WHY I AM THE WAY I AM

There’s magic in my world; I don’t doubt it for a second. There’s been trials in my life, but I’ve survived. I’ve been protected. I’ve walked the floors and chanted prayerful words and the universe has granted me my wish. I write what I love. I have a wonderful time doing it. And I’m able to make a living doing what I love. How much more could I ask for? Love? Yes, but I’ve been given that also. Magic has always been a part of my life. All the way back…and I mean all the way back.

We can trace our heritage to a young woman who came over from France to New Orleans in the mid 1700’s before America was a country. These women were known as ‘casket girls’ because they were furnished by France with little suitcases full of clothes and belongings which resembled a little casket. (If you want to know more, I could expound – they are interesting, even tied in with vampire legends) They were meant to be a type of mail order bride sent to the new world for the wealthy Frenchmen and Creoles of New Orleans. I’ve read diaries where the men were told the women were upstanding, from good families, raised in convents – that type of thing. In all actuality, I’ve read they cleaned out the jails and poorhouses and sent those women to Louisiana. Now that doesn’t mean they were evil or bad, back then a woman could get put in jail if she were caught on the street without a male escort. Times were difficult for females in those days, especially if you were alone.

Our ancestor, Genevieve, married a man who wasn’t good to her, so she began to seek companionship elsewhere. And I don’t mean men, I mean friends. She came to love an African slave and an American Indian woman who worked for the family she’d married into. Genevieve was a little different. Apparently, she brought with her a little hedge witch knowledge from Europe and by that, I mean she knew how to use herbs and how to heal – and maybe more. But by the time she’d gained a little Caribbean voudou insight from Hessie and a few pow-wow lessons from Marta, Genevieve became a force to be reckoned with. By all accounts, she passed her knowledge down to other females in our family.

My great, great grandmother, Martha Thompson, was a mid-wife and a healer. She read tea leaves and told fortunes. Martha could take a colicky baby and give it a few leaves of some sort and calm him in minutes. She could also blow on a burn and say a scripture or two and take the pain away.

My mother was psychic, but was afraid of her power for the most part. The only time she ever used it was to torment me – ha! But she did tell me about one occurrence and this was probably back in the sixties when she was younger. She had a younger brother that she just worshiped. He was in the Air Force and stationed in California when he married a woman from Palo Alto. A very well-off and beautiful woman named Josephine. My mother adored Josephine and would travel out to stay with them. She enjoyed visiting Josephine’s family and they took her all over – China Town, Stanford University and Los Angeles – she just took California in. Much to my mother’s dismay, her brother’s marriage to Josephine didn’t last. They broke up because he wanted to come home to Texas and Josephine wanted to stay on the west coast. I think my mother suffered as much as they did. I wasn’t around then, so all I know are tales told around the coffeepot.

A few years later, her brother met a new woman and this was before the days of the internet, iphones, or anything like that, so information wasn’t instantaneous like it is now. Son, as she called her bother, informed my mother he was bringing the new woman, Della, to meet the family. My mother was prepared to dislike Della – (I will give you a glimpse into the future and tell you that Della became my most favorite aunt) she was in such an angst over the situation that she dreamed about Della – in fact she dreamed exactly what she was going to look like and what she would be wearing and she shared that information the next morning with her own mother. And she was correct – right down to the pink pantsuit and the bloodred lipstick.

As I was growing up, Mother always knew everything that I didn’t want her to know. I was never able to keep a secret. Now this might sound like any typical mother to you – but with us – it was super magnified. I have told this before, but the night I was trying desperately to lose my virginity, she called me on the phone three times telling me to stop what I was doing – immediately! My guy and I finally threw the phone out the window, but the mood was broken. He was a little too unnerved to continue – alas.

My Nana and Papa had dealings with a fortune teller by the name of Luen. He read cards. This was back in the depression era when cattle still roamed free range in East Texas. My family owned quite a large herd and every evening they would call them in and the boss cow would lead the mob home. My Papa would count cows and soon he began noticing some were missing – two, in fact. A Jersey and a bobtail red heifer. He talked it around and people were worried about rustlers.

My Nana’s mother, who was a hoot, told them to go ask Luen about the cows. My Nana was all for it but my Papa was a little nervous. He wasn’t fond of supernatural things. To make a point – or just for fun – my Nana’s mother used to torment him by feeding his fears. He would go out in the late evening to feed the cattle and get all the way down to the barn when she would stand outside her house and yell, “Run, Jay, run! It’s Jack the Ripper!” And even though Papa knew Jack the Ripper was not in the piney woods of East Texas in the 1940’s, he would still run like the dickens. So…he wasn’t keen about the idea of going to a card reader’s house to find out the fate of some missing cattle.

But they ended up going anyway – Nana and Papa and another couple all piled in their car and drove the 7 miles to his house. My Papa told me Luen didn’t use tarot cards. he used a regular deck of playing cards – bicycle cards. When they arrived, the old man let them in and Papa said the house was dark and full of creepy shadows. They sat down at a rickety dining table and old Luen asked them what they wanted to know. My Nana told him we had some cattle missing – she didn’t say how many nor did she say what they looked like. Old Luen shuffled the cards and laid them out in a T formation and started turning them over – one by one. Papa said every hair on his own head was perked up to attention, of course he had a crew cut – what else could it be.

Finally, old Luen muttered – “Well, the Jersey cow will come home in two days, but she’ll be hurt and you won’t ever see the red bob-tail cow again.” Ta-dah.

They all just sat there and stared at Luen. How had he known what breed or color of cow was missing? They hadn’t said and there was no such thing as FB or Twitter where everybody and their brother knows every little detail of your life. Papa paid him and they left and when they got in the car, he said “I wonder where that old son-of-a bitch has those cows penned up?”

They were skeptical, of course. But in two days, the Jersey came home with a broken tail and they never saw the bob-tail red one, again.

I could tell you how I use magic in my life, but I won’t scare you. It’s normal for me, I was raised to believe there was more in this world than you can explain. Where I grew up, the old-timers went to mass in the morning and made mojo bags in the afternoon. I do light candles and I do wear gem stones and I do use herbs.

The rest, I’ll leave to your imagination. But all of these things have led me to spice my stories, not only with hot sex, but also with folklore and spirits and hoodoo grannies and traitures and things that go hump and bump in the night – ha!

Maybe this explains these books I’ve written – remember these?

To me the supernatural is super normal.

Love you, Sable.

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