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.


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.”

Ying Yang My Eye

Plain brown rice, anyone?

Thanks for reading my blog each week, for you never know what you’ll find.  Thoughts go right from my mind to the keyboard and my mind’s door is always open  and  travels inwardly as far as I dare, and outwardly?  As near as my next door neighbor and as far of the other side of the world.  Yeah , mentally, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually as far as I can, and write of it all as far as I dare to share.

And today I tell how a friend and I decided to join those wise Far Eastern people and get our Ying and Yang back in balance.  And how did we know we were out of balance?   Well,  you know I’m no expert on all this, BUT, the good Dr. Arya told us to look at our face straight into a  mirror, with the eyes the important area.

Ok, you’ll see  the Iris and  white. Lots of white, but, looking straight ahead, there should be no White below the Iris.  So simple,.  Above,  left and  right, good, good, good.  But at the  bottom?  That is a signal that our Ying and Yang are lopsided.   And that means mentally, emotionally and physically, spiritually.  The entire schmoo is out of balance.

The Teacher of our classes told us that with eating good brown rice for a couple of weeks  we would be balanced and totally new people.  Well, my friend and I both like rice and we were all for making us new people in only two weeks.  And inasmuch as we often lunched together a couple of times a week, we phoned around, but we could find no place to get PLAIN BROWN, UN-FLAVORD RICE, AND SO we chose to eat at home and keep in touch with each other via the phone.

But just within a few days, as far as I was concerned,  I wished I’d never heard of Brown Rice, and to helly with my  Ying and Yang, as well. We were both happy before even hearing of those two  Y’s and now  are just as happy without them.  But back to my story . . .

The only diet to get you off the teeter-totter of imbalance (teacher said) is the right food and that’s  mighty hard to get in our western world, and so we were  advised to go back to the ancient perfect diet of rice.  Unpolished, and brown.

Cook it in water, like any rice, with a small amount of salt and chew each bite 40 or 45 times.  Add no sugar, milk, fruit or honey.  Nothing but unpolished brown rice.  No coffee, tea, soda pop, vitamins. Nothing but that dang rice.

My friend and I thought we’d be strength to each other’s weaknesses. And the first day was a piece of cake and we gloated and laughed at how wise we were.  Yeah.  Eat, eat, eat whenever hungry.  Nice fluffy wholesome perfectly balanced rice.

The second day wasn’t  bad, either.  I thought of how healthy I was becoming and smugly watched others ignorantly eating all the horrible un-ying and un-yang food that’s always around, wherever one  goes.

The third day, however, began to really tell on me.  I longed for a cuppa coffee.  For a smidgen of spice or sugar or ANYTHING on that bland rice.  I could almost taste  fruit or a sweetener on it and began hurrying past all food for fear I’d just reach out and begin eating.  Anything but rice.

The evening of that third day I again stubbornly sat down to another bowl of that rotten stuff and  began chewing away but it stuck in my throat and I thought I’d werp it up right then and there.  I took a sip of water to wash it down and cursed as I took still another mouthful of RICE.

I cussed it.  I fought it.  I argued.  I told myself  how healthy I was becoming.  I shamed myself over how weak willed I was, and how I’d hate to tell of my weakness, but then, suddenly I said to heck (no, that wasn’t what I said) with Ying and Yang.  I calmly went  to the freezer, almost matter of factly took out a container of ‘decadent’ homemade soup,  whapped it in the micro, and in ten minutes I was eating right out of the freezer container, and was in bliss.  The sheer  glory  of eating FOOD.  Food that had a taste. A color.  Food, food, food. with nary a morsel of rice, white, brown or any other color.  NO RICE.

I dreaded telling my friend, but I needn’t  have worried for the next morning his call came inviting me to lunch so that together we could throw out the sickening rice and EAT.  I accepted gladly, but had to admit that I had already tossed out my Ying and Yang stuff the night before. but was too ashamed to tell him.  Weak willy for sure.

So we sat facing each other, eating, tasting and sipping our coffee with  no care whether the food was Ying, Yang or neither.  And enjoying every big bite.

I suppose I still might be a bit out of balance, and so is he, but who cares?  It took me a  few months to even tolerate rice in a casserole or pudding, but while that  grain still  isn’t my favorite . . . I can enjoy it.. . . it up a certain point.  And to helly with my Ying and Yang.  I no longer even care. 

And we didn’t breath a word of our debacle at the next class, much less to the good far eastern Doctor. Rather, we decided he had better get accustomed to all the UN-ying and UN-yang  people of this western world.  And, to heck with the whites of our eyes.  .

From Womb To Tomb

Bed is our cocoon . . .

Making the bed we just slept in is perhaps the most decisive act of the day.  Accomplished in such a few moments but what a mighty act, and how far-reaching.

The rite is so much more than a mere straightening of the sheets and a fluffing of the pillows. With that act we relinquish all possibility of snuggling in (oh, just for a moment) again.  For while the blanket and sheets are still rumpled and warm looking, there is the luring invitation to crawl back in for one more second of shutting out the world.  Making the bed is cutting of the cord between that ‘oblivion’ and whatever the day has to bring.

Bed and the blankets are a shelter from care.  A haven from whatever you didn’t accomplish yesterday and must do today.  Bed is the comfort of home, mother, and being cared for.  Bed is that sweet oblivion of the ‘little death’ that Shakespeare wrote about.

But once that bed is made, we have accepted the fact that we are going to face the world, take up  our task, pick up where we left off, and that life does go on.

Bed . . . the haven of security.  It is no happenstance that teenagers sleep late whenever they can.  They are perhaps, at the most tumultuous period of their whole lives, changing so fast they don’t know themselves from one day to the next, and bed is peace to them.  It is the security of childhood.  It is the place were they can blot out their inner turmoil and pretend it’s all like it used to be.

It is no surprise, either, that the mentally ill will crawl into bed, turn their faces to the wall and never want to get up.  ‘Getting up and facing the world’, though an old phrase, remains  so terribly true.

Bed.  Oh yes, in bed we’re born . . . probably conceived there, as well.  Is it any wonder we feel the mighty lure of returning there?  And to remaining there, also, when life gets too ‘hairy’?

And, in bed we die.  From womb to tomb it is our cocoon.  People gather round the bed at both these crucial times of life.  When  one is injured badly, they put us to bed.  When we’re  heartsick and traumatized with grief, pain or sorrow  . . . it is bed and sleep that knits up the raveled strands of our nerves.

These are the odd thoughts that drifted through my mind recently as I straightened out the nest I make of my bed each night.  These are the words I decided to write as I reluctantly bade goodbye to my bed’s comfort and  turned to face what ever my day  had in store.

And yet, strong as the backward pull within me is, I do not dread my days.  I like them.  I do not have mountainous problems facing me, no situation too fearsome to come to grips with.  And once the break is made, I’m content, and that night I’m even reluctant to ‘hit the sack’ again.  But the lure of bed is strong, universally felt and I ruminated and grumbled:

“In bed we laugh, in bed we cry.
“In bed we’re born, in bed we die.”

And about then the last corner of my bed was straightened and neat and I said to myself, Oh, Ethel, go get yourself a nice hot cup of tea and you’ll forget all these silly thoughts.  So I did and so I did.  But not before I’d scooted to my computer and put all these ideas there on the hard drive so I could share them with you. Thanks for being there.


Happy Birthday

I just marked a birthday and the cards, calls and emails rec’d from scattered places, wishing me a happy coming year were great. And so, as this past year was wonderful, I choose to thank those who made life so, and who will make the coming year just as great.

Beginning with life’s basics, my mother Nettie Ohlin taught me to need and enjoy a clean house, but ‘how she did it’, just didn’t ‘take’ on me, and so Crystal comes to my rescue. And we’ve both laughed as I’ve told her that she first came to my home as an infant in blankets and napped in a cozy warm kitchen corner while her father, Ron, shoveled snow. She’s known my place from birth.

And then there’s my lawn, which if more than seven days pass, looks as if no one lives here. A few years back, in rebellion, I put my front yard in BIG rocks and mulch, but that still left the back, and that’s why Steve and Chris, arrive every Wednesday afternoon to cut, trim, and sweep that green stuff. Pure bliss.

They make my outside yard as tidy as Crystal does the inside. Yes, and they’re all members of their exended family group.

But as winter puts a ‘damper’ on the growth of the lawn,  with no break, snow takes over and again, others of that same family are here to keep the white stuff in its place. What more can I ask??? In fact, as time has passed, Ron, the father of the clan, no longer wants the “killer’ job of snow, is the one who started it all. He is the father of Crystal who first slept in my home as he worked and is father-in-law to Jed, who is now Crystal’s husband, and is standing ‘in the wings’ to take over this coming winter’s snow.

So what allows my happiness? We never give it a thought, but I can’t even begin to list ‘all the things I’d have to go without, if the electricity went OFF. Just sitting here at my computer, without moving, I can list this machine I’m typing on to begin with, and the printer that does the next step. The lamp that gives me light, and from the kitchen I hear dinner cooking away. There’s the clock on the wall, Classic County Music from TV Channel 934, the doorbell telling me I have a caller, a timer to tell me when I’m needed in the kitchen, and on and on.

What would I (and you) do without water at the twist of our hands. Just for starters, today’s kitchen would close shop, the bathroom would retreat to the back yard, and baths revert again to once week in a wash tub. Oh, I’m not going into that, but give a thought from the garbage disposal in our kitchens, to the bathroom, and we quickly change the subject. Yeah sewers are unmentionables, but without them, our lives would be unmentionable.

What else? What else makes my days joyous and wonderful? How about cars? Think about them, because we seldom do. We just use them. 24-7, too. Yeah, so what else makes my life Happy? Joyous? Worth living????

I could go on and on, but again getting down to the nitty gritty, my life, in any circumstance is centered around my family. And, as such goes back to a long time ago when my Ohlin parents and siblings formed the foundation for this life I love.

And I thank Gram, who, by being a Bradford ancestor, gave me my home and the land it sits upon. And next there was Brad, who with my help brought those two stalwarts of my life, John and Bill, And they opened the doors to Carol, NIna, Mike, Eric, Rachael, Zaden and Asher. A veritable cushion of loved ones without whom, I would have no life.

Yes, I could name people, household utilities, things, but then I am taken deeper, to the world . . . the Universe . . . and I bow in gratitude as I’m taken from the selfish wants of my physical comforts, to my family, and still deeper, my gratitude keeps going and gets to The Source.

And call It by any of the thousands of names people have given IT, my thanks must go back to That Beginning. And Knowing that from the most trivial to the most sublime, all thanks go to That Source. And also for birthdays that sometimes wake us up to the  blessings given us.   So, ultimately, as we ever do,  Thank You God for birthdays, the eye-openers we all need,  and hopefuly use.  .

Too Good To Throw Away

“One man’s meat is another man’s poison,” and it’s never more true than when it comes to our garbage.

And right now, the Spring Season, is when most of us get the urge to clean out the garage, closets, drawers, etc. of stuff we’ve kept for years because it’s all Too Good To Throw Away. or TGTTA.

But sooner or later, we realize “something’s got to go”, and begin putting those TGTTA’s out on the ‘other’ side of sidewalk, side-by-side with our mail box, knowing those passing by will also know that it’s our way of saying ‘Here is some still usable stuff, but I’m through with it, and if you can use it, take it. It’s free.”  We all know the game.

My kids, (when they really were kids), and their pals were experts and I cringed at what they sometimes brought home, but the evening before Garbage Pickup, they would head straight for Three Fountain condos. which they considered a Gold Mine and they all tried to be first there for the best pickings.

I now put my stuff out on any day of the week, and it works. People know what ‘stuff on the street side of the sidewalk’ means, and it’s become an established way of moving a lot of TGTTA, and, if you’re on that ‘other’ side, you get rare bargains and are busy giving your still good stuff, a new life.

It’s not just kid stuff either, but items that accumulates in all homes, but which, dang it, we finally admit will never again will be used, and so with a sigh and fond farewell, we haul it from the garage, basement, closet, to a place right next to the Mail Box, give it a ‘farewell pat’, wish it well, and that’s that.

My garbage pickup day is Monday, but I put most of my TGTTA out on Saturday or Sunday.

Why? Do I like to see my mail box flanked by discarded stuff?  Well, No AND Yes. It turns out to be fun, for as you quietly watch, people pause, go round the block and are back again for a second look. And then, with almost guilty demeanor, some item goes into their car, and whoooosh, it’s gone. Some times they come to the door to ask, but it’s now such a common-place happening that if it’s on the ‘other’ side of the sidewalk, it’s up for grabs.

Often your TGTTA’s disappear within hours, and the garbage man, finds slim pickings for him to put to one side for his personal ‘find’. Which I’ve seen happen more than once. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing a good deal.

I’ve done this several times, and yes, to me it’s Garbage, and one day I saw a well used old lawn mower being pushed up the sidewalk, by two young boys, and I only hoped their Dad was handy with the pliers, wrenches and oil cans.

A hamper lasted but an hour, and an old bulky TV was still there at dusk, but had disappeared by midnite. I’ve found that most heavy TGTTA does disappear, after dark. I suppose the ‘taker’ needs help in moving whatever it is, into the car or truck. Who knows?

Yup, ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’, and if you pass my way and see some odd objects sitting out by my mailbox . . . take your choice. I call it my Mail Box give away.

But, be careful and not spoil a good thing, so stay on the Street side of the sidewalk, because the stuff on the House side might look like TGTTA to you, but is still wanted by that home-owner. So you keep on the Public side of the sidewalk, I’ll stay on mine, we’ll all stay friends, and have a bit of fun, along the way. Thanx.