduction of their clans. They would say they were born to (their Mothers Clan name) and that they were born for (their Fathers Clan name). This way another Navajo would precisely know who they are.

SONY DSC

So why do I say this is something to ponder when you find yourself “stuck” or hitting a brick wall? Well according to Lane, all people within a Clan are related. In the Navajo way, two Navajos of the same clan, meeting for the first time, will refer to each other as “brother” or “sister”. Navajos that are cousins to each other in the American sense, think of each other as “brother” or “sister” in the Navajo sense. Father’s and Mother’s cousins in the American way are thought of as aunts and uncles in the Navajo way. Grandparent’s brothers and sisters in the American way are thought of as Grandmas and Grandpas in the Navajo way. So let’s say in my case my Grandfather had 10 siblings so therefore I would have 4 more Grandmas and 6 more Grandpas in my line. This would be so confusing.  Then add in all the “Brothers”, “Sisters”, “Aunts” and “Uncles” and your Family Tree would jump by hundreds.

Although this concept is actually very wonderful because this way of life makes everyone related and they all have the responsibility to take care of one another, to a Genealogist this way of labeling family could become a nightmare! So the next time you get stuck just remember the Navajo and how much more difficult your tree could be.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Brick Walls, Family History, Genealogy, Native American

Part 5: My Mother’s Great Grandfather was Superstitious –A Month of Tales from the Dark Side

superstition imageI thought I would spend this month leading up to Halloween telling stories of things that happened in not only my childhood, but in the lives of my Ancestors that helped form most of my Mothers superstition beliefs or were a result of her beliefs.  I will post a blog every Friday and Tuesday and I hope you will enjoy them and even get a laugh or two out of them.

James D. McGowan born in 1837 was a first Generation American. His father Francis McGowan was born and raised in Dublin County, Ireland. Francis immigrated to America in 1811 bringing with him his love of his mother land and his Irish superstitions. Growing up James and his 8 siblings heard the stories and legends of Ireland.

James married Lucy Reavis in 1856 and started a family. He didn’t realize how many of those old superstitions and Irish Fairylegends had interwoven themselves into his life or that he would unknowingly pass them on to his 8 children.  As every “good” Irishman did, James believed in Fairies. A lot of his superstitions were based on this belief. James was a farmer and he owned several hundred acres in Camden, Missouri.

Primrose

Primrose

He took pride in all the things he raised but he was especially proud of the Primrose bushes that he took excellent care of. Every first day of May, James would go outside early in the morning and collect the Primroses to spread around his doors and windows. This was done to keep out the malevolent fairies and to appease the Good People. This would ensure that the rest of the year his family would not be bothered by the fairies.

spilled salt

Dinnertime was always a busy time with 10 people around the table. Inevitably someone would bump the table and knock over the salt shaker. James would insist whoever spilled it would have to throw the spilled salt over their shoulder. They did this to give the fairies their share and to avoid mischief from the fairies.

fishingJames loved to go fishing, not just to put food on the table but for the peace and solitude that it gave. Remember he had 8 children! He was Superstitious about his fishing, believing it was very unlucky for someone to ask a man on his way to go fishing where he was going. Any time this happened to him he would turn back because he knew the question was an evil spell.

James out-lived his wife Lucy by 22 years. When he died in 1901 he left a small box to his son John Henry McGowan.old 4 leaf clover After the funeral, the family and friends gathered at John’s home for food and fellowship. John opened the box and pulled out an old folded piece of paper. Opening it he found 24 pressed 4 leaf shamrocks. His Uncle told him, “If you possess a four-leaf shamrock you will have good luck in gambling, good luck in racing, and witchcraft will have no power over you but, you must always carry it on you. You cannot give it away and you cannot show it to anyone.” These shamrocks had been brought to America by Francis and he had passed them on to James who in turn was now passing them on to John.

Here are some more Superstitions that my Mother had:

Itchy palmIf the palm of your right hand itches it means you will soon be getting money.

Making a wish within 5 minutes of getting out of bed on the first day of the month will come true.first of the month

walking with only one shoe onWalking with one shoe on & one shoe off will make you have some kind of leg or foot problem one day.

Do you or anyone in your family have a Superstition? I would love to hear about them.

Come back on Tuesday for the next installment of “My Mothers Superstitions – Tales from the Dark Side.”

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Halloween, Ireland, McGowan, Story telling, Superstitions

Part 4: My Mother’s Grandmother was Superstitious –A Month of Tales from the Dark Side

part 4I thought I would spend this month leading up to Halloween telling stories of things that happened in not only my childhood, but in the lives of my Ancestors that helped form most of my Mothers superstition beliefs or were a result of her beliefs.  I will post a blog every Friday and Tuesday and I hope you will enjoy them and even get a laugh or two out of them.

My Mothers maternal Grandmother Asenath “Dolly” Walt was born February 27 1863 in Camden, Ray, Missouri.  Dolly was said to be a very superstitious woman. Anyone who visited her home knew that she did have what they considered unusual quirks.

ring of salt

It is said that Dolly was petrified of “demons”. She believed that at night they would creep around her home and try to gain access. She kept a large container of salt by both the front and back doors for when visitors came. Upon answering the door she would take a scoop of salt and place it across the doorway. If the person was not a “demon” they could cross over the salt with no problem. The salt would have kept out any non-human who wanted to enter. I guess she never thought that a “demon” would probably not come knocking on her door, he would just kick it open and come in!

tombstone from Machpelah

Machpelah Cemetery

Dolly’s fear of “demons” began at a young age. She had lived her entire life within the 16 mile radius between Camden and Lexington Missouri. Most of her relatives who had passed away were buried in Machpelah Cemetery in Lexington. Even as a young girl this cemetery was considered an old one as the first burial there was in 1839. When Dolly was about 6 years old her younger sister Naomi passed away at the age of 1. In those days visiting a cemetery, especially one that was so far away, was an all day event. This day was no exception. After the small service for Naomi the women went about laying out the picnic lunch for the mourners on the edge of the grounds.  Dolly and her other siblings were racing around, darting in and out of the SONY DSCnearby woods. Dolly, in an attempt to hide from the others ran out of the woods and hid behind a large Headstone. That is when she saw it! A large man/beast come out of a grave and began walking slowly towards her. She ran terrified, screaming, all the way across the cemetery and into her Mother’s arms. When Dolly calmed down enough to speak she told the adults what had happened. They tried to convince her that what she saw was the grave digger climbing out of the hole he had just dug. Try as they might no one could convince her that she hadn’t just seen a “demon”.

Asenath McGowan HSAfter this experience she refused to set foot in the Machpelah Cemetery. When her own daughter Ella (My Grandmother) died in 1921 she pleaded with her son-in-law not to bury her in Lexington and so Ella was buried in the Buckner Cemetery.  Dolly spent 61 years of her life afraid of the “demon” that came out of the grave and was convinced that he was out to get her. Upon her death on February 19, 1931 Dolly’s husband John McGowan had her buried in the Machpelah Cemetery.

Here are some more Superstitions that my Mother had:

If your nose itches you will soon be kissed by a fool.itchy nose

happy new yearIf your house is clean on New Year’s Eve you will have a clean house all year.

Walking over a grave pic

If you get a chill up your back or goose bumps, it means that someone is walking over your grave.

Do you or anyone in your family have a Superstition? I would love to hear about them.

Come back on Friday for the next installment of “My Mothers Superstitions  – Tales from the Dark Side.”

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Cemetery, Family History, Genealogy, Halloween, Story telling, Superstitions

What Does That Mean?

Question markWhile doing some research for a client I came across an occupation that I had never heard of. The man was listed as being a “burler”. A what? I am sure I could have come up with a few definitions of what I thought this occupation was but I would have been very wrong with all of them. So after a quick search on the internet I discovered that a “burler” was 1: one that removes loose threads, knots, and other imperfections from cloth 2: one that inspects rugs before the finishing process and mends minor imperfections in rugs. Honestly, I never would have guessed that!

It got me to thinking about some of the other odd names or expressions that we Genealogists come across during our research.  Some of them are actually quite funny. Why not have some fun with this? I will list 10 words we may come across that are not commonly known and you can choose one of the multi choice definitions. At the end you will find the correct answers and you can then tally up your score. Good luck!

1. “Jackalent”

a. A coat of mail

b. A foolish fellow

c. A figure outside old clocks on public buildings and strikes the clocks bell

2. “Twindles”

a. Twins

b. A tool used by a Wheelwright

c. A “sure cure” for constipation

3. “Grondy”

a. An African Storyteller

b. An English coin

c. A Grandmother

4. “Cowdy”

a. Someone who is afraid of something

b. A Cowboy who only herds cows

c. A small cow

5. “Busker”

a. Someone who husks corn

b. An entertainer who danced, sang or recited on streets or public places

c. A tool used by a tanner

6. “Stockinger”

a. A person who knits or weaves stockings

b. A tool used by a boot maker

c. A measure of weight

7. “Dilling”

a. A person who digs ditches

b. A baby born to older parents

c. A sailor

8. “Codman”

a. A dealer in Codfish

b. A chest maker

c. A lamplighter

9. “Acater”

a. An agreement to the terms named

b. A falconer

c. A caterer; a purveyor of goods

10. “Sheepbiter”

a. A petty thief

b. A person who enjoys mutton meat

c. A womanizer

Since this is for fun there is no grading system. I hope you enjoyed this and maybe even had a laugh or two. I think in a hundred years our Descendants will be having to look up some of our commonly used words and will probably get a kick out of the definitions also!

Answers: 1) b   2) a   3)c   4)c   5)b   6)a   7)b   8)a   9) c   10)a,b,c

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Hints, Quiz

Part 3: My Mother’s Father was Superstitious –A Month of Tales from the Dark Side

Grandpas Superstition picI thought I would spend this month leading up to Halloween telling stories of things that happened in not only my childhood but in the lives of my Ancestors that helped form most of my Mothers superstition beliefs or were a result of her beliefs.  I will post a blog every Friday and Tuesday and I hope you will enjoy them and even get a laugh or two out of them.

Superstition #3:  Watch what you eat!

My Mother’s Father was John Pleasant Smith Sr. born September 8,1882 in Hazel Hill Missouri. On John’s mothers side his roots grew deep into Ireland’s fertile soil. He had all the superstitions of your typical Irishman but he also had some that was passed down from his father’s side. Pleasant Smith was said to be a Creek Indian. I haven’t been able to prove or disprove this since he is my biggest brick wall. I do know that my beloved Grandfather had one Superstition that I have never forgotten.

John Pleasant Smith Sr and my Mother Emmajane, 1967

John Pleasant Smith Sr and my Mother Emmajane, 1967

When I was 12 years old and we had just moved back to Missouri we settled in the quaint little town of Oak Grove Missouri. It wasn’t a permanent situation but we were there long enough for me to finally get to know my Grandpa. The house we rented was only 6 blocks from his home. I would go visit him after school and on Saturdays. He taught me a lot about growing vegetables and taking care of fruit trees. I always thought some of his planting ideas were really just Superstitions. He taught me to plant anything that grows on top of the soil when the Moon is full and anything that grows beneath the soil should be planted in the dark of the Moon.  Over the years I have had bumper crops of veggies by following his instructions and I recently discovered that this is even written about in the Farmer’s Almanac. Oh well, so much for that Superstition.

rocking chairHe did other things because of his belief in Superstitions. One was if he left the house by the back door he would have to re-enter the house by that same door. To do otherwise brought bad luck. He believed that if the Moon had a ring around it then it was sure to rain within 3 days. I distinctly remember one day while I was visiting, my Grandma and I were sitting in the living room shelling peas. My Grandpa came in and asked me if I wanted to see a Yellow Headed Blackbird. I was so excited I jumped out of the rocking chair I was sitting in and ran towards the door. My Grandpa froze in place and told me to go back and stop the chair from rocking. He believed if you leave a rocking chair rocking when empty, it invites evil spirits to come into your house to sit in the rocking chair.

Although I remember these Superstitions, they are not the strangest one he had, the one that has stuck with me all these Food plateyears. It all started the first time we went to eat at my Grandparents home. We were all sitting around the kitchen table and after my Grandpa said “Grace” my Grandma and Mom served our plates. I sat in astonishment as my Grandma brought a plate with only 2 pieces of chicken on it and set it in front of my Grandpa. She went back into the kitchen and came back with 2 smaller plates, one with mashed potatoes and one with green beans and she placed these in front of him. By the time all the plates were placed on the table Grandpa had 5 separate plates with just one specific food on each one. I had never seen anything like it. I looked at my own plate. I had all the same things as he did but it was all on just one plate. I watched as Grandpa slowly ate each plate of food, one right after the other. After dinner I asked him why he ate his food like that. He told me that he was raised to believe that if you let your food touch each other on your plate that you will get sick and die. My Grandpa was 84 years old so it was easy for me to believe it too!

I decided to eat the same way; I mean why risk it, right? When I told my Mom about my decision she said if that is what I wanted then go ahead and do it, but I would have to wash my own dishes afterwards. Eating this way only lasted a couple of days. It just wasn’t worth adding all those extra dishes for me to wash!

Here are some other Superetitions held by my Mom.

find a penny

Finding a penny brings good luck. When you pick it up you MUST say “Find a penny, pick it up all the day you’ll have good luck!”

Crossing your fingers for luck or to ward off evil or to not have to tell the truthcrossed fingers

Do you or anyone in your family have a Superstition? I would love to hear about them.

Come back on Tuesday for the next installment of “My Mothers Superstitions  – Tales from the Dark Side.”

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Food, Genealogy, Halloween, Missouri, Superstitions

Part 2: My Mother was Superstitious –A Month of Tales from the Dark Side

superstitions moonGrowing up our lives revolved around superstitions. My Mother had one for every occasion or event, everything from the fear of Friday the 13th to dropping a knife on the floor.  I know that my Mother wasn’t the only person to hold to these superstitions but to this date I have never met another person who believed as many or as strongly as she did. I thought I would spend this month leading up to Halloween telling stories of things that happened in not only my childhood but in the lives of my Ancestors that helped form most of my Mothers superstition beliefs or were a result of her beliefs.  I will post a blog every Friday and Tuesday and I hope you will enjoy them and even get a laugh or two out of them.

Superstition #2:  A bird in the house is a sign of death

Me at 12 years old.

Me at 12 years old.

For my 12th birthday all I wanted was a parakeet. I had always loved birds and as a young girl I even cut out pictures of birdsand pasted them in a scrapbook. My favorite was the Mountain Bluebird. When I told my parents what I would like my Dad immediately agreed. He felt it would be a great experience for me as I would learn to be responsible for the care and feeding of the bird. My Mom had other ideas. She believed that having a bird in the house was bad luck. They were an omen of impending death to someone in the family. Why would we want to invite something like that into our home? Her reasons for not having a bird far outweighed my reasons for wanting one. I was devastated.

blue-parakeet

“Red” Bird

When I got home from school on my birthday, which by chance was January, Friday the 13th, I walked into my bedroom and there it was, a brand new shiny bird cage with a beautiful blue parakeet singing away inside.  I was so happy I cried. My Mom came to the bedroom door and with a very serious voice informed me that the care and feeding of the bird was all my responsibility and at no time was I to let it out of the cage. I had a hard time deciding what to name the bird so after much thought I named him “Red”.

Over the next 2 months I taught Red how to wolf whistle, say “pretty bird” and “hello”. I realized that since I got the bird my Mom no longer came into my bedroom. It was like suddenly I had some privacy and freedom. Knowing that she avoided my room I began to let Red out of his cage and let him fly around the room. I would practice my clarinet and Red would come and sit on the end of it and look up inside the instrument as I played.

Car pink & Gray 1955 Chevy Belaire

This was the type and color of our car!

About the same time that I got Red my parents made the decision to move our family to Missouri. They put the house up for sale and it sold faster than they anticipated. So at the end of March we packed all our belongings into a U-Haul trailer and hit the road. From Tucson AZ to Independence MO it was about a 1200 mile trip. My Mom didn’t want us to bring Red but my Dad over-ruled her. So with Red, sitting comfortably in his cage settled into the back seat between me and my sister we began our journey.

Tularosa-New-Mexico-Map-SWe were in New Mexico, somewhere between Tularosa and Carrizozo, traveling through some mountainous roads when we came over a mountain incline a little faster than we should. The next thing we knew the trailer began to weave from side to side. My Dad tried to correct it by jerking the steering wheel the opposite direction but this only made it worse. I don’t know how long the hill was but we weaved from side to side almost all the way to the bottom, at one point almost going over the edge of the mountain. When we got close to the bottom of the hill we were actually facing the wrong way. My Dad decided to drive back up the hill instead of turning around. When we reached the top he stopped. At this point the trailer fell off the hitch!

It was at this point that I thought to make sure that Red was alright. I saw the cage sitting between me and my sister, the top had popped off and one side had caved in and Red was nowhere to be found. I began to panic looking everywhere. I looked towards the front seat and I saw my Mom sitting there shaking and crying hysterically. Then I noticed, sitting on the top of her head was Red. My Mom was so upset she didn’t feel him there. I slowly reached up and grabbed him placing him back in the damaged cage and placing my pillow over it.

It took about 30 minutes before another vehicle came by and it just so happened to be a man in a truck with a heavy duty jack. He stopped and helped my Dad reconnect the trailer and we were on our way. My Mom was uncharacteristically quiet for the rest of the day. When we stopped for the night my Dad helped me put the birdcage back together and he suggested I leave Red in the car for the night. When I went into the room my Mom was sitting on the bed and she told me what had happened was entirely my fault because we had to bring that D@#n bird. She wanted me to release him before the next morning. Thankfully my Dad stepped in and convinced her to let me keep him although nothing could convince her that having the bird in the vehicle did not cause the accident.

So what did eventually happen to Red? About a year later I had let Red out of his cage in my room so he could get some Red's grave 2exercise. I was sitting on the couch in the living room practicing my clarinet and my Mom asked me to play a song from the Hymnal that she kept in the bookcase. She got up from the couch and instead of going straight to the bookcase she opened my bedroom door so she could take yell at my sister to get ready for school. She then closed the door, retrieved the Hymnal and sat down next to me. I played the song and when I was done my Mom took the book and got up to put it back. I looked down on where my Mom was sitting and there was Red, dead with a broken neck! Apparently he flew out when my Mom went in my room and we hadn’t noticed. He must have seen the clarinet and decided to sit next to me so he could enjoy the music. My Mom swears that she never saw him there. I buried him in the back yard.

Along with this Superstition my Mother had all the regular ones too. You know like:

your left ear itches, someone is speaking ill of you.If your left ear itches, someone is speaking ill of you.

white horse

You lick your right thumb push it into your left palm and hit it with your Right fist for good luck when you see a white horse.

Dead potted platNever say thank you to a person if they give you a plant as the plant will die.

Do you or anyone in your family have a Superstition? I would love to hear about them.

Come back on Friday for the next installment of “My Mothers Superstitions  – Tales from the Dark Side.”

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Arizona, Family History, Genealogy, Halloween, Missouri, Superstitions