My Refrigerator Door

Pearls of Wisdom

This is You. This is me.
We are always
exactly at a point between the Past,
which is as dark, or light, as we have made it,
Drop the Past
and the Future
will be as light, or dark, as we will make it.
Ethel Bradford



Courage doesn’t always roar.

Sometimes it’s the quiet voice

At the end of the day, saying

“I will try again tomorrow”.



I can’t do it alone God, bur with you I can do anything. 


          Milton, in 1666, said:

“Our Mind can make a

Heaven while in Hell,

Or a Hell while in Heaven.”

There are no Baby Spirits
But there are Spirits in Baby Bodies.
There are no old worn out spirits
But there are Spirits in old worn out bodies.

                                       Ethel Bradford 


                                                                               Have I done any good in the world today?

Have I helped anyone in need?

Have I cheered up the sad?

Made someone feel glad?

If not, I have failed indeed.

           Old Mormon Hymn

What Thou Art, I Am and

What I Am, Thou Art.

We never know How Strong We Are, until

How Strong We Are is all we have.

The Light of God surrounds me

The Love of God enfolds me,

The Power of God protects me,

The Presence of God watches over me,

The Mind of God guides me,

The Life of God flows through me,

The Laws of God direct me,

The Strength of God renews me,

The Beauty of God inspires me,

Wherever I Am, God Is.

         Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity



Life is not to be spent waiting for the storms to pass

But learning how to dance in the rain.

                 Life is one long unbroken sentence, with never a Period.  Our physical birth was when we left one of God’s Preparation Rooms and stepped into His Human Room, and when we ‘die’? Nothing will ‘die’, but only a step into whichever of His Rooms we were ready for.

                  We know not what Rooms we have lived in, but, there will come A Day, when we will know that every room has been  in God’s Many-roomed Home. and that we have never been, and never will be apart from that Home. Only different Rooms for different Learning.

               And we’ll one day find a glorious Room and know our long, journey of seeking and separation is over. We are Home, have always been, but failed to know that ALL Life has been and still is, God’s Home. Right Here, wherever we are. Home. God’s Home.


There is a Destiny that makes us brothers.

None goes his way alone, and

All that we send into the lives of others

Comes back into our own.

Edward Markham



We need to remember to be in the  

Present. That is an ironic

expression, because if we are

remembering, we are not in the

Present, but usually we get caught

up in thoughts and forget to

experience the Now. A bit of a Zen

Koan, ‘remembering not to remember’.

Bill Bradford




Cops and Robbers

A not so quiet day at the store . . .

I was in one of those stores where aisles, going both ways, run deep into the other end of the block and you don’t   know where you are or can’t know what’s going on just an aisle or two away.

But as I poked along, I heard some one cry out, and followed by noises as if someone had fallen and was calling for help. So, what would you do? Yeah, me too, so I hurried toward the noise, and then, yeah, there was someone on the floor, but not what I had expected. . .

Instead, there were three people on the floor. All men, and two of them were Cops and the third one, was still yelling, but with the Cops trying to pin him down, and at the same time telling him to Shut up and quit yelling.

Well, one of the cops gave me a ‘get away’ glance that told me I was not wanted there, and also that there was nothing I could do, and I got away as fast as I had hurried there.

Then I remembered that when I had entered the store, there had been a Cop, in uniform, also going through the doors. Now, we all see Firemen in the Grocery stores shopping for their coming meals, but it was the first time I’d ever seen Cops doing so, and I wondered what was so urgently needed  that he was shopping in uniform.

But, as I hurried away from the scene, I knew he had been called there, and wondered what the man was doing to cause the Management to call the Police to not only come, but cause them to tackle him. And I also wondered why, if they needed Police, why didn’t they tell customers also??? There were no shots fired, Thank Heavens, but if they needed Cops, how were they to know there’d not be shots???   But just the same no help was needed from me and I left the store in a hurry,

As I moved an aisle or two from the scene, the sounds of the scuffle were soon buried in music and people talking, quite unaware of what was going on.  But it was none of my business and I got out of there fast. Yelling, scuffling and calling out was all that had happened, and I wasn’t going to hang around to find out what had caused it, either.

If it amounted to anything big,  it’d be on the news or in the paper, and there have been no reports, and so I suppose it amounted to nothing but shoplifting.  But I can’t help but wonder, why two Cops? How did the store know they even needed Cops? There had been no cautionary words given to customers as they entered the store, Odd, whatever it was, I suppose it had been handled well, for there had been no confusion in the store except if one had been as near to it all, as I had been.

And I just blundered upon it, thinking someone needed help, but never again.

Like you, I’ve seen enough headlines and heard about too many guns being fired in such seemingly innocent times, that I was glad just to get away from it all, and if I ever again hear someone yelling and with scuffling, I’m going to know it has nothing to do with me, and will hurry to go ‘the other way’. as fast as I’d hurried toward it the other day.

And all this went on right here in the peaceful environs of Murray. Yes, and it remained calm too, except for the poor cuss who had been tackled to the floor, sat upon, and told to shut up as well.   Yeah, right here in our peaceful City of Murray.

Common, Ordinary, Lives

Clark Gable ?   Why Not ?

I’m very content with my ordinary life, with family, house, neighborhood, and wouldn’t have it otherwise. But sometimes after hearing the most un-ordinary news and seeing the wild (to me) headlines of gossip magazines, I wonder if I’m stupid to be happy with my ordinary life.

And so, Ethel being Ethel, I went to the dictionary and it told me that ordinary means anything so ‘everyday’, so basic, that we take it for granted, and give it no attention.

I grinned then, as I realized each of our days, begins with one ordinary event that would literally bring an end to the world if it didn’t happen. Yeah, the sun rises and it is light, and we don’t worry about it going down either. So ordinary no one even gives it a thought, but without it???  Well, for a starter, all life would soon cease to be. But oh so ordinary.

Going farther, (Well, why not?) every second, people are conceived, born, live and die. How ordinary, and yet if death didn’t come, we’d have so many people we’d be fighting for food, space, and air. Or, if conception stopped, (ho, ho, ho,) within fifty or so years, the world would be shutting down, for there’d be no one to keep it going. Or even use it.

The more I searched, the more I found that it’s the ordinary, the taken-for-granted events, that makes my world (and yours) even possible.  Water, light switches, plumbing, heating or cooling, friends, food at the stores, cars, streets, and on and on.

So ordinary, but so good, that I shall go back to what started me off on all this subject. See, I was watching TV when a retired Journalist,  who had talked with the ‘high and mighty’ of the world, was being interviewed, and was asked if there was one person that stood out above all others.

I expected him to tell of some President, teacher, inventor or such, but after a pause and with an odd smile, the Journalist shifted his body, cocked his head, nodded, and said, “Yes, I do, and it was Clark Gable, the Movie Star”. The Journalist went on, saying, ‘I had just asked Gable pretty much the same question you asked me. Of course, I knew that wherever Gable went, everyone, from Presidents on down, fawned over him, and so his answer surprised me for he answered, Yes, and  it’s my wife. ‘

I thought he might have misunderstood my question, but no, he hadn’t and went on to explain. “When I finish my day’s work, which is a great one, but when I get in my car to drive home, a Special Peace comes to me. for I know that on the other side of my own Front Door, there’s someone waiting for the sound of my key in our door, and that I complete her day, as she completes mine.”

Gable almost apologized, saying, “I’m sure that’s not the answer you expected, but, you see, I’m a very ordinary man. and knowing she is there, waiting for me, puts all else in its place.  Needed and wonderful, but none of it would be that good if it weren’t for her..”

The Journalist continued, “I’ve listened to many powerful and sincere people telling what should/shouldn’t be done to bring Peace, but Gable’s very ordinary words, of that Special Peace, possible for every one of us, stays with me, and I’ve come to see that he had matured from a man who ‘made his living as a Movie Star, and knew it was a great job’, but that ‘on the other side of his own front door,’ was one who waited for him and gave meaning to all the rest. In other words, Love.”

And so Ethel, sat back, smiled over her own ‘ordinary life’ and thought of how our Great Teacher, who never heard of a Movie Star, had also spoken of Love and Peace together. And then I actually grinned at the paradox of putting the words of Jesus and Clark Gable together, but knew they fit perfectly.

So ordinary, but the two, Love and Peace can and do make all of our lives joyous. And two experts in their own fields, agreed.   Clark and Jesus.

26 Squibbles

We call them Letters now . . .

The fact that I wrote these words and you read them, can be traced back 3,000 years to the Phoenicians who traveled the world’s oceans as merchants selling their wares and needed some method of written communication better than Hieroglyphics.

We know the Who and When, but there is no way of knowing the How of it all, but history does let us know that it was those ancient people who gave us an Alphabet. I can’t imagine not having the use of those 26 letters, but until then all records had to be made in cumbersome Hieroglyphics and each country did it differently.

There had never been an alphabet, but some smart people figured out a method where a certain Sound we make when speaking, would be represented by a certain shaped squiggle made in the sand, on papyrus, or carved in rock, (no paper then).  And that no matter how, when or where that certain squiggle appeared, it meant that same Sound. and in just about any language, too.

Any school child as they ‘sound’ out words, uses those squibbles, that we now call Letters, and the sounds they represent do not change, no matter in what language they are used. I can’t imagine how they did it, or how long it took them to find and separate all those sounds, but Phoenicians  did it, and in time, people finally settled on only 26, but those 26 Letters (squibbles) changed the world.

It has been claimed that the Printing Press changed the world and that is true, but we must not forget that first of all, there had to be something to print, and that’s where the Alphabet did its job.

So utterly dependable, and yet so adaptable that Shakespeare wrote his works, the Bible became everyone’s book, the boring records of some business meeting, your grocery list, foul, X-rated books, a lover’s note, child’s fairy tale, and not a one needing more than those same 26 letters.

I’m sure it was not a quickly found set of sounds to begin with, but once on the path, it grew, became more and more perfected, and it was so good, and needed, that as the alphabet traveled the world others began using it. Like seeds sown on fertile soil, the use of those Letters grew until now, most of the world’s written words use the squibbles that those old explorers of the ancient world put together.

The Phoenicians, as merchants, traveled and needed a method of keeping records of Order Forms, Orders delivered, Payments made, and also in an understandable way. The alphabet soon was adopted by people no matter where they lived or what language they spoke.

It couldn’t have been an over night ‘fix’, and the different squiggles must have been changed, and refined, until, today,only one of the originals, the B remains, but just the same, those people freed the world from Hieroglyphics.

And as they traveled, ‘mail’ began to go back and forth on those ships, across the oceans, taking orders for merchandise, sending those orders to factories on the other side of the world, as well as letters to families. No, it wasn’t like our mail, much less email, but everything has its beginning and world communication began with those Phoenicians.

Then, wonder of wonders, at the same time, songs and poetry, that had been enjoyed only orally and locally, reached out to others. the Bible soon could be read in homes and churches. poetry, songs, dramas, doctors instructions, teachers, all found the method worked and they used it.

The Phoenicians and their alphabet, opened our world and our minds to other worlds and other minds. Used by the most powerful people in the world, or a child in kindergarten. Those odd squibbles (we call them letters) work for all.

The ideas for today’s blog come from E.H. Gombrich’s book   “A Little History Of The World” and it’s so good I can’t help but desire to share it with you. Find it on Amazon and for a few dollars, the book will be yours. It’s filled with short chapters of people, oddities, ideas, facts and soon, you too will be telling others about it.

Bill Bradford, my son and who is the brains behind this Internet Blog of mine, is the one who brought me his well read copy and I thank him.  No chapter’s longer than two or three pages but oh, it’s filled with such a the wealth of unusual knowledge, and in such interesting ways, that you too, will love Gombrich’s style and, I swear, he, too, used only 26 letters.

Our New ‘Retirement’ Home

Institutionalized . . .

As a new prison site is being chosn, we constantly hear about prisons. I have written about them before and no doubt will again, but for today, here I go. I spent 5-6 years going to the prison as a volunteer teacher in Medium Security, was an official witness at the Bishop execution, and so learned a bit more about prisoners than before I stepped inside those walls.

I was startled to find that all prisoners do not hate ‘that place’ and often heard the comment that they’d never had it so good, what with three meals, showers, clean clothes, recreational facilities, Heat and Cool Air as needed, and always a place to sleep.

It was a common phrase from the men, that if they were ever ‘freed’, the first thing they’d do would be to commit a crime so they would be sent back. And the nodding heads around the room made me know that it wasn’t a one-man attitude.

And I found that while we think of prison as punishment, most of those 45 or more years old, think otherwise.

To my shock, I found they had their plans for Retirement, just as people ‘on the outside’ do. But with a difference. The older (see above) planned on staying right where they were. Planned Retirement was a real thing to them, and Ethel was slowly getting an insight into Prison life that the average person could not get. And was appalled for they, if ever freed, even knew which crimes to commit to get back in, based on how long the sentences would be. They know all about that stuff and aren’t aiming for either Minimum or Maximum Security, just nice comfortable Medium.

My thinking began changing. They are required to do nothing except obey prison rules, and, while I’m sure my words will not fit the younger, short term prisoners, but almost all of the older group, are  by and large, contented to be right where they are.

Yes, there are some who came from affluent homes, but a goodly part of the prison population did not, and for the first time in their lives, they have a security they’d never dreamed of having.  With not one cent of expense to them.

But even those who came from homes with the basics given, wish to remain where they are. They know that with time, all families change, and after long years of imprisonment, are quite aware that the family they left,  is no longer in existence. 

My thinking continued to change. Everything is free, and for the first time in their lives their every need is given to them, and I realized that we have made prisons into very comfortable ‘homes’ for those there in Medium Security, where the sentences are longer, the men older.

The old stereotype of the Chain Gangs in our Southern States was appalling to us.  Those men were forced to work and in some way, pay for their keep but I’d also wager that not a single one of those prisoners was planning on how to remain in prison for a long time, much less for retirement.

I don’t know how it could work, but I came to think that prisoners should be forced to work. And there would be great uproar from people who would say, they are taking jobs from people outside who need the work. Yes, in some ways that’s legitimate, but there must be some answer, for to tell the truth, we have made prison life too comfortable for  the large number of  mature prisoners. Believe it or not, they do not want OUT.

Farms, laundry, cleaning, yard work, painting, upkeep of any kind could be done by the prisoners and while security would be needed, the prisoners should be forced to work. Instead, they get movies, winter and summer recreational equipment. And no-cost classes by volunteers such as I was.

Recently, there have been several Federal Prisons built for older prisoners, who, like people outside, have developed Alzheimer’s and other old age maladies that require the care given on the ‘outside’ at Care Centers. Prisoners from all States, are now sent to Federal Care Centers, where specially trained doctors and nurses are employed.

And who pays for it all? Foolish to ask, for you know it is your tax dollars that  make it possible. The people on the ‘outside’, often even victims of those prisoners, must pay for not only their own care, but to also pay for those huge Care Centers being built, plus  the upkeep and staff..

I don’t know the answer, but it must be there. When prisoners are actually planning prison to be their Retirement Home, we are helping them along, with these special prisons, built to cater to the prisoner’s needs. Not ours.

To so many prisoners, ‘that place’ is the best thing that ever happened to them;   It is not a punishment, but rather, their old age Insurance Policy. I struggled to NOT accept such an attitude, but the facts are there, and deeply imbedded, as well.

So, will the new prison we are soon to build, also turn into a Retirement Home? Worth thinking about, because, I assure you,  the prisoners are.