Saturday 18 July 2015

Lucky Candle

I have talked about luck before in this blog and probably the different kinds of luck. I consider myself to be lucky, but I have yet to win any life changing sum of money. I have my health and those I love are for the most part healthy, although there is some question about mental instability running amok in the gene pool.

I don’t think I have mentioned my mother’s good luck. Mom would enter any and all contests she could get her hands on. This was before the internet when she would have to steal whole books of entry forms from the stores holding the contests. She would sit watching TV filling out the forms and making hand drawn facsimiles of the UPC code. I’m not sure if there were UPC codes back then, but she did some hand draw something or other which was necessary to enter the contest. She would fill out hundreds for each contest and then mail them in. That gives you an idea how cheap postage was back then.

I guess it isn’t surprising that she would win contests on a regular basis. She didn’t win the big prize generally, but she’d win coolers, umbrellas, bags of all sorts, radios and God knows what else. One time she won a motor bike, but she wouldn’t let us ride it because “they are death traps!” It would have been nice to tempt fate and certain death for a few days.

Keep in mind that this was before government lotteries and gambling of any kind was illegal. To win large sums of money a person would have to buy an Irish Sweepstakes ticket for a guy that knew a guy who had a friend that could get his hands on a ticket or two. Mom had a winning Irish Sweepstake ticket once, which meant that she had a horse in the race. Well, it didn’t stay in the race for long, it was scratched and mom made a thousand dollars. Big money in those days probably paid for the postage.

Whenever mom would win anything, she would light a candle. Not just any candle, but the winning candle. It wasn’t a lucky candle; it would do you no good just to light it in the hopes of a win. She would burn it just for a short period if she won an umbrella and much longer for a horse in the Irish Sweepstakes. I have no idea how she decided how long she should burn the candle.  I think it was a way for mom to give thanks to Tyche the Greek goddess of luck. The Greeks could use a little help from Tyche now with their financial problems.

When mom passed, I brought the candle home and it has been pretty much ignored for years. I noticed it today, dusted it off, wiped the spider webs clear and apologised for ignoring it. The candle was bright red at one time, but is a pale red now from sitting in the sun for far too long. From now on, whenever I win a free ticket or two dollars, I will light the candle in honour of Tyche.

It can’t hurt to have a Goddess looking after your best interests.

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