Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Underwear Rules

“I can’t believe the things you talk about in the locker room!” AdventureMan exclaimed, “we (meaning the men in the men’s locker room) never have those conversations.”

No. They talk about what they did in the military, they talk about aches and pains.

We women talk about everything.

I had just told AdventureMan about my new revelation. The woman next to me in the locker room told me about her system. She hangs her underwear on a rack in her laundry room, which is next to her garage. When she is heading out the door to go to water aerobics, she just grabs her underwear off the rack and heads out the door.

“You can do that?” I thought to myself. I might have even said it out loud. It was a whole new way of thinking for me.

What about underwear rules? What about the rule that says you are supposed to take things out of the dryer or off the rack and fold them up and put them away? Isn’t that like a law or something? I think – I used to think – it was like one of God’s laws, but now I am thinking maybe it was one of my Mom’s laws.

I feel so free! My laundry room is also next to my garage. LLOOLL! I can grab underwear on my way out, too! Wooo HOOOOOOO!

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Character, Cultural, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Women's Issues | 3 Comments

Santa Lucia / Saint Lucy

Today is the feast day of St. Lucy, or, as I was growing up in Alaska, surrounded by Scandinavian fishermen and their families, Santa Lucia. In Swedish families there is a tradition that the eldest daughter, on Santa Lucia day, wears a wreath of candles and brings her parents coffee and special saffron buns in bed. People always make jokes about someone following her with a bucket of water, but I can imagine there were mishaps – imagine, mixing candles and hair. As you can see in the photo, thought, the candles are tall – at least at the beginning.

Never kid yourselves. Children love blood and gore, and love to be a little bit scared. The Grimm Brothers knew this, and if you have ever read their original stories, the hairs on the back of your neck would rise and you would say to yourself “How can these be stories for children??” Think about it – Hansel and Gretel abandoned by their own parents to starve in the woods? Girls with really mean stepmothers, who treated them unfairly?

Back before all the romantic literature on zombies and vampires, we children would stand out in the bus stop (in winter, the sun barely rises during the long Alaskan winters) and tell each other stories of the saints in the bible. Many of them died horrible deaths, and this one ended “and then they took her eyes out of her head, and she was still alive!!!!” I don’t remember ever hearing the miracle of the restoration of her sight, in fact, I thought she was killed, martyred, but here is her story, for those who want to know what Santa Lucia’s day is all about.



The early Roman lists of martyrs commemorate Lucy, virgin and martyr, on 13 December, and her name, with that of Agatha, appears in the Roman Liturgy as an example of those who have gone before us, in whose company we join in giving thanks and praise to God. Aside from this, little is known of her, except that she lived in Syracuse in Sicily, and probably died around 304. Her name, which means “light,” probably accounts for the story that her eyes were put out and her eyesight miraculously restored, and may be connected with the fact that her feast occurs near the time when (in the Northern Hemisphere) the nights are longest.

In Sweden and elsewhere, the day is observed by having one of the daughters of the house dress in a white robe with a crown of lighted candles and go singing from room to room (presumably followed by an adult with a fire extinguisher) early in the morning when it is still dark to awaken the other family members and to offer them St. Lucy’s Cakes and hot coffee.

Ember Wednesday (of the winter season) is defined as the Wednesday after Lucy’s Day. (An equivalent definition would be: the Wednesday preceding the last Sunday before Christmas.)

The above in dark type is from The Lectionary which publishes daily readings and these stories of the Saints put together by James Kiefer.

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Biography, Cultural, Events, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Local Lore | Leave a comment