Just when you think you have heard everything, that there is nothing new under the sun, you turn the calendar page from July to August in your fractal calendar that hangs on a small nail on the wall, a gift from someone who thinks they know you. You see there is not much happening in August except for a Civic Holiday in Canada (most provinces) and a Bank Holiday in Scotland, both on August 6th. Another Bank Holiday (UK except Scotland) on the 27th, and two full moons, one on the 2nd and the other on the 31st.
To orient yourself, you write in two family birthdays and two doctors appointments while your scattered brain is thinking about blue moons and their significance, as well as your 26th wedding anniversary on the 16th, and why isn't The Bombing of Hiroshima on the calendar?
You are thankful for technology and type in Blue Moon, first hit is Wikipedia, where you find some information you already knew, courtesy of The Old Farmer's Almanac, your husband's version of the Bible. You also find words in blue that you have no idea what they mean, which is ordinarily a path you would follow, but it's a short page and you don't feel like getting lost on the internet at the moment, so you read on until you come to tiny purple bracketed words, weasel words.
And that is when you think of your dead father who used to roar, "Shut the front door!" or if it was the back door, left open by his own children, then grandchildren, then great-grandchildren as they tumbled outside to play, "Shut the back door!"
Your dead father did not need to swear or as he called it, use "gutter talk." When he was mad, which happened pretty often, the actual energy particles inside and around him bordered on volcanic steam or the sound of a thousand screaming orcs, redwoods falling in forests across the width of the United States. You get the idea, you can relate perhaps.
So, all you're trying to do is remember what blue moon means in the astronomical sense and you find yourself reading about weasel words and veering into what is often safe territory, a dictionary, where your trust is blown out of the water all because you type in "shut the front door" and it does not mean to literally close a door.
The Facts (Boring Addendum)
- I entered An August FactQuest because a) wertperch has been very kind to me and b) he's going through a hard time.
- I'm terrible at writing factuals that give information without a backstory or within the context of my experience.
- Just as some people look at abstract painting and say about anything non-representational, "I could do that," (think Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell). I have realized writing factuals is not something easy to do for me.
- I don't write or think in a linear fashion. Wish it was different sometimes.
- This write-up was one of those things I wrote spontaneously instead of the tea factual I had planned.
- I've had a lot of time lately to not move around, so I wish I could say I was re-reading the Bible in Hebrew or Greek or something otherwise impressive, but I haven't. I've been mostly reading the old dictionary I found in the barn, some old encyclopedias and one fictional novel my sister gave me, the rather depressing The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie.
- During the last quest, I realized I write a lot about death, but don't understand it on a spiritual level. Death is inevitable, a fact of living.
- Last Christmas, my husband gave everyone calendars that he thought suited us. I was given a fractal one which I think he meant for my son. My son received an Escher one that might have been for me, and then there was The Talking Fortune Teller Calendar, that deserves its own write-up.
- I did in fact turn the calendar page yesterday from July to August and noted nothing had been written in ahead of time. I should point out this was not the main calendar which is located on one side of the refrigerator, by the telephone, and is made by one of my sons with computer paper, very minimalist, month, name of the day, date in upper left of large rectangles. Everyone in the house is supposed to fill in duties, obligations, places they're going. It's a new system so I won't comment on the effectiveness.
- I can only guess what "Civic Holidays in Canada (most provinces) and Bank Holidays in Scotland or the UK except Scotland" are, because I live in the USA. I tend to know most about holidays here. Egocentric, I know, but some details are just too much for the neural pathways.
- I do keep track of what the moon is up to, (all those bloody years of menstruating) but I do that by looking at the night sky or reading weather.com, which by the way now tells you what time of the day is better for exercise as well as what to wear while doing it. (not a feature I like)
- There are two full moons in August.
- To the best of my knowledge, there is no month during the year when my family is not celebrating the birth of someone. August happens to have my step-daughter's who doesn't like to receive gifts or have a fuss made since she turned 40 several years back. It is also my daughter's today.
- The two doctor appointments are me and Mom going to the cardiologist on Monday, and my husband having his yearly physical at the end of the month. I typically drive him and go in with him because he forgets things and doesn't hear well. And because that's what wives do after 26 years.
- That conveniently brings me to the next fact, our wedding anniversary on the 16th of August (and why I linked it to Elvis Presley). We wanted to marry much sooner, but his daughters were in their 20s and totally freaked out that their Dad was remarrying after being divorced and single 11 years. After somewhat allaying their fears, we picked the anniversary of Elvis' death, both of us being big fans. It's an odd reason, but there it is. True fact.
- In the few seconds I stood at the calendar remembering and pondering just those 4 sentences and all the hidden facts, the military history lightbulb went off in my head. I'm not going to go into my personal feelings on what happened on August 6, 1945, nor my stance on war in general. I just was astonished that the Peace Memorial Ceremony was not on the calendar.
- I am only halfway through explaining the facts and yet, facts are the order of the day so I will attempt to be more concise.
- I am thankful for technology, most of the time. I was pretty sure two moons in one month fall under the misnomer Blue Moon.
- My husband doesn't read the Bible and yes, he is a believer in The Old Farmer's Almanac. (which coincidentally this year our bank gave out free ones)
- I could list the words in blue, not to be confused with blue words on the Wikipedia page, but it's too hot and humid and this isn't a DefinitionQuest.
- I didn't feel like bouncing around on the internet, I still have vertigo and too much scrolling doesn't help. That being said, I am interested in how Wikipedia works so I did click on weasel words. Never should have opened that Pandora's box. More rules to follow. Cute little weasel cartoon though. Someone on the staff has a sense of humor.
- I actually thought of my dead father back when I was thinking about the Bombing of Hiroshima and how mad he got that I sent 2,000 paper cranes to Hiroshima Peace Park for the year 2000. He was rather racist and held grudges about the oddest things. I'm not speaking ill of the dead; it's true.
- It's also true and factual that he went ballistic when doors were left open by kids.
- It's also a fact that he did not swear; his anger was definitely worse than any words.
- Speaking of words, I love dictionaries, not so much the online ones which is where I took a short cut and regretted it. Later I went back to my actual dictionaries that don't even have the word 'fuck' in them.
- I have heard people say "Shut the front door!" as if in disbelief after a statement by someone else. I wrongly assumed it meant "You're kidding me." or "No way, really?"
- So in my mind, what I had written was full of facts (ok, I took a little poetic license describing my father's anger), they just weren't all spelled out and explained. I deliberately wrote it without using "I" at all and that backfired.
- And to end with a conflicting fact, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac calendar, August 1st was a Full Sturgeon Moon, or Lammas Day (where after this day corn ripens as much by night as by day). August 31st is referred to as a Full Red Moon.