Lately around here it's either been all blue or all gray skies. It's as if on the cloudy days, all of the clouds which have not shown up to dance come together in great dense flocks to cover up the entire bowl of sky and on the sunny days they rest somewhere else in the universe, gathering their strength to come and weigh us down again.
Today was a blue sky day. Jessie brought the boys over and we went to a local state park which is not widely utilized, especially now. I've written about it before. It's the Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park and, according to this web site, contains Florida's tallest Native American ceremonial mound.
Here is an artist's rendition of what it looked like, between 1,100 and 1,800 years ago.
Now it looks like this.
I can only imagine that fifteen hundred or so years of being exposed to Florida's weather has altered the shape and taken away some of the height of what was basically a dirt pyramid. One cannot climb the mound, of course, but there are some nice trails around it and we adults walked and the boys biked through the shadows and the light, over the cleared pathways in the winter woods. It was quite chilly but very beautiful. We came upon a little pond and whether it is really a pond or just a low spot which the rain has filled, I do not know.
But it was ringed with live oaks so perhaps there is water there most of the time, anyway. It was a small and lovely spot, quiet and peaceful. A place of grace.
August is a pro on his bike, riding over grass and dirt like a little speed demon and Levon is doing very, very well. He didn't fall once. He needed his mama to hold the bike and tell him to put his feet on the pedals and give him a push a few times when the going got rough but he's figuring it out. He calls his riding his "learning". He is learning to ride his bike. He actually has it down pretty darn well and it is somewhat shocking to see such a small boy propelling himself about on a two-wheeler.
There's a nice picnic pavilion near the parking lot and we have taken picnics there before but today we came home and ate soup and sourdough from last night. I made so much soup. It was good soup, venison and vegetable and I make it somewhat like my mother used to make on cold nights although of course she used beef instead of venison.
My mother did not especially like venison. She told me once that when she was married to my father and they were living on a ranch somewhere out west (Arizona?) my father and some other cowboys would hunt deer out of season and she could remember sitting in the back of a truck with the dead deer which was covered by something so as to avoid arrest. She had a hard life with my father. He was born as the only son of a very well-off, well-known lawyer from Chattanooga, Tennessee and his wife who also came from money. He was a rich kid who supposedly fell in love with my mother in the first grade. He was smart and he was funny and he had a huge problem with alcohol and it was that part that made my mother's life a living hell. He did eventually get through law school and pass the bar but he couldn't hold down a job, even in his father and uncle's own law firm.
I wish I knew more about my father and about the time my mother was married to him but she didn't talk much about him and I understand that. I think he broke something in her. It's quite possible that I have half-brothers and half-sisters somewhere. Maybe one of these days I'll do some research, perhaps even do one of those DNA tests, see what that turns up. Meanwhile, I just wonder and think how strange it is that half of my genetics comes from a man I barely knew who with his absence, broke something in me too.
Well. That's certainly not what I started out to write about. Yet, here we are, aren't we? Somehow so much of me comes down to the absence of a father. That father. The cowboy whose best childhood friend was a Seminole boy named Moses Jumper.
Or at least, that's what I've heard.
Or at least, that's what I've heard.
And if there is one thing I am truly, truly grateful for, it's that my children have known their father. Fathers. There has been no absence in their lives which has been a dark and mysterious shadow. They've always known who their daddies are. They know they are loved by them. And that has always been so very important to me.
Gonna get cold tonight. Gonna be chilly and clear again tomorrow.
Talk to you later.
Moses Jumper is a famous Seminole. It is interesting how even those absent in our lives can shape our life so significantly.ReplyDelete
I have no real way of knowing if my father's Moses Jumper was the famous one. I think it's a pretty common name.Delete
I made chili today. We had lots of sunshine but got to only 67. I went all out and had diced onions, shredded cheese, chili cheese Fritos, two kinds of cheese squares, oyster crackers, Saltines, and peanut butter and honey for sammiches. Hubby and I ate too much, but it was delish.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness! That's a fiesta!Delete
I googled Moses , I had never heard of him but that's understandable, I am very far from Florida-https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1992-01-30-9201050910-story.html#:~:text=BOB%20FRENCH%2C%20Staff%20WriterSUN,serve%20in%20the%20U.S.%20Navy.ReplyDelete
So important for children to know who their moms and dads are , if not for DNA research and markers for diseases, just knowing gives them solid ground, I would think. Sounds good, anyway. AND if the children are actually loved well, that is the icing on the cake. Lucky kids!
As I said above to Bohemian- I do not know if that was the same Moses Jumper. The age is right. Or about right, I think. It's funny how as I get older, I am really starting to think more about my genealogy. Perhaps I'll just jump in and become one of those people who lives on Ancestry.com.Delete
I looked and looked for training wheels on Levon's little bike and couldn't see any. But of course he'd eschew them. After all, August can make his go, therefore so can Levon.ReplyDelete
Nope. No training wheels. He started out on a little balance bike which I think works a lot better in getting children ready for a two-wheeler. He just "learns" and "learns", riding and zipping and so happy.Delete
The U.P. has a huge population of Native Americans. Wonderful spirits, every one i’ve met. My husband takes amazing photographs at pow wows.ReplyDelete
My dad left just before my 16th birthday. He didn’t go far but we didn’t see him a whole lot. We didn’t see him a whole lot growing up, either. He also drank. Many times my mom would send me to the bar to tell him it was time for dinner. Such things leave a mark as you know. We look at it, analyze it to the best of our ability, and live our lives.
It sounds like you had a beautiful day with your sweet family!
Although I was five the last time I saw my father until I saw him again when I was thirty, I do have memories. Only one was a good one. It's heartbreaking, really. I know you know.Delete
Good golly...I could do some damage to that mouth-watering pot of soup! YUM!! Sounds like a really lovely day.ReplyDelete
It was, Angie D!Delete
If you ever decide to do that DNA search, I met a whiz kid today who can do it all. There was a story about him on CBS. He's the real deal. I'm not even kidding. It's strange that I should come here and read about you musing on lost family after meeting him today. Funny how posts can veer. Your day sounds lovely.ReplyDelete
Where did you meet this guy? Wow! I'd love to meet him. Wish I could.Delete
You and I are rowing the same boat here except that I've learned enough about mine to cringe, and I have a DNA kit but have been afraid to send the sample in. Your day was certainly beautiful.ReplyDelete
I think that if I actually ordered the kit, I'd be too curious not to send it in. But I hear you on knowing things we'd rather not.Delete
Sometimes the voids in our lives are the sink holes that trip us up. But if we are very, very lucky, there is someone like a Mr Moon and something like inner strength and character (which you possess, Ms Moon), that help one climb out and see the light. Here's to more light filled days than dark ones.ReplyDelete
I am SO lucky in my husband. I swear- between nurture and nature I have no idea how I could see what a good, good man he would be. And really, I did not imagine what goodness there was there.Delete
well, I knew my mother and father and there were times when I wished I didn't. life was a series of disappointments for my father and he was not above taking it out on us kids.ReplyDelete
what a cool mossy jungly place to spend the day.
It's sort of wrecking to realize that our parents knew so very little, isn't it? We thought of them as such god-like creatures. At least when we were very little. I'm sorry about your father.Delete
That park looks like a beautiful spot! It amazes me that Levon is already learning how to ride a bike. Time flies, doesn't it?ReplyDelete
An Ancestry DNA test might be interesting, although I imagine there are risks involved with being put in touch with potential relatives, especially from a rather troubled family. So, yeah, give it some thought! You might be better off not knowing!
My dad had his failings but I'll say this for him -- he was always involved in our lives and always there for us. Sometimes it was in a kind of perfunctory way, but I think he really did the best he could do.
You're right about perhaps being better off not knowing. I'll tell you this- after I re-met my father, he repeatedly asked me for money.Delete
Overall, though, I was glad I got to see him as an adult.
I'm glad your dad was at least trying. That makes a lot of difference, doesn't it?
Levon learns so much from his big brother! I've seen in my own children and grandchildren that the first born sometimes has it a little tougher than those that come after. All my children learned so much from my oldest son.ReplyDelete
You have filled your life with love!
Yes. The oldest break all the ice and set all the examples, too.Delete
I am very, very lucky in love.
Wow, when you posted the artist's impression of the burial mound as it used to look it immediately made me think of my trip to Peru. Lima, in itself, wasn't particularly interesting to be honest, but there were several of those mounds right in the middle of the city. As for your father, alcohol kills more than just the alcoholic doesn't it!ReplyDelete
Looks like the pyramids in Central Mexico, too. There had to be some sort of travel between the areas.Delete
You're right about alcoholism.
The oddest things jump out at me, Mrs. M. First: We have a Letchworth Park up here in Castile NY. It was named after William Pryor Letchworth. I cannot find who your park is named after, but I wonder if there is a link, since he served on a national board of parks. The next thing: How sad it is that such a native American site is not named after the Indians who built it. Finally, I knew who my dad was, and really, he seemed to be pretty pissed off at me most of my life. He didn't absent himself from my life, although it got to the point where I chose to absent myself from his life. It is a lovely thing for children to be loved by both parents, though, and I'm glad your children had that.ReplyDelete
Well, it's just like us "beige" people to name anything we want after ourselves, isn't it? You're right. I bet that is the same Letchworth.Delete
Sorry you had to separate from your father but I'm glad you had the courage and foresight to do it.