Josie’s Room of Posies

“Ring around the Rosy, Pockets full of Posies (flowers), Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down.” This innocent-seeming rhyme conceals a grim secret; and so, did Josie’s room, forever gifted while in Reno. Firstly, “A ring a ring of roses, a pocket full of posies, Atishoo! Atishoo! We all fall down.” Literally, stems from the black death. Regarding Josie’s room, a tragic ending.

“According to urban legend, this nursery rhyme is a reference to the 1665 Great Plague of London. The “ring around the rosy” is supposedly a reference to the bubonic plague rash. The “pocketful of posies” describes the handfuls of herbs people would carry to mask the smell of the sickness. And the last two lines? They’re the darkest of all: “we all fall down” refers to everyone dying, and the “ashes” are the cremated bodies. Pretty demented for a children’s rhyme.”

“The Black Death was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353.” “It is the most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing the death of 75–200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.” “Bubonic plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis spread by fleas, but it can also take a secondary form where it is spread person-to-person contact via aerosols causing septicaemic or pneumonic plagues.” Pertaining to today’s climate of plagues and pandemics, I hear a similar eerie tune. We better get things “cleaned” up; the Holidays are coming… I’m wearing a mask, gloves, and fluffy, earmuffs, foshizzle!

“You’ve got to always go back in time if you want to move forward.” Thanks Snoop Dogg, sage advice!

“The Black Death was the second great natural disaster to strike Europe during the Late Middle Ages (the first one being the Great Famine of 1315–1317) and is estimated to have killed 30 percent to 60 percent of the European population”. “Outbreaks of the plague recurred around the world until the early 19th century (Nostradamus tried to warn them as well; a quick shower a day keeps the pestilence at bay, or something along those lines).” “The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) created religious, social and economic upheavals, with profound effects on the course (or curse) of European history.” ~ Wikipedia

“Nothing in the world can one imagine beforehand, not the least thing, everything is made up of so many unique particulars that cannot be forseen.”

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, and good hygiene along with Lysol works exceptionally well. Allow me to introduce you to my late-great supervisor Josie, my pharmaceutical trainer and representative to all “things” flowers, prescriptions, cleanliness, auras, cults, coffee, efficiency, medical billing, customer service, phone etiquette, Gary Cole, and later slot machines. My pharmacist in charge, then, and on standby for today’s topical events, taken by mouth, orally, Bernard; we’ll call him Bernie for short.

“If someone comes up to me, 90 percent of the time it’s about Office Space.”

I will tell you, what Bernie told me, my very first day “on the job”; “There’s no magic pill or cure-all, no fountain of youth to be found, uphill, or discovered in pill form or any other kind manufactured, conjured, or biochemically introduced.” “Believe, you me, I’ve searched the world over and overlooking and searching in hopes of discovering for myself.” “A natural remedy is always best and moderation a useful key to any excess”! I was truly amazed, and new right then and there; this was a teacher or “new-age” preacher, I could learn something from. And I did!

“The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is the largest in the world, making up about 40% of the worldwide drug development, manufacturing, and revenue generation.”

We “talked” “shop” on ailments, afflictions, medicines, remedies, miracles, and rhymes with “otherworldly” rhythms. We philosophized chemical and herbal origins, and endured stories of horrific consequences, and some out-of-this-world glory in every tragic story. Bernie actually saved two lives while in my presence and acted as if, it was just another Tuesday. Learned a “life-time”, in those four short years and with you today, to share just some unforgettable memories.

“Since its accidental discovery in 1928, and subsequent use as an antibiotic starting in 1942, penicillin has become the most successful drug in the world. It is estimated to have saved over 200 million human lives.”

Adorned on the shelves, in this “backwoods”, country, down-home pharmacy “were” pills for everyday remedies and up to four times daily by mouth on Sunday’s. Powders, creams, compounds, and ancient bottles of caffeine with cocaine still present in them. You would be flabbergasted at what humans “used” to ingest and considered “medicine”. Still! Seriously, I have heard of concoctions so morbid and twisted, alongside, so-called remedies of heinous ingredients. Essentially, pulverized flowers a main ingredient; but just-so-you-know, flowers have almost wiped-out empires, before (see poppies and opium for further reference and discussion). There’s a reason, you can’t pick California’s State Flower!

“The body without soul is no longer at the sacrifice. At the day of death it come to rebirth. The divine spirit will make the soul rejoice seeing the eternity of the world.”

“Tagetes or marigold plant has been used for immune response, stomach pain and other medicinal purposes.” “Hibiscuses are ornamental plants and hibiscus flowers are used to make herbal tea around the world.” “The power of nature has surely been underestimated for the past few years”. “With increasing awareness, people all around the world have come to know about the innate healing properties of flowers”.

“Tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold in Holland in the 1600s.”

“Flowers are a sheer epitome of beauty with medicinal utility”. “They are not something which casts a magical spell just with its evoking appeal and aroma”; oh, believe you me, they do! “From get well soon flowers to some other exotic flowers, every flower is one of a kind in its meaning, appeal, color, structure and usage”. “Also, some flowers for healing and strength are simply the ones which make our day, effortlessly”. “Most of us might have heard of medicinal plants, but only a few of us would know there existed some medicinal flowers”.

“Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”

“This beautiful flower gets its name from “Yasmeen” which means a gift from God”. “Jasmine, mostly drunk as a tea, this flower has got the power to cure body aches and cramps and also looks after any of the digestion issues that one has”. “It also looks after ulcers and prevents anxiety and sleeps issues”, without all the side-effects and that inexplicable rash that appeared from the nether regions. “For decades, the petals of Calendulas are used to treat cuts, burns and wounds”. “It has got some incredible antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory glycosides”. “This flower has got some properties to heal skin conditions, including rashes and acne.” Accutane used to be four dollars a pill and a blood test ever so often to ensure kidneys are still functioning. Yikes! Feels thorny and prickly, and you must stay out of the sun!

“For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”

“One of the essentials while experiencing heaven in aromatherapy, lavender is used as essential oil which has got a rejuvenating effect to help people relax or de-stress”. “Also, helps to manage stress, anxiety and difficulty sleeping, the oil made of this flower has got some anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which heal wounds, burns and even acne, as well as some throat and chest conditions”. All good and minus steroids meant for eventual bone deterioration. Some “medications” wreak havoc on one’s stomach, and surely for no good reason; or does it?

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

“It’s not just beautiful on the outside, but also is a healer!” “Rich in Vitamin C, an important antioxidant for overall health and fighting some more serious conditions like heart disease and stroke”. “The petals of this flower are said to increase circulation, fight depression and anxiety, relieve infections and combat viruses, among a ton of other health benefits”. “Gifting a rose or a bouquet act as an instant mood uplifter,” and an evil warder offeror of epic proportions instead of lethal prescriptions or injections. Echinacea, Rosemary, Feverfew, Valerian root, Aloe Vera; just a few flowers I’ve picked, for an arrangement everyone should be aware of and grateful for.

“The intense smell is also the reason why the valerian plant was often hung by Nordic peoples above the house door as protection against bad spirits in olden times. If you carried a piece of the plant with you, it was said to protect you from witches and the devil.”

Back in the day, most prescriptions had to be picked up in person and we were actually the first to offer deliveries. It was a good thing, since many people (i.e., the elderly) couldn’t just swing by after work and have their RX filled. I was set to finish work, do my delivery rounds to the hospitals, and senior home facilities, and then drive up to Reno for a slot machine tournament with my friend, Audi, short for Audra.

“The ‘Biggest Little City In The World’ Was Just Named The Best Small City In America!”

Audra is a platinum blonde beauty who went to my all-girl Catholic school with me and to this day a loyal best-friend and compadre. Covered in tattoos, decked out in all black, make-up applied right out of a magazine, and a locket inked around her delicate neck. Although I love the artistry and beautiful meanings of her symbolic images, I’ve not one tattoo on my body to mention. Nary a butterfly or initials, a heart or floral symbol to speak of. I avoid needles, like the plague (pun intended today). No piercings and the holes closed on my ears years ago. Oh, how I miss my hoops!

“Loretto means hope, humbleness and fashion. It is the inspiration of joy and pride and the true meaning of fashion forward.” (Source urban dictionary, laurel-wood, private Catholic education, and a Godly spiral staircase)

Josie went over my to-do-list before I left and wanted me to have a room at one of the infamous casino’s reserved in her name. A really weird silence entered the office back-room, and something felt “heavy” and amiss; I couldn’t put my finger on the pulse. Josie looked like Betty White in her younger years, same exact haircut to boot and just as sweet, until right before I left. Her demeanor shifted and she quietly took me aside to express her concerns before going on my trip to the outer limits of the unknown.

“Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep, nine if you’re ugly!” “If one has no sense of humor, one is in trouble.” Agreed sentiments with The Golden Angel Betty White.

Josie and her husband, many moons prior had taken a quick excursion up to the famous casinos. They had visions of winning a jackpot of untold fortune; instead, they experienced the afterlife right under their bed; from another’s faithless decision. The remains of a lifeless young woman laid beneath them all night, unbeknownst to them. You wonder, how many “people” pass away in hotels? “The death rate in the US is in the ballpark of 800 deaths per year per 100,000 of population.” I imagine it’s higher in regard to casinos and their eternal gateways into an unknown outer abyss. Full moons probably don’t help turn the tide of this statistical spike of deathly mathematical numbers. I’m not ready to spin that wheel!

“Say a prayer for the lost generation, who spin the wheel out of desperation.”

Another reason why, windows are permanently affixed (suicide) and a Gideons bible rests on every nightstand. “Gideon was the son of Joash, from the Abiezrite clan in the tribe of Manasseh and lived in Ephra (Ophrah).” The bible in place for someone’s final chance of redemption, forgiveness, and absolution. Never forget, God is with you and goes before you! “Time would fail me to tell of Gideon and others who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to fight the armies of the aliens.”

“People that don’t know what they are worth will always see their capture’s wings, but never their tail.”

I’m not forever checking in or out here, for that’s certainly one dimension, I’m not ready to explore and have not purchased a ticket, so I’m not admitted in. I have to confess, since hearing Josie’s unimaginable tale of horrors, has stuck forever in the back of my mind whenever I’m near or have to stay in a hotel. Haunting me ever since. I decided not to share this petrifying knowledge with Audra, till we got to our room and checked under the beds. We checked the room top-to-bottom and decided it’s better if we don’t sleep. We were too excited by then anyways.

“God appeared to Gideon as an angel and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”

The two-hour scenic drive up the Sierra mountains, with the music blasting from my Nissan Sentra (Trooper) was breathtaking, liberating, heavenly, and invigorating. Greenday blared from our speakers, whilst we caught up, reminisced, and plowed through the snowy hills. Rather quickly, I was a speed demon back then, lead foot, not the drugs that ran rampant through our small town or the a.d.d. medication abound; prescribed and handed out like candy.

“Do you have the time
To listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once
I am one of those
Melodramatic fools
Neurotic to the bone, no doubt about it!?”

Didn’t win at the tournament but enjoyed the bells and whistles thinking of my could-be millions. Unfortunately, I spent every last cent on a little food for us at a buffet that was expensive and oh so glutenous to mention. Dreading how I was going to get us home; kept that nugget to myself, as to not worry my unsuspecting best-friend that I was flat broke. I didn’t want to ruin her fun!

“Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I’m cracking up
And am I just paranoid?
Yeah, yeah, yeah!”

Sitting at the triple diamond slot machine, biting my nails, I was down to my last dollar and spun anyways. First spin landed a 7, second spin landed another 7, and what felt like eternity kept spinning and landed on a diamond! Not too sure exactly what this means, but “jackpot” I won a thousand something dollars! I can’t believe it, I exclaimed! I can get us home now, I shouted from the rooftops! What a relief, God came through again!

“No time to search the world around
‘Cause you know where I’ll be found
When I come around.”

Cashed out with my bucket of gold and we headed back to our room to unwind and shower myself with pure clean water and happiness. What a giant relief, unintended. About five of us entered the elevator. Three highly inebriated individuals, (two guys and one girl, in their twenties) stumbled clumsily into the elevator with us. They, leaned up against the control panel and hit the same button as our floor (number 9). Oh, how I loathe tight quarters and sent a side-eye to Audra, and a sigh to the others for dramatic expression.

“So go do what you like, Make sure you do it wise
You may find out that yourself doubt means nothing was ever there
You can’t go forcing somethin’ if it’s just not right!”

Nothing felt turbulent or stalled, but when the elevator came to a “standing”, the doors opened; a concrete slab with a red number 9 greeted and faced us. “There’s no way out”, said the assumed drunk boyfriend. “Oh my God, we’re trapped”, said his friend. “I’m going to puke,” said the girl now slumped to the ground. Audra immediately knelt down to help the girl, and one of the guys tried to keep the doors pried opened with his bare hands.

“Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision.”

Panic in this elevator was just about to ensue and ya’ll know, I’ve got zero patience for that. Took me milliseconds to respond and I channeled my father. I said, “get your hands out of the doors, no you are not going to be sick, and you hit the number 9, quick”! Less than a minute had passed, and the doors once again opened. Freedom alas! All clear; and each one of them bolted from the elevator. Leaving me, last to spring from the death trap; escaped with hopeful optimism.

“Used 49 times in Scripture, the number 9 symbolizes divine completeness or conveys the meaning of finality. Christ died at hour nine of the day, or 3 p.m., to make the way of salvation open to everyone.”

I know when it’s time to go and decided, we’ll go ahead and drive home! Drove well into the night and both of us quiet as mice. Escaped purgatory, we surely thought then, but eventually I found out (firsthand) for sure on another “trip” back extended. Didn’t quite learn my lesson.

“Here’s another “uplifting” children’s nursery rhyme associated with Mary Tudor. The three blind mice supposedly symbolize three noblemen who were prosecuted for conspiring against the queen. Though some legends say she chopped off their heads, apparently, she actually burned them at the stake. (Wicked source And then someone wrote an endearing kids’ poem about it.”
“Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?”

During one fateful holiday excursion (late November), maybe the following year I graced those badlands once more; spent the night only to awaken the spectral spirits. Never had I seen an actual ghost before that creepy otherworldly night, nor since, but that actual night, spectral visitors from many dimensions entered my room with no doors from all directions.

“Parapsychology isn’t something you master in. There are no certificates of graduation. No licenses to practice… I am a professional psychologist who spends most of my time engaged in this ghostly hobby, which makes me I suppose the most irresponsible woman of my age that I know.” Thanks Dr. Lesh, I won’t take it too personally.

They paid no attention to me, until one “Indian” ghost, I’m assuming; noticed me “looking”. She got right in my face, with an inquisitive piercing stare and said, “she can see us”. What felt like a jolt of lightning flung me back about a couple of feet (from the bed) and then the room went quiet, dark, no one peeping. That was the last I ever “dwelled” in Reno. I’m not really sure, I ever woke up! Maybe, I’m sleepwalking …

“Your eyes are swallowing me
Mirrors start to whisper, shadows start to sing
Time stood still the way it did before
It’s like I’m sleepwalking …”

This concludes, Josie’s room of Posies and thank you for checking-in for a historical recollection from the other-side of the elevators through time and for good reason. Tis the season and hope you enjoy your stay! Savor the mint left on your pillow, room service, portals, snow globes, and elevator music with spectral inspections.

“What is the elevator mechanics favorite movie? ‘Shaft’ of course!”
“I’m terrified of elevators; I’ve been taking steps to avoid them.”
“Elevator puns really push my buttons,” and “Good puns are like broken elevators, they never let you down.”

Published by SiriusSea

Many moons ago and in a faraway land, I used to write about all things wonderous to the world and I am back to stir the seven seas of wonderment once more. As the storms pass through, I set my compass and my sights upon and beyond Sirius Sea! Welcome aboard!

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