Posts Tagged ‘haunting’

So Our House of Chaos has been going along at its normal clip. Marching band has officially started up again (but does it ever really stop, I think not). Older Son started working at his first job (kitchen staff at the camp!) a couple of weeks ago. Younger Son is there this week for sailing camp. So the house is quiet other than the menagerie of animals.

But the thing is I seriously am being haunted by my bro and I wish I could figure out what he’s trying to tell me. Had a dream we were having lunch together, but my mind must have been scared because I got hung up on condiments in the dream, and then realized I was missing time to see Bro, realized it was a dream while in the dream, and woke up.

Heard “Landslide” in the hoagie shop with Younger Son yesterday. Burst into a giant ugly cry. Yes, people noticed. Younger Son was super, cleaned everything up so I could ugly cry my way quickly out the door. Haven’t heard that song on a radio station in over a year.

And then he’s just so in my head and I can’t get him out of it. Still in a bout with the dagnabbit vertigo. Not sleeping well, not eating well.

Just want to have a good night’s sleep. Hoping the mental dump to you, my five or so Gentle Readers, will help.

Debated putting this under “My Lunch with”…but went with Musings….

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My sons have discovered the Jersey Devil.  I introduced them to this fine piece of folklore over a year ago, but one has to meet children where they are.  They weren’t ready to connect to the Jersey Devil last year, but now they are ready to embrace this awesome connection to living in south Jersey.  My oldest has been researching JD on the web and discovered the episode of Destination Truth in which Josh and company trekked to exotic south Jersey and our beloved Pine Barrens to search for Mrs. Leeds’ thirteenth child.

If you aren’t familiar with the lore, grab a copy of Weird NJ by Sceurman & Moran and you will bring yourself up to speed with fun recollections from some locals, Pineys and non.  The short version is that Mrs. Leeds found herself preggers once again way back in 1735.  She cursed the child, calling for this one to be a devil.  While the baby was born human, it quickly transformed into a creature with hooves, wings, a horse-like face, and the ever popular red devil eyes.  It killed everyone in the room and burst out of the house.  He’s been haunting south Jersey ever since.

I’ve been hooked on JD since 1978.  In third grade, my art teacher had us do a unit on the Jersey Devil.  We learned the folklore and, then based on the descriptions we read, we created our versions of JD in various mediums.  This is my favorite kind of learning–face it, it’s every kid’s favorite type of learning–interactive and purposeful, with built-in assessments that are fun.  I didn’t think about the fact that my pieces were going to be graded, I simply focused on making the best JD art I could.

I shared this story with my boys and they were very intrigued.  We’ve been reading Weird NJ and one of the young adult novels…The Weird Club: The Search for the Jersey Devil by Fairbanks.  They are hooked.  After my sons watched the Destination Truth clip they told me, “Mom,you know  that show you watch with the guy who goes places and you’ve tried to make us watch it?  He looked for the Jersey Devil!”  This was shocking for my sons to think that we have a shared interest that they don’t feel is dorky. 

I think my sons would love to hang with Josh Gates.  I’d love to hang with Josh.  Please remember, when I say hang, I mean hang out, not hang for dear life on a perilous bridge or on a zip cord.  I don’t know that I’m adventurous enough to be on the DT team, but I wouldn’t mind being a researcher for the show.  I love the concept of the show.  I agree with some of the online postings about the contrived nature about the team (for the record, I don’t care who is schtupping whom).  Overall, the idea of going on adventures that are centralized around the amazing myths, legends, and folklore of our world is awesome.  But I couldn’t be on the team-I couldn’t eat the foods they eat.

Thus our lunch would have to be at a restaurant that Josh would probably consider bland.  His website says that he hopes the show and his adventures inspire children to go out and have adventures of their own.  So many children just don’t do that anymore.  I am fortunate that my boys do this all the time and have connected to Josh on their own, validating that what they like to do is cool.  It would be neat to chat with Josh about the Jersey Devil and some of the other trips they’ve done on the show.  The trip to the Antarctica and the search for the Yeti would have to be discussed.  Particularly the hair sample found while searching for the Yeti that was determined to be an unknown DNA sequence by the DNA people would be explored at length.  How cool is that? 

I would also seek Josh’s advice.  The boys get a wee bit creeped out after spending some substantial time on different legends.  This leads to the classic child to parent question, “Do you believe in…?”  How does Josh handle such a question?  I know how I handle it…I tell my sons that there is so much I don’t know about the world that I can’t say it’s not true.  How can I prove that these creatures aren’t out there, managing to hide from our intrusive existence?  I can’t.  I also don’t want my sons to lose their sense of wonder quite yet.  Then again I haven’t lost mine yet.  Neither has Josh, or at least it seems that way.  And why should we lose that sense of wonder?  That belief in what we can’t see?       

It’s awesome that the show offers some television time that isn’t us versus them with our boys.  Yes, we have Looney Tunes, Three Stooges, and a ton of movies that we all find entertaining.  We also enjoy our Animal Planet and Discovery shows.  But DT has some science AND entertainment.  By combining his love of archeology and theater, the show covers a lot of ground and Josh has some great expressions and reactions, particularly when eating various animal parts that no human should ever ingest.

Did I mention we would be at a bland restaurant?  Quite possibly some “safe” chain place with overpriced appetizers?

Well, it’s past the witching hour for me.  Mrs. Leeds’ thirteenth child is roaming the Pine Barrens somewhere, possibly searching for a place to bunk when Hurricane Irene shows up.  An earthquake and a hurricane all in one week for Jersey.  Quite a lot of fun.  A big adventurous week for two small boys.  Possibly even enough adventure here for Josh.  I’d let him know he has a standing invitation to dig in our backyard with the boys.  They’re searching for a Hadrosaurus.

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