Pregnancy Pillows

Freud would have clapped his hands in glee for a chance to unravel this twist.

Yes, that’s what the ad said, and it took but a few seconds to know that they weren’t selling pillows for rest or comfort, but a pillow to be tied around the waist and worn under the woman’s regular clothing so that she looked pregnant. I kept reading.

I don’t know if it’s some new fad, an ‘in’ thing, (the ad didn’t say), but the idea is NOT to be pregnant, but definitely look that way. Or, and this is Ethel’s mind working, just maybe to give some reluctant man a heart attack. Or leave town. Or ask you to marry him.

The Pillows come in different sizes, styles and shapes. If you want to look just a bit ‘broody’?  (The ad’s words) Well, the three-to-four month Pillow is suggested, but if you want to startle people, and have a more delicate air? More fragile? Read on.

They have exactly what you need for any reaction, from surprise to terror. Any of them can be yours instantly and with none of the usual complications. Obviously I’m not up to the latest styles and habits so I kept reading. I wanted to learn more.

All you need do, the ad told, is to choose the ‘right’ size and you’ll have people helping you from your chair, telling you not to over-do, and treating you as if you’re the most delicate thing around.   The reaction will differ with the ‘size’ pillow you buy. But, the ad promised, you’ll get action.

If you’re feeling devilish and want to have ‘fun’, (the ad’s words) get the eight-monther. While you’re convulsed with secret laughter (it says), the men will quickly give you their chair, and then just as quickly move to the other side of the room. And mentally wonder why you didn’t stay home, and at the same time worried you might sneeze.

And again going back to the ad’s words, you’ll really have the laugh ot the year if you step into another room for a moment and then return, slender as a willow and not pregnant at all. Fun???? That’s what the ad promised.

A full nine-month pillow wasn’t offered. I suppose that doesn’t look like fun and no one wants the ‘look’ when the fun’s gone.   And less you think I’m joking just begin scanning the off-center magazines. You’ll find the ads,

Women must be hard to please. First was the fight for The Pill, to assure only wanted pregnancies.   Then came legal abortions for those who made a ‘mistake’. And now what comes next? Pillows to let the ‘liberated’ woman who wouldn’t go through a pregnancy for love nor money, able to have the look of the utter female. The Pregnant one.

Or just maybe there’s something going on with today’s world that I’ve missed and which every young girl reading this will say, Well, doesn’t Ethel know about this? And they’ll be right. I don’t know and have actually wondered if they are meant for Halloween? Maybe. Maybe. But that holiday wasn’t mentioned.

Freud would have clapped his hands in glee for a chance to unravel this twist. Or, and here I wonder, and if there is some other reason for the Pillows, please let me, and a lot of other people, know about it.

For, seriously, it’d have to be a big reason, for pregnancy is not a joke. It is the genesis of the next generation, Not something to be put forth as a joke, but I suppose I’m not up to date on such things, And I’m just as pleased that I’m not.

What’s In A Name?

Labels for the time and place . . .

We say we only have one name, the one we were born with, but I find we not only have many names, but each one has a different persona.

Grandpa Ohlin called me and my siblings, Svenskas, and though I didn’t know that Svenska meant Swedish, I knew it was special and nice. And, as a child, Dad called me Flicka, and it was years before I knew that I, blonde, with white straight hair, was the only ‘Swedish’ child he had, for my siblings all had dark wavy hair. It’s been a lifetime since those names were used for me, but when I see them in print, I’m a child again, and for a moment am Flicka, Svenska.

Of course, in my teens I was another ubiquitous Blondie, and later on, came the teasing name of Blizzard Head, and, though it’s utterly impossible, but if I should ever hear that name spoken, without even looking I’d know it was Jake calling out to a twenty-year-old girl with blonde, ‘permed’ hair.   Oh, the power of a name.

Then Brad entered my life and gave me the love name of Butchie. Years later an old pal, Bill Bailey, came to visit and out of the blue called me Butchie, and I was tossed back in time to another Ethel. A nice name, Butchie, nice Ethel and nice Brad. Oh, yes, those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end . . . but they did.

Then there was Mrs. Bradford and the first time someone said, “Mrs. Bradford”, meaning me, and not Gram, I nearly fell over with shock. Me???   Me? Mrs. Bradford??? Yeah, and with Gram long gone, it’s no longer a shock to know it’s me they mean.

When I first started writing for the Green Sheet Newspapers, I used the alias of Trudy, and it was good, for it was under that name that I took my first steps in becoming the Ethel whose life has been formed by writing.

And then came those glorious years when I became Mom to two sons, and that was an entirely different person than any other before or since. A most wonderful, blessed name, one I wouldn’t give up for any other in the world. That’s me and always will be, for, to me there’s no better name, than Mom.

The name of Grandmother, conjures up a different Ethel, and once I invited a guest to a family get-together, and he later said, “I saw an Ethel today that I’ve never seen before,” and when I looked surprised, he said, “I saw several Ethel’s. You were friend, Mother, Mother-in-law, and Grandmother. It was fun to watch your different responses to different names and people. All nice Ethel’s, but all different from the one you are with me.”  Oh.

Names, names, names, and the older one gets, the more names and personalities we collect. A friend Richard says he sometimes feels he’s on a pogo stick trying to be his mother’s Dickie, his father’s Richard, and Dick to high school pals. Says he’s also Mr. ‘Jones’, as well as he’s Teacher  to others. All different names and roles of the same person, and all expecting, and, instinctively getting, different responses.

And you say you don’t do this? Maybe, but step back watch yourself, and I bet you’ll see a different person with your mother, spouse, children, boss, or employees.  And yes, oh yes, how about to your Bishop? Or Minister? And what do they call you?

I caught onto this dichotomy and tried to be the same person no matter what or who called me, but it wont work. You can’t speak to your mother as you do your boss, fellow-employees, spouse or children. I’m a different person to the salesman at the door, than I am to my grandkids, and still another to the one on the phone trying to get a donation, or to the repairman I’ve called to my home.

And you still think you have but one name? And all the same personality? Well, ho ho, ho and ho. Methinks you’d better think again.

Married For Life

But not for 24 hours a day . . .

It took me a long time to understand and respect things Gram would casually (? ) say, but so many of her thoughts have stayed with me, and I wish I could tell her how much her words, like those I write of today, have helped me.

“Ethel”, she said, “for a woman (and I came to know it’s also true for men) to be happy, she must find something, in addition to her family, that will bring joy into her life. And the more “hobbies” she has, the better off she’ll be.”

I listened, but really didn’t ‘hear’ her, for I was still in that euphoric stage when I thought that after marriage you automatically lived happily ever after. Impossible to think she could really mean that I might someday need anything besides my husband, her son, to bring me happiness.

But I also knew Gram didn’t waste words and so I filed her thoughts away into my mental computer, and, when the day did come, when ‘family’ wasn’t enough, her words re-surfaced and I began to follow her advice. See, she had ‘been there’ and was doing her best to pass the wisdom on to one she loved. Me.

Others have said it, too. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is the old peasant way of saying it. Pearl Buck, and I paraphrase, said that if a women tries to confine all her energies, attention and love, into the sole outlet of husband and family, she will put a burden on the relationship that it was never meant to bear. Oh.

The husband (or wife) will retreat (escape) in self-defense to TV, behind a magazine or newspaper, golf, the neighborhood bar, or other activity. And children, if outspoken, will tell you to ‘get off their back’, will stay in their room, ‘live’ at friend’s homes, retreat into silence or rebel in any of the thousand ways a teen can devise.

When I first did something that my husband had no interest in, I felt guilty, but I went ahead and was startled to find that he liked those times when his presence or participation wasn’t needed. And slowly I saw that he had his interests. And it was good.

What Gram had learned, as we all must if we are to gain any measure of happiness, is that not one of us can (or wants) to spend 24 hours a day, with just one person. No matter how loved that one might be.

Gram knew that kids grow up and leave home. Death does come, and that jobs, life and sickness, both mental and physical, can separate people. So, for our own balance we must find outlets that absorb and bring delight to us. In addition to our families.

Women’s lives were limited at Gram’s time, but I think ‘Cooking’ was her first, (or second), and it shattered her when she could no longer be mistress of her own kitchen. Gardening was her second (or first) and I never greet Spring without recalling her delight in ‘getting outside to plant and dig’.

I have mine, and if you haven’t found yours, get busy. For there are times in everyone’s life when spouse, children, job and even life seem to fail us. Yes, these are the times when some hobby or avocation can actually be a life line to your peace and sanity.

And one of the most succinct phrases of all, as true today as when she passed it along to me, with a wry smile on her face. “We marry for life, but not for twenty-four hours a day.” Wise, wise woman, and I hope you and you and you read and remember. Might save your sanity one of these days, too. Or his.

The Bra . . .

       The Bra is about the only article of women’s clothing that wasn’t first worn by men.

Don’t believe me? Well, just wander through illustrated history books a bit and as you look you’ll agree and laugh with me. Get out your Art Pictures of older English Royalty. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Pictures found etched on ancient Egyptian walls. And don’t forget the Bible.

For beginners, women in pants of any sort were absolutely unknown until quite a while after WW2. Women formed a highly praised branch of the US Army, the WACS, but they wore skirts. Unimaginable, but true. Regiment after regiment, and all in skirts.

Panty hose were worn by male noblemen at Shakespeare’s time and I’m sure they weren’t called Panty hose, for even on the stage today, they’re called Tights. But take a good look at them, and you’ll see they were the first panty hose.

And, to top off that long expanse of leg, the men set them off with Mini Skirts. No, they weren’t called mini skirts, but even a casual glance tells what they were. It took women well into the 20th century to claim not only the mini skirts, but everyone of the items mentioned above, Women were slow, slow, slow.

Legs were fetishes ‘back then’ even as now, but it was the male’s legs that wooed for attention, not the well covered female’s. It was the attire on the men’s legs that unashamedly was meant to catch the beholder’s attention. And I’m sure the women saw and followed the bait. .

No, they weren’t made of nylon, and they must have sagged and bunched at knees and ankles, but just the same . . . panty hose.

The Scots had their Kilts (skirts), and today still wear them for their formal attire. The Greeks had their white skirts and wore them for both battle and daily wear. ruffled, starched, standing out like to-day’s Ballerina tutu. Nothing new under the sun, and while women flaunt them all today, it was men who showed the way.

Abraham, and his brothers of Biblical times, as they herded their flocks across the hot sand, wore Kaftans. And the scarves they flung around their necks and heads the same as women do today when we want to be stylish, cool and casual.

Make-up was a male prerogative and they wore it long before Cleopatra put kohl on her eyelids, and henna to her nails and palms. Different than our make up kits, but the males of those centuries ago would eagerly use every item offered today.

And then we get to fancy shoes. We woman were still wrapping our feet in cloth to keep out the cold when men were wearing leather, fur and silk.

The shoes with long pointed toes were worn by men. The toes were much longer than we women have ever worn . . and were held up by ribbons fastened from the end of the point to the wearer’s hand, and when they wanted to impress someone, the ribbons were immediately put to one side and they walked carefully to make certain the toes did not get tripped over or walked upon by others. We women may have been slow to catch on, but it’s easy to see we brought about improvements. No be-ribboned toes for us.

Long ago Egyptian males wore ear rings and wigs. And think about it, but we’ve never, never seen pictures of  Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, and Colonists of any standing with out their wigs, and wouldn’t recognize those men without wigs. And it’s the law in Great Britain that English Judges must still wear those stylized white curled wigs we wonder over.

Yeah, we women are late bloomers, but men, in some areas of the world, still cling to the old forms.

Now hair styles are a thing apart from clothing, but just the same, men found the comfort, styling and ease of the hair cuts that many women, and I’m one of them, wear today, but, men found that comfort and ease first of all.

Men never did wear bras, physically they’ve never needed them, but they made up   for it. Don’t ever forget those little items called Cod pieces that were so popular all through the 15th, 16th, and late into the 17th centuries. They were well padded. too.  And if some of you are so innocent you don’t know what Cod pieces were, well, Ethel isn’t going to tell you, Just Google it and laugh with me.

The same as men never needing our Bras, the Cod Piece is one we women will never copy, either. Have fun.

Pioneer Day In Utah

Status

Forget all the movies you’ve seen about it . . .

Every year, every generation gets further and further from the actual Pioneer trek that Utah celebrates each Twenty-Fourth of July. At  one time, if your ancestors didn’t either ‘cross the Plains’ or ‘come round the Horn’ (Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America) you were out of sync, and were even criticized if you dared join in the celebration of that Day.

My ancestors certainly didn’t come ’round the Horn’ for that was expensive, while you could Cross the Plains by just having a good wagon, oxen, food, and stamina. That’s the breed my family came from and it’s a tale of a 14 year old lad whose mother, as did many women, ‘worked her way across the Plains’, and  her son herded cattle.

The tale comes from Ada Goodall Garrity, the youngest daughter of that boy, James “Jimmie” Goodall, who told that her father solemnly said that, “From the very first day of the journey, if I could’ve found a Wagon Train, or anyone, going the other way, I’d have been the first to join them.”

Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t say he’d forsake his church, but he did say that the trip was a nightmare that he never recovered from and paid for the rest of his life. A journey to never wish upon his  worst enemy.

So, having no money, he and other young lads, paid their way by herding cows and bulls. It was an absolutely vital job, for those cows meant their future food , milk, butter, cream and cheese. Their very lives depended upon those animals, and so had to be well tended, because, where they were going, there were no towns, or stores of any sort. Live or die, it was up to those Pioneers, and to be accomplished solely upon their work and what they brought with them.

It was the formation of the Wagon Train that made herding a horror. Up front and first in line,  were  the Leaders of the Train,  the Scouts. They put up ‘signs’ of some sort, to point the way over mountain passes, marked the best place to cross rivers, and they led the Train to protected areas where the oxen, horses, cattle and people could eat, find water, and rest for the  night.

In Second place were the wagons and people. Dozens of wagons and carts pulled by man or oxen, hundreds of people walking and countless men riding back and forth on horses, seeing that the sick and dying were cared for, that women in child birth were tended, and broken wagons repaired.

Forget all the movies you’ve seen. They are a farce and the people on the real wagon trains would never dream that the movies  were ever  intended to portray the actual journey they had made.

Then, behind all the wagons, horses and people came the cattle. Hundreds of cows and bulls formed a mile-long tail  of the already strung-out migration. And bringing up the very end of the whole,  were the young boys, prodding the slow or worn-out cows, chasing and capturing any that roamed, and finally, keeping them all moving so none were lost or left behind.

In other words, they breathed and ate the dust made by every person and animal that went before them. There were no paved roads, just dry dusty land and every step created more dust. It was recorded that the ‘dust laid low like a black cloud, and could be seen for miles.’

And those kids, only a few years from childhood, breathed that dust, night and day with never a breath of clean air from the time  they left the west bank of the Mississippi until they reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake. And hard for us to realize is that there were no towns, none at all. No homes, no drive-ins for a cold drink. Nothing, but dry land and its dust.

Jimmie’s daughter remembered her father saying he never, as long as he lived, was ever free of ‘that black cloud, for he coughed up its dust the rest of his life.’ Claiming his lungs brought part of the Plains right along with him into our valley, and stayed here.

We romanticize Crossing the Plains, and movies make a plastic dream of it, picturing people working, laughing, singing, dancing and praying, but those actually doing it, saw nothing romantic about it. It was outright hell for women, cruelly demanding on men, and often deadly for children.

The train stopped for nothing. They didn’t have the time to stop for sickness, birthing, broken bones, sick, worn out children, injured oxen, or death. Many would never complete the trip, but enough did, that we have the Salt Lake Valley of today. It was the survival of the fittest. Wait till night to bury the dead, say a prayer, shed a tear and then get your sleep so you will be ready for the next day’s work.

Those people would look at our cleaned-up and romanticized versions of their trek with the parades, and rodeos, and find them so far away from the truth of the Journey that they would wonder what the connection could be.   But anyway, if you’re of Pioneer stock or not, no one cares any more, just be glad for an extra holiday, and for whatever reason, have a Happy Twenty-Fourth.

Class – Let’s Get Some

I attended a class where “What Makes People Tick” was explored and some ideas were tremendous. and so I won’t forget them, I pass them along. And, at one point, the person who, for want of a better word, has Class was discussed.

The one with Class never runs scared. He is confident in knowing that one can meet life head-on and handle anything that comes. The same set of circumstances can come to two people, and, while one will be crushed and beaten, the one with Class will take a deep breath, swallow, hold his head high and go on.

Jacob had Class, Esau didn’t. And, if we look symbolically at Jacob’s wrestling match with the angel, we realize that those with Class often wrestle with their own ‘angels’ and win victories that mark them positively for the rest of their lives.

People with Class don’t make excuses. They take their lumps, cut their losses, and learn from the experience. And as my friend Jake, used to say, “Don’t complain, don’t explain, for neither will do any good. Just square your shoulders and go on from where ever you landed”. Took me a long time to figure out how smart he was.

Those with Class are considerate of others. They know that good manners are nothing but a series of small sacrifices. A ‘thank you’ , or a ‘pardon or excuse me’ are all wonderful ‘oil’ for our complicated society and make for smooth, pleasant relationships.

Class reveals an ‘aristocracy’ that has nothing to do with ancestors or money. The most affluent person can be totally rude and inconsiderate, while generations of low-income people may show Class in every pore.

Don Blanding said it succinctly in his poem “Vagabond House” about his two beloved dogs. He wrote, “Both are thoroughbreds, right from the start. One by breeding, the other by heart.” He was speaking of Class and I shiver as I read the words.

One with Class never tries to build himself up by tearing others down. Class is always ‘up’ and does not need to try to look better by knocking others down.

As Kipling wrote, one with Class can “walk with kings and keep the common touch and talk with crowds and keep his virtue.” Everyone is comfortable with such a one because he is comfortable with himself.

I can’t help but think of Eleanor Roosevelt,  First Lady when FDR was President.  Caught on camera, (no TV at that time), she was suddenly face to face with an official from a far Eastern nation, and there was no one to ‘do’ the introductions. She quite calmly said, “I don’t know how to address you, but I am so glad to meet you.” He smiled, told her what most people called him, and then the two of them conversed.

That was real Class, from both of them.

I saw, of course on TV, when a younger Queen Elizabeth showed her Class one day, when an overweight woman was presented to her. The woman began to make the traditional curtsy, but dropped down too far, and terror filled her face for it was obvious that the poor  woman  had reached the point of no return, and, on her own,  didn’t  have the power to get upright again.

But Queen Elizabeth, saw the sad predicament,  and, without a change of expression, she put one foot backward, held out her arm and with both arm and body stiff as boards she actually levered and pulled the woman upright and balanced again. The Queen then went on to the next person without a pause. I shivered as my respect for her went straight up. That, let me tell you was real Class.

If you have that trait your whole life will be smoother. so let’s both take a class on “Class” development, beginning right now.   I would welcome the company.

 

ethelbrad@comcast.net

 

The Dawn . . .

Dawn – The finest hour

No matter how wakeful or troubled the night, there is always reassurance and joy in the morning. I mean, of course, after the first horrible wrench of getting myself out of the subliminal state and on my feet.

Yes, I hate to get out of bed but once I do, the rewards are worth the struggle. There’s a softness to the early morning that cannot be put into words and i feel like Alice in Wonderland as she stepped through the mirror into a new world. That’s what early morning is like. Before anyone starts moving and breaks the spell.

I pour myself a quick cup and then step outside, for one must make the commitment and be outside for the magic to work. I go quietly, barefoot and nine-times-out-of-ten still in my night shift. I feel like an intruder on that world, so near my door, but at dawn it’s not mine, and go as quietly as possible.

The other morning I saw two pheasants, a male and his mate, strolling right across the street, and hardly daring to breath, I watched in delight. During the day I hear, but seldom see them, but at that hour, they had no fear, for the world, including the street was theirs.

The backyard was alive. I toss bird seed in sheltered nooks and the birds spread the word and come. There are the shy quail, greedy magpies, friendly sparrows, wild canaries, robins, doves, starlings, and some I don’t know, but they know my yard.

And, to me, the strange thing, is that if I sit still, they don’t see me. They are so secure at this hour of the morn that they don’t look for anything or anyone to fear.

Dogs and cats I never see at other times, go busily through my yard, so intent on their business they, too, pay no attention, not only to me, but to the birds, and the birds do not shy away from them. Odd, I can’t figure that one out.

There’s a perfume to the air that I would recognize as ‘dawn’ no matter where I should find it. The sky can be overcast, clear, cold or sultry, but the aroma is there and I’d like to bottle it. I’d name it “Early Dawn” and city folk would buy it by the gallon as it awakened within them, a deep almost painful response to an aroma they, in some long ago rural lifetime, had once known.

I see large flights of birds going overhead, speeding to get to feeding or mating grounds before the heat of the day arrives. I’m reminded that the sky is a great highway for birds of all species, and butterflies. too. They travel their familiar routes just as I do on my way to where I go, and I get envious of the fisher folk on our coastal areas who are just as aware of the highways in the oceans that the fish and whales all follow.

Sometimes I get in my car and drive around in the early dawn. I’d ‘die’ if I had to stop for some reason, and be found in my night shift, but, what the heck, that’s Ethel. Weird.

The world is a different place at the various hours of the day, with changes as abrupt as the seasonal ones, and each quickly recognized. Dusk, to me, is the Angelus . . . . ”the end of a weary day when all things come home at eventide” and it’s almost with tears that I recognize the feeling, and find it a bit sad, but yet wonderful.

Daytime is when the business of the world sets a frantic and busy pace. And Dawn is a far cry from the hectic flash/flash/neon/noisy/blare/honk of the midnight hour that was here but a few hours before. 

The early hours are a time of birth. The time when everything I ever dream of is still possible. The time when all I ever want is already mine. Yeah, you know the feeling . . . . I hope. And if not . . . seek it.

I catch the sun coming up over the Wasatch Mountains and know that I could give up much in this world and still be happy, but one of the last things I would ever want to give up is my Window to the World, and Dawn, to me, is its Finest Hour.

Life Is One Long Sentence

 A Parentheses In Eternity

Life is one long, long sentence, and I am not speaking in Prison terms, but a sentence that is used in writing. And the beginning of our Sentences started with The Big Bang, whatever that was, and continues on.

There are no Periods in this Sentence. Not a one. There are thousands of commas, semi-colons, dashes, exclamation points, pauses, and all else, but not a one Period. No end to this Sentence we experience, and makes no difference what Belief System we belong to, either. Just one Sentence.  

My Birth, when I slipped from some unknown Room into this Mortal Room where I dwell as Ethel Ohlin Bradford, was not the beginning of my Sentence, but prefaced, perhaps by a Comma, or Dash, a Semi-colon. Who knows?

And when what we call Death arrives, it will only be the end of the body I’ve used these long, wonderful years, and the  part of me that never dies will just slip joyously into the next Room. There will be no Period, maybe an Colon? Exclamation Point? I don’t know, but certainly not a Period.

I know, well, not first hand, but often my husband told me of when as a 17 year old, he died from pneumonia. This was before the age of Wonder Drugs, and he lay deathly ill, so sick, so tired, in the upper west bedroom of the Bradford home, and a Registered Nurse with him.

Oddly, my older sister, Amber Ohlin Bodine, worked at Thornton-Anderson Drug Store at the northwest corner of State Street and 4800 South, and where it was easy to hear any doctor’s conversation with the Pharmacist, and she came home one day, and at the dinner table told that the ‘Bradford’ boy would die that night. I did not know ‘the Bradford boy’ or certainly not that he would one day be my husband. But I remember her words. Life is odd.

But my husband later told me that ‘suddenly’ there was Light. A soft. wonderful Light, and with it, all feelings of sickness and weariness were gone. He was himself again, with not even a memory of sickness, happily running free, and overwhelmed with unbelievable Joy! He said The Light permeated his every cell and never before or after did he feel such utter happiness than what was then his.

But suddenly there was someone, (something?) wrestling with him, trying to pull him away from that Light. He fought back, but his opponent was strong, and then he was shocked and taken further out of the Light, by a sudden sharp bitter taste in his mouth (what mouth?), and the wrestler and the horrible taste, had taken him out of the Light and back to his bedroom, his bed, his sick, tired, weak, and unhappy body. And the ‘unwelcome’ Nurse was gripping him.

 He said, “My first thought was that it had been a struggle between me and another force, and that force had won the battle. I was the loser.”

 How marvelous that Next Room must be when an 17 year old would fight to remain There rather than here. For the rest of his life, he remembered that Next Room, the Room of Light that he had been a part of, and then being ‘pulled’ back from it.

 He later found that the nurse had poured a spoonful of some alcoholic stimulant between his lips and the glorious wonder that had been his only a moment before, was gone. And he repeated, “She won the battle.”

 So, with his story, my own experiences, and having the blessing of Classes with Dr.Ushurburg Arya, all, in their own words, told the same Truth, that there is no end to this Sentence that we are living right now.

 I, as we all do, have had flashback moments where I’ve been in different countries, cultures, and ages. Sometimes I’ve been male, sometimes female. And different roles, such as Kind, unkind. Pure, sinful. Wealthy, poor. Ruler, serf. Warrior, farmer. Sailor, store clerk. I’ve ‘clicked’ into many, and they were all Me. No, not the ‘Ethel’ me, but that Inner Being,  we all are.            

 Joel Goldsmith, penned a wonderful book entitled “A Parentheses in Eternity” and his words made me more certain that my ‘flashback memories’ are valid, and that this life really is a parentheses in Eternity.

 When we are in bodies, as right now, we are wearing Blinders. We can not see (except in wonderful moments) what we were ‘before’, or what we will be later on.   And it’s the answer to such unanswerables as when we meet  some ‘stranger’ and know that we know each other.

 And Einstein, the supreme Physicist of our time, told the same in his writings, using words I had to read and re-read to understand (?), but according to him, that when we have learned enough, or wise enough (who knows what the requirements are?) but we will experience the reverse of The Big Bang, and become again One with The Source of All.

 I write of my husband’s experience and my learnings  telling of how our lives are one long, long sentence, with many punctuation marks, but nary a Period. Even the event I wrote of in the last paragraph, will not be the End. but a most wonderful continuation.   TYG.

Gramps Was A Moocher

 A special  kind of moocher . . .

Grandpa Bradford, Archibald the First, was seen almost daily at the old AS&R (American Smelter & Refinery) and though not employed there, he had a one-room office (desk?) and the only key to it, was his..

He was good-naturedly called a Moocher, and in today’s lingo, a moocher is one who makes his wages off the work done by others.   And  that, in a way, was exactly what Gramp’s job entailed. So, on the surface, Gramps was a Moocher.

Actually, however,  he was employed by the New York office of AS&R   and here’s how it worked.

Every day AS&R took samples of the ore Smelted that day, and had those samples assayed, to reveal how much Lead, Silver, Copper, Gold, etc. was in the ore that day. Some metals were more valuable than others, and so the percentage of each throughout the whole, would determine the monetary worth of that day’s smelting.

I make myself unclear, but dealing with such large sums of money, AS&R trusted no one, and so the out-of-State AS&R office, arranged to have another person, not connected with the Smelter in any way, to also get samples of each day’s work, have them assayed, and then send  his, the second  report, to them.   In that manner, the N.Y office could double-check every day’s report and quickly spot and check any large difference.

Here in Murray, Utah, that man was Archibald Bradford. At that time, Gramps was a busy man in Murray, and AS&R was cagey. They needed some well known person, one not apt to be open to bribery, not having to rely upon the AS&R check for his ‘daily bread’, intelligent and with a good reputation. I understand they looked around; and, when asked, Grandpa said, “Why not? ”

In other words they needed a man who was trustworthy and actually did not need their small payment to survive. and yet was willing to spend a few hours each week getting their necessary job done.

Gramps took ore samples each day from the Smelter, had them assayed by an independent, but reputable Assayer, and then, sent that report. on to the main Smelter office, and just like that, AS&R had two separate assay reports of each day’s work at AS&R.

Murray was not a large town at that time, and our Grandpa and the Smelter men all knew each other and so, good naturedly they started calling him a Moocher, and it soon became used throughout all parts of the Smelter. What his actual title was I have no idea, probably had none, but the Moocher one held. He had a small locked space at the Smelter and was free to come and go as he chose.

The work on that report could not legally  be done in the Smelter buildings, and so Gramps had it done at the Bradford home, and of all people, it was Gram, Rachel Crozier Bradford, who typed up those reports on their ancient Remington typewriter.

One of my first memories of being in that old home, was on a Sunday evening and seeing Gram, on the east side of the dining room table, poking determinedly away with her two ‘pointer’ fingers on that tiny typewriter. She had the air of “Don’t even talk to me, I’m doing important work. Come back later when I’m finished.”

Today  that typewriter would be a collector’s dream, but who knew? I suppose that in time it was tossed into the garbage, but I still can see that table, cleared of all usual stuff, and Gram there very seriously typing away.

Gramps then ‘proof read’ the finished product before it was signed, sealed and mailed to the N.Y.C, office.  It became an expected routine, for me, to see Gram busy at her job of typing the Assay Report each Sunday evening after the dinner hour was over. She was serious as ‘all get out’, too. This was Smelter business.

So, our Gramps was a Moocher. He grinned and oft times used the title himself. Must have taken a bit of ribbing about his ‘job’, but he liked it, as well as the teasing, and kept on Mooching for a long, long time. Fun, isn’t it???   Gramps, of all people, a Moocher.

Hands . . .

 Mirrors and Tools of the Soul . . .

       The first hands I was aware of were my father’s. Basically they were well formed, but a life time of carpentering and other hard work, had toughened the skin and nails until they were rough and work-worn as no others I, as a child, had seen.

Yet, Dad’s hands were sensitive. I remember them as he held a piece of wood, gently feeling the edges to see if it needed more smoothing. I saw his hands following the grain of the wood to make certain he had maximized its beauty, and it was as I watched his hands that I became aware of the beauty of polished wood. And of hands.

I don’t know how he could feel any roughness, for I would have thought it needed thin, soft skin to sense any snag or error. But when Dad finished a piece of furniture, it was done in a way today’s machine-made furniture can not rival.

I remember seeing Dad, almost without thinking, reach out to touch and gently rub some fine piece of furniture. I sensed it then, and now know, that his touch was a caress for its beauty. Yes, he had ‘rough and ready’ hands from a lifetime of hard work, but they were also the sensitive, sensual hands of an artist.

And I remember Gram’s hands. I heard her once say, that when she wanted a job done well, she had to ‘get her hands into it’. I can still see that dear woman’s hands as she cooked, going from stove, to frig, table, to set the table or cut a cake. Each movement sharp, clean and precise. No fumbling in the action of her hands.

And perhaps most vivid of all, because it seemed so ‘out of character’, was when she used their ancient Remington typewriter, that I now wish I saved. But she sat at their dining room table, making out her husband’s, (Gramp’s), weekly reports to be mailed to the Smelter office in New York. Incongruous to see Gram, of all people, there at a typewriter, poking away with one finger, yet doing it acceptably, too.

My husband, AW’s hands were far more beautiful, even for a man, than mine as a woman’s.  I  had seen those same hands on his father, then again on one of our sons, and know that the genes run straight and true.

One time when our son, JR. then in his teens, almost adult, reached across the dinner table for some dish, and for one swift moment, seeing only the hand,  I thought it was the father, not the son reaching out. Yeah, hands follow the blood line as any other feature.

I watched young Michael’s hands, another generation, as they began to lose their baby star-shape and I knew his hands would be replicas of Gram’s. And I smile, for though Gram is long gone, I am reminded of her as I watch Mike, her grandson, reach out with a gesture in the same delicate manner that was hers. Hands that seem to never be meant for menial tasks, yet Gram did many such a chore and I’m sure Michael now does the same.

Then there was Stan whose supple fingers brought the keys of his piano to life in a way that. even in remembering, brings goose pimples to my skin. And, in a different manner, I watched Bob Prince, down at the old Murray Printing Company, where, swiftly and surely, he put a full-page ad together, (as was then the way it was done), with nary a wasted motion.

I see my Carol’s hands as she makes beauty from thread and a crochet hook, and recall Jonathan’s as he bent over his cello and pulled your heart strings with the beauty of hands and music.

Yes, I love hands . . . . they truly are the tools of our Souls.