The family was still celebrating Marj's 85th birthday at the following weekend long beach house party for their son-brother's wife who had turned 50-she is the oldest daughter of my husband who had four children before we added one more.
Marj began taking flying lessons at 15 and flew solo the day she turned 16. She wears a turquoise turtle around her neck-a gift from Rubin an Apache Indian she met three Thanksgivings ago.
Her daughter Michele spun the story, "Three years ago I met an odd woman at Cedar Key, but I thought she was normal at first. I had parked my RV for a few days to get away from central Florida and she showed up by my water view dressed in cargo pants and drinking Margaritas. But what riveted my attention was the beautiful man near her who was painting the sunset.
"He had straight shoulder length jet black hair and a
chiseled body. Her hair was short and shaggy like Meg Ryan's in Top Gun. She
had a cute body but always wore cargo pants. I found out later she worked as a
prison guard and was 47 going through a major menopause. Rubin was fixing up
her handyman special and they had hooked up"."
Marj interjected, "They weren't a couple, they just had sex."
We all laughed and Michele
continued, "Rubin was a plain artist and an Apache Indian from New Mexico. He
was 60 years old, but didn't look a day over 38. He really could dance and was
extroverted and bubbly""
Marj reminded us, "He had a beautiful body."
Michele recalled the evening she first met the couple as Rubin painted the Gulf view and learned the couple had been living a few miles away in a tent on a strip of causeway.
Michele explained, "I
only knew them for a few hours and on impulse and empathy I invited Rubin and
the blonde to my annual Thanksgiving dinner happening that Thursday which is
always attended by mom and our friends Imogene and Dick Pease. Mom and Rubin
hit it off immediately over turquoise and Native American everything."
Marj chimed in, "Oh and he could dance! And oh, he has the most beautiful body and he becomes one with the music. SHE thought she could dance but she was wood and had a sullen air. He was a plain artist and she was plain miserable!
"I complimented Rubin on
the turquoise turtle he wore around his neck and he removed it and said, "I
made it and it is now yours.' I have worn it nearly every day since. That was
three Thanksgivings ago."
Later in the day I walked alone thinking of family and giving thanks when I came upon a tremendous Man-of-war jelly fish that had washed up on the shoreline and I recalled the Wisdom of the Hopi's:
Peaceful People, and the truest and greatest power is the strength of peace.
Because Peace is the Will of the Great Spirit.
But do not think that just because the True Hopi People have been told by the Great Spirit never to take up arms that the True Hopi People will not fight, even die for what we know to be the right way of Life.
The True Hopi People Know how to fight without killing or hurting.
The True Hopi People Know how to fight with Truth and Positive Force In The Light Of the Great Spirit.
The True Hopi People Know how to educate by clear thoughts, good pictures and by carefully chosen words.
The True Hopi People Know how to show to all the world's Children the True Way of Life by setting an example and by working and communicating in a way that reaches the minds and hearts of all people who are truly seeking the methods of a simple and spiritual Life which is the only Life that will survive.
The true Hopi People preserve the sacred knowledge about the way of the earth because the true Hopi People know that the earth is a living, growing person and all things on it are her children. - Hopi Wisdom
And as I walked along the beach gazing into deep water and miles of sky, I recalled the best thing St. Augustine wrote:
"HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it." -St. Augustine
And then I thought of Allen Ginsburg who said it best of all, " F&%K hope! It's not about hope. You don't do what you do because you hope things will get better. It's about getting up every morning and asking yourself what's the right thing to do and doing it!"
And that reminded me of this Thanksgiving story I wrote in 2005.
Excerpt from Chapter 8 : THANKSGIVING EVE, 1987
......When Khaled returned to the bonfire, Little Mo was regaling the few remaining revelers with the details of his life. "Yes, yes, all my children are doing better than I had ever hoped or dreamed. Jamal and his family have been in Detroit since he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Ph.D. in computer science. Nidal graduated from UCF, right here in Orlando, in electrical engineering. He is employed in Kuwait and planning his marriage. Diab is in Tallahassee, and that is where Huda and I are heading on Friday. It is our very first visit to their new home, and we will be staying with them for two weeks before we return to Kuwait. I am retiring next year as inspector of mathematics for all the Kuwait high schools, after a very long and eventful career. I have lived in Palestine, Damascus, and Amman, but Kuwait is home."