ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

It began in 1989.   I am sure it was then, because, while I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, I can remember meaningless dates/time frames.  I found a treasure back then that spoke clearly to me, telling me you need to take me home and build a collection around me, so I did.  This was over 30 years ago, and I am still collecting.  I won’t bore you with the entire collection, but this was the piece that got it all started—the one on the right.  You can see the signs of love–and time.

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And, as one who is fond of word plays, the “once” printed inside this blue moon, made it speak even louder to me.  Just maybe, this is what began my love of word plays.

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By definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month.  Last night—Halloween 2020–featured a blue moon.  It was a grand sight.  I tried to take a picture as it rose, but my amateur skills, coupled with the amateur camera on my cell phone kept it from capturing its true beauty.  Nonetheless, I had to record it from my east porch:

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Several skilled photographers in Kansas posted their pictures of the Blue Moon last night, and this one in particular caught my eye–perhaps it is the farm girl in me:

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Blue Moon over Jamestown, Kansas last night, about an hour northwest of my home. Special thanks to Tim Grennan

The moon has always had a pull on me.  I have reasoned that, if it pulls the tides of the ocean, and I am made mostly of water, then why would it not affect me, too?  Perhaps it affects you, too, as you are (hopefully) made mostly of water as well.

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Not surprisingly, my favorite libation is Blue Moon beer.  Perhaps its flavor is enhanced in my mind because of the name, but it truly satisfies me like no other beer does.  Of course, I had to celebrate the blue moon last night with a Blue Moon.

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The history of the beer is best summarized on their glass:

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The blue moon occurs roughly once every 2.5 years.  Therefore, if something happens only once in a blue moon,” well, you get the idea. 

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Mom knew how much I loved moon-watching.   She never let me miss the grandeur of the full moon rising in the trees east of the farmhouse we grew up in.  And, as I have written in previous blogs, she loved sunflowers.  Given those two facts, I will add that I may, or may not be planning to get a tattoo of a sunflower with a blue moon around it in her honor.  I may or may not already have a wheat tattoo in honor of Dad.  Just sayin’. 

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So, here’s the takeaway:  drink your Blue Moon, or whatever else makes you feel alive.  Watch the full moon, or whatever else in nature pulls you in.  If body art is your thing, and you are sure it is indeed you, embellish it with that tattoo you are thinking about. Collect the thing that speaks to you. 

Whatever, whenever and however you do any or all of these, savor the moments in which you do them.  They are simple acts that we can enjoy with or without the blue moon.    But please remember this:  you are you—no one else.  And, as our mom said, “If it feels good, and it doesn’t break any of the Ten Commandments, do it!”  Because you, my friend, are more rare and unique than the blue moon. 

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Special thanks to my next-door neighbor Angie for this beautiful shot of the blue moon last night

TWICE IN A BLUE MOON

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TWICE IN A BLUE MOON

In 1988, I began collecting blue moons.  A gifted ceramics artist designed one with the perfect twist:  the word once printed inside it.  I saw it, and knew I had to have it.

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My 30-year plus attraction to this simple, yet profound shape was born.

Seven years later in 1995, my now-favorite libation was created:

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A beautiful sight in a beautiful Colorado town from our trip last year.

Then, two years later in 1997, my favorite Friday-night hang out opened:

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The owners proudly celebrated their twenty-year anniversary several years ago,  and the hostess extraordinaire and I have become quite chummy:  not only is her magnetic personality difficult to resist, her name is impossible for me to forget:  Kathleen.

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This get-away is a Friday-night special for us; it is our preferred destination for a night out when we get a night out.

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This Friday, Gail, her husband and one daughter traveled east, joining us for the weekend.  Her college son joined us for the evening, traveling west for one hour.  And, our shared friend Sharon joined us to help us celebrate Gail’s birthday a day late.  She and Gail have been close since grade school; our parents were friends with hers, and our families grew up together as friends.

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Sharon saved her toast for Gail for this week’s post, weighing in with further evidence that Gail is indeed a gift:

I think of Gail as the Thelma to my Louise.  I think of jumping in a convertible with her and having no destination in mind, but no matter where we go, it would always be fun with Gail.  She knows no strangers, and she is always the life of the party.  No matter how much time has passed, our friendship always picks up right where it left off.  Friends forever.”

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Expecting to be socked in with the prognosticated 6-9” of snow that fell short, we hunkered down with Suzanne at my home and waited for the snowstorm that didn’t pack the punch we were promised.

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The snow began to fall in the early afternoon.  “Big, happy flakes,” Gail called them.

The snow continued to fly, but not with the 45-50 MPH gusts promised.  Gail and Suzanne, the wind-lovers they are, were disappointed.  I wasn’t.

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We were left only with several inches and several less-than-anticipated snowdrifts.  Sunday was bright and beautiful.

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We showered Gail with birthday gifts.  She is the gift-giver extraordinaire, so matching her generosity is hard, but we try.

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Gail welcomed the cold with a favorite shirt from our favorite shirt-maker,

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and I welcomed the time with a favorite shirt, and  with my sisters—just like I always do.

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We played cards.  According to Gail’s daughter Lydia who observed, there appeared to be matches that almost drew blood.  Many of the matches drew colorful language from all three of us, hurling good-natured insults toward each other.   The words we slandered cannot be put in print.

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Because I am a word-nerd—I have admitted that freely before—I will put the following definitions in print.  Suzanne will confirm that I am a purveyor of useless information and meaningless trivia, so if this fits into that category, then so be it.

A “blue moon” is the second full moon within one calendar month.  This happens only once about every 32 months, so it is relatively rare.  There is no change to the color of the moon.  Therefore, “once in a blue moon” is used to describe an event that rarely happens.

When researching this online, I learned something new, and I love to learn more useless trivia about things I am interested in, so I hope you are interested, too:

Citing NASA, Space.com reports there are actually two meanings.  The other, older meaning is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons.  This is called a “seasonal blue moon.”  Occurring every 2.5 years, the last seasonal blue moon was May 21, 2016, and the next one will be a few short months away on May 18th, 2019.

Our last monthly blue moon was on March 31st, 2018, and the next one will be on October 31st, 2020—perfectly coinciding with one of Suzanne’s favorite days of the year.

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Gail, Suzanne and I have a long history of enjoying each other’s company, and we plan to continue to do so as long as we all are able.  We found this gem from just over twenty years ago, demonstrating that within this history, we have always enjoyed partaking of good food.  We did plenty of that this weekend as well.

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Making time to spend together is a priority for us.  Traveling or at each other’s homes, we cherish our “we time.”  We enjoy each other’s company, and we know this is a gift that many sisters do not have.

Gail’s birthday was the occasion for this get-together, and in less than two weeks, Gail and I will have another get-together as we head west.  Suzanne has excused herself from this destination due to altitude sickness, and she gives us her blessing to go back to the mountains without her.  We will travel together to other destinations in the near future.

We know how blessed we are.  We have a sisterhood that is truly once in a blue moon.  As the middle sister between these two, I know I hit the sister lode.  Perhaps that only happens twice in a blue moon.