Tag Archives: Key West

A lil culture here and there

Being a military brat and also a military veteran, I have had the chance to see the majority of the United States and part of the world. My parents made many trips to historical places and museums when I was growing up. I love history. I enjoy reading the stories of where people came from.

Traveling, as well as moving around the country, gave me an insight to other cultures. For example, when I was six, my step dad was stationed in Key West, Florida. We lived across the street from a married couple; she was Japanese and he was Puerto Rican. Now and then we would be invited over for dinner, each time we went it was always something different; he would cook something from his home country or she would cook something from her home country. On occasion she would babysit my sisters and me and she would show us pictures of Japan and make Japanese popcorn for us; their kernels are black.

A few years ago I got the chance to live with a Cheyenne/ Arapaho family in Oklahoma for a summer. I was also given the honor of attending a Sun Dance. Not many “outsiders” are asked to come and join them, so I was more than elated when I was asked. To me it was more than just an honor; it was an experience to learn about another Native American culture than my own Native American heritage as I am Cherokee and Choctaw. It was the first time I had eaten buffalo, as well as fry bread.

Sun Dance is more than just watching warriors dance, there are rules to be followed, mostly for us women. Of course I always have to ask why; it’s more of a curiosity as to why these rules are set. For instances, if a woman is menstruating she cannot get closer than fifty yards from the Sun Dancers, it makes them sick. There is a certain dancer that has a lizard painted on him that is of great importance to the Sun Dance; he is named the lizard man. I was told not to stare at the lizard man; I could glance his way, but only for a quick second. The lizard man holds strong power for the one offering himself in the Sun Dance and staring at him will cause him harm.

In UAE (United Arab Emirates) Dubai, a group of my shipmates and I rode camels through the desert, stopping at an oasis. They had cooked a large meal for us that included sheep, chicken, vegetables, and camel meat; camel is like our cow here in America. They wouldn’t allow us to pass up any food that was offered, so camel meat was put on my plate whether I wanted it or not. However, I did taste it and to me, it was the nastiest meat I’ve ever eaten. There was also a belly dancer, henna hand painting, and a hookah. A hookah is a machine that you can smoke flavored tobacco from. If you have ever seen the cartoon movie Alice in Wonderland, the caterpillar smokes a hookah. I didn’t give the hookah a try because I was afraid it wouldn’t be tobacco in there, but instead there would be something illegal and I would get in trouble.

Crazy weather we’re having

It’s beginning to look a lot like…well, it feels more like spring than it does winter. My youngest sister says that it feels like Florida and I could not agree with her more. I remember swimming in the ocean one Christmas Day, when we were living in Key West many years ago. I bet if the ocean were nearby, she and I would have definitely been there yesterday as warm as it was. The temp on my car read 76*F and I actually put on a jacket before I left the house too. I had that jacket peeled off by the time I reached my car though.

I actually wouldn’t mind having some cold weather right now. Give me a reason for wearing long sleeved clothes. My daughter has plenty of winter clothes she could be wearing right now…if it were actually cold enough; and they’re cute outfits too.

Last year was a mild winter also, but the year before that we had many record breaking snowfalls in this state. So, why do we have snow one year and warm winters the next few years? I’ve did a little research and found that La Nina and unusual jet stream patterns is to blame. Global warming can’t be blamed here.

It seems that Arkansas isn’t the only state getting record temps, actually the US isn’t just getting record temps, it’s happening all over the globe.

It’s 72*F at 1:06 PM CST on 2 Dec 2012 What’s the Temp where you are?