Día de Muertos

It is the holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the central and southern regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry in other places, especially in the United States. The multi-day holiday brings the family and friends together to pray for and remember friends and family who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. The Aztec influence in Día de Muertos is substantial, beginning as a festival dedicated to Mictecacihuatl, the Aztec goddess of the underworld. After Spanish colonization, the holiday became associated with All Saints’ Eve (Halloween/Oct 31), All Saints’ Day (Nov 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov 2).

With the spread of the holiday, it has been absorbed into other practices of honoring the dead. In northern Mexico, Día de Muertos, was unknown, with the people having separate traditions and where the Aztec influence was minimal. It wasn’t widely celebrated until the Mexican federal government declared Día de Muertos a national holiday. A backdrop for the opening sequence of the James Bond film, Spectre, a Día de Muertos parade in Mexico City is featured.

In Colorado, Día de Muertos celebrations are fairly rare, though some of the costuming is widely seen. Halloween remains firmly entrenched, and in the realm of the spooky and ghostly tales.

Whether celebrated as Día de Muertos or Halloween, enjoy your celebrations.

Background information from Wikipedia.
Photo: Deborah in full make-up for a Halloween party when she was a high school senior several years ago.

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Black Cat Monday: Halloween Edition

Midnight Cat Log – Supplemental:

Not much scary here, but plenty of activity. But, it is important to keep an eye out for the unusual and the unexpected.

In years past, Halloween has been synonymous with winter white and cold. According to our resident staff, Halloween 1973 came with a blizzard leaving 15 inches of snow and temperatures reaching below zero in its wake. Not exactly trick-or-treat weather. Two years later, the blizzard came a week before Halloween. Though warmer weather came afterward, the remaining icy spots on the sidewalks made for a tricky walk. Over the last ten years, the weather has been far from frightful. Nice, pleasant days and nights of autumn weather instead.

Our scary this Halloween are the sounds of re-roofing from our contractors the past few days. The loud noises should come to an end tomorrow.

A Halloween Wrap

Another Halloween season has come and gone.

 

 

With the neighborhood grade school hosting a Halloween night festival for several years, the trick-or-treaters are few.  This year was no different. As such, we darkened the house and had a large bowl of popcorn then watched the annual “Ghost Adventures” Halloween Special. We learned there are some intensely haunted places in Ireland.

All Hallows Eve

The moonlight danced between the clouds drifting across the darkened night sky and barren tree limbs. The leaves rustled in the light breeze. Occasionally, a plaintive cat’s meow could be heard from the shadows.

Daddy, wait,“asked Midnight cat.

Of course, sweetie.

 

Is the kitty meowing a black cat?” she asked.

I don’t know. I suppose it could be,” I answered.

Can you make it some other kind of cat? As you know, I’m the only black cat in the world and I don’t live outside.

Okay.

Occasionally, a plaintive cat’s meow could be heard from the shadows. It wasn’t likely a black cat, because she lived indoors. I hurried my pace. Undoubtedly, someone, or something, was following from behind. Then, I saw the light in the window, at my destination. As I drew closer on the walk, the light did not look inviting. It had a rather ominous pattern to it.

 

It’s probably Mr. Ed’s tail,” Maxie said with a giggle. “It’s the same color.

Elizabeth gave Maxie “the look”, as he slinked down with a smile.

Just then, the door creaked open. I had no choice but go to the door. From inside, I heard a creepy voice. “Come in,” it said.

I replied I had made a mistake, saying I was on the wrong block. “Too bad,” the creepy voice said, “you would’ve done fine.” Not wanting to know what was meant, I hurried home. All Hallows Eve was a night to stay home.

Quiet Halls

Its tree-lined walks. Its quiet demeanor. Its past a rather different beginning for a university campus.

The buildings comprising the older portion of the University of Colorado campus, here in Colorado Springs, were built with a different purpose in mind. Not for the purpose of education, but one for recovery from the terrible affliction of tuberculosis. The dry air and relatively mild climate of the region was considered the ideal location to recover one’s health from the illness. In the 1890s, several sanitoriums were built on the outskirts of Colorado Springs. In 1905, the Cragmor Sanitorium became another sanitorium to provide treatment.

 

With strong medical leadership and exclusive clientele, the Cragmor Sanitorium developed a reputation as a highly-regarded treatment facility. Its attractive Spanish Mission revival architecture was a definite draw for the arts and café society from the East Coast. However, the Great Depression of the 1930s required the sanitorium to adapt to the new reality. To survive economically, providing treatment to a rich clientele was no longer an option.

 

Though on a large parcel of land, the Cragmor Sanitorium did not develop into a large institution. Several cottages, homes, and out buildings were built behind the main sanitorium facility to provide follow-up and transitional care. The Cragmor facility remained dedicated to its core mission of strong medical leadership.

As the years passed and other treatments for tuberculosis were developed, the sanitorium had fewer and fewer patients. It had an elderly nursing care wing added to its main sanitorium building. Yet, the new services did not change the declining patient numbers. In the mid 1960s, the University of Colorado had developed an interest in the property. The university was seeking to expand its academic programs in support of the military and a developing engineering industry in Colorado Springs.

With three large buildings, the university began operating their extension center in full earnest. The class schedule, mostly Monday through Thursday, and mostly in the late afternoon and evening hours. While the average age of the student body was 28, the one thing every student agreed on was the creepiness of the former sanitorium facility. Most creepy was South Hall, just southeast of Main Hall. The hallways were long and poorly lit.

By the time my sister, Ginny, started in 1972, the campus was less creepy. At least, that’s what she said. But, she added Friday afternoons were very quiet. When I started in 1974, those creepy moments didn’t seem to exist, at least in my mind. Regarding late Friday afternoons, they were still deadly quiet.

Though the older part of the campus was renovated several years ago, it hasn’t changed all that much. It is still deadly quiet. Very few classes, if any, are held in this part of the campus. Many of the classes are now held in the new buildings. My daughters are glad their classes are in the new buildings. They say that older end of campus does have a creepy feel.

Come, let’s walk through the fall colors. What will we see? What will we hear?

 

 

 

About the photos

The archival photos of the Cragmor Sanitorium are courtesy of the University of Colorado. The color photos are mine, pretty much classic shots that have been taken by many.

Walking In The Shadows

“Beware of the unseen, hiding in the shadowy darkness of night.”

 

The leaves rustled in the light evening breeze, while the moon danced with the clouds in an intricate step. Shy, but lovely.

 

Yet, the shadows that could not be seen became more visible. The noises of the night, once quiet, make themselves known.

 

Do I quicken the pace of my walk, in fear of what might be hiding there?

 

Walk in the shadows, with black cats as guide and companion.

 

 

 

I’m Midnight Cat, and I approve this Halloween post.

The Fog

“A person learns much about themselves when lost. Whether it is one of discovery or acknowledgement,
it is a revelation of sorts. Or, maybe not …”

 

What is once familiar is now so unfamiliar. Walk this way, walk over there. Not much can be recognized.  Not the homes, not the street names. It is all a blur.

 

The fog begins to lift, letting what could not be seen become visible.

 

And, hope the darkness of night does not slip back into the daylight.

 

 

 

I’m Midnight Cat, and I approve this Halloween post.