Six Ten-Pound Sacks Of Sugar

It’s New Years. and I bet that on 95% of all  Resolution lists is: Lose Weight.

And it can be called: Diet, Cut Calories, Enroll at a gym,  walk every day, and it doesn’t matter, for they all boil down to two  words: Lose Weight.

I’ve watched others fight that fight, for there’s a proclivity toward overweight in the Bradford genes.  My sons are free of it, but I’ve seen others fight the fight.

Jake, my brother-in-law, was one who broke the curse,  and in an odd way, and now that he has stepped into ‘The Next Room’, I feel safe to tell his secret, and anyway, I don’t think he’d care if I told his method.

He had gone to a Doctor for some malady, and in the last moments, the Doc asked him if he’d ever thought about losing weight, and Jake truthfully confessed the thought was always on his mind.

The Doc smiled and said, “I know.  It was the same with me,” and Jake was surprised for the doctor was not overweight and wondered if he had some magic pill.

No, not any magic potion, but here’s what that Doc said had worked for him, and they’d  learned, and laughed over, in Med School,  and needed no Prescription, either.  Only he had not laughed, but used it.

“Go to a grocery store,” he said, “and pick  up a 10-pound sack of Sugar.  Hold and feel its weight.  Heavy, but not too bad.

“Well”, the Doc went on,  “hold that ten-pounder in one arm and pick  up another ten-pound sack.  And  that, will be a bit  harder, for twenty pounds can be cumbersome.”

And then, the Doc told him that he (Jake) was  sixty pounds over normal, and Jake was shocked, for he was no dummy and immediately saw what the good doctor was telling him.

“Jake”, he went on, “you’ll find that two ten-pound sacks are not easy for you to hold,  but keep going, because every second of your day and night you are carrying  the weight of SIX ten-pound sacks of Sugar.  No matter what you’re doing, you are coping with those six sacks.  Sixty pounds of Sugar sacks.

Jake told me he was in shock, for he said, I knew I couldn’t hold six Ten-pound sacks of Sugar in my arms,  “And  yet,” the Doc continued, “you are doing it.  It’s spread out over  your body, around your intestines, heart, liver, lungs, everywhere under your skin, is spread the weight of those six ten-pound sacks.”

Jake said he wasn’t laughing as he left the Doctor’ s  office, because his mother, Gram, did a lot of home canning, and he had bought and carried many sacks of sugar from car to kitchen for her, and knew exactly how much they weighed.

Six ten-pound sacks of sugar.

 He told me he didn’t  have much appetite that evening for dinner and his mother asked if he were ill.  No, just not hungry, he answered, but he began that very afternoon in getting rid of ONE ten-pound sack of sugar, and in a month or more, he went at a second ten-pounder.  Said he never aimed for more that one ‘sack’ at a time, for his knew his weaknesses.  but in a couple of years he was no longer carrying around ‘six  ten-pound sacks of Sugar’.

Jake said  he couldn’t get over  how heavy even one sack of sugar is to  hold, and that, if he bought two of them for his mother, he had always taken two trips from car to house, to get them to  where they were needed.

And then to know that he, every second of the day and night, was carrying six of them. It worked for him.  No pills, no exercise, not one thing, except the shock of  realizing how heavy just  ONE ten-pound sack of sugar had been.  And it worked for him for the rest of his days.

Give Christmas Back To The Kid

Listen to that Kid . . .

The Wise Guys tell me Christmas is Kid Stuff
And just maybe they’ve got something there.
Two thousand years ago
Three Wise Guys
Chased a Star across a whole continent to bring
Frankincense and Myrrh to a Kid
Who was born in a manger with an Idea in his head.
And today
As the bombs crash and there is terror over the world
The real Wise Guys know that we all must
Again go chasing Stars
In the hopes that we can get back some of that
Long ago Kid Stuff
That was born two thousand years ago.
Frank Horne, 1942

Isn’t that great? Imagine: Three Wise Guys saw a star followed it and found a Kid. A Kid with such an inborn Idea that it changed the whole world. Their world. Your world.  My world.

Three Wise Guys found a Babe, (we call them Kids) and that Kid had an Idea within Himself that nothing or no one has ever been able to change. hide, disguise, or forget.

And from very first, to very last That ‘Kid’ was:
Ever Pure.
Ever Wise
Ever Free.

And, it’s good to remember that those Wise Guys weren’t The Big Story, and would not be known two thousand years later, except for their one task which they did so well. The job of following their Star to find the way to The Kid, and presenting Him with the gifts they brought. They let you, me, and all others, know that there WAS such a glorious, world-changing story. That there is that Kid, and that It dwells within each one of us.

We remember them as we “Follow our Star”, for there we also will find Christ. A Christ that will receive our gifts, and then we will go our new way. as new People. Sounds so simple. and it is simple.  But it’s not easy.

For, difficult to believe and remember, but you and I and everyone else has a Star if we will pay attention, find and follow it. Right straight to that Kid who dwells within.

I wouldn’t be writing these words, and you wouldn’t be reading them if we hadn’t seen, read, heard about, or sensed our Star and heard the message that  has taken us from our very prosaic life into an inner pathway that is ours to follow.

We found something . . . or Something found us . . that made us know there is more to life than what our five senses can bring.

We have sometimes ignored it, belittled it, and tried to put it aside.  We sense that  if we   follow  the Star’s gentle, ever-present Presence, our entire  lives will  change.  And,  fearful of  any unfamiliar change, we so often allow  fear to be our master and not ‘hear’ our Star.

My Star began prodding me a long time before I recognized and began listening and heeding It.

But inexorably,  Something, my Star, your Star, has stirred us until we know the Kid was not only in Bethlehem, but within each one of us, and we are just lucky (blest?) enough to have heard It.

In the long run, it doesn’t matter what happens to this body called Ethel, but just the same something nudged me, made me aware of The Kid within, and made Ethel’s goal to be the best grown-up Kid that she can be.

Many decisions that have come to me have been decided by silently moving to a place of quiet where I could ‘listen’ to that Kid within and my choices have not changed the world, but they have changed Ethel’s world. And I am grateful.

      This Christmas, as best I can, I’m going to try to be a Wise Guy, follow my Star, and again find and communicate with The Kid. The real Kid that dwells within us all and is ever wise, ever pure, ever free.

The Power Of The Press

Get those presses rolling.  Or not.

        The Power of the Press. Everyone agrees with the truth of those five words, and to prove the point, the absence of the Salt Lake Tribune, last Saturday, shook up people throughout the entire State of Utah.

A ‘Production Problem’ was the cause of the delay, and it was re-scheduled for afternoon delivery, but it finally came in a huge packet along with the Sunday Paper. It was only one day late, but the effects of a daily Paper being undelivered for just one day are many, for timing is vital in the news and advertising fields and when that ‘time’ is lost, the effects are not easily erased.

To the average person, (me), it’s the shock of not having that ubiquitous Paper alongside my breakfast plate. Like half of a twin being missing; bread and butter, salt and pepper, breakfast and the paper. The food doesn’t taste right without it. And I still ‘see’ my father with his paper and Mama handing him the eggs, meat, toast and (forgive me, Dad) also his morning coffee.

The Paper can be but an hour late, before I’m asking, “Where’s my Paper?” And if you’ve ever worked at a Newspaper, their answer, “Production Problem” makes you shiver with empathy. Can be a small item, fixed in a moment or few hours, but it also might mean something big. Where the Press (and they are BIG) must be taken apart. The ‘broken’ piece not stocked locally, so employees sit idly about while someone in some far off City is gathering people to get that piece on a Plane and to Salt Lake fast.

Many press parts are heavy and a crane is needed, and, anyway by this time the management is already scrambling to find some other newspaper who will double-schedule their staff and print your paper in their spare time, and then ship it to you. The Ogden Daily Examiner came to the Trib’s rescue . and with thanks to them, the two Papers arrived together and that part of the crisis was over.

But the effects are long. First there’s the ‘paper boy’ who long ago ceased being the neighborhood boy or girl, but now are often adults and Delivering Papers might be their only, or more often their second or third jobs, and if their bundles of newspapers don’t arrive on time, then their schedule is fouled up. Their phone starts ‘ringing off the wall’, and if they have another job, say at nine a.m., it’s to helly with that, too.

And how about the advertisers who have a One Day Sale? Or, those who place want ads to sell their unwanted stuff, and planned the weekend to do so? Well, there go those plans, and the store with items sitting at ‘give away’ price? They keep sitting, too.

And, then what about the managers of those stores who paid good shekels for those ads, which did not reach any home? The ads were of no benefit to them.

Any extra help hired for the week end?   Well, they can be sent home, but wages must still be paid. But perhaps the biggest loser of all, is the newspaper itself. Advertising is what keeps a Paper going, so figure it out for yourself. There are no winners, but there are many losers.

Production Problems. I know just enough about newspapering to get the      shivers when I heard those two words. Many a production problem has side effects known to no one outside the Press room itself, or the same two words can have long tentacles that reach far away and keep reaching for a long time.

Yeah, we both want and need newspapers. We can get the ‘headlines’ of stories by TV or radio, but to get to the real ‘meat’ of the stories, we need the printed words. Daily newspapers are the answer and for most of Utah, it’s the Tribune.

The poor ‘paper boy’ gets yelled at for the poor delivery, the reporters who work hard to find and write the stories are disappointed, but that’s only the tip of the ice berg because, for the owner’s and publishers of that paper? It’s their very life blood.

This Production Problem was a computer problem. However, it took phone calls to someone in Germany who knew the in’s and out’s of the problem and then good Brains on both sides of the Atlantic to explain how to remedy it. It worked.

Let’s all be grateful that the Trib got the presses rolling, and cross our fingers that they keep them rolling. There are thousands like me whose days can’t get off to the ‘right’ start without The Salt Lake Tribune at our table, right along with our ham, eggs, and (?) coffee..