Life Is One Long Sentence

 A Parentheses In Eternity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gramps Was A Moocher

 A special  kind of moocher . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hands . . .

 Mirrors and Tools of the Soul . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Name That School . . .

This one is too good to let pass.  It is from my nephew Jim Scott, and I appreciate him taking time to send me this observation on the times in which we live.   It originated with Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune and is all in the name of Political Correctness, so read on and be amused with me.

Here are some politically correctness to consider: I agree with our Native American population. I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as fine warriors, but nay, nay. We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward.

Let’s ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians.   If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns.

The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of militant Blacks from the 60’s alive. Gone.   It’s offensive to us white folk.

The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy?  No!  There is no room for any reference to that tragic war that cost this  country so many young men’s live.

I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports team names.  Totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padre.

Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged. We are talking about the horrible Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!

Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children. The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible fighting or even spending habits. Wrong message to our children.

The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic.  Wrong message to our children.

The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates . Wrong message to our children.

The Milwaukee Brewers—well that goes without saying . . . Wrong message to our children

So, there you go.   We need to support any legislation that comes out to rectify this travesty, because the government will likely become involved with this issue, as they should.   Just the kind of thing the do-nothing Congress loves .




Garbage Heap? Precious Heirlooms?

Beware of that excess baggage . . .

          “We live on top of a garbage heap.” AW used to say. “Every day we bring in arm’s full of stuff, but not one of us ever takes arm’s full of stuff out.” I was shocked, and knew he spoke the truth.

He meant that our closets, drawers and basement were full of things that were; too good to throw away; would come in handy someday; curtain rods; old lamps; picnic equipment replaced by new and better; pop corn shakers; wall pictures we’ve tired of; equipment for hobbies we long ago put aside; and I could go on forever, but you also have your own list of stuff you’re saving.

The habit of ‘saving’ is born in us, and continues slowly, but relentlessly. and before we know it, it’s not only a problem, it’s a PROBLEM.

Think it over. Gifts you never found a place for? Stuff brought from childhood homes? Each child’s baby mementos? Saving reaches so far, that I’d fight anyone who might even suggest re-painting the inside of a ‘broom closet’ door where I marked my son’s heights and ages on their  childhood birthdays.

And life is sad because death reaches all families, and we’re faced with a closet full of their clothing. (I called D.I. quickly) But handling their personal items from desk, drawers, shop or den is something else. It’s not only heartbreaking, it’s cruel.

I finally found a partial answer to ‘regular’ stuff. About twice a year, I’d take a great big sack and prowl. Closets, drawers, downstairs, garage, you name it, I poked, picked out things to garbage, and started making a dent. And, with careful choosing, and crossed fingers, not a thing was ever missed.

Then, one day I put out a screen door. Too good to toss out, but after five years??? Well, I put it at curbside for passersby to see. Everyone knows what you’re doing, and before evening came, the screen was gone. Since then I’ve done the same with other things, and it always works.

Once in a while someone will ring the doorbell and asks if you really want to get rid of it, and with your affirmative nod, they grin and are on their way with your ‘stuff’. And you grin, too.

The ‘saving’ problem grows, like when your kids leave home for school, to marry or take a job someplace else. Happens all the time, Your grown up kids just leave the stuff, thinking that ‘one day’ they’ll do something with it, but for now??? Yeah, it stays in your home..

It’s a hard task, it always hurts. and I have a few rules. I will keep some things that are of no earthly value at all, except, that is, if they’re beautiful, or an antique. And then there are always those things that fit no rule, but, again, if it’s something that someone I loved used and treasured, I keep it.

And, like most mothers, I’d like to save every toy and fingerprint those sons of mine ever made, but it gets to the point of whether you want to live surrounded by yesterday or to cut the hooks and begin to live for today. And often a compromise is the answer. We’re odd creatures.

But the next time you see an old table, lamp, TV, chair, or whatever, at a curb side, just grin and know that someone else is trying to lessen their own ‘garbage heap’. However, you must watch yourself, for instinctively you’ll find yourself slowing down ‘just to see’ if it’s something you might want, and I swear, you will.

Better beware, for this is the season when everyone is doing the same thing. With every turn in the road you’ll see more and more wonderful ‘give aways’ at someone else’s curb. Be prepared and disciplined. Firmly, shake your head NO. Keep your eyes on the road, not the curb, and your foot on the gas, not the brake.

Be strong and you’ll make it home without having to unload more than you got rid of.   I know, I’ve been down that road it’s a tough one. Good luck.