Supping with the Family…

This post is dedicated to my most loyal follower : Mavi.  As she loves all things that are mystical and pagan, it only seems right to include such concepts on our “sketchy” website.  And since I know at least one other gypsy is also reading this too (Miss S) – it seems doubly appropriate.  🙂

I’ve been researching my family history on  WOW!  It’s such a cool website!  You can make your own family tree and find information that you never knew before.  They offer a free 14 day trial so you can get started.  After you pay for your subscription, you have access to world wide data bases to better find information about your family. 

Since the fourteen day trial only gives me access to the American records, I’ve started with my mom’s side of the tree.  My father’s side came from Great Britain. I think you might find it interesting to know more about the people I came from.  

This is my great grandmother – Zelma.  Yes, Zelma.  What a great name!  She was married to my great grandfather Elmer Ellwood Day.  My mom remembers him very well.  She called him “Foxy Grandpa.” Unfortunately, Zelma died in a car accident.  I guess Elmer had been drinking and chose to drive. After her death, Elmer never touched another drop of alcohol again.  He loved his Zelma very much.  She was only 36 when she died.  I know how she died because I found her death certificate on the website.   My mom told me the story about her death as she witnessed her Grandfather’s vow to never drink alcohol. 

This is my great grandmother Margaret Evelyn Fronberry Young. She was married to Frederick Alphonso Young and she was a school teacher when she was just 21 years old.  I know that because I found her in the US Census for 1910. My mom says that Margaret found out that someone in her family was attempting to abort a baby.  Margaret poured out the elixir that would have ended the child’s life.  Then, she replaced it with vanilla water. She did not believe it was right to kill a child in the womb.

My mother also says this woman used to keep barrels by her front door to allow rainwater to be collected.  Then, she’d wash her hair in that rainwater.  What a sensible and beautiful habit.  

Her husband Fredrick, fought in the Spanish-American War in 1898.  Their grave is in Sheffield, Pennsylvania.  The cemetery continues to put a United States flag on his grave due to his military service to our country.  

Freddie’s father, Marcus Dudley Day, served as a Union soldier in the Civil War.  How do I know this? Because, I found his application to enlist in the war between the states.  Fascinating huh!?

I’m so proud of my grandfathers’ kindness and their service to our country.  And I’m so blessed to have such beautiful and wise grandmothers.  

This is where I come from.  These were the simple folk that are my ancestors and they lived on this earth and loved for many years. They had lots of children, some of whom died at a very young age.  My grandfather – Ray was a twin.  His twin brother George died just two months after he was born.  

A few years ago, I had a Dumb Supper to commemorate the ancestors that I wished to honor at this time.  Those of us mystical types know that Halloween and the days directly proceeding it, are the days when the veil between the two worlds (life/death) lift slightly and the dead may visit us.  If you find yourself stuck at home on All Hallows Eve, you might consider having a quiet supper with your ancestors.  You don’t have to even know their names to invite them to dine with you.

Blogger, Sarah Lyn wrote an article on her website Walking with the Ancestors entitled The Dumb Supper.”  In this article, she describes how she chooses to set her table and rouse her “guests” to join her…

I think of the table and meal like a reflection, a photo-negative image of your mundane life. To that end, the place setting is prepared the opposite of however you would normally set the table. Do you usually put forks on the left and water glass on the right? Reverse them.

Place a candle on the plate for the Spirit Chair and a tea light on the center of the plate for each invited guest. At the beginning of the meal, stand behind the Spirit Chair and invite your ancestors to come and dine with you. I even go so far as to open the front door and invite them into my home, literally. Light the candle on the Spirit plate. Pour a libation into the cup at the head of the table and call in the Ancestors:

To those who have gone before,

To those whose names live in our hearts and dance upon our lips,

To those whose names have been lost in the sea of time,

To those whose bones lie above and below the earth,

To those whose ashes have travelled on the winds,

We, the living, bid you welcome and entrance.

This is how you open the door for your personal guests to step in. Next, light the candles on your invited guests’ plates and call them in by name (if you know their names).

When you serve the meal, begin with the dessert course. The meal itself is also a reflected image of the meal the dead would remember. Start with the dessert course and sit down to enjoy it. Next, serve the main course, then the sides. Then serve the soup and salad, followed by any appetizers and pre-dinner cocktails. You should structure your meal in a way that seems appropriate to you, your heritage and your family traditions- just backwards from whatever that might be. What foods will you serve? I like to make items that were meaningful to my family as well as items I find that hearken to the cultural heritage I am slowly discovering in my genealogical research.

This year, I have SO many more guests to invite to my supper.  You can have a Dumb Supper any night starting on October 31st through November 2nd. In Christianity, All SoulsDay commemorates All Souls, the Holy Souls, or the Faithful Departed; that is, the souls of Christians who have died. Observing Christians typically remember deceased relatives on the day. In Western Christianity the annual celebration is now held on 2 November and is associated with the three days of Allhallowtide, including All Saints’ Day (1 November) and its vigil, Halloween (31 October).[  Wikipedia.

It’s funny how the lines between the religions kind of get muddled, isn’t it? The more I learn about other religions and their holidays and the ways people celebrate them, the more I can see the many similarities among people.  We have our differences, sure.  But focusing on the things we have in common is the best way to see the best in others.  Happy Halloween, my Sketchy Scribes!

Here’s a sweet treat for you… A bit of sugar from your loving Cosmic VJ.  Here is “We Are,” by Keke Palmer.