Differences Between Sexes Revealed

Nursery Rhyme Test

It’s been a long time since children learned Nursery Rhymes at their mother’s knee, but we still think we know most of them. And maybe you do, so here’s a chance to see if you do. I’m going to give you clues in today’s vernacular, and then also give you (and me) what they really said. Okay, here we go, and you’ll know most of them . . . . that is, after you read the answers.

1. Mother spanks her daughter for sitting in cinders.
2. Boy kisses girls, then flees.
3. Curly haired girl with split personality.
4. Farmer’s wife attacked by sightless rodents.
5. Boy goes to bed wearing stockings.

6. Girl is frightened by spider.
7. Men and animals fail to revive crash victim.
8. Married couple prove to be hearty eaters.
9. Wool supply assured, inquiry reveals.
10. Mother encouraged nudity.

11. Bovine specie orbits in space.
12. Pig thief punished.
13. Game postponed by bad weather.
14. Elderly woman needs Planned Parenthood advice.
15. Pupil questioned about his tardiness to school.

16. Woman lacks food, and dog starves.
17. Differences between sexes revealed.
18. Cripple finds bent coin.

Well, those headlines don’t sound to me like lead-ins for Pre-kindergarten students, but I figured out a couple of them anyway. Cheat if you want, it’s all clean fun.

1. Little Molly Flinders sat among the cinders, warming her pretty toes. Along came her mother, and spanked her pretty daughter for soiling her nice clean clothes.

2. Georgie Porgie, Pudding and Pie, kissed the girls and made them cry, and when the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away.

3. There was a pretty girl, who had a pretty curl, right in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good, she was very, very good, and when she was bad, she was horrid.

4. 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 tales with a carving knife. Did you ever see such a sight in your life, as three blind mice?

5. Diddle, diddle Johnson, my son John, went to bed with his stocking on, one shoe on and one shoe off, Diddle, diddle Johnson, my son John.

6. Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey. Down came a spider, and sat down beside her, and frightened Miss Muffett away.

7. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, and all the King’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.

8. Jack Spratt could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean, but all together, they licked the platter clean.

9. Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. One for my master, one for his dame, and one for the little girl who lives down the lane.

10. Mother, may I go out to swim? Yes, my darling daughter. Hang your clothes on a Hickory Limb, but don’t go near the water.

11. Hi, diddle, diddle, the Cat and the fiddle and the cow jumped over the moon.  The little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon.

12. Tom, Tom the Piper’s son, stole a pig and away he run, The pig got eat, Tom got beat, and then went bellowing down the street.

13. Rain, rain, go away, little Johnnie wants to play, so come again some other day.

14. There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, she had so many children,  she didn’t know what to do.

15. A diller a dollar, a ten o’clock scholar, what makes you come so soon.   You used to come at ten o’clock and now you come at noon.

16. Old Mother Hubbard, went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone. but when she got there, the cupboard was bare and so the poor dog got none.

17. What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice, and what are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

18. There was a crooked man, who walked a crooked mile, and found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked style.

Well, these were all before ‘our time’, but I betcha a few ‘rang a bell with you’ and anyway, it was a nice stroll down Memory Lane, and glad you came along.

Veteran’s Day

First class  . . .

I swore to myself that this Veteran’s Day, I would not write of War or of our men and women, flung around the world, but here at the last moment, I sit at my screen and do just that.

I grew up with Mom and Dad making references to WW 1, but as a child, those words meant nothing to me. But then there was one serene Sunday morning, when I was in Gram’s upstairs east bedroom, that I remember. And recall so vividly that it’s part of what I write today.

I was a young woman, no children, and lazily reading and listening to the Tabernacle Choir and then, a program came on about war and of planes bombing ships and it all became an unwanted program so I turned it OFF and wandered downstairs.

There I found Gram working on the day’s dinner, but I saw she was crying. I was too young and shy to ask why she cried, but then Jake came through the doorway, lightly rapped my shoulders and said, “Well, Ole, (his nickname for me), looks like this time it’s for me.”

I didn’t know what he meant, either. Of course, I soon found out that I had been listening to the reports of Japan bombing Pearl Harbor and destroying almost all of our Battleships and Air Force, which had been nestled there in the Pacific, to be safe from Hitler’s attacks in the Atlantic..

The world saw our Flag that day, ragged and floating in bloody waters, amid our sunken warships, and we never knew how badly we had been hurt until years later when the tables had been turned and we had driven the Japanese from all those eastern islands, skies and seas.

And then . . . my memory leaps forward and urges me to tell of General Douglas MacArthur, dressed in casual fatigues, while sitting on the open, sun-splashed deck of our Battleship Missouri. No tie, wearing no citations or medals, just everyday clothes for doing ordinary, every day tasks.

Hirohito was met by a commonplace, work-a-day scene with men also in fatigues, swabbing the deck, others laughing and talking as they strolled back and forth or leaned against the railing, enjoying the calm sea. Just an ordinary work day aboard a Battleship. And Old Glory, our Flag was high in the sky, billowing beautifully for all to see, and even their leader, MacArthur, had  his desk and everyday work,  taken to the sunny deck to accomplish..

But then some important-looking ship approached, carrying the Japanese Flag at half mast, and soon leaving that ship, to board the Missouri. was Hirohito, The Emperor of Japan, in his full bright colored regalia of Emperor, and accompanied by men, whose every stitch of clothing they  wore, told that they, too, were dressed for an important occasion.

And what met Hirohito and his men?

Before them was America’s Commanding Officer General Douglas MacArthur in ‘work clothes’ with not even a tie,  and offering not a single formality. There was no music, no drum roll, and no one stood in  greeting.  Unescorted and alone,  the Emperor approached the General and MacArthur raised his eyes, nodded and (I don’t remember the details), but there were NO formalities on our side..

But,  MacArthur, still sitting at his  work-cluttered desk, casually pushed some Papers and pen, toward the gorgeously dressed Emperor, and the Emperor of Japan signed those papers that stated his country was accepting Unconditional Surrender, with no if’s, and’s. or but’s.  And MacArthur nodded his thanks, still not rising, and that was that. Over. Done with, and utterly humiliating to Hirohito, but that’s what Japan should have thought of before they started the war, and finally  learned what Unconditional Surrender meant.

There was no ceremony, no handshakes, no ceremonial wines or such to exchange. It was absolute surrender and that was all. We, and the world watched every Japanese there, in full uniform bow in humility before our Banner. Nothing more was needed, and Hirohito turned and, with no American escort,  his men took him to his ship and back to Japan.

MacArthur was busy with his day’s work and that Surrender we had fought for, and men had died for, was signed, sealed, right there on the desk of the Missouri. I never cared much for MacArthur with his seemingly egotistical manner, but this was once I applauded him.  After our horror of Pearl Harbor, he had won The War in the Pacific, brought Japan to its knees, and had them begging  us to stop. They, who began the big mess, now wanted no more of it.

Yes, for about two years Japan thought they had conquered us, but they learned to know the strength, bravery and power of the United States of America. Our flag, had been shot from the skies into muddy, bloody waters, but we did not ask for that war, as we also did not ask for Okinawa, Midway, and on the other side of the world, the Battle of the Bulge, and Normandy Beach, but we finished every one of them, and those enemies all bowed in Unconditional Surrender. That was class. First Class.

The Melting Pot

We are them . . .

A month ago there was a News story that could have been written (and been true) any time during the past century and a half.   What it said was that over 20% of the people in our area speak some language, other than English, in their homes. And I shrugged and thought ‘what else is new’?

The next paragraph told me what’s new, and it was an 180% away from what I expected or has ever gone before. This time we were told of the ten languages most spoken, (not counting English) and then listed the words that we had better learn to speak and understand.

Anyway the top ten languages listed as needed (wanted?) today, and world wide, are: besides English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tongan, Chinese, Samoan, German, Serbo/Croatian, French, Portuguese and Russian.

Never before have we been advised to change our basic language. People come here for many reasons, they want to become part of us, and it’s been taken for granted that those who come would begin learning how to speak English.

My Dad came as a child with all his three R’s training in Sweden. And his Dad, was busy making a place for that family, and so ten or eleven year old Dad, knew it was up to him to learn to understand and speak English. And he did and, being both wily and smart, he found a book that had been dropped, and pushed around on the sidewalk, so he rescued it and made it his own.

It was the Book of ‘SHE’ , by Rider Haggard and was an Egyptian love story, (sexy for its day) but that book with the help of a slightly older American friend, Dad learned to read and speak English. Bet that was far from what Haggard had in mind when he wrote the tale, although the book is still published and read.  Dad would be amused.

If your family has been here for a long time, you know how it worked. Perhaps the grandparents clung to their original language, but the younger ones turned to English, and often the children were chastised if they reverted to their childhood lingo, rather than the new English words.

At one time the Catholic church ran the world which was then those countries around the Mediterranean Sea, and so Latin was the then-known world’s most used language, and remains so in categories, such as legal, medical, and Spiritual writings.  Music loved and still clings to the Romance languagaes, of Italian and French.

But then as the known world grew, the World Power gradually shifted from the Pope to Merchants, the business people of the world, who bought and sold cloth, food, jewels, seeds and such in all countries.

China was ahead in being aware of the need of a universal language, and knowing it could not be Chinese, they began requiring English classes for all higher education majors, no matter what the subject and they sent their young men to the U.S. to learn our ways. They were way ahead in their awareness and thinking.

Today, if one wants to do business around the world, people must know English and Business classes in schools in all major countries, teach our language. It was and is a Business necessity.

But is all the above foretelling another period of change???? The recent article even told us which words we should make part of our every day language. What a shift in emphasis, for in other times, right here, it was the aim of THEM to learn English, as their future language. One of the first thoughts of Mormon immigrants, and our learning theirs never considered.

What a difference and also what a different news story. We well know that the dominant world language has changed before, so what’s going on??? What language do those in-the-know  think the next world language will be? Spanish???

Worth thinking about, and considering how the people who speak that language are becoming part of our very neighborhoods, developing their own shopping malls, churches and schools. Yeah, it’s happened before, and are our Daily Newspapers now  alerting us of changes already in the making?  Worth thinking about.

The Autumns Of Our Lives

The Seasons of the year usually come so quietly that we’re far into  the next one  before we sense its coming.  But this year I can almost name the hour when Autumn arrived for me, and, it was so meaningful,  that I cling to it.

It happened on a very ordinary day as I sat at my computer, busy writing, when suddenly I was aware of a silence, so deep and soft that I could ‘hear’ it. Seemed as though my world were standing still.

It startled me and I pushed back my chair and stood, acutely aware and wondering if something had happened that I hadn’t heard, or if something were going to happen. You see, it was more than just a lack of noise, for I was in the midst of some velvety-soft unfamiliar experience.

Then I heard a dog bark that seemed to come from across the pasture that is now a golf course, and as I pondered the sound. I also wondered why, my mind had reverted to the old time name of cow pasture. Then there came the muffled sound of a car-door slamming shut. and I heard two kids (Whose kids? Mine?) calling out to each other.

I don’t live in a secluded area, but trees, bushes and a golf course surround three sides of my home and as most sounds from the busy street are muffled,  I, and the wildlife, give it the boundaries it demands, and otherwise ignore it. But this was different.

It was an other-worldly silence, as if the daily routine noises had been suddenly switched OFF so that something important could happen. I stepped to a window and found I was not alone, for there at the lawn’s edge, a usually super-shy quail was part of my moment, for even with me at the window, a movement which always sends him running, he stepped confidently to a dry spot for a dust bath.

It was obviously familiar territory to him and as a cloud of dust rose, he fluffed his wings and noisily clucked to his mate to come and join him. She finally came out of the bushes, and as he stepped aside for her, she took a few bored scratches, but was obviously unimpressed and walked, not scampered, back into her cover. He watched her for a moment, and then took over the fun and never repeated his invitation. I almost laughed aloud.

It was an enchanted time, and I decided that if this is how God chose to open Autumn’s door for me, I would show my appreciation and pulled my chair to a window that overlooks many trees, and within a moment saw two deer and rejoiced, for they have not ‘visited’ as often as they once did. Or just maybe I haven’t taken time to be silent, to look, and to see. I don’t know why, but the silence of Autumn that day had given them the bravery to step out into the open.  In the daylight. And it was good.

Autumn.  Yes, and as I watched today’s life in my yard, I was suddenly a child again, walking home from school, and aware of different aromas coming from the homes I passed. The Woolseys, Dickeys, Hills, Parks, one by one, and knew those wonderful smells came from what was being ‘canned’ in each home, in preparation for their winter meals.

I recognized the wonderful aromas of tomatoes, peaches, pears, pickles, and a feeling of Home, Security, and the Promise of Plenty throughout the winter, engulfed that child so securely that, years later, the entire incident was recalled.

The velvet silence remained and I knew that the deer, quail, and the memories, as well as the aromas, sights and sounds were all omens of Autumn. And, I also recalled that when I was a child, you needn’t have asked any family what they were doing at this time of the year, for you knew that everyone, in some way, was ‘getting ready for winter’.

The men with their animals, butchering, reaping, storing, and the women ‘putting up fruit’,  and  with no difference from home to home. Getting ready for winter, was what Autumn was then for.   And today I wonder at how quickly our lives have changed.

Yes, I can almost name the hour when Autumn arrived for me this year, and with it the memories of Autumns of yesterday, yesteryear, and of another world, as well as today. Time stood still for me as the world quietly turned a corner, changing from summer to autumn and I was lucky enough to be aware of its wonder.

Hope ‘turning the corner’ was as poignant and memory filled for you as it was for me. That just maybe, some of your thoughts or memories, are the same as mine, for they were good, filled with comfort, and a knowing that, no matter what the media says, All Is Well and Good With This World.  TYG.

The Dogs Are In The Doghouse

Remembering dear old Jocco . . .

It’s fairly well known among my friends that I don’t like Dogs, and some look at me in disbelief, and I forgive them. After all they, not their dogs, are my friends, and if they wonder how come? Well let me tell you.

A long time ago there was a little reddish-brown cocker who was just plain hell-on-four-legs, and he quickly erased any previous loving thoughts I ever had for the canine clan. His name was Jocco, but that isn’t what I called him, and what I did is unprintable.

He was a one-man dog, and that man happened to my brother-in-law, Jake. But there came a time when Jake moved and couldn’t take Jocco with him, Jocco slowly changed his allegiance to my husband.

Oh, he tolerated anyone who would feed him, but that wasn’t me. He ignored me completely and if ever was forced, by some turn of events to notice me, he did so with reluctance and obvious dislike.

See, there was a catch, for as long as he was a one-man dog, he expected his ‘man’ to be just as one-sided in his affections, and drove him wild to see any display of affection by his ‘man’ to anyone else, and at one time, it was considered real hilarious (not by me). And it was thought funny, to watch the dog growl and show his teeth, when my husband would put his arms around me or pull me down to sit on his lap.

Jocco would stand there growling, and I suspect he would have jumped at me if the real culprits had not been there. Yes, it was funny, but it was also mean and cruel, but just try to tell that to a couple of laughing, men.

It didn’t really matter, for we lived a few blocks away, and so the two of us, Dog and Woman, had little time together, and until Jake had to move, the dog never left that place. But with Jake’s move the dog mourned, pined and then . . . found out where we lived, and would have lived with us, too, if he could have. But I wouldn’t have him in our home if I could help it, but at times I simply had no choice. And so Jocco learned where we lived.

One blizzardy afternoon I came home from work and that dog was sitting on my doorstep. He was cold, icicles hanging from his fur, paws the same, and  I couldn’t get in my own door except by getting past him, and he wouldn’t move. Impatient to get in, he growled and snarled at my reluctance, and as soon as my key turned, he pushed me aside and was in the house before I could cross the doorstep, and I hated him.

He settled himself in a living room chair, licking his frozen paws, smelling as foul as only a wet dog can smell, and generally defrosted himself while I inwardly fumed.

Once I got my coat off, I was so angry at ‘whose house is this anyway? mood, and determinedly took the broom and tried to drive him at least out of my living room chair, but Jocco, as determined as I was, jerked the broom from my hands and then, with flashing eyes, sat down and proceeded to tear into the bristles of that broom. I was licked and both of us knew it. And he was probably as glad as I, that he didn’t live with us.

I came home around mid-nite one time and my husband was already sound asleep with Jocco asleep on the foot of the bed.

As I walked back and forth, kitchen, bathroom, closet, getting ready for bed, that dang dog’s eyes never left me, and each time I approached the bed, he rose on his feet, bared his teeth, growling at me and relaxing and settling down only when I stepped to Kitchen or Bath.

Finally and every word of this is true, I had to waken my husband, so he could give that dang dog a hard whack and got him off the bed. So I could get in.

No, I don’t like dogs, I know all this was the fault of those two crazy men, but just the same, Jocco loved his part of the act, and now, every one of that canine breed could disappear off the face of the earth and all I’d say . . .if someone called my attention to their absence . . . would be, “My my, I hadn’t noticed.”

But inwardly I’d be cheering, long and hard, and thinking, “It’s about time.”

In The Beginning

We are all a bit silly, thinking We Are The Center Of It All . . .

I was a child when I heard the Bible’s first words, “In the beginning God created heaven and earth’,  and to me that meant this valley circled by the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains, with its covering dome of the sun, moon, and stars. And I was content. Heaven and Earth. Right here. Good.

Of course my knowledge grew, and now I know that heaven and earth continue into distances never then imagined, and the more we learn, the more we know that what is ‘out there’, is not new. This far-flung world we live upon has been here since The Big Bang, and just because none of us knew it, doesn’t make one bit of difference. It is here. Always been here, and it’s good.

Columbus changed our concept of heaven and earth back in the 15th century; Magellan did the same as he circled the world, and when we saw Neil Armstrong take that small step onto the Moon, we shivered and knew another ‘boundary’ of Space had been scaled.

We no longer wonder if there are Beings ‘out there’. for now we know.  ‘Bodies’ (and never an explanation as to, ‘what kind of bodies’), remained after that Texas UFO crash. The event was immediately CLOSED DOWN to Everyone. And that meant ALL, including , police, doctors. all news sources, TV, Radio, innocent victims, owners of the land it lit upon, and on and on. All sworn to Absolute Silence. And the penalties stiff.

But, everything that was found and survived from that crash, (and it was said to be a lot) is now at Nevada’s Area 51, the most famous, secret Military Installation in the World. And that secret Area 51 was built for the sole purpose of examining, and caring for those UFO crash remains.

And moreover, we also know that those UFO people are far more intellectually advanced than we are,  because they found and ‘called upon’ us, at the time when we were first becoming  aware of their presence,  and seriously began wondering what MIGHT ‘be out there’. I can only guess the questions, answers, and wonders of what we learned and are learning in Area 51. It has to be awesome.  Frightening?.

I, a very average person, am baffled because, as we explore, we are constantly surprised in finding that Space extends far beyond where we ever expected. The heavens and the earth exist, and  have existed, ever since In The Beginning. At one time I, as a child, didn’t know there was an Africa, but what I knew and didn’t know did not matter. Africa was and always had been there. It was part of God’s creation and so are the Beings that inhabit those far off places in Space, and who found us. And whether we like it or not, they are here, and are a part of that primal act of God’s Creation of Heaven and Earth..

Remember, when we hear of dangerous actions in some part of our Earth World, we send forces to go find out ‘what’s going on over there’.  We want to put a stop to foolish activities. So, who knows? Just maybe the UFO people might have been surprised, alerted and alarmed at the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And just maybe those we call Aliens were sent. and continue to be sent, to determine what is going on in this corner of Space. Who knows? It’s the same protective kind of  actions we take.

And, it just might be that they want to save us from problems they, perhaps long ago, met, and conquered.

It is all the same Space (God’s Heaven and Earth) and I am boggled at where my mind is taking me. For step by step, it then follows that those UFO pilots are also God’s creations, and so belong to our ultimate Family. They are our kin.

We have been slow in realizing that no matter what color the skin, shape of eyes, land of origin, those ‘odd’ people who live down the street, or from what we call outer Space. It’s all part of God’s Heaven and Earth, and so a part of Our family. And, as such, it is good.

I can’t be the first or only one to have such thoughts, and so I reach out to hear from you. Thanks, and a reply is not required,  but would really be great…

Young Environmentalist Sets Sail

I could see his ‘wheels spinning’ faster than a Tibetan prayer wheel . . .

Ten year olds are wonderful. Their basic learning skills are conquered and with minds like sponges, eyes ready to see, ears ready to hear, minds not yet cynical, they are avidly ready for new ideas, and I do believe this past summer I saw one such boy become a dyed in the wool environmentalist.

See, Joey was with me as I poured a pan of dirty water down the drain, and casually mused, “I wonder who’ll be the next person to drink that water?”

His eyes told me he didn’t know what I was talking about, so a big discussion about water began. He later told his school teacher about it, and she had him tell the class. Not bad for a ten year old, huh?

So, what did I say that entranced so young a lad? Well, I explained that there is only so much water in the whole world. That we are re-using the same water that Adam and Eve used, and it will still be the same water when the opposite of The Big Bang happens. The very same, just used and re-used over and over and over.

Then it became a game as we began naming its different forms, all the way from a mountain stream, to ice, snow, rain, gutters, sewers, glaciers, clouds, dry ice, steam and so forth.

But before long, with a serious look on his face, he edged back to the ‘sewer’ bit and with a grin on mine, I said, “Now, Joey, almost every time I see you, you have some kind of drink in your hands, and just where does it finally go?” I could see he didn’t want to accept where my words were taking him. But reluctantly he said, “Well, I go to the bathroom.” (and no, that isn’t how he said it), but I laughed and said, “Yeah, and you don’t think it gets thrown away, do you? And anyway, just where would they throw it?”

I handed him a bottle of water and said, “Joey, this is the very same water Noah floated his ark upon; that Moses parted in the Red Sea; where the Indians paddled their canoes; and the same water dinosaurs mucked around in before there were even people.”

We followed the circle backward from the mountain stream, to melting snow, to the heavy clouds that drop the snow (or rain) and further back to the way those clouds are formed from moisture rising from the oceans.

He didn’t have too much else to say, but as he left for home, I could see his ‘wheels spinning’ faster than a Tibetan prayer wheel, and the next day he was back with one big question, that of, ” How does it get cleaned up?

He hadn’t liked the idea that water, no matter in what form we use or see it, ultimately comes right back to our kitchen tap, and was now doing his best to get clean water there. And I believe it was at this point he started to become a serious ‘save the environment” kind of kid.

It was wonderful to watch his mind follow the trail from snow of a thousand years ago, forming glaciers, which either melt into streams or ‘calf’ off into the oceans. He spoke of steam at his mother’s stove, ice cubes, and on and on. It was a delight to watch his mind work and almost wished I could have been a school teacher.

I don’t think he will ever again look upon ‘water’ in any form, the same way as he did before knowing that the clear, clean water we’re drinking has been used by so many different people and in so many different ways. It’s sobering, and not too comfortable, but like it or not, this ole’ world has only a certain amount of water (and earth, too). and that they both do get used over and over and over.

I saw Joey’s ten year old mind digging deep and I doubt he’ll ever again think of water (and perhaps the earth, too) in a casual way again. I believe I saw an environmentalist come into being, and it was good. And doubly good that I had had a role in awakening that young ten year old to a greater world.

Coincidence? I Think Not

Everything happens for a reason . . .

Anyone who knows me well enough to say “Hi”, also knows that Ethel is odd. And they’re right in a way, for at times, I have odd things happen. But at the same time, I suspect what happens to me is just about what happens to you, too. We’re all the same, except I tend to talk or write about it all. And so, here goes.
At times, since childhood, I’ve been aware of what others were thinking, who was going to give me a phone call, or now, it has happened with email, and sometimes I even know what they’re going to tell me. Nothing big, but as I say, it’s odd, and once I even told the caller what she’d called for, and we laughed, and I couldn’t convince her that someone else hadn’t already called and told me. See, that’s what I mean.

Before you cross me off your list as being  downright wiffy, hold on a moment. These happenings are not scheduled, or sought, but come hit or miss, and if I try to make them happen, (yeah, I’ve tried), I draw a blank. It doesn’t work that way.

But a few days ago one came that startled me, and so, I’m writing this column. See, Beverly Wheeler Mastrim, born at Wheeler Farm, life-long artist, and I, Ethel, produced a nice Coffee Table book. The words mine, the art work hers.

So, to continue, there’s a delivery man who comes to my door and we’ve become friends and I decided I would gift him with Bev’s and my book, “The Sunset of the Farmer”.

I autographed it, and wished Bev were here to do the same. But it’s become difficult for us to get together, and so, a day or so ago, when Bev came to my home for the first time in more than three years, we laughed and talked. However within a few moments the doorbell rang, and yes, it was that fellow, and so he not only joyously received the book, but with Beverly’s autograph, too. Nice.

The synchronicity of the three of us coming together within that 5-10 minute time-slot is unbelievable. I hadn’t spoken of my wish to anyone, but nevertheless, Beverly, the man, and Ethel all came together in the right place and time, as though it had been planned. Eerie.

Ok, here’s a more common experience. My husband, who died long ago as a fairly young man, appeared to me twice in the following few years, when I was alone, needing comfort, and he, non-verbally gave me reassurance that all would be well. And he was right.

Then one day an acquaintance, called from Denver and as we idly chatted about this and that, he casually included a bit of information I, with no results, (Google had yet to be invented)  had been searching for, to complete an article I was writing. It was really not important to our conversation, for the words were almost out of context, but I got goose bumps and wondered how the information I needed came so casually, and without asking. And I knew it was another time for me to silently thank my Unseen Helpers.

Once I felt the coming death of a young, healthy, and active girl of about ten or eleven years old. I tried to toss the thought away as just a result of my crazy mind, but just the same within days that young girl died suddenly from a car accident, How and why did I know? I have no idea for there was nothing I could do. It’s the only time such knowledge ever was mine, and I hope I will never experience it again.

And then, since childhood I’ve heard humming near me. As a child, I of course thought everyone heard it, but one day I mentioned it to my mother and she told me she hadn’t been singing, and didn’t know what I was talking about.  It doesn’t happen as often as when I was a child but once a glorious sunset brought it, and then one time it came as I saw moonlight on the pasture pond. (This was before   it became Mick Riley Golf Course)  and II heard it once with a group of meditators, where the humming was like a choir, and, then of all unlikely places, I’ve heard it twice in Murray Public library. I don’t hear it as often as I did as a child, and wonder if it’s because a child just enjoys and doesn’t try to analyze.

Odd? Yeah, I know, but I also bet ten-to-one, that you could match everyone of these happenings with those of your own. But for some reason, we hesitate to tell others. But I think we’re very normal and without knowing why or how, at times we’re able to use our Minds at a higher (deeper?) level. Exactly as our Minds are meant to be used. TYG.

Retired, What To Do

Or, the joy of being self-directed and intentional . . .

The question 90% of new retirees ask, (when the first month of sleeping until noon becomes boring) is “What shall I do?”   After the life-long routine of going to the office, store, plant, job, that question is both a surprise and scary.

Thousands of times you’ve wished for the luxury of staying at home, all day, every day, but now that very schedule is upon you, and don’t lie, you’re soon bored and bewildered.

It finally dawns on us that our entire life has been spent doing what someone else has told us to do. And again, don’t lie. But stay with me, you’ll find it an eye opener, but it’s better to considered it today, and not wait for some tomorrow.

As infants and children it didn’t matter one bit what we wanted, because if we didn’t do as our Mom and Dad said, a swift swat on our butts taught us.

When 5 or 6, we went to school and everyone told us how great it was going to be. I was excited. And in many ways it was, but have you forgotten that once again we found that if we wanted to stay alive, there was another Boss, the Teacher with new rules to obey. And at recess, yes, there were other kids to play with, however, most of them were bigger, and if we wanted to remain healthy, it was best if we followed their lead.

No one asked us what we wanted to do. Yeah, we had a lot of fun along the way, but just the same, our days were spent doing what we were told to do. Remember???

And on Sundays? Well, there were Teachers with all kinds of names from Bishops to Priests, Sister This and Brother That, but no matter what their names, they had rules that even told our parents what to or not to do. We eventually found that no matter where we went, swimming pool, bowling alley, hiking, or just going for a nice drive up the canyon, dang it, there were rules to obey, or cops wasted no time reminding us of them.

In our teen years the group just older than us set the rules on what to wear, do, hair styles, clothes, and suddenly there were boys and there were girls, and it didn’t take long to find out how to please our opposites, and we tried our very best to do just that. And if we found jobs, they always came with different bosses telling us what to do. Like most teens, at times I floundered, (who didn’t?) and was lucky and survived those years, but yet, no one ever asked me what I wanted, but was always what they wanted. You, too?

The Bosses changed but they all told us what to do. More Teachers, and finally husbands, wives, even our children. And we all tried to do as ‘they’ wanted from what to serve at meals, to what furniture to buy. And on and on. The church, magazines, radio, TV and neighbors told us what and how to keep our homes, yards and gardens. And how to spend our spare time, as well.

We had jobs that filled our days, and if they paid enough, we stayed, but I don’t remember ever sitting down, trying to figure out if it was what Ethel wanted to do. No, we blundered along and were might lucky if life didn’t scar us too badly.

Was I that unimportant to myself? It took a long time before I finally asked myself why, from childhood on, didn’t someone, some book, some class, some counselor ever offer a hint to help us find out what WE wanted to do, or be.

Yes, I found that much of what I was told was good, but much of it I accepted without thinking, and most of us became clones of other’s instructions. It’s worth a thought and just maybe there is time to gently find out what you want to be. And not to be a clone in a bunch of other clones, sitting, watching tv, bored and wondering if this is all Life has for you.

Those of us who found jobs we loved and which continued to fit into our retirement years, were and are blessed and lucky.

But before another day goes by, find out what you would love to do. What hobby you always wanted to try, as a new language. Play the piano, guitar. Something you almost feel that you ‘need’ to do, and then start making plans, or doing it. Right now. For once, if never before, you can now be your own boss. That’s what retirement can be.  Make it so for you.

Death in The Narrows

ZIONS NATIONAL PARK; Sept. 19, 1961: 

Flash Flood Takes 3 Lives


ZIONS NATIONAL PARK; Sept. 17, 2015:

Flash Flood Takes 12 Lives

But life never halts, and cruel as it seems, goes relentlessly on . . .

Fifty-four years ago, and almost to the very day, a flood swept Zion Narrows, and I remember for my sister Fern’s husband, Walter J. Scott, was Leader of the 22 people who formed that 1961 group, which also included their daughter, Adene.JW-Scott-1960

They didn’t hike all in one bunch, but groups of them were scattered along the pathway by that narrow canyon stream, and were ‘held together’ by Walt, who hiked back and forth among them.   It was great.

But Life often has its own plans and they were never again to meet as a full group, because before too long, the stream water had risen to cover their path, their shoe tops, and then, before they could even try to adjust to wet feet, a cascading wall of water came upon them, bringing tons of pine needles, and just as swiftly, came tree limbs, rocks, and debris of all sorts.

Wet feet were soon unimportant, for by then they were struggling for their lives, and they knew it. As the water relentlessly kept rising , they were forced up slopes and over or around rocks they  would never before even  considered tackling, but there was no choice, for they were facing dangers they had never dreamed or planned.

Their lives were on the line and so they did what normally would have been impossible. Flood refugees can’t be choosers and that is why they spent the rest of that day and that night on a hillside, safe, but yet, oh, how close to danger. It had not been part of that day’s plan.

And, with no instant communication, it was not until the next day that they began to hear what had happened to others on their hike. And families in their homes, knew that a flash flood had hit the canyon where their sons and daughters were, but there was no way of knowing if the hikers were safe, or had been taken along with the flood.

Yes, the world immediately knew of a deadly flood in Utah’s beautiful, but oh, so narrow canyon where, in such a flood, their only safety was getting to higher ground.  Such a problem, for a part of the lure of that hike is of its dangerous beauty. The flood sent no warning, and getting away from that raging water, was their only chance of survival..

It was like demons had planned the event, for all that day, that night, and into the next day, was pure hell for the hikers, as well as those who waited in homes, as my sister Fern did in her Murray home.  She, along with other families of those hikers did not know if their loved ones lived or had died.  My sister could have lost her husband and daughter, or one of them, or if both had survived. It was a bad time, back in 1961 for hikers or families.

Every hiker saw a story unfold, and from their higher position could at times catch glimpses of the stream, and a few of them saw Walt, Leader of the entire group, fighting to help two young men to safety.   With his strength, he might have been able to save himself but those young  hikers were in his keeping.  His struggles. however,  proved to be useless and all three of them became victims of the water’s fury.

I was a writer for the Murray Eagle/Green Sheet newspapers and was trying to write my column, “Out My Window” and it was a dark ‘window’ that day. for one part of me tried to be an ‘observer’ and write the facts, while, another part of me was a participant. along with family members for I knew Walt and Adene were in a life or death situation.

There was nothing anyone could to do but wait and pray, and it was long hours before Fern knew that Walt her husband had died, but Adene her daughter, survived.

As survivors of such horrors have ever found, Fern also learned that life never halts, and cruel as it seems, goes relentlessly on. It’s a difficult, but a well trodden pathway. and as the families of those 54 years ago learned, the families of those today will also sorrowfully learn.

People who died that day 54 years ago were Walter J. Scott, Leader, Steven Gene Florence, and Paul Ray Nicholson. Survivors from this area, were John Bangerter, Bonnie Darger, Lila Fielden, Katheryn Grim, Margaret McIntyre, Lynda McIntyre, and Adene Scott, daughter of rhe Leader. Among other survivors were hikers  from Park City and out of State.