November 1, 2009
White Dog lives in a part of the country that celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on this day. It is not a scary day, like Halloween, but rather, one where families spend the day thinking joyfully about their dearly departed. Many families put together extravagant picnics and spend the afternoon visiting the graves of relatives, celebrating with them, sharing food and drink (and cigarettes even) with their ancestors. A special skull shaped sweet bread is served and skeleton sugar candies decorate every dessert table. Marigolds decorate everything. It is a day of reminiscing and parades and laughter. Gregg, Candace and Dragon came over this afternoon and we had our own Gringo version of the day with seafood stew and spicy olive garlic tapinade and bread. The apple cake Steve made was not skull shaped but the cinnamon topping did have a decidedly skull like look. We did not offer our ancestors Jack Daniels or cigars (although my grandfather would have sent a spirit thanks) but we remembered and we laughed and we ate. We told White Dog about her lineage so she would not forget those who came before and she ate chicken in their honor. Then she and Dragon took a memorial nap on the sunny part of the floor so those in the spirit realm could remember, through them, what the warm November sun on a full tummy feels like.