Home Is Where The Heart Is

Home, home, home at last . . .

Everyone wants to go home. The infant, far too young to know anything about home, is still aware that in a certain room and in a certain crib . . . he relaxes and sleeps better. The school boy, visibly glad to be home, tosses his books aside, reaches for the milk and cookies and tells his mother of his day.

Or the sick . . . weary in body and soul . . . who resolutely maintain that  “I am sick, and I may even die, but if such must be, please let it happen in my own home and bed”.

And each of us knew exactly what Jacqueline Kennedy meant, when knowing her days were numbered, asked to be taken home, and John, her young son, did so and, only days later, she died in her own room, surrounded by her books, music, pictures and people she knew and loved.  Ah yes, and it’s a sorrow that her son, John couldn’t   have had the same for himself,  rather than a plane crash in the cold Atlantic.

Every bride and groom rightfully glory in their own home, but, (remember?)  it’s a long time before there’s no mix-up when one of them says, “Let’s go home for Sunday dinner.”  Whose home?  Her childhood home?  His parent’s home? Their home?

In fact it’s not until children come along that the difference is clear, and even then, it’s a compromise, for then is when their old childhood homes become known, not as theirs, but as Grandparent’s homes.  Yeah, you’ve seen these changes in your life, too.

And a definite feeling of ownership remains long after we’ve moved.  We wouldn’t ever want to live there again, but we see where others have cut down a tree we planted, have done some repainting, or even some remodeling, and, as we pass by, can’t help but stare, and become, for the moment, the ‘one’ who once called that place home. And we wonder, that if the new owners change the outside, just what have they done to . . . oh, the kitchen, living room, or if that favorite spot by the fireplace is still there.. Yeah, we chose to no longer live there, but, ln a certain part of our heart, that place will remain forever, ‘home’.

And though it’s been decades since I lived, as a member of the Ohlin family, at the NW corner of 7th East and 4500 South, in the Salt Lake valley and no matter how high the apartment buildings now rise there, to me, as I pass, I see old irrigation ditches, barns, Dad’s cornfields, and the sheds for coal, animals, and even Grandma’s small home. Yeah, it was and remains.  Ethel’s basic Human Life home.

We look forward to vacations, but when the trip is over, and our eyes turn homeward, some bit of tension deep within us (tension we weren’t even aware of) relaxes and the closer we get to home, the more at ease we become. And, if driving, once we start on our way, the milestones come thick and fast. First we see the mountains rising out of the flatlands of the Midwest, then we reach the State Line, and before we know it, there’s the county line, the skyline of the city we know so well. Then every bit of the scenery is known and then . . . then home. Yeah, and no matter how we joyously planned the vacation, we inwardly rejoice, for finally we want to be home again.          Home, home, home at last.

And if you’re like me, for some reason I must then check each room to convince myself that I’m really home and everything is still all in the right places, too.

Yes, ah yes, there’s something within the heart of each of us that craves the security of home. And though at times, each of us wishes for the money and time to travel whenever and wherever we please . . . we know that those who do nothing but skim the world, and have no place they have as a base, are the ones to be pitied, not envied.

The   ailing want to go home and it’s a proven fact that we do recuperate faster at ‘home’. And when death comes   it comes with greater peace and dignity when met in the person’s own home, surrounded by his own possessions, in rooms he has lived, worked, and loved in.

Yes, we go home for holidays. Home to see Mom and Dad. Home to visit friends and home to have the new babies blessed in the old family church, with familiar people in charge.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if our deep yearning for home will only be satisfied when the trials and joys of life are over and Our Father calls us to our Real Home.

Only there, me thinks, will that ever-constant yearning for ‘home’ be satisfied for only when we become One with the Source of All, will we find peace and contentment.   Home, our Real Home. Our Final Home, God’s Home.

Have A Good Post-Pregnancy Life

Pregnant only nine months, but a woman  for the rest of your life.


      There was a doctor, Peterson, I believe, who was ‘assigned’ to me when I was a very pregnant young woman, and my husband had been sent to work at a Manhattan Project Plant. It was more than a year before we knew the Facility was for Atomic Research.

Anyway, we were assigned a roomy 5-room, 2 bdrm. home with everything paid for, such as all utilities, furnace (coal checked and replenished monthly), large lawn space, and all medical care. Everything  Government Issue. Which at least partially, explains why I can’t remember that man’s name, but he changed my life.  See, he too, was Government Issue.

I’ve passed his words along many times, just as I’m doing so again today for young women having their children today. . Never once did I ever tell him “Thank you”, for WW2 soon ended and we were all again tossed hither and thither. But others have thanked me for his words.

Anyway, there I was, a long, long way into my pregnancy, bewildered, scared, in a new ‘town’ and tossed into his care. It was a year or              two before I had any way of knowing the worth of his counsel, and so I excuse myself.

He was a young doctor and after the preliminary exams were over he told me I was in great shape, but a little overweight. I was surprised because I had been watching what I ate, etc. BUT I WAS PREGNANT, dang it, WHAT DID HE EXPECT ???

Well, he didn’t expect anything, but he hoped for several things.

First he told me, “A woman is pregnant for nine months, but remains a woman for the rest of her life,” and I agreed with him. So, he said, “When I see you on your first visit AFTER the birthing, I want to see you looking like you did before you became pregnant.”

Well, dang it, I had the same hopes, and had just taken it for granted, but the Doc wasn’t there for  conversation and  went on with his directions.

“From now on”, he smiled at me, “I want you to pay attention to women who are older than you. Wherever you are, restaurant, store, church, anywhere, silently watch women who are 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years older than you, and then choose which of those women you would like to look like when you become their age.”

Oh, I silently said, and he went right on, “And, at the same time, decide which ones you would not want to look like.” Oh, that’s different. Okay, okay, I’m hearing you.

“And when you see one in her 60’s and not bad looking at all, watch her. If in a restaurant, casually see what she eats. If she’s in your neighborhood, pay attention to how she spends her days. What she does, or doesn’t do.”

At the same time, he went on, “Find those women that you would NOT want to look like at their age, and do the same silent checking.

“Make this a casual habit. For heaven’s sake, don’t intrude, but watch women older than you, and notice the foods they order, how they exercise, hobbies, spend their ‘free’ time, handle their children and all the rest.”

He stressed that, perhaps unconsciously, but each of those women had chosen the bodies they now walk around in, by their choice of food, exercise, or no exercise. What they read, studied, dressed, and all the rest that makes up a woman’s life.

And he stressed that it doesn’t take lots of money, just right choices.

Did I ever hear him. There, long ago, I sat with a ‘baby bump’ as big as four balloons, and while I’m no paragon of beauty, my weight is good, I still have a waist line, my mind is active, and my family needn’t apologize for me as their mother. Just silently watch, and do the best you can.

Watch older women and CHOOSE which one you would like to look like in 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years . . . and which ones you do NOT want to resemble, and then go on from there.

Thank you, Dr. Peterson,  I dunno where you got your info, but it did much to form my adult life, and I think the lives of several other women who’ve heard my various ‘talks’  and read my (your) words over the years.

Pregnant for only nine months, but a woman for the rest of our lives. Wow and double wow. Words that should be indelibly imprinted upon the mind of every woman as she enters the years when motherhood is a possibility.  And right there is the reason I repeat these words, in one way or another, every few years.


Valentine’s Day: Eros, meet Agape

That most tender of emotions . . .

Love. Oh me, and while love runs rampant daily, at Valentine’s Day, it’s more so, for all ages from childhood, to neighbors to just acquaintances, it’s the main subject of conversation, behind every marriage, and its lack behind every divorce.

All for Love? So what is love? It’s 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 T.L.C. recommended for children. So important that every infant in any hospital is actually scheduled to be tenderly held, fondled and played with. And this in addition to the routine times the child is also scheduled to be fed, bathed and otherwise attended. It’s also the reason that some ‘qualified’ visitor is asked if they have time to hold and caress infants whose parents are unable to make frequent visits.  I was once so honored and asked to be such a one, and   it was well worth the time and satisfaction I felt.

Love is the magic that changes homes for the aged from dull, lifeless places where, so often, men and women sit silently and dully in empty rooms, waiting for their lives to pass. Yes, love 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 from earliest times until now, have recognized its strength and made rules and provisions for it. Oddly, too, the more ‘un-modern’ the culture, the better their overall concept of love has been.

Only in modern America has love often become almost solely synonymous with sex. Other environments recognize and explore the other aspects as well, such as, the mother playing with her children, the grandparent caressing the infant, listening to the older child’s woes, or giving cautious monetary aid to the college student who is always short of cash.  Are these not also love?

Yes, and there’s the often forgotten taken-for-granted, love of the parish priest or local bishop for their flock. Only those close by 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 actually 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 yet . . .

It is both food and drink for BOTH body and 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 prescribe for his patients.

Love. That most tender of emotions. With it, life and the world is a happy place to be. Without it, life loses its savor, its ability to revitalize itself. and people die. Yes, that’s how vital love is.

It is now Valentine’s day. Give all the love you can, and of all varieties you can find. See, I’m not knocking Eros one bit, but take time to remember   there is Romantic love, Mother/Father love, Brotherly love, and, really and finally, the strongest and most far reaching of all . . . . Agape.   Spiritual love, from as far back as The Garden of Eden, until, yesterday, today, and on and on, as long as God lives, Love will also live. Even, if you can imagine, on Valentine’s Day.


May The Force Be With You

Dancers in pirouette, roulette tables, eddies in a stream, the trade winds, and the Gulf Stream obey it . . .

I was fussing with my climbing ivy plant the other day, tucking stubborn shoots around supports, but also  being careful to follow the ‘natural’ twist  the Ivy wanted to take, and  as I did so,   I mused over the ramifications that  cosmic force, that we call Coriolis, making  counter-clockwise ‘right,’ and clockwise the ‘wrong’ way.

And with no exceptions, either.  Well, I  take that back,  for if  you cross the Equator,  into the southern, (or northern) hemisphere, there is an  immediate 180 Degree switch into the Rule’s  exact opposite law.

It also awed  me to realize the same force that made my vine go  ‘its own way’, no matter how I might try to force it another,  is the same powerful force that aviators, sailors and astronauts must also learn to cope with.

And making the whole thing more wonderful and almost unbelievable is that if you live north of the Equator and move to the south side of the equator, everything switches to the exact opposite way. See my above words, and each time I think of this, I wish there were someone to tell me if it’s an abrupt ‘change’ at that thin line of the equator, or if there are a few miles of ‘waffling’, giving us a few miles of a trial and error’ time of finding ‘which’ law, the North or the South,  is going to work?

Think how long it must have taken sailors, and later pilots, to learn to circle a storm by flying to its right, (going with the wind, instead of to the left which would be against it.) Pilots trained south of the equator are naturally taught 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 WW II air fighting before these basic Laws of the Universe were discovered and made 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, that basic power is called Coriolis. Read on and see what it means.

Your vines grow counter clockwise and it is ‘right’ for them to do so and your efforts in trying to change them is useless. The water swirling down the drains from a full bathtub, sink and our toilets all agree.  And watch your dogs and see how they 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 pouring its pathway across the Atlantic, all obey this planetary law.

It comes, as you may know or guess, from the force made by the earth turning beneath 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, take care to 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 understand  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, unless adjustments made would 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 (moving 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 (but don’t ask me why) of the gyroscopic compass.

People at the time of the Mayflower knew the trip to the New World would be faster than the 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 provide the amounts of food and water.  More needed one way and less the other, giving them more space for Cargo and other commercial products.

Coriolis…a new word? It was to me, but I read lots of stuff and found that while the word people invented to describe it, was once 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 bath water going down the drain, ask any air 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.