Pearl Harbor – The End of Innocence

I was at Gram’s home that long  ago Sunday morning of December 7, 1941,  sitting in the upstairs east bedroom,  reading and listening to music, but  when the music changed to some kind of war story, I turned it  OFF and wandered downstairs.

Gram, Mrs. Archibald (Rachel Crozier)  Bradford, was  preparing dinner, and  as I stepped toward her, I paused, and didn’t know what to do, for I saw she was crying as she worked. 

She didn’t  speak,  and so I reached out with a loving   hug,  then  sat down at the kitchen table.   I wasn;t sure of why she cried, but  knew it had to do with what the radio told us meant War , and Gram, that dear woman,  knew what war meant.

 Her husband had served in the Philippine Islands in the Spanish American War, and   now she had two sons of the ages to serve in the war we were hearing  on the radio.  Gram knew  what war had meant, and  now would mean  to a new generation.. 

Jake  (Fenton Crozier Bradford), her son and  my brother-in-law, entered the room, had a folded newspaper  in his  hand, and as he passed me to go through the swinging door, to the upstairs,  he lightly whacked me on the shoulder with the newspaper and said, “This one’s for me, Ole.”

Jake had nicknamed  me Ole from my maiden name of Ohlin, so I  grinned at him, but he didn’t grin back or even stop to chat.

At that time, he was  36 years  old, a few months short of being too old (37) to be drafted  when WWII became a reality for the USA.  We  had been  helping England with Lend-Lease and many other ways, but that was the day when we were in that war. Over  our heads in it.

I saw that Gram  was taking care of whatever she was cooking, but was still crying and her radio  continued  telling us of what I had thought was  a ‘war story’, but by her tears and Jake’s comment, I suddenly knew that we were hearing no ‘program’, but Reality, firm, unchangeable Realty.

I suddenly’ k’new that we were being told of real Japanese planes which,  as we listened, were bombing and destroying, the entire USA Fleet,  and Air Force,  which President Franklin D. Roosevelt, had sent, ‘for safety’ sake, along with the thousands of our sons, brothers and friends aboard those Battleships, taken to military shelter in the Hawaiian harbor.

As  of that date, we  were  not yet  a part of  World War II, but that designation was shattered right as we listened, for we became aware that  Japan  had, with no world-wide notice joined that War on the side of  Hitler’s Germany.  And even as we listened, our USA Battleships, and their Crews, where we thought, would be safe from Hitler’s reach  were being  destroyed..

How wrong we were, and that Sunday morning, we were no longer bystanders of what was beginning to be called World War Two, and we were in it.  And over our heads in it, too.,

With Gram’s   tears, and Jake’s actions I realized they knew more about what it all meant than I did, and I shivered,  I was young, too young and unknowing, but we learned swiftly,  far too swiftly.

It would be five years before Jake could try to resume a ‘normal’ life, but even then he was one  of the lucky ones, for so many, many thousands never returned to their  homes,  but were killed and buried in places around the world that, before WWII, we had never even  heard their names.

We’ve never been so innocent since that December 7th morning . . . and never will be again.    In the hard way, we learned that truly,  the age of innocence was past.  And remains so .


Memorial Day Visits

With an open mind and heart, welcome them back for a visit . . .

Yes, the ‘official’ day of remembering our loved ones who have left God’s Human Room, and are now in another of His Rooms which offer us exactly what it is we need to learn.   Perhaps were offered here, too but we were too busy to take advantage of what was available and now, as we’ve stepped into another of God’s Rooms we will be offered again, exactly what we need for our eternal growth.

But, it’s an odd and rare person who waits from one year to another to remember those who have left us.   Most people do as I do, and so  there isn’t a day that passes, but that I don’t feel and ‘visit’ with Gram . . . Brad . . .Dad and Mom……my siblings, Spencer, Amber, Fern, and so many others.

And I think that. . . even as I look forward to being with them again . . . that they too are looking forward for our arrival in whatever Room they are now in. Looking forward to a day when they will joyously greet us.

Yes, I think The Source has many Rooms. Each special, each different, each like a gift awaiting our arrival.     But I don’t wait for that, but visit with my loved ones right here, and quite often, too.   Why wait? I feel them here, just as I did during the years when they were in their bodies. Yes, they’ve left but they visit.   Oh, yes, they do, and not daily but just the same, they visit. 

I often feel Gram with me in my kitchen, as I prepare my meals, for cooking was  her Number One hobby. Then it was her kitchen we shared, and now it’s mine.   Or her flowers, and I’ve never yet seen a display of Chrysanthemums as gorgeous as  when the plants she cultivated up and down her driveway, are in full bloom. It is a prize winning display, and all her doing.

Or, there’s a certain chair I oft time lounge upon and I am aware of the worn place where Brad’s hands rested, and over time rubbed the ‘finish’ off, and now my hands add to the worn places.   Yeah, it’s still Brad’s home.   Still Brad’s chair.   And welcome here, too .

And my memories and ‘visiting’ aren’t just in my home.   There’s a certain Cafe in South Salt Lake that I now never patronize . . . for, dang it, it’s not so comfortable and the food not so tasty when I’m not with John Nuslein.   But yet, ‘Jonathon’ and I visit for now  he comes to my backyard where we watch the wild life ‘over the hill’, and love the old pasture, which is now a golf course.

LaRee Pehrson, whose written words brought life and interest to the well-read Magna Green Sheet and whose presence I so enjoyed  as we traveled together, and we made good use of the phone when our night time conversations lasted often to midnight. And LaRee being LaRee I’m sure has found lots of stuff in God’s Next Room and set it all aside to share with me,

And then there’s been Dad, a true Swede, at my kitchen table with a full Coffee Pot and cake, cookies, pie or other leftovers from my ‘frig’ and freezer, plus two small boys at our feet, and happy times when Gram came over and joined us. Both boys recall Dad’s shoes, for they were the first they had seen that were actually shoes and not oxfords. And today’s kids would have to be shown the difference

home . . . and remnants of his Ham Shack are still here. Why not? They were his trade mark, and the da di da dit, da da di da, when one listens closely still echo in my rooms and now aided and abetted by the same dots and dashes of his youngest son. And now K7EA and W6ITW and W7JYI form a friendly   chorus of dots and dashes to verify that a Short Wave Ham once made this his home..

Jake is here and so welcome.

And Brad is here.   It’s his , with his cheerie “Hi, OLE’.   Jake’s nickname from my maiden name of Ohlin.   And I answer Hi, Hi, Hi. He was a brother in law and a good one, too. Yeah, he still visits here.

Mom isn’t here very often, because, I figured it was my and Brad’s home, and so the coffee and tea pots were well used, and the aroma of tobacco was welcome here atthat time, But her beliefs, God bless her, were so strong she could not come to a place that did not follow those edicts.   Life can be cruel, hard, demanding and hurtful, but The Next Room will welcome all. The Source understands and loves us.

Who else?????   My door is always open: Bill and Ruth Bailey of long years ago. Ann and Jack Larkin, both here and also at 206, 208, East on 4800 South and I’m sure the Source’s Next rooms are large and welcoming, for there are many I will look for and will need a large space.

Yes Memorial Day comes once a year, and the cemeteries are crowded with the many who go to stand by the site where the loved bodies were buried. Good, good, good, but better still is quietly welcoming those dear ones to our homes that they probably knew as well as we did.   With an open mind and heart, welcome them back for a visit. You’ll be glad you did.

Learn To Love Yourself First

     We use the word ‘love’ many times a day, and in so many different ways that it becomes baffling.   Lots of people consider the two words of Sex and Love, to be synonymous, but they are far from being so.

First of all, we should realize that the word Love is not primarily a Noun, but a Verb .  And a verb is a word of action, and action, once put into motion, continues in motion. It’s a natural Law. Recognized as such, the more Love we use and send along to others, the more love comes back to continue being used.


     The supply is endless, and the wise ones tell us that first, we must learn to love ourselves. To make it our own inner joy, and then silently send it along to others making us more joyous. Some of the easy rules follow.


Love yourself and therefore:

     Take loving care of your body, feeding it nourishing foods and beverages. Groom and dress it with love, and watch your body respond by giving you health and energy.


Love yourself and therefore:

     Your home will comfortably fill your every need and be a joy to live within. The rooms will be filled with love’s vibration so that all who enter, yourself included, will feel and be nourished by it.


Love yourself and therefore:

     You will enjoy your work for, no matter what it is, it will use your creative talents and abilities, and allow you to know and communicate lovingly with those who become part of your life.


Love yourself and therefore;

       Your every need is met and often will come into your life before you are aware such a need was approaching. The Source is all-knowing and, if you but allow, the way is prepared before you.

The Bible says: “He goeth before, and prepareth the way”.   .


Love yourself and therefore:

     Think in a loving way toward all people, for we know that whatever we give, (love or its opposite), returns to us multiplied over and over, filling our world, and mirroring exactly what we sent out.


Love yourself and therefore:

     Forgive and totally release all past experiences which, at the time, you worried about, resented, yet clung to. Only with utter, loving, forgiveness, can you be free.

Love yourself and therefore:

     Live in the Now. Experience each moment as good, and know that your future is joyous and secure. Everyone is a child of the Source and that Source lovingly cares for us, now and forever, the same way you, as loving parents, care for your children.


Love yourself and therefore:

     You will discover you can love all others. Including the many in this world whose deeds you cannot love, because The Source teaches us to love the do-er, not the deed.

     True Agape love is the only way to end the violent and dangerous actions that we see or read about in the media news each day. Love is the only answer to wars, street crimes, home disagreements, violence, greedy political debates, and arguments of all kinds.


Love yourself and therefore;

     Silently send love to all people, no matter what creed or color, and if right next door or the other side of the world. Silent love is the only action that will someday change the world, but the action must begin, and continue to live, within each of us.


     Learn to respect, accept and love your own worth. Then, no matter where you are or who you are with, don’t wait or say a word, but silently start sending love. Right then. You are the only one, from the special spot where you abide, who can set in motion Love’s eternal action.



I found these words several years ago in some book or magazine. Liked them, saved them, altered or added here or there, and now pass them along to you. And I choose, when I read the name the author has called The Source, to murmur the name of God because He is the ultimate Source of All.                  (Anon.)




My Mom sure is wise . . .   Things she taught me.

Do any of these sound familiar? My mother didn’t have a lot of ‘schooling” but these are facts I learned from her as a child. Betcha you heard them too.

My Mother taught me early TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.

“If you two are going to fight till you kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning that room.”

 My Mother taught me all about the depth of PRAYER.

       “You better start praying right now that the stuff you spilled will come out of the carpet.”

 My Mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.

“If you don’t straighten up right now, I’m going to come over there and knock you into the middle of next week.”

 My Mother taught me LOGIC.

“Because I said so. That’s why.”

My Mother taught me about FORESIGHT.

     “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

My Mother taught me IRONY.

“Just keep crying, and I’ll give you something to really cry about,”

 My Mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

“Shut your mouth and eat you supper.”

 My Mother taught me LOGIC.

“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

 My Mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

     “Will you just look at the dirt you have on the back of your neck and in your ears.”

My Mother taught me about STAMINA.

You’re going to sit there till all that spinach is eaten.”

 My Mother taught me about WEATHER.

         “If looks as if a cyclone swept through your room.”

 My Mother taught me how to solve PHYSICS PROBLEMS.

“If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming straight toward you, would you listen to me THEN?

 My Mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. Don’t exaggerate.”

Betcha they sound familiar to you, too. And no matter where you live. For some reason they’re familiar to all of us. Almost word for word.


Who Shall I Be Today?

And who are you?  Today.

Sometimes I’m asked, “Who are you?” and I’m tempted to reply that I’m lots of Ethels, and which one do you mean?

The name Ethel Bradford, only means I belong to a family of Bradfords and ‘labeled’, so people can tell me apart from others. And that Ethel has been daughter, wife, lover. mother, grandmother,  and twice a great-grandmother.

But you know, as I do, that all those ‘names’ are actually only labels, tags you might say, explaining what role I played or play in some one else’s life.

None of them relates to the Ethel who responds, or hangs up, on those who try to beguile or fill me with fear in order to get me to vote for the one who is paying them to make the calls.

And still different from that Ethel who tries to explain to another phone-voice, that I never buy or give money to those who ask by phone. And you wouldn’t want to know that Ethel who was once told, (in today’s explicit words) to perform some anatomically impossible act. Yes, I knew the words. but was shocked to hear them  aimed at me. I was tempted to respond in the same lingo.  I didn’t. but that too, is another Ethel.

To some I’m a Teacher, and there I smile, for I always learn more than I teach, because the teacher must ‘dig’ for more information than ever used, while all the students have to do is listen, doze, or not even attend.

I’m a different Ethel when met with anger or resentment, than with arms of love. Yes, and there are Ethels that I don’t especially like, but, at times we all play such roles, too.

I remember back when I was my Dad’s Flicka, his little Svenska girl, and though I didn’t know what those words meant, I knew it was an Ethel I liked being.

I’m not sure who I was to my mother, for she could not accept the Ethel who could not unquestionably follow her steps. I was a different Ethel than what she wanted, expected, and sadness came to us both. It caused me to try to give my sons deep character training, but also the freedom to use those values in whatever System they chose. And that my love for them would not vary an iota.

And sometime who we are is a puzzle. as with me to the one I’ve called Gram. She was my husband’s mother, so I was not her daughter, and yet she said I was her true daughter. It’s an Ethel I loved being, and am glad I was given that role to fill.

And then there’s the Ethel who is a student, for that Ethel keeps me forever stepping through doors that, with just a touch, prove not to be doors at all, but new territory to explore and widen my mind. This has become my favorite Ethel, for she points the way to the Ethel I am becoming as I eagerly step through those false doors with open eyes and mind.

To my surprise, and I wish I could tell every older person, but as I get older, I’m finding an entirely new Ethel. I eagerly reach to her with surprise and ask, where have you been all this time? And I’ve found that I had to wait until years of living, and stepping through those wide-open ‘closed doors’, would be needed to give me the bravery, joy, and wisdom to dare be the Ethel I never before was ready to be.

And the best part of it all, is to find that I, by the roles I play today, am also choosing who and what I will be tomorrow. And to know that this is not a ‘new’ Ethel, but one who’s always been with me, waiting to be discovered.

I’ve caught glimpses of that Ethel peeking out from behind the thousands of roles I’ve taken, but slowly found that no matter what name or camouflage I assume, IT is the real, never changing ‘me’. And, shiver, shiver, shiver, like you, It’s who I Am, always was and always will be. Yes, the names given me will vary but the real, final Role will always be the Ethel who is One with The Source of all. And some day, I hope we’ll meet each other there.