I Dine with Ninja

Ninjutsu (Naruto) (246375091)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I talk a lot about Japanese folklore here on the blog, for obvious reasons, but I haven’t talked much about ninja. And ninja have certainly entered national pop culture and folklore, so they’re as valid a topic as any other.

Plus, I got to have dinner with some lately. I don’t mean I dined with students of Bujinkan Taijutsu or other martial arts heirs of ninjutsu skill, I mean the dressed-in-black, popping-out-of-ceilings legend of thousands of movies and cartoons and books. Those ninja.

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Generations, Brick by Brick

So today’s post is about a field trip to family history.

All Saints, formerly St Joseph's Catholic Church
the impressive entry and steeple

We hopped in my new car and headed up to Logansport, IN. There’s a Catholic church there, now called All Saints since it blended with two other local churches, but it used to be known as St. Joseph’s. It was built in the 1880s, and my great-great-grandfather and his sons handmade each of the 650,000 bricks to construct it.

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From (Deep in the Heart of) Texas Hill Country

English: Texas Hill Country, on Route 187 head...
Texas Hill Country, on Route 187 heading North, just north of Garner State Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve spent the last few days in Texas Hill Country, visiting my aunt and working on a project. But before I tell you about that, let me walk you through her ranch.

My aunt Margie lives on a small ranch immediately outside of Utopia, Texas. When she first moved there a couple of decades ago, the smart-aleck kid I was thought the name was doubly appropriate; the idyllic climate and beautiful countryside were indeed paradisaical, and the location was, just like the original meaning of utopia, nowhere.

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