Dogs! Dogs! Dogs! And more doggies!!!!
Saturday February 17, 2013 was a day for all those who love dogs and the world we share with them. Celebration, Florida hosted the annual Posh Pooch Festival where my sister in spirit, Rev. Susan Bubbers, had her very own pet prayers booth. We have known each other for over twenty five years and in that time Susan went from being a computer programmer to becoming an Anglican Priest. How freaking cool is that?
Susan chatting with ladies at her booth.
Over the years I have watched her lead University of Central Florida students in their spiritual growth, lead her very own church, Saint Elizabeth in Sebastian, Florida, and now she has earned her doctorate and is headed to new and exciting places. Max and I had so much fun walking around the festival. I met more fellow dachshund owners and he sniffy-sniffed more dogs than we ever thought possible in one afternoon.
Max meeting new friends.
It was so much fun to see my friend in action, talking with pet owners and blessing their dogs.
Can you imagine a world without dogs? Seriously, I can’t. 🙂
Hola mis amigos,
Please, please, oh please never think for un momento that I have forgotten all of you who read my stories. I am STILL in the middle of working on three stories:
1. The Outrageous Adventures of a Big Little Girl
2. The Bracelet
3. Beauregard Wants to Be a Boy
You know, I never understood what writer’s block was until I walked (BLAM! OW!….my nose is bleeding….ah cahnt tak so gud nah…) into the wall. I think I have the idea sorted out in my head, I write it, it’s ca-ca. I try again. Not bad. Now this has to be changed. Who knew?
Many tents were ready to sell anything and everything “authentically” Native American. I would have believed that too except that I picked up a flute that had a “Made in India” sticker on it. The vendors themselves were friendly and sometimes even talkative. Hanging from one of the tents was a sign that read, “Tipi for sale. $680.00. Good price.” I couldn’t help but giggle. Was this a joke? The tipi was rolled up and leaning to the right of the advertisement. Behind the Pow-Wow there was a group of tipis set up. Winnebagos, sort of modern-day tipi on wheels, were surrounding them. Blankets could easily be seen in one of the tipis. They were really being used. In front of one of the tipis an older couple was cooking a meal on an open fire. It called to mind a similar experience I had outside Amman, Jordan. I was walking back to the hotel with a friend when I looked out into the horizon and saw Bedouins camped not far from a high-rise building. It was fascinating to see the old way of life mixing easily with the new.
It was ironic that as I left the Pow-Wow the song on the radio was crying, “Reservation Blues. What do you choose? What do you choose when ain’t got choices. Reservation Blues.” I didn’t see this side of Native American life. For me, the Pow-Wow was a chance to see the extraordinary costumes and dancing. However, the real experience, the human one, took place in that little shop on the right hand side of the road.
The directions were easy enough. Take a left at Allsup instead of a right. The grounds were on the right about a mile. For the price of five dollars, I was granted permission to enter and park. Various Nations from Colorado, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, and beyond were represented. During the opening ceremony, the Native American announcer used the term “Indian.” It was a loaded word. I had been taught by a Navajo that it was not an acceptable term to use so it left me a little confused. Everyone was asked to stand as an elder carrying the flag of Taos Pueblo walked in behind a dancer covered head to toe in blue and white feathers. Singers cried out to the beat of huge drums surrounded by five to six men. Much like the Olympics, participants danced single file past judges and spectators. The line became a swirl. Children as young as two paraded alongside their parents. Everyone was moving and singing. One little girl in the circle, about three years old, had on a bright blue costume with feathers on her back and head. She watched as a man dressed in bright red feathers and bells danced around in a circle to the beat of the drums. Unselfconsciously, she began to imitate him by bouncing up and down like a bunny. She never questioned what he was doing or why she should join in. It was, for her, natural.
Before the judging began, the announcer asked all non-Indian people to come into the circle and dance to the beat of the drum themselves. It was a gesture of welcome, to make the visitors feel like a part of the festivities. At first, two or three people walked out to the middle and started to dance. They were very aware that all eyes were on them. Watching the spectacle, it became apparent how difficult it must be to live under a microscope. To have the world stare at you as an object and not a person. The privacy Tony talked about on his “Indian land” was perfectly understood in that moment. I watched as Native American families talked excitedly to each other in their various languages. Smiles and laughter came easily. I decided to try Indian Fry bread and laughed when I realized that it was a big, flat pizza-shaped Mexican Sopapilla. It was so good that I ate two of them. I tried to engage my vendor, a young girl, in conversation. She just stared at me with a nervous expression on her face. I wasn’t sure if she heard me so I asked about Fry Bread again. It was not until I turned around to walk away that I heard her talking to her mother in Tewa. It had never occurred to me that she might not feel comfortable talking to a stranger. I also noticed that nobody was mixing together. I walked around the entire circle and observed how people were interacting. Native Americans sat next to non-Natives under the cover of the circle. It was strange to watch two worlds in the same space not mingling together. Was it shyness? Language barrier? Those in costume, however, were very open to questions about their costumes and dances and were happy to pose for pictures.
….to be continued….