More Money Would Make Me Happy

Well, read on, and on, and on and on

A bunch of us were gabbing away about people we know and one name came up and someone, rather enviously, commented on how ‘rich’ they are and so have none of the problems the rest of us have.

I didn’t answer for I didn’t want to get into any philosophical debate, and, anyway I have off-beat ideas about lots of things and what real wealth means, is one of them.  See, I think that if one limits it to money, they’re apt to be in for some surprises. To me, and I admit it’s only my way of thinking; to be ‘rich’ is a many-faceted concept.

Some people have “all the money” in the world and yet are obviously unhappy. Just scan the newspapers, TV news, Celebrity magazines, and royalty both with and without thrones. The list and their divorces, drug use, drinking is endless. Doesn’t spell happiness to me.

Stay with me. One can have all that money, but if their body is sick then they’ve lost the capacity to enjoy the things their money brings. For instance, if you can recall some great big event in your life, and you came down with a blinding headache. The event was a loss to you, no matter how many loved ones were there, because in a sick body you could not enjoy the day and people.

And again…one can have plenty of money and a body that would do justice to an Olympic contender or a high-priced model, but if you are mentally and emotionally crippled, again, what good is the money or the great body? Huh?

If one must cringe fearfully in the home, or room, or in a hospital, that one is ‘poorer’ than those who might not have all that gold, but have joy in life and use each day to its fullest.

I often see a young couple, out running or bicycling and they are the picture of happiness and caring. I understand they’re having what we call ‘a hard time’ financially and neither have the jobs they’re highly qualified for, but they’re not hungry, they have good bodies and obviously seem to be balanced emotionally and handling their problems nicely.

Oh, I know there has to be enough money to live. We are in a world where nine-tenths of the transactions are done by dollars and cents and we need those shekels. But how often we WANT things that we don’t really NEED. Great big difference and it’s hard to differentiate for those TV commercials cost the sellers  an awful lot of money for those ads, just to make us think that we NEED whatever it is they want to sell. 

My needs are provided and my wants? Well, many of my wants are so foolish that by the time I’ve bought what I so dearly craved, I ponder why I thought that item would bring me happiness. For “things”,  I’ve learned the hard way, don’t bring happiness. That must come from within.

So… that brings me to the last and fifth facet of my description for true ‘wealth.’ And, Ethel being Ethel, you know that my fifth necessity is a spiritual one.  And, I didn’t say religious, but a spiritual way.

I’ve seen…and so have you…people with all the money they need, with good bodies, sound minds, seemingly healthy emotions and yet are unhappy. Many so unhappy they go from mate to mate. Buy bigger and ‘better’ things. Give louder and louder parties. Use both drugs and alcohol, and if you know me, you also know I’m not against a friendly glass, but that’s not what I mean, and you also know that.

Yes, I’ve seen them do all of the above,  over and over and in my own lifetime have seen  two go to the ultimate one of committing suicide.

Yes, I know a few ‘rich’ people and some of them I believe are also happy. Of course, I can only observe and surmise, for these are private things and concern no one but themselves, but I’d be willing to wager that the happy ones would agree that the money is only a part of their joy, and though they might not have thought of my five, they have them under whatever names they choose to use.

Some wise person penned words I like and laugh over.  They are: “Having a lot of money doesn’t change anyone; it just reveals what you always were.”  Well, well, well.  We better take a long look at what and who we are before we start thinking that more ‘dollars and cents’ will make a difference.

How About A Cuppa of Woffee?

 Why not try it,  Not bad at all.

One of these days some smart cookie is going to open a Woffee House and it’ll be a popular place.  I, in fact, will reserve my own personal table, and as I look around, I doubt if I’ll be the only one choosing it as first choice.

And if you aren’t aware of what Woffee is…well, you just don’t know Ethel Bradford very well.  See, Woffee is one of my most favorite drinks.

The whole thing started several years ago when my boss, Jim Cornwell, came upon the fact that I like coffee, yes, but to me it’s a mixed drink.  Half a cuppa coffee and half a cuppa water.  Jim’s the one who named my watered-down brew, Woffee.

So it went.  Day after day Ethel drank her Woffee, and, although my coffee has long been Sanka or one of its decaffeinated counterparts, it still comes to me as half and half.  Woffee.

But, little by little the idea took hold and then, one day I chuckled, for, as I walked through the shop I heard Nedra, one of the neat gals I work with, call out to another gal, “Hey, while you’re going that way, will you  bring me back a cuppa Woffee?”

And everyone knew exactly what Nedra wanted, and with no one even batting an eyebrow, she got her Woffee.

My friends have long known of my Woffee habit and simply think it one more of my oddities.  But now I find Jim’s name for my morning drink is getting around.

It’s like this.  I drop into a certain Coffee Shop quite often in the early a.m., and while there getting my breakfast, I also get my usual half-a-cup-of coffee and half-a-cup-of water.  The most agreeable clerks are more than willing to get the water for me.  Quick to oblige.

Doesn’t take long before they know exactly what I want to go with whatever else I order, and matter of factly bring me a cuppa plain ole Woffee.  Well, the other day I buzzed into the familiar place, wended my way quickly back to the always-filled coffee pot, and. before I could even begin to serve myself, the gal greeted me with “You want a large cuppa Woffee, don’t you?”  And I saw that she was already fixing it for me.

And, yes. I laughed and answered, “A large cup will be fine.”

See how a good thing gets around?  So, if you’re in some fancy restaurant and hear someone order Woffee, don’t be surprised and don’t put the blame…or credit…on me.

I only drink the stuff…Jim Cornwell is the one who named it.  Woffee, wanna join me in a cup?



Coriolis – What Are You Talking About?

But it control every move of our lives.

I fussed with my climbing ivy plant the other day, tucking stubborn shoots around supports, and being careful to follow the ‘natural’ twist they wanted to take.

And I mused over the cosmic force that makes counter-clockwise ‘right,’ and clockwise the ‘wrong’ way. It also amused me to realize the same force that made my vine determinedly turn ‘its own way’ is the same relentless force that flyers, sailors and astronauts must also cope with.

And what makes this whole thing more wonderful and almost unbelievable is that south of the equator,  everything turns exactly the opposite way. Everything there turns clockwise.

Flyers learn to circle a storm by flying to its right, going with the wind, instead of to the left which would be against it. South of the equator pilots naturally learn the opposite and it is one of the basics any flyer must quickly learn if they go into the ‘other’ side of the globe. This phenomenon was the cause of many a fatal accident in the maelstrom of WWII air fighting before these basic Laws of the Universe were known.

Of course, you probably know more about this force than I do, but still in my elementary way, I plod along. And if it is new to you, it’s called coriolis. Read on and see what it means.

Your vines grow counter clockwise and trying to change them is useless. The water swirling down the drains from a full bathtub, sink and our toilets all agree… Dogs observe the identical rule as they circle to ‘make their bed.’ Dancers as they pirouette, roulette tables, eddies in a stream, the trade winds and the Gulf Stream all obey this planetary law.

It comes, as you may know or guess, from the force made by the earth turning underneath us. We shoot a man to the moon, but we don’t aim where the moon is when the shot is made. No, men who understand this force to its ultimate (?) strength, aim the capsule to where the moon will be, in relation to the earth, when the arrival time is scheduled.

During World War I, records tell us the Germans knew, but didn’t know the far-reach of this law, but they knew enough, when shooting  their “Big Bertha” cannon, only 70 miles to Paris, their goal, they aimed it a mile to the left to correct for the distance the world would turn in that short three minute time lag.

 And a rocket fired to New York from the North Pole would, unless adjusted for, land near Chicago after an hour’s flight. For, in that hour, the earth’s turning would put the Windy City exactly where the Big Apple was. And we don’t even know or feel that we’re buzzing through space.

It is why an airplane flying east (faster than the earth) is lighter than the same plane going west; why a pendulum clock, taken to a northern country runs fast and it is the secret of the gyroscopic compass.

People at the time of the Mayflower knew the trip to the New World would be faster than the “speedy” return to the Mother Country and adjusted their provisions that way.  I doubt if they knew why, but know they did, and careful plans were made to take care of the facts.

Coriolis…a new word? Yeah, it was to me, but I read lots of stuff and found that while the word men invented is new, the force it tells of has been with us since God created heaven and earth and while you can’t rise in the sky to feel the constant trade winds, can’t see the adjustment made on a moon flight, or can’t travel south of the equator to test it out, you can still see its force.

Watch your Morning Glories twist and turn. Watch your bathwater, watch your dog. Ask any pilot. Coriolis, unseen, unfelt, mysterious, but oh so real.

 And I have no doubt that some smart men and women are, or have already, studied to figure out how it affects you and me in our daily lives.  The way we walk? Our car’s miles-per-gallon of gas?  I’m smart (?) enough to know that if it affects the birds, animals and vines, why should we be ignored?  The name is used for the dozens of products on sale that ‘guarantee’ to straighten and reverse the natural curl found in some human hair.

Coriolis. Know it or not, or even give a dang about it, it’s here, and always has been and always will be.  Next time you take a bath, take time to wait a moment and just try to change how the water goes down the drain.  Good luck.

Copyright 2012 Ethel Ohlin Bradford


Yeah, It’s Truely A Puzzlement

We all have our own oddities

“It’s a puzzlement.” And I’m not going into a song-and-dance about “The King and I” where these words originated, but, just the same, some things in life are a ‘puzzlement’.

See, it’s like this. Right now, wherever you are, stop what you’re doing and for just a moment, fold your arms. That’s right, no big deal, just fold your arms.

Okay, now look at your arms. One of them is on top, with its hand folded nicely under the other arm. Naturally. But, whichever way you do fold your arms, now try to do it the other way. With the other arm on top and with its hand tucked under.

Ho, ho,ho! Now, that’s a different story, is it not? And there’s the puzzlement. For it just won’t work. Oh, I suppose you can do it with much thought and effort, but it doesn’t feel ‘right.’ It’s awkward. Your arms get tangled up and it’s a mess.

After you untangled your arms, and have given up on that puzzlement, follow along with me and fold your hands. Yeah, the same way you did as a school child when the teacher told you to put your hands on the desk and fold them. Done it a million times, haven’t you?

One thumb fits comfortable ‘on top’ with the other one tucked ‘neath it. Of course. But, and you know what I’m going to say; now unfold them, and re-fold them again with the ‘other’ thumb on top. Egad, egad, egad. All thumbs, aren’t you?

I’ve asked everyone I know (and some I really don’t) to do these two simple exercises and to a man they’ve all looked at me with surprise when asked to do them the ‘other’ way. Acquaintances are beginning to avoid me and those who know me well have not been above telling me to quit coming up with such foolishness. To quit because it drives them crazy and they can’t figure out why.

Certain friends greet me with words like “Now look, Ethel, I’ve been your guinea pig for lots of odd experiments, but this one’s the limit. Go work on someone else.” So all right, I go to you.

At first I thought the arm/hand folding bit had to do with being right or left-handed, but it doesn’t. I’ve found one right-hander does it one way and the very next right-hander does it the other and so on. All I know is that we’re queer creatures of habit or instinct, and who’s to know which is which. Or why.

We all have our own oddities. I’m right handed, see, but I deal a deck of cards, set the silverware on the table and hand out papers (or such) with my left hand. I’ve tried to deal cards and distribute sheets of papers with my right hand and it just doesn’t work. It’s not only awkward, but I make a mess of the entire thing.

It’s said that men always dress by always putting the same leg into their trousers first, but as I’m, no expert ‘cause I’ve never seen many men getting dressed. But, for myself, I find I always began washing my face, brushing my teeth and combing my hair on the same way every time. I hold my cup of tea or drink in the same hand, too, and the other seems somehow ‘wrong.’

I put my right leg of hosiery on first, but dang it, when my panty hose are in place, I swear I then put on my left shoe first. My friend LaRee cut her lawn one way, leaving a pattern she knew by heart, and her husband one day cut it,  using his own pattern, and she,  believe me or not,  waited until he was gone, and then simply HAD to  DO THE ENTIRE LAWN OVER,  so the  pattern was ‘right’..

Now, these bits of trivia are not earth-shaking or even important, but once you start observing this type of thing it’s hard to stop. Just try folding your arms ‘the other way’ and you’ll see what I mean. And of course, your way is correct, and the other guy that’s out of sync.  Yeah, “It’s a puzzlement.”


Josh Powell and Gary Bishop

Where’s The Justice?

As I’ve pondered the unbelievable act of Josh Powell, with his wife and two children, I’ve recalled one night when I saw a man killed. Oh, they called it an execution, but that’s just semantics to make us feel better, for  it came down to the fact that it was a planned killing, and I watched it done.

And I think, as I did then, that one person can kill hundreds of people and be called a hero, with honors, medals and life time acclaim. Another kills but one person and is executed. And the only difference is the motive. For one it was home, country, ideals and down to the hard truth of ‘it’s either them or me.’ For the other it was passion, anger, perversion.

I was one of nine media people to witness the death of Arthur Gary Bishop. He was strapped to a gurney in a very temporary warehouse ‘room’. We saw three people, plus Bishop, a doctor, another dispensed the serum, and I suppose the Warden.  And their motive?  How can we know their motive?  Their job? Good pay? Assigned to it? Volunteers?

I don’t know, and really didn’t care for that was their karma, not mine. I was there because, well, because there is that facet of Ethel that wants to see what is going on in the world; and secondly, there is also a part of Ethel that felt/feels a tremendous dichotomy between our moral code and what we actually do. And that part of Ethel wanted an answer as to why they differ so widely.

We’re taught from childhood to never take a life. So imbedded within us that we are shocked when we hit a cat, dog or bird with our car, and, when the Vet recommends ‘putting to sleep’ one of our loved, but ill, pets, we suffer.

The instinct to preserve life is so strong that after some horrible crime we spend untold dollars on trials and appeals, going into months and years before we can justify an execution. And even then, if possible, as in a gun fire execution, several men shoot guns, with all but one holding harmless ammo, so that no one can know that, “I killed him.”

And as Executions are becoming more and more illegal, and life imprisonment given, we’re finding that is not the answer, for now they/we are forced to build huge prisons to hold, you guessed it, the older ones who, in the outer world, would need to be in Care Centers.  So once again, your taxes paid for those huge new prisons, your taxes pay for doctors, nurses, food, cooks, cleaners and such to maintain them

While, at the same time, there are millions (I like big numbers) of people who have never even run a red light, but need to be in a Care Center, and can’t afford one. We talk of justice, but where oh where is the justice here?  And remember whose taxes pay for our prisons and their upkeep.

When I was a volunteer teacher at the Prison, one fellow, perhaps in his 50’s, said, “If they ever put me out of here, I’m going to commit a crime that very day, so they have to put me back. Out there I ate what I found in garbage cans, wore clothes I could find and slept in halls, and on sidewalks.  I’ve never had it as good as I do here, and here I’m going to stay.”

Truth, truth.  But getting back to Bishop, I was about 2 yards from his bare feet, and they were pink, clean, well padded, feet and I thought how sweet they must have been to his mother when he was a child.  Yeah, but even as I watched, the serum took hold and in less than a minute, those pink feet, were deep purple-red. And the men had done their duty (job?) and killed him.

Yet, we execute people for ‘who they were’ and not for ‘who they are’. But how can we judge? We are not Solomon and many a parole board has been filled with horror, when, in good faith, they granted a parole, and then find the freed person again commits the same kind of horrendous crime. We are not that wise.

But, again, back to Bishop. He was given, as all such people are, every consideration during his last days. He was given any food he asked for, and even fast if he wished. Chosen visitors were allowed, calls could be taken and he even had the right to ask who, in his personal life, he wished to witness his death.

What a huge difference to the “consideration” Powell gave his victims. Children. Children, in our culture, who  are taught to respect and obey adults, and are afraid of punishment if they don’t,  They ran to greet their own father, yet once they entered that door, they were doomed and screamed as they were killed with a hatchet. And then burned.

Yes, I saw a man ‘killed’, for that’s what it is.   IT was not an everyday occurrence for me or for anyone else there BUT I and have no regrets.  I didn’t get answers and my seeking still stands, but I know full well that there was a ‘person’ in Bishop. A person like me, you, who thinks, feels, cries, laughs and loves. But, there it stops, for in them there must be some facet that is not in me, or you.  Some facet that has no feeling for another’s suffering.

I had hoped that being a witness to an execution would help me clear my thinking and show me some solution, but it didn’t. Some answer for me, the system, and, yes, for those who commit such heinous crimes. And today, with Powell’s actions so clear on our minds, I wonder if there can ever be an answer. Perhaps him taking his own life was ‘the best answer’ but his son’s?  His wife?

I pray for peace of mind for the families of the victims, which includes the parents, grandparents, friends, yes, and for the killer, too. I cannot give it to them, you cannot give it to them, all the laws and executions, or final Care Centers, cannot give it to them, for ultimately we’re all the same and what peace we find must come right from within ourselves. And there are no laws for such as that.


Dirty Tricks, Then And Now

Nothing New Under The Sun

If you think political dirty tricks began with Tricky Dick, you’re way wrong. George Washington, refused to run for his third term, partly because, “The attacks upon me have been so exaggerated and indecent they should not be directed to a convicted criminal, much less one who has given time, fortune and health to facilitate the founding of this Country.”

One of the most vicious political wars was waged between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, opponents in 1800, and now no one knows how, but a bad one was when a Baltimore newspaper received a ‘truthful’ report of the death of Jefferson at his Monticello home.

With the news traveling ‘by foot’ in those days, it was almost two months later before it was discovered that the death story was a ‘dirty trick’ to keep Jefferson from being elected. Obviously, the trick didn’t work.

Lincoln, so revered today, was maligned in a manner few other aspirants to the high office has ever been.  Some of the attacks accused him of being a coward, drunkard, and that his election would bring a deluge of rape, incest and adultery. And name calling reached its apogee (or its opposite) when he was called an ape, fiend, ghoul, knave, lunatic, outlaw and a traitor.

Many presidents have been charged with drunkenness including Grover Cleveland, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, William Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Harding, and George W. Bush. And, with two or three of those names, it just might have been true.

One man, a certain E. P. Cramer, in later history, admitted before an Investigating Committee, that he began the whispering campaign that the later Roosevelt (FDR) was insane, and therefore incompetent. Tag ends of that ‘dirty trick’ still crop up in stories of that era, and FDR, though his, and his wife Eleanor’s  personal lives were quite outside conventional codes and standards, were far from being incompetent or insane.

In the hot summer of 1928 when Al Smith was ‘running’ for President, his meetings were made unbearable, and people left in droves, because his opponents bribed men to ‘fire up the winter furnaces to full blast’ pouring heat into the crowded halls where the people were already overcome with the torrid summer weather. And all in the era before air conditioning was even dreamed of.

A century or so ago, and aimed at a more innocent, and far less educated electorate, much guile was used as dirty tricks.  Calvin Coolidge told a favorite story which played upon that innocence of our ancestors. One man, running for high office, spread a whispering campaign that his opponent “practice Nepotism, that his sister was a Thespian, that his brother was a Homo Sapient and that he had Matriculated in college.”

And those words, both true and flattering, but unknown to most voters, proved to be the pivotal point in defeating the poor bewildered man against whom they were turned.

John Adams ordered and paid for, out of his own pocket, a Billiard table and accessories. But, due to a bookkeeping error, the bill, was included, but soon corrected, on White House expenses, but Adams, to his dying day, was kept explaining why he had allowed ‘the people’ to pay for his Billiard table. Dirty tricks.

They are a long familiar part of the way we elect officials and as long as people are still human, the dirty tricks will roll along, too.  Here are a few we have listened to.

Did Kennedy’s father ‘buy’ his son’s election??  Was Carter an uneducated farmer??   Does Romney have Swiss (untaxable) Bank Accounts??  Did Viet Nam give LBJ huge financial gains??  Did McCain choose Palin for her celebrity appearance to offset both Obama and Hillary Clinton??  Were others paid to hide the problems that later ruined Edward’s entire life as well as his run for the Presidency?? 

Doesn’t much matter.  If it’s not these questions, it will be others, for as long as there are high level political goals, and big money to be made, there will be ‘dirty tricks’.

Love, From Eros To Agape, How Great It Is.

Valentine’s Day. The day made for Love.

 Love. . . .  Men have died for it. Women have lied for it. Billions sigh for it and countless songs, stories and poems have been written about it. Greece fought a war because of it.

All for love? Love? So what is love? It is not food for the hungry or drink for the thirsty. It will not knit the broken bone or give rest to the overworked. It isn’t a drug for the suffering…and yet . . .today, right now, there are people giving up their hold on life and slowly dying for the lack of it.

Love is the TLC recommended for children. So important for their welfare that every child in any hospital is scheduled to be regularly held, fondled and tenderly played with. And this, in addition to the times the child must also be fed, bathed and cared for.

It is the magic that changes homes for the aged from dull, lifeless places where men and women sit silently and dully in empty rooms waiting for their lives to pass/  Yes, changes them into homes (no more affluent) of quiet activity, alert eyes, contentment and days that are lived, not just endured.

Love. Every civilization, culture, people or tribe of natives from earliest times until now have recognized its strength and made rules and provisions for it. Oddly enough, it’s been noted that the more “primitive” the culture, the better their over-all concept of love has been.

Only in modern America has love become, to many, almost synonymous and limited to sex. Other environments recognize and explore the other aspect of tenderness as well. The mother playing with her children. A Grandparent caressing the infant, listening to the school child’s woes, or giving cautious monetary aid to the college student who is always short of cash. Are these not also love? Of course they are.

And what about the youngster or neighbor who makes an hour or two brighter for some shut-in by visiting or reading to them? Duty you say? Perhaps, but it is love that makes it all worthwhile.

Yes, and there’s the often forgotten, taken-for-granted, love of the parish priest or local bishop for his flock. Only those nearby could know of the countless hours that are cheerfully, thankfully given. Hours whose very numbers make the task seem impossible. And it would be, too, if it weren’t for love.

No, love is not food for the hungry or drink for the thirsty. It cannot be put under a microscope, analyzed and then prescribed for a broken body or diseased mind. But still,

It is both food and drink for the soul. It is rest for the overburdened and new energy to the sorrowing, the bored and the listless. It has given more peace than all the tranquilizers ever made, and brought a shine and glow to tired eyes and faces. It is the magic medicine that every doctor in the world wishes he could patent, bottle and prescribed for his patients.

Love. That most tender of emotions.  With it, life and the world is a happy place to be. Without it, something within us withers and dies. Without it life loses its savor, its ability to revitalize itself. That’s how vital love is.

So, it will soon be Valentine’s day. Give all the love you can, of all varieties. I’m not knocking Eros one bit, for I know its joy, but never forget Agape and its wide, deep, and all encompassing scope. We need all we can receive or give, and not limited to one day of the year, either.


What’s That You Are Saying ? ? ?

Welcome, Come on in, and hope we ‘speak the same language’. . .

My words were titled “Out My Window” and this is my winter view.  But the door is/was always open and my mind?  Oh, my  mind traveled inwardly as far as I dared, and outwardly?  As near as my next door neighbor and as far as the other side of the world.


We’re getting so careful with our words nowadays that sometimes we have to figure out what’s actually being said. Or done.

Just take a few fr’ instances. No one even thinks of hiring janitors anymore. No, we have custodians. And, what’s more, we don’t have garbage men, either, for the men and women who pick up our refuse are Sanitation Engineers. No less.

We wouldn’t dream of calling a carpenter to fix the broken window. We call a Home Repair specialist. And where we once had auto mechanics we now have Automotive Technicians.

People today have quit sweating, according to the experts. That’s simply gross! What we do today is categorized even further as: animals sweat, men perspire, and women glow. Well, well, well, so that’s what I go. and to continue, children don’t go out to ‘play with the other kids’ any more, either. Can you guess? Well, today they socialize with their own age group. My, my.

And along the same lines, the big old-fashioned roomy kitchen where mom could cook and ‘tidy up’ at one end of the room while the family gathered to study, play games, and visit in the other end is long gone. My goodness, yes. Nobody has that kind of a kitchen anymore. What we have now is a special place off to one side of the kitchen where the TV sits, and the family gathers to study and talk. But, remember, it’s not the kitchen. It’s the Family Room. Gotta get that straight, don’t ya know.
Oh yes, and today  an undertaker doesn’t bury us, because that chore is definitely the task of the Mortician, and…when we’re ailing…we no longer go to a foot doctor, baby or women’s specialist. Now we go to Podiatrists, Pediatricians, Gynecologists, Oncologists, and that fairly new one, Geriatrician.

How about that? We don’t play pool, wash clothes or try to lose weight anymore. We play billiards, do the laundry and diet. We never go buy groceries, either. We do household shopping.

And, of course, a pre-med course is practically a necessity to understand what your doctor is telling you. All the old familiar ‘two-bit’ words have been discarded and now we hear that our X-ray shows a “dangerous expression”; that our blood pressure is confusing; a PAP test seems to be transitional and one’s white blood count is careless.

And, is it kinder to say “seizure-syndrome” instead of epilepsy? To call a stroke a heart attack? And to shun the words mental retardation as if they were poisonous? And that heart-breaker Mongolism by the words Downs Syndrome?

It’s all a pack of nonsense to me, for such confusing terms are often more frightening than the plain old matter-of-fact ones we all knew and understood.

In California a low over-pass is called, of all things, ‘Impaired Vertical Clearance.’ I’ll bet many a driver has scraped the top off his truck because he couldn’t figure out fast enough what the dang sign said.

And then take the case of the airplane crash wherein three people luckily lived to tell about it. The pilot said, “Fasten your seatbelts, the plane is aerodynamically unstable.”

A woman turned to her seatmate and said, “What did he say?” and he replied frantically, “I think he means for us to start saying our prayers ‘cause we’re going to crash.”

Well, luckily they ended up in 10 feet of snow and no one was seriously hurt. But without that little bit of luck, they’d have crashed and been dead before even figuring out what the pilot was talking about!


ESP . . . It’s As Real As It Can Be

We are not Human Beings Having a Spiritual Experience, We are  Spiritual Beings Having a Human Experience.



ESP is such a commonplace subject that we hardly blink an eye about it . . .  that is, until it happens to us. No one even knows exactly what it means, except we all use that name to label all the those otherwise unexplainable coincidences.

Oh, we know it’s Extra Sensory Perception, or The Sixth Sense, but it’s different from the other five.  We can say: Taste, Sight, Hearing, Smelling, Touch and no explanation is needed, but ESP?  Yeah, I know.  It’s been called Gut Instinct, Hunch, Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Precognition and ad infinitum, but that still doesn’t tell us what IT is.

So, so, so,  I answered the phone and it was Margaret, a nice woman who made her home inSeattle. Our acquaintance was so casual, that as we talked about nothing for four or five minutes, I wondered why she’d called, and as she was getting ready to say her good-bye, she casually asked if I knew whereFlorencecould be reached.

“No,” I answered, “I haven’t even heard from her for over a year.” And she said, “Well, take down my phone number and address and if you happen to see her tell her to give me a call.”

Truthfully, hearing fromFlorencewas so unlikely that I almost didn’t write down the information. But I did, scribbling it carelessly, while at the same time thinking the paper would be garbaged by the next day.

However, before I even moved from the phone, it rang again, and I silently said, dang, dang, dang, and debated whether to answer it or not, but I did.

Yes, and you have already guessed that, of all people, it was Florence. She, too, had no real reason to call me, and it amazed us both when I told her what had just happened and she said, “Yes, I do need to talk to Margaret and had no idea how to do it, but that wasn’t  the reason I called  you.”

In a daze I sat there and actually felt as if I had been used by ‘someone’, or ‘something’.  That I had been nothing but a tool. Because, with no conscious thought or even desire on my part, I had been the connecting link between two people who needed to reach each other and didn’t know how. It has remained one of those happenings that puzzle me to this day.

One ESP experience that comes to me occasionally is one I’m quite ambivalent about, for I most assuredly didn’t ask for it and not certain how I feel about it. It is the unasked for ‘knowing’ that someone is going to die. Oddly, it doesn’t happen all the time, and sometimes when someone close to me dies I wonder why oh why I hadn’t known. But ESP, or whatever you call it, doesn’t work that way.

I just ‘know’ and over and over, I’ve been right. I don’t speak of it to others, for after all, it isn’t what you’d call desired information. But one does need to talk to some one about these oddities of the mind, and at one time, my friend LaRee Pehrson was a godsend to me. She, too, was one who sensed uncanny things and neither of us considered the other ‘funny’.

Of course, ESP is hard to prove. That is, if it needs proving. It isn’t scientific. It’s far, far more than that, but don’t ask me to tell you ‘what’, because I can’t.  I only know that it is.

The stomach can be laid out, measured and proven.  The brain can be weighed for size, heft and dissected, as can the heart, lungs, kidneys and all such. But the Mind? So vital to each moment of our day, cannot be found. It is so vital that, no matter how good a body, or how much money one has . . . without the Mind, we are nothing.  But ‘what’ it is cannot be told.

Traveling the inward pathway to the Mind is the longest journey we’ll ever take and who is to say what the ultimate goal will be when we get there or even, where that ‘where’ will be.

ESP? You have it, I have it. It uses me and it uses you, and if you ever find out what ‘it’ is tell me. But in the meantime and whatever it is, isn’t it great?