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Black Skirt for Easter Sunday

I remember, as a child in the 60s, setting our clothes out on Saturday night, the day before Easter Sunday. The perfect Easter outfit had taken weeks of preparation. White gloves, black pattern leather shoes, lace-trimmed bobby socks decorated with embroidery, the perfect full and puffy dress with lace and, the finishing touch, the hat. Excuse me, I mean, the Easter Bonnet.


Easter Sunday morning began with putting on our pretty outfits and Mummie would bring me and my sister outside so Daddy could take a picture of his three girls in all their finery. Then, over the river and through the town we would go to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lewiston, Maine. We were more excited than usual on Easter Sunday mornings for a couple of reasons. First, everybody would be dressed up right along with us and that made the day special. And second, when we were done at church we would go home and Julie and I would rush around the yard and collect the eggs Daddy had hidden while we were at church.

Once inside the church the priest would do that smokey thing with the incense and then we would get splashed with holy water if we were close enough, and we almost always were. I knew it was ceremonial and special and it did a great job of breaking up that very long Latin mass. We knew that right after church we would get donuts at Sam’s Bakery and then, best of all, drive home to our very own Easter Egg Hunt. We would find individually wrapped chocolate eggs, chocolate Hersey kisses and jelly beans all over our yard. Some of these delicious dabs of sugar remained cleverly hidden until June. They were well beyond their delectable stage after three months of Maine weather.

Fast forward twenty-five years to Easter Sunday when my sons, their father and I were all dressed up heading up the road a piece and ‘round the corner to St. Matthews Catholic Church in Hampden, Maine. My first husband converted to Catholicism so we could be married at St. Phillips Catholic Church in Auburn, Maine. We went to marriage counseling with Father Someone at St. Phillips. I remember wondering all the while, “How can a Catholic priest give counseling on marriage?”


Which brings me to yesterday, Easter Sunday 2021. I decided to keep my tradition of dressing up for Easter Sunday because it helps make it special and somewhat ceremonial. Why not keep a tradition going I enjoy even if I was going to watch the Cassadaga Easter Service online? I like ceremony to honor Easter and what it means to the religious and more importantly, spiritual. I like ceremony to honor the Spring Equinox and the new beginnings it means for the metaphysical. I like ceremony simply because it breaks the pattern of same old, same old, and Lord knows we need some escape from our same old, same old after a year of witnessing the idiosyncrasies of this pandemic.

I will mention the pandemic as briefly as I can because, by now, most people are simply tired of talking about it. I feel a need to include it in this writing for my own historical purposes. There are so many theories about this Covid Virus and each person believes what he believes is the truth. I am not passing judgment on anyone and I listen, or at least try to listen, with an open mind and an open heart.  I think one of the craziest conspiracy theories came from a borderline brilliant friend I have known for decades who swears this “China-virus” was funded by Obama and Biden and developed in China to infect and kill many lower-income and sick people. Wow, I really hope that is false news.

The spectrum goes from that story all the way to those who are so fearful they barely go outside without a mask. They rushed to get in line for a vaccine, which, by the way, according to some has chemicals in there so they can track you wherever you go. Sorry to break your bubble folks but they are already tracking you wherever you go.

So where am I in the middle of all this controversy? About as smack dab in the middle as I could be, I would say. I wear a mask when I am in public out of respect mostly because I know I have a very strong immune system. However, when someone is coughing close to me in a store I feel as though some of those water droplets may stay inside of his mask. Some science says that Covid is so small it can go right through masks but simple physics teaches me that any barrier is a barrier. So, I will continue to wear my clean masks of many colors and smile with my eyes.

The vaccine is another matter. When I first heard them talking about the vaccine I thought, “Maybe I will get one after it has been tested rigorously.” Well, thanks to Fast-tracking they are testing it quite rigorously on humans. It will be interesting to see the tests results in five, ten and twenty years but for now, it is simply not for me. After researching what ethanol and polysorbate 80 can do to my body along with the other BOLD FACE LIES I discovered during the week before Easter, I am going to sit back and continue to think deeply on these things. (As I am putting this online I want people to know I eventually did get my vaccine. I had to in order to go on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise in November 2021).


What "bold face lies did I discover" you ask? I hoped you would. Actually, I was counting on it. Where do I begin…

After a brown recluse spider bite in 2008 I have to watch my fasting glucose levels closely so I read everything I can about how my body digests food. I know when I eat anything containing sugar my blood sugar spikes indicating insulin resistance. I know this because I experience a slight pain in my pancreas area and frequently experience hot flashes or develop the sweats a little while after meals.


Right after the spider bite back in 2008 consumption of any sugar, or any nightshade vegetable, would cause a huge spike in blood sugar which would result in my pulse racing to over 180 beats per minute, palpitations, hallucinations and more. It was a very scary time in my life when the medical profession had no solutions. I went to sleep many times thankful for my life and hopeful I would eventually wake up.


But there I go, off on a tangent filled with potentially too much information. I guess I just wanted you to understand why I read so many books about digestion and share what I read. I want to learn all I can so that I can try to make right whatever is wrong in my body before diabetes or heart disease becomes an even bigger issue. I want others to know these things too.

Okay, back to the LIES. So, the book called The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S and Stephen Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C. explains to us how, back in the 1950s, there was a study done called the Seven Countries Study and the results were skewed to “prove” eating saturated fats was bad for our bodies. They touted the low-fat diet and since fat is where most of the flavor comes from it had to be replaced in processed foods frequently with five times the sugar.


So LIE #1 was that saturated fat was bad. If you Google the Seven Countries Study now it will tell you that our diet is responsible for our health, are you surprised? The SCS findings of today even recommends the Mediterranean diet, but when the study was being conducted, the information was filtered and all the public got was saturated fat was linked to heart disease. Because of this information we became anti-fat and sugar neutral.

The lie about saturated fat being bad for you led to LIE #2. This lie is one of those “lies by omission” told by The Sugar Research Foundation-a Washington based trade group dedicated to defending sugar’s honor. The 1551 pages from the original studies done from 1959 – 1971 proved that sugar was related to heart disease over and over and over again. In fact, sugar seemed to be the underlying problem in nearly every disease! The Sugar Research Foundation paid Harvard researchers to do some damage control and to publish a paper that downplayed sugar’s harmful effects. They had a difficult time doing it but they did and here we are more than 50 years later with our medical system still stuck in those lies.

The combination of those two lies (fat is bad and sugar is good:) created a society dedicated to eliminating saturated fats and increasing sugar intake causing obesity, diabetes and heart disease rates to climb astronomically. You really have to look hard to find a whole fat yogurt because stores continue to replace it with low fat yogurt laced with sugar, sugar, sugar which is so bad for us. UGH.

Okay, enough about food. Next lie exposed. LIE #3

My husband and I watched a movie starring Meryl Streep called “The Post.” This movie is an excellent portrayal of what happened when newspapers published the information Daniel Ellsberg discovered in the what was called the Pentagon Papers. Daniel was hoping he could help bring an end to the Vietnam War by publishing how the government had been lying repeatedly about our involvement in Indochina. He told the American people that our government knew, from the beginning, we could never win a war in Vietnam.

I remember as a child my parents watched Walter Cronkite every night. Everyone believed he was telling us the truth about what was happening in the world and I am pretty sure Mr. Cronkite believed he was telling us the truth too. We had no idea we were fighting a war we would never win. Of course, this lie  led us to another series of lies we know as Watergate but that is entirely another story.

Okay, so we were, and still are, fighting wars we cannot win and eating food we should not eat. What else can be wrong? Don’t ask.

My husband and I have been watching a Netflix Series called The Borgias about the Catholic church and the conduct of the popes and cardinals in the mid 1400s. I grew up Catholic and was taught to respect and revere all the clergy, especially The Pope. I believed they were all good and kind people from the time I began thinking about them. This series, showing how these men of the cloth conducted themselves, may be very entertaining but it disgusts me. Cardinals and Popes having multiple mistresses and killing people to keep their affairs quiet. I guess that was the last straw for me. The week before Easter and all the exposed lies made me realize I have been lied to my whole life about matters of great importance.

Well, Good Friday morning I got in my truck and headed to my son’s home in Silver Springs. I love the ride through the Ocala National Forest and, despite my recent realization about not being certain what to believe anymore, I had a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I realized I had so much to be thankful for, perhaps most of all- my attitude. Yes, I was disappointed in many icons of my youth but those lies didn’t change who I was or who I am. I began singing aloud, “Thank you for this day Spirit, Thank you for this day,” and those lyrics morphed into my own, as they usually do, “Pay attention to the road my dear, pay attention to the road. Pay attention to the road my dear…” to help me focus on what was ahead.

All of a sudden, a deer ran out of the woods and up to the front of my truck. It turned away just in time to avoid a crash and then that deer ran back into the woods. Indeed, pay attention to the road my deer and thank you for this day! I had a good laugh at the coincidence and importance of my song; Pay attention, enjoy the journey, focus on the bright today and plans for tomorrow.

I arrived at my son’s home just as he was finishing his morning yoga/qigong routine. After joining him for a few stretches I began telling him of my discoveries of the lies of my lifetime and my disappointment in the world at large now with all its fake news. Why do people want to ridicule others who believe differently? Why do so many focus on FEAR and NEGATIVITY on Facebook trying to create more division, more hatred?


His answer, “Maybe don’t spend so much time on Facebook?”

Good suggestion and an easy one to accomplish. I already force myself to limit my online time to less than an hour each morning, including responding to emails. Today I added no Facebook on Saturday.

The only potentially negative thing I concerned myself with on the day before Easter was the inflamed, and expanding, spider bite on my thigh. Geesh. My husband had shown me a couple of spider bites yesterday and now this one on me! Sensitive me! In 2008 I’d dealt with a brown recluse spider bite that changed my life and I wasn’t going to let this one destroy my already compromised digestive system! Okay medicine cabinet, what do you hold that can make this stop?

I found my open tube of Ichthammol from when I used it in 2008. This stuff never goes bad. I put a dollop of the nasty black tar on my itchy, painful bite site and secured bandages over it, not to protect the wound but to protect my clothing! I had just smeared a black petroleum product known as a drawing agent on my body in an effort to eradicate this potential problem, how unnatural of me! I decided I would use the nasty stuff while I was running my morning errands. I suppose I could have tried to make a mud compress but with a yard of sand that would have been difficult to accomplish and impossible to keep in place while watering the garden, delivering groceries to a friend in need and the other things I had to do.


While I was running around trying to keep bandages from falling off, I remembered a slice of onion worked well as a drawing agent but I knew I didn’t have one, my husband won't eat them. Wait, potatoes are supposed to work too. I was anxious to get this tar off my leg and try a slice of potato.

When I got home I cleaned off the Ichthammol and was pleasantly surprised to see the swelling, which before the nasty black tar had grown to about three inches in diameter was half the size. Okay, that worked well, let’s try a slice of potato on the bite site and see what that does. Ouch. It kinda burned when I put it on but during my leisurely afternoon of reading, watching movies and reapplying new slices of potato the bite site was reduced to the size of a dime. Phew, emergency room visit avoided, thank God, because my Medicare doesn’t kick in until May 1.

Easter Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful. I realized getting rid of the problem spider bite was just the beginning. I needed to get to the source of the problem. We believed we had both been bitten while in bed so I tore off the sheets and started a load of laundry. My husband helped me pull the bed out from the corner and I spent a few hours vacuuming and so very thankful for my life. When I was finished cleaning away all the evidence of spiders, I looked into my closet to see Easter outfit I would wear.

I chose my black frilly skirt because I knew if the black, nasty, tarry Ichthammol got on the black material it would never be seen. Then I smiled and realized the black of the skirt could represent my burning of all the old beliefs I’d had because of the lies I had been told. Burn, Baby, Burn! This black skirt for this Easter Sunday was more than perfect.

My precious life had been threatened by a spider long ago and now this current eight-legged creature gave me new hope, rebirth, resurrection and I will be my own Phoenix coming out of the ashes. I will smile more and I will wave at everyone I see on walks. I will be the positive, loving person I was meant to be and spread the words of the Bible, regardless of the the dreadful popes of the past, and love every one of my neighbors as myself, even the neighboring spiders!


Blessed Be.

Peace be with you,


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