Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Superstitions and Sayings

This may seem like a strange subject, but it came to my mind while ago, as I was sitting at the dinner table (noontime meal). The bottom of my foot was itching, and as I scratched at it with my other foot, I happened to remember what Mama used to say when we would say our foot itched. The standard comment was, "You are going to be walking on strange ground." (Meaning where we had never walked before). Of course, we would start thinking about where that could be.

Sometimes, if one of us had an ear that was itching, we would be told that we were going to hear good news. An ear that turned red would mean that someone was talking about us.

If a palm of the hand itched, that would indicate that we were going to shake hands with someone, or that we were going to get some money. We really liked that one.

Sometimes, while setting the table for a meal, we would accidentally place two like utensils at the same place which if they were knives they would indicate that two men were coming to visit, two spoons indicated two women were coming to visit, and two forks would indicate 2 children.

One of our favorite superstitions was when one of us got the hiccoughs. When one got the hiccoughs, it indicated that someone was thinking about us. We would guess a person for each time we hiccoughed, and when we had guessed it, the hiccoughs would stop.

Dreams were another thing that were discussed and different things took on special meanings. If we dreamed of snakes, it took on significance if we had killed the snakes or not. If we had killed the snake, then we had defeated an enemy. If not, then an enemy would gain control over us, and that was not good. If we dreamed of water, and it was clear water, it was supposed to portend good. If we dreamed of muddy water, that was not a good dream. Also, "A Saturday night dream, and Sunday morning o'ertold, always proves true to young and old." In other words, if one dreams on Saturday night and tells it before breakfast on Sunday, it would come true.

You may wonder why we placed so much significance upon superstitions. I think it came from the fact that my Mama's mother was half Cherokee, and anyone that knows any thing about Indians knows that they are very superstitious. So, since Mama grew up with superstitions they were just passed on to us.

Of course, I don't believe them , but it is fun to talk about them. One that my Mama used to her benefit was when she would say, "My right eye itches." What that meant to us, was that it signified she was possibly going to get angry and that meant trouble for us. It was usually when we kids were maybe arguing or doing something that she didn't want us to do.

Some "sayings" that she had, included "there is a man in jail wantin' out" meant that we had asked for something that we wanted, and that was her reply meaning we weren't going to get what we wanted anymore than that man was getting out of jail.
Sometimes when we aggravated her almost beyond her endurance, she would tell us that we were "flirting with the undertaker". Ha.

One of the most influential expressions that we all learned from her was this quote:
"Things that you do, do with your might; things done by halves, are never done right"
She ingrained into each of us a work ethic and determination that has stood us all in good stead. She was not afraid of work, and she taught us all to work. She also taught us that two wrongs never make a right. She was honest to a fault. More about Mama later.

Well, this is all for this evening. God blesses each of us, and we should never forget it.
Blabbin' Grammy signing off for the night.

1 comment:

Judy said...

My mom used to say the same thing about your hand itching. That meant you were coming into money. If your nose itched, company was coming. If your left eye itched you were going to be pleased, right eye you would be made mad. She also had this little saying about a redbird. It went:

Redbird, redbird, one, two three
Goin to see somebody you're not expectin to see.