The “Pill” Made the Difference

That blessed, blessed Pill . . .                                                       

Birth Control and “The Pill” have been the cause of untold world changes, but the fact that the  Bra is the only article of women’s clothing that wasn’t first worn by men,  is never once mentioned.  But ’tis true, true, true, and laugh though you may, read on and see the truth of my words.

Before scorning the  thought, take a moment and wander through history books.  Get out your Art Pictures of English Royalty, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, pictures taken from ancient Egypt, and see what’s there.

Panty Hose were worn by all male nobility round about Shakespeare’s time. Today, when we see them worn on stage or in movies, we call them Tights. But look closely. Nylon hadn’t been invented yet   but Panty hose is what they were.

And to show off that long expanse of sexy leg, (men’s, not women’s)  they topped them off with a ruffled mini skirt. Yeah, on men. and of course they weren’t called mini-skirts, but again take another look and you’ll see they were mini-skirts. Took us women until the twentieth century to claim those two items. Slow learners, and I know why, but that comes later.

Legs , as they still are today, have always been a sexual fetish, but today, it’s the women’s legs that catch our attention, when originally, it was the male leg that was adorned to catch and capture the beholder’s eyes.

The Scots had, and still have their kilts and are required garb for all formal affairs. The Greeks had their white skirts and wore them both for battle and daily wear.  Ruffled, and standing out like a Ballerina’s tutu. Nothing new under the sun . . except it was the men, not women, wearing them

Make-up was the men’s prerogative, too. They wore it even before Cleopatra put kohl on her eye lids and henna to her nails and palms. Different than our make-up kits, but the males from those long centuries ago. would stare at today’s  kits with delight and glory in thinking they were made for them, the males, and for heaven’s sake never for women.

And then we get to fancy shoes. We women were still wrapping our feet in cloth to keep out the cold when men were wearing leather, fur and silk. The pointed shoe toes, were longer than we women have ever worn. So long, in fact that they had to be held in place by long ribbons, held firmly from the tip of the toe , to the other end of the ribbon, in the wearer’s hands.   And when they wanted to impress someone, the ribbons were immediately used to display those foot long shoe-toe ornaments.  And also to aid them to carefully keep the toes upright, not walked, or tripped upon, or soiled.. Ribbons, yes, ribbons, and this taken care of by the mighty male.

Early Egyptian males wore ear rings, and wigs. And, we all are familiar with paintings of our early American leaders as Washington, Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, the Adams, all wearing them.   And it’s a law even today, that English Judges. when in Court, must wear those stylized, white curled wigs.

Men, for centuries have know the freedom and comfort of wearing pants, but it was not until the 1930’s that women even dreamed of wearing them.

Men, never did wear bras, physically they didn’t need them, but don’t forget they definitely did wear those items called Cod-Pieces that were so popular in the 15th, 16th and into the 17th centuries . Like many a bra, those Cod Pieces were also well padded. Look at some of those pictures and   you know they had to have been very well padded.     Brazenly well padded.

And you don’t know what Cod-Pieces were?? Well, I’m not going to tell you, either, but just hie yourself to Google or any dictionary and laugh with me. That’s one piece of clothing we women are never going to copy for we just don’t need them. .

Have fun with the whole long story, where we women have been copy-cats. And there is one good reason that men, and never women set the styles . It was a fact of life because, women . . . . before any form of birth control and the arrival of The Pill . . . women,  following their teen-age marriages and until menopause finally arrived,  were either pregnant or nursing a child. Always. Never a breather. Period. One or the other. On and on, except when, so often, nothing but death itself put   an end   to that otherwise endless cycle.

And their clothing was neither stylish or beautiful. Only functional.   Like a long, shapeless, roomy sack.   Thank you God for birth control.   That, and only that, is what finally gave women their freedom of life. And . . . also finally, the ability to be able to  have a  life, and not just exist to reproduce.    And not one thing other.  Women were machines,  and with no censure were quickly replaced if they did not fill that requirement.

Quiz Time

As you well know, I’m a pushover for ‘questions and answers’ and so here are a few questions I’ve been saving for hot and lazy days such as this, but I’m warning you, they’re tricky. So be prepared.

1. Leaving your starting point, you walk ten miles due north, then turn abruptly and walk ten miles due west. You then turn around and make a bee-line back to the point from which you started, a distance of ten miles. Now, the question is, would you be hot or cold?

2. A man has a 4 1/2 haystacks in one field and 5 2/3 haystacks in another. He got them all together. How any haystacks did he have?

3. What is it when a lifeguard builds a Snowman?

4. The longest sentence known to man can be spelled out with just four letters. Which ones?

5. Why may it be said that “A” is like twelve o’clock?

6.A teacher asked his class not to look at the map, but to tell him what is exactly in the middle of America. Can you tell?

7. A truck driver came to an underpass and noted that the clearance figure made it impossible for him to drive his truck through. He missed clearance by half an inch and cursed his luck. A detour would cost him several hours. Then he got an idea and in a few minutes drove his truck safely through. What did he do?

8. How can you keep a fresh supply of beef for several years without a freezer?

9. A car travels over 100 miles with a flat tire but neither the driver or passengers are aware of it. Why?

10. When  you are blessed with two sets of twins, twice, how many children would you have?

11. How can you make a pound of green tea go as far as five pounds of black tea?

12. Which of the U.S. states is the farthest north; which one the farthest east; the farthest west and the one most south?

Well, have all your answers?  Maybe, but now look at the answers, then kick yourself for not catching on to them, and now go try them on your neighbor, and I bet they won’t do one bit better than you did, either.

1. Cold. The only  possible place from which, and to which you can walk to the specified directions is the South Pole.
2. One great big haystack.
3. Winter.
4. L-I-F-E.
5. Because it’s in the middle of D-A-Y.
6. The letter R.
7. He deflated his tires just a little bit.
8. Feed and water it every day and put it in the barn at night.
9. The flat tire is in the Luggage Compartment.
10. Sixteen. A pair of twins in FOUR.
11. Buy the mentioned quantities of tea, for instance in Murray, Utah, package them together, and, then mail them to New York.
12. Yes, you’ll have a hard time believing this one, but get out your     globe or atlas and you’ll see the answer is right. Hawaii is the most southern of all the United States, but . .. and hold onto your hats . . . Alaska is the most northern; Alaska is the most western and Alaska is also the most eastern. And the reason is, that part of Alaska crosses the International Date Line, and so that area is in the Far East , while the rest of the state is considered part of the Western world.

Sorry, this is a cheating kind of a quiz, but it doesn’t matter how few you got right, you will be with the crowd. I did answer number nine correctly, but that only because I had read of it someplace before.  See ya next week.

DIY Resurrection

Grama and Gramps in the freezer? A lawyer’s holiday . . .

There are experts who say that in not too many years, people will take an inventory of their freezer and the list will be pretty much as it would be today, but . . . also as part of that list it will include, Grandpa, and cousin Amy.

I’m not joking. The scientists are experimenting with freezing people, (after they’re declared legally dead), and keeping them that way until a cure is found for whatever disease caused their death, Then, the plans are to ‘defrost’ the body, and bring it back to life with techniques they have already successfully accomplished on many small life forms. And then they will start healing the bodies of what killed them.

And, if they say this is what they plan on doing, I believe them, for I’ve noted that scientists never talk (brag) about their experiments until they’re pretty darn sure of what they’re saying. A lot of us remember when ‘going to the moon’ was a joke, but now it’s so taken for granted that new Lunar voyages seldom even make the headlines.

But bringing people back to life, (they were careful to not even come close to saying ‘resurrected)  will cause more than a few problems.  To begin with, say a man was 45 when he died. His wife about 40 and his kids 10 to 15.  And, what if, 25 years later the cure for the man’s fatal illness is found and, happy day. there he is alive and healthy. But, but, but wait a moment. What about his wife and family??

Well, for a starter, Of course his job is gone, and his nest egg and life insurance, were spent years ago, to put his own youngsters through college. His wife is now 65 years old and living in his home with a man she wed 20 years ago. And the resurrected man’s children have married and have given him a raft of grandkids.

It will create a Lawyer’s Holiday and fortunes will be made. And, Insurance companies will have to add a paragraph or two, explaining that they will pay only once on any policy, no matter how many times the insured people happen to live and die.

The only good thing in the expert’s experiments, is that it will cost so much that hardly anyone will be able to afford the procedure.

But I have an inquisitive (nosey?) mind and wonder if the resurrected people will have Souls (and will it be the same one?) or will they be Mechanical-People-Robots, and be better off in some Believe It Or Not circus. Will the new person even remember the life he once lived and where he died?

Before all this is a fait accompli, we’d better figure out where all the re-runs are going to live. We’re already so crowded that the only place for more is UP and there are now more and more areas where ‘  one-family dwellings’ are no longer legally allowed to be built. HI-RISE Condos and retirement homes are springing up all over, and now when there are too many of us already here , someone is trying to bring back past generations to add to our numbers.

We’re treading on no-no territory when we speak of resurrections (and they don’t) for that’s Someone Else’s business. We ought to think it over, because if those sharp scientists have their way, one of these days your freezer inventory really will include all the food we usually have on hand but will also have Grandpa, Grama, there, too.   Egad.

Born To Be Slim

Slender people are different than the rest of us.

For years I carried a load of guilt caused by that perpetual cycle of ‘lose-4 pounds, gain-5-pounds’, but then I found a list of 25 reasons that explained in detail, the ‘why’ of why thin people are thin. It’s tucked into their genes before they were even born, and here’s what they have, and we don’t.  Read and wonder no longer.

1. They think the dish on their desk is for paper clips, and not for candy.
2. They won’t eat popcorn in movies because it makes their hands greasy.
3. They think banana splits, sundaes and Ice Cream are, like all Gerber products, for children, and, for heaven’s sake. not adults.
4. They throw out small portions of left-overs instead of putting them in the refrig to nibble on later in the day.

5. They take it for granted that one normal pizza is for four people.
6. They think cookies are for people under 13 years of age.
7. They eat nuts one-at-a-time.
8, They think do-nuts are indigestible.

9, They get so absorbed in some special project that they forget to eat.
10, They hold their book or magazine with both hands.
11. They allow no food in the family room, living room, bedroom or any room where there is a TV.

12. They take a nap when they feel an energy drop instead of eating.
13. They trade-in or pass along, all gifts of any kind of cooking pans , and get clocks, radios, or books.
14. They (and this difference proved it all to me) they lose their appetites when they are depressed or have nothing to do.

15. When the party is over, and the guests go home, they throw out any left-over potato chips, corn chips, along with any leftover Dips.
16. They don’t celebrate getting a salary raise, or any  big event, by dining out at some great cafe, but head straight for a Health Food Bar and order a huge Green Salad, Tofu croutons and a V8 drink.
17. They think it’s utterly silly and not worth the time, to go to a special store to get a special kind of chocolate, or fancy bakery to buy a  special cake.

18. They use Carob in cooking instead of Chocolate.
19. They find Ice Tea more refreshing than an Ice Cream Soda.
20. They have such interesting conversations with people at cocktail parties that they never get around to visiting the Buffet Tables.
21.They do not feel compelled to ‘even up’ the candy dish by eating the ‘extra’ pieces to achieve a perfect balance.

22, They never once think they ‘may as well’ eat that leftover piece of pie, cake, or whatever, rather than tossing it out.
23. They prefer reading any book or magazine rather that the latest copy of “The Joy of Cooking”.
24, They don’t tuck a handy sack of nuts/mints/ or cookies in a pocket, when they go walking.
25. They give away or toss out all gifts of candy, cake, or cookies.

See? It’s just as I said, it’s right in their genes. For nobody could train themselves to such odd habits.  Born way, way, way , way, way different. But just think what they’re missing. I mean besides the extra pounds you and I gather ’round us and they, dang it, don’t.   Oh, me.

ethelbrad@comcast.net

 

Divorce? No, But Murder Is Another Matter

Cornish game hens with wild rice?

Men, I’ve heard told, are marvelous creatures and those of us who don’t have one, often cuss our single status, and yet . . . there are times.

Yes, there are times when every woman is in accord with the gal who, after long years of marriage, was asked if she had ever considered divorce.

“Divorce?” she replied in consternation, “Oh heaven’s no!” But then, with a lift of an eyebrow and a humorous grin, added, “But murder? Now, if you ask if I’ve ever felt like murder, why, that’s a different story.”

I imagine that’s how my friend Janet felt last week about her males. She called me and all it took was one quick sentence for me to know the whole story. A story every wife knows.

See, Jan is a happy, capable gal who keeps a nice home and like most of us she knows her way around the kitchen and all in all puts good food to the dinner table for her family, which happens to be her husband and three sons.

But the other day she felt a certain dullness about her meals, (TV cooking programs can do that to us) and decided to serve her fellows something different. To give them a real treat.

And so, not content with any half-measures Jan planned “A Dinner”. None of that “I’ll fix your plates and you can finish watching the game” stuff. No, she’d treat them to the whole bit. Silver, candles, china. Real TV style. The whole bit.

For the meat Jan bought small Cornish hens and then thumbed her cook book for the proper know-how. Stuff with wild rice, the book said, and so she bought Wild Rice and stuffed the birds with it. Then following each step precisely, she basted constantly with minced garlic, butter and sage as they gently baked. Mmmmmmm, I can taste them now.

When she called her guys to the table it was so beautiful that the only thing missing was Julia Child standing at the doorway welcoming them in.

Now, every woman knows exactly how Jan felt as they sat down to eat. Would her guys stand up and cheer? Would tears of appreciation well up in their eyes? Or would they eat in silence, feeling mere words a desecration to such divine nectar of the gods? So Jan waited, as every woman waits, for the verdict of her males.

With knife and fork they cautiously prodded their hens and one of them ventured, “Looks like someone forgot to feed this here bird and stunted its growth.”

Another wondered aloud if their mother had cooked them long enough, and so the meal went. But the fellows (all recognizing an occasion when face to face with one) ate on and only fleetingly glanced toward the light switch in preference to the flickering candles on the table.

And, as they left the meal, oh the cruelty of the male specie . . the main comment was, “Well, it was okay but why go to all this trouble when plain roast chicken, with bread stuffing is better?”

Well, it was no doubt lucky for those fellows that Jan didn’t happen to have any weapon handy, for that was one of those times she must have felt the same as that other gal who first said, “Divorce? Heavens, no. But murder????? Now that’s a different story.”

Our Presidential Candidates

I sent a letter to a dozen or so friends. expressing my anger, disappointment, and frustration with the two candidates Clinton and Trump, one of whom will  evidently be our choice to have as our President for the coming four or more years.  Neither, to me, is Presidential material and the United States will lose much of its world wide respect.
 
My letter expressed my feelings, and asked for theirs, and here are some of the responses I’ve received,   I promised all identities will remain hidden.

Exhibit A:

Yer right! The prospect of either is frightening.

Trump first, I’ve never liked the guy, his business priveledge has repelled me. But, his ridiculing of the way congress has acted over the last twenty years, his frustration with stupid idiotic spending and pandering to those with their hands out, his reaction to the general weakness of our status in the World opinion, and comments on welfare recipients has resonated with the silent majority of people who are tired of Washington’s nonsense and emphasis on reelection.

Clinton, on the other hand is just a common criminal who has no regard for the rule of law, is an outlaw, a hypocrite of the first water. It was she that demanded during the Watergate investigations declared, “I want to know who knew what and when.” But now when she is in the hotseat equivocates, evades and dissembles. No one in government has had so many people fall victim of death and disgrace as around her. Her blatant disregard for the people of the US and the Constitutional guidelines and controls is alarming. She sounds a lot like Hitler in describing the panacea for the ills of the country. Her position on the 2nd Amendment is criminal and quixotic. I think she feels volume is the answer for questions she doesn’t want to answer.

Entitlements by the Feds are valid only for SS recipients and Veterans. All other funds transfers are Welfare, and ObamaCare is a recipe for the kind of lying of those not wanted as in the case of Jews, Catholic Priests, mentally ill, and unpatriotic as in Germany in 1939.  Her ideology is to parley as many illegals as possible into voters.

Well, you asked! Well, for whom shall vote?

Terse and to the point this caller from the great northwest . . .

I keep wondering if a third party is going to appear.  it wouldn’t surprise me at all.  i might wonder how many people will write in Mickey Mouse.  If the country got together and wrote in the same candidate there might me a humble person as president–but who?  I’m waiting for a third party to come through.

Email #4:

I’d like to know how much money has been received, and what future promises have been made by Hillary’s organization. She learned all the ropes, and got first hand knowledge of such methods when Bill Clinton, her husband, made his successful run for the same office. She watched how he got around illegal corners, and is using those methods now. The average person, running for some small town office, and doing the same things she has done, would be legally investigated and put out of the race by now.

This rant came to us via hand written paper, wrapped around a rock, tossed near our door:

Maybe I am getting older, seeing a bit more clearly, or just becoming jaded.  But I see almost no one I admire or respect or get excited about.  Bunch of loser puppets with long coat tails hooked onto money and power.

I know he is a self proclaimed marxist, and doesn’t stand much of a chance againast Killary, but Bernie is my guy.  He is honest, hard working, and is for the little guy.  Call him a populist, but he rejects (seemingly) the big money and God and g0d knows we need some balance right now Away from big money running things.  They say politics is the entertainment arm of the military-industrial-complex.  If so Bernie is playing some fringe and indie roles.

But maybe we don’t stand too much of a chance changing things.  The business of America is business they said during the imperial period, and it still holds true now.  He who has the gold, rules.

Our best chance is to make sure we participate in the local politics.  Here comes rant number two:  We are WAY too far right in Utah because of the fundamentalist mormon overlay on all of local politics.  It’s not that the LDS have a majority, it is that they are organized, mobilized, and generally do what they are told.  So controlling local elections is easy for them (like the caucuses) especially when the more liberal crowd does not get out to vote or participate.  So if you want some change, do it locally, and just get a few new voters out.  The mormons rule all of rural Utah due to TSCC’s grip on the locals.  Not so in Salt Lake COunty.  Ever wonfder why the district map for legislative is so funny looking?

Email #7:

In Utah it is a done deal for the republican for national office so what is the point to get all excited.  Vore for someone you might know locally or just do All GOP like most of the state.

Well,  good thing I wasn’t looking for something positive to brighten the day, but you know how this stuff goes.  Any comments please post them here, I’ll add any that might come in.

We Are All Seekers

Now what was I looking for ?

We’re all seekers. Whether we recognize it or not, we begin in our childhood and that search never ends. Age and circumstances may tie us ultimately to one city, one street, one house, one room and even one bed or chair, but the search goes on.

“Happiness” or “fulfillment” is what nine out of ten will say they seek, and perhaps that’s as good a name for it as any. But call it what one may, it’s a life-long search.

To some it means a place, a location, and those are the travelers of the world. In an earlier age they were the explorers. The restless ones who always looked beyond the horizon, certain that the next country, city or ocean would give the answer, the completion to their inner hunger.

Today, they go to the moon, circle far planets, prowl the isolated corners of the world. They have ‘sand in their shoes’ and are never content in one place. Among their names are Marco Polo, Columbus, Magellan, Lewis and Clark, DeSoto, The Vikings, the Pilgrims, our Pioneers, missionaries who, the world over, traveled, their entire lives, seeking, seeking, seeking.

Then there are the ones who seek their happiness in people. They are the ‘family’ people of the world, the service people, the finders of the needy and givers of what is needed. The nurses, as Florence Nightingale,  who gave help to injured in wars the restless men had created.

Again, in a more simple age, they were the ones who had large families, or went to India, China, Africa, or to the slums of any great city to find the destitute and gave alms. They are the ones who, no matter how wealthy they might be, reached out and gave voluntary aid in hospitals, held benefits, sponsored foundations.

They established food kitchens for the hungry, clinics for the sick, aged and poor, and organized societies for relief of any who needed help. They are the ones, who even though there is work to be done at home, find time to hear and answer the call for help. They too, seek, seek, seek.

Then there are the seekers who, perhaps, travel further than any other, although they may never ever leave home. These are the ones who recognize that happiness, true everlasting happiness, is to be found only within themselves.

Early on they learned that a restless, unfulfilled person will be just as restless and unfulfilled in Timbuktoo as he was in Chicago, Tokyo, New York, or Murray, Utah. He is the one who learns that if there is no peace within, he’ll never find peace any other  place. Or in any other person.

We finally know that If there is no joy within our self, we’ll search long and futilely for joy elsewhere. If there is no love within, we’ll find no love without.

These, to me, are the most adventurous seekers of all. They might  never visit a new country, or dream of setting foot on a planet, and may seem (to those around them)  to be a bit ‘different’.  And could be, for these are the ones who have read   Thoreau’s   “Walden”,   have heard the different drummer he told  about, and then have courage enough to step to  that  beat,  no matter how far off it may at first seem.

These are the ones who seek to know themselves. And, joy, joy, joy,  when they begin to ‘find themselves’,  find that’s also where the happiness, fulfillment and love has been  hidden..

We’re all seekers, and the lucky ones find  that the longest, deepest, most exciting road is the one which reaches, not outward, but strangely enough, turns and goes straight inward. Right to the spot where the joy, happiness and peace of the whole world is centered. Within one’s own heart.

Remembering

There are two kinds of remembering;  one with the brain, and the second with the heart. We could not survive without the first, but it’s the second that reveals life’s wonder, and the meaning to it all.

Certain things like the dates of 1492, and 1776 are ‘drilled’ indelibly  into our minds, right along with how to tie our shoes, ride a bicycle. scratching where we itch, blinking our eyes, comb our hair, moving quickly if we see danger coming,  and all done almost without even thinking. That’s how the brain works.

But the second, the heart stuff, is an inner thing, and worlds away from the other. There’s nothing mechanical about it, for in the heart, though the years roll by, and we might think all events forgotten, all it takes is but a small hint, and the memories can overwhelm us as they tumble forth.

Just a bar or two off a certain song, and again I’m a girl of 18, in love, in love, in love. and I’m dancing under the stars at the open-roofed, Old Mill Club, at the ‘mouth’ of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and in the arms of a young man who later became my husband.

I know what I wore, who we were with, how my hair was ‘done’, and most of all, how I felt. And far beyond the confusion and problems of later years of school, work, home, jobs, teaching, having and raising kids, nothing has ever changed that moment.

And I’m sure you, as all of us, have caught a whiff of an aroma (not necessarily a perfume) and suddenly are miles and years away and are back to where that aroma was imprinted upon us.

I know a man who is taken back to Arlington’s third grade with Belva Doran (Murrayites will all remember her) as his Teacher, as soon as he smells, of all things, Olive Oil.  Who knows why? But something must have touched him forcefully back then and the unique smell of that oil was present. He tells that his memory of that room automatically comes up, even today, as he ‘dresses’ that oil upon his salad.

We remember with our eyes. One of my sons has his Dad’s and his Grandfather’s hands, and one time my heart lurched as I saw those hands reach across the dinner table toward me, and for one micro-second was in another place. Taken back to a time before that son had even been dreamed of, much less born. Time is no barrier for the heart.

And there are the millions of memories that spring to life with our ears. The rustling sound made when walking through dry autumn leaves takes me back to an afternoon when a man and I strolled east on the leaf-covered sidewalk of South Temple Street  in Salt Lake City, and at the same time I saw the Boarding House, made from one of those huge, old, Pioneer homes where we both Boarded.  That man, and the large Boarding House  are both long gone from my life, but  the sound and smell of those leaves remain and take me back to South Temple street again.

Unexpectedly hearing the recorded voice of my husband, long after his death, was a heart breaker, as also, is the sound when a certain door closes in a soft slow manner that my heart once knew so well, and I jump, half expecting to see him again walk into the room.

I can close my eyes and, as I smell the unique aroma of dried Corn Stalks, (often on sale at Halloween time) I am again a child with my Dad, Carl Ohlin, out in the old Corn Field at 4500 So. 700 East, in Murray, Utah, as he cut and made stacks of those stalks, to augment the winter food he gathered for the horse and cows.

With the feel of soft, soft skin, I’m immediately bathing an infant child, and aware of long forgotten (I thought) emotions. And the sensitivity of the palm of our hands, takes me again when someone held my hand and slipped a ring upon my finger. Oh, you too???. The sensitivity of our palms is legendary and even used in some metaphysical ways..

Yes,  there are two kinds of remembering, Our lives, our very survival,  depends upon  our brain, but it’s  the heart  that gives meaning to the wonderful, beautiful life He has blessed us with.

Memorial Day Thoughts

I read of this woman, living in the USA, but born in Tunisia, who told of how her people keep alive the memory of those who have ‘left them’, and the more I think about it, the more I like it.

They certainly have no “Memorial Day” holiday, but they have their ways, and she told how, on the recent anniversary of her Grandpa’s death, her mother made their main meal of the day, ‘Grandpas’ meal. And she cooked and served food that had been his favorites and at the same time, her parents told stories of ‘Grandpa’s life, how he earned a living, and so on.

I think it’s a wonderful idea, and of course, is used on other death-anniversaries, too. No rules, but just a time of remembering and sharing, so that the now dead ancestors become real people to grand kids they never met.

Yes, and inasmuch as her ‘Gramp’ had lived in a different country, with different foods, the meal her mother prepared was not what their American born kids knew. But this was not their meal, but Gramp’s meal, and her mother, reached back to where Gramps had lived, and prepared ‘his’ meal as far as possible, of food that he knew, and ate. And which her kids could only wonder over.

Fish in a different way?  Some food we never thought of as food?  Vegetables and fish we do not recognize? An unfamiliar soup? It matters not, but the families this woman grew up with, make that meal as close as possible to food the honored one would have been familiar with.

She told that her Mom even tried to use the old ways of cooking it. And, as she served the unfamiliar food, the parents told stories about the person they were remembering.   About when and why they came to America.   What were the problems of finding jobs? Was it difficult to blend in with a new people in a new culture?

Told about the clothes worn, if they were different. Was it hard to learn a new language? She told how it becomes almost an on-going biography of how ‘their’ family had its Utah beginnings, and yet do not want their children to forget the old ways of where they came from.

And if the honored one grew up here in the U. S. tell of his/her young years. Stories that are real, where they lived, what kind of a house, outdoor plumbing, and to be sure to tell the whole story, telling of the difficulties as well as the triumphs.

Did the loved one live in a different State?  Why did they then move to Utah? To go to a certain school? Marry and join in the ‘other’ family’s culture?   There is a world of things to tell that make our ancestors not only remembered, but remembered as real people, not just a name on a genealogical chart.

Yeah, what did they do to earn a living. What jobs they held. How did they learn that trade? The tales are endless and met with wonder to know that those tales happened to one in their own family. Really happened and how Grandma wouldn’t know what to do with a micro and would wonder how to cook without a stove and fire. And where oh where, were the foods she loved and cooked?

The woman said it can be fun, for it will open up an entire  world of family knowledge, of what Mom did as a young girl.   Where she and Dad met. Where and how they lived. Plus what ‘odd’ foods they once ate.

The more I think of this kind of a memorial time, the more I like it and wish I could go back and try to duplicate for Dad, the kind of meal he had while still in Sweden and if he had missed and yearned for that food. If it had been hard to leave that home as a 10 year old.   How it was in Salt Lake then, and not know the language. How did he learn it?

How my Great-great-great Grandpa and his mother came from England, crossed the Plains on foot, and he, a teenager, herded cattle to pay for his food, and his mother helped women with their children for the same reason.   And why there was no male person with them. Or, if there had been one, why did they come without him? What happened to him??

Yes, I love seeing the flowers in the cemetery, and revel in how American the holiday is, but I also thank the Tunisian woman for telling how, right at the dining room table, our kids can not only hear the old stories, but also eat for their meal, exactly what their ancestors once ate for their meals.   In an odd way, celebrating the anniversary of a loved one’s Death Day, could be utterly fascinating.

The Gray-Haired Brigade

This is us . . .

The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Feb. 2016.

We, that group, are often referred to as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us are “Baby Boomers” getting ready to retire. Others have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. We worked hard, raised children, worshiped God, have grown old together, and a goodly portion of us are alone.

Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true. But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.

In school we studied English, history, math, and science, which enabled us to lead America into the technological age. Most of us know what outhouses were, and many with firsthand experience.  We remember the days of telephone party-lines, 25 cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes.  For those of you who don’t know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators.  A few even remember when cars were started with a crank.

Yes, we lived those days.

We are probably considered old fashioned and out-dated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off. We won World War II, fought in Korea and Viet Nam. We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing so.

We wore the uniform of our country with pride, and left many friends on the battlefield, and thousands of us came home crippled or in wheelchairs. We didn’t fight for the Socialist States of America; we fought for the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” We wore different uniforms depending upon which Service we chose, but it was for the very same flag.

We know the words to the “Star   Spangled Banner,” “America,” and “America the Beautiful” by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing. We, personally, lived the days and years which most of you have only read of in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.

Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and many died for it, and now we are going to save it.

It is our Country and nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to   keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our Founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.

You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in your careers or “Climbing the Social Ladder” to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting. Many of those who fell for the “Great Lie” in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse. With all the education we made available to you, you didn’t have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank that time’s ‘Kool-Aid.’  Now you’re paying the price and complaining about it; i.e. no jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom.

This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty, and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.

Well, youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here, and in 2016 we are going to take back our nation. We’d like to include you in our fight. We may walk slower than we did yesterday, but we get where we’re going, and in 2016 we’re going to the polls. By the millions.

This land does not belong to the man in the White House nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Eric Holder.  It belongs to “We the People,” and “We the People” plan to reclaim our land and our freedom.  We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to your grandchildren.

So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our Country, and thank God for the old geezers of the “Gray-Haired Brigade.”