Oh Make Haste

As I get older  (Way older, you just try being 100 and then tell me what you think about it!), the moments become more precious.  Here’s one of my old columns that says it well . . .

Sometimes the days, hours or moments we ‘waste’ turn out to be the ones we remember for the rest of our lives.  We think of all the chores we could be doing and feel it’s ‘wrong’ to occasionally do nothing but look, relax and experience the joy of  life itself.

I remember just such a day.  Two small boys were going wild with the joy of the first really warm day of summer and were constantly calling me to, “Oh, Mommy, come and see”.  And smart enough to know that they wouldn’t always want me to ‘Come and See”,  I put aside my dust cloth, broom and cookpot and together the three of us roamed the fields and pasture. A fields not fenced off and the cow-pasture that is now the Mick Riley Golf Course.

I can re-live that day right now.  They showed me certain ‘special’ rocks they found, we peered into  bird nests, watched bees drone in the sun, found tiny hidden flowers and ate our lunch on the warm slope of the hill.

Ah, the chores I left unfinished that day are long ago forgotten and  whatever I fixed for that night’s dinner matters not,  but how the three of us spent that day has become one of my most precious memories. A ‘wasted’ day?  Don’t tell that to any parent who has taken the time to walk, listen and watch while their children still want them ‘to come and see what I’m doing’.

I remember another ‘wasted’ summer day long before that, when my own mother scolded me because she had looked for me and worried when I couldn’t be found.  I was far too young and unknowing to even try to explain, but just the same, I can still see where and how I spent that time. And no matter how many office buildings have been built in  that spot, I still have my memory.

Yes, I can still see the Cherry tree at the head of two rows of Currant Bushes.  The grass grew high (Well, it was high for a four or five year old) between the bushes, and I played the hours away in their seclusion.  The Cherry tree had a pungent odor I still would know, and my cheeks pucker even as I write these words and recall the sweet-tart taste of the ripe currants I stuffed into my mouth.

But how could a child tell her upset mother she was just taking her first real look at God’s world and finding it good?  The truth is, the child didn’t know what she was doing.  Just aware that the day had been satisfying beyond anything she had before known.

I also remember when, as a young bride, I ‘wasted’ a few minutes, made extra work for myself, but found unforgettable beauty.

I had hurried out to bring in the my laundry from the clothes line, as a rain storm was near.  With the frantically gathered linen in my arms I turned to hurry back into the house, when I noticed black billows of clouds tumbling and pouring down the ravines of Mt. Olympus, looking like big billows of black whipped cream being poured from some height, and I stopped in my tracks, dead still, and watched.

The wind whipped my hair and clothes and big rain drops came and wet me and the sheets and towels in my arms, but the violent beauty  of the eastern mountain became etched on my mind.  The work of once more drying the linen is forgotten, but the storm’s beauty is still mine.  ‘Wasted’ time?  You know better.

Oh, it’s easy to scold the young lad who has stopped in the middle of lawn cutting to stand and dream, with the warm sun on his back, and the cool lawn at his feet. But who knows?  He just might be seeing the world in a new way,  and that moment of seeming idleness, a moment he’ll treasure years from now when his whole world has changed, and he’d like nothing more than just to be that  boy again with nothing to do but mow the lawn.  And have dreams.

‘Wasted’ moments????  Ah, these aren’t the wasted ones.  I’ve forgotten forever the many tasks of  cleaning rooms and preparing thousands of meals, but the ‘wasted’ hours I spent amid Mama’s Currant bushes and the day with two little boys at play in the pasture that is also gone forever, will be with me to the end of my days.

Ready For Winter?

The Old Order Hath Changed.

                 Wow!  How the old order hath changed, for with the first nippy air heralding the coming of winter, I realize again that people “don’t get ready for winter” anymore.

Not too many years ago (Come on, now, who’s counting?) but this area was  very rural, and, “Hello, are you ready for winter?” was the common greeting.  And, as a kid at home, it seems that one of Mom and Dad’s first considerations of late summer was “to get in the coal”.  How else did one cook and keep warm?

At one time we had a coal shed and it was piled clear to the rafters when “the coal came”.  Later on, with house reconstructions,  Pop had it slid into the basement coal room, but either way, with the first blast of winter, everyone wanted to have stored all the coal they’d need for the long months ahead.

Mom always bought flour for the year, too.  I still don’t see the wisdom of this, but the big 50 lb. sacks of flour would arrive (of course everyone baked their own bread) and my parents would carefully store the flour in the cool attic on a special framework Dad had made for them.  Maybe flour and coal were cheaper in the summer.  I don’t know and who is there now left to tell us???  I can only give hints.

Putting up fruit kept our mother in a turmoil of work for at least six weeks in the late summer and early fall and it was this child’s delight to step to the basement and see the long shelves filled with the glorious colors of the fruit, pickles, sauces and tomatoes she ‘bottled’.  To me it meant good eating in the months to come and I was always glad when it snowed, for until then, Mom wouldn’t let us start using that good stuff.  It was food for winter, not summer or fall.

Pop built outside Root Cellars, too, and they were common to this area then.  Long trenches were dug, lined deeply with fresh clean straw and then vegetables, winter pears and apples were stored.  More straw covered the raw food and a deep layer of soil went over the top.  “Chimneys’ were built to ventilate the warm, buried food.

The idea was to keep everything cool enough to stay crisp but warm enough not to freeze and the idea was great.  The trouble was, however, that in the dead of winter,  getting through a foot of snow, to that frozen over-lay of  soil, then through the stiff, frozen straw and finally to the goal of it all, the vegetables snugly buried safely underneath.

It was a good trick also, to go for carrots, delve down through the three layers of snow, soil and straw, into the depths for where you were positive the carrots were, and instead find you had ‘hit’ parsnips, apples or cabbage.  Somehow nothing looked the same once snow arrived and the markers put up so carefully in the fall had a different look in the middle of January.

Besides that, it was always so darn cold that no one (well, it was always Dad’s job) wanted to take time to really survey the place.  Just dig, grab, cover again in the right order and then get back into the warm house.  And, something no one spoke of, but by the time winter was over, everything ‘down there’ tasted and smelled like the protective straw.  Oh well.

Just the same, to the child that I was, listening to the adults talk, I felt winter was a terrible threat that was held in abeyance only by Dad and Mom’s preparation of getting “ready for winter”.

Mom, with her chests full of clean quilts and blankets, basement shelves filled with fruit, and for heaven’s sake, I almost forgot, our winter long-arm and long-legged  underwear, dresses, jackets, coats, hats, pajamas, and mittens (not gloves), boots  and whatever else cold weather demanded.

That phrase, ‘Getting ready for winter’,  was a safety buffer to me and I felt nothing could harm me when I’d hear Dad say,   “Yes, we’re ready,”  in reply  to some neighbor’s query.  Upon hearing those three simple words, some spot within me relaxed for with them I knew all was right and safe with my world.

When you’ve been raised that way, that question was hard to put aside, for without all that work, preparation and storing away, who and what was to protect one from that Demon called Winter??

And, today, I watch two of my neighbors (their tie to past is their own business, not mine)  but it’s satisfying and gives me a good feeling to know that there are those who, in their own way,  still follow the customs I once knew so well.

And by the way, “Are you ready for Winter”?  Or do you even give it a thought?  Much less a ‘second thought’.

Alcoholism – Addiction, Escape, Waste

Here is something I wrote years ago, but is ever relevant . . .  And nowadays, we ought to talk about addiction in wider terms.  Prescription drug abuse is rampant and who knows how many lives are wasted because of it.  Bottom line, respect yourself and watch for the danger signs of dependency.

Ten Simple Clues

In all the years that I’ve written a newspaper column “Out My Window” and now this blog of “From Out My Window”, I’ve repeated very few columns.  One is  of ‘Lilacs’  used  on Memorial Day, and  now the one I use today,  because two people have told me that my ‘questions’, as seen below, were eye-openers for them, and that just maybe they might do the same for another.

And there’s one more person I meet occasionally, a delightful person, but who, I’d be willing to bet, will become, or already is, an alcoholic.  I wanted to talk to him, but didn’t, for there would have been anger, and I’d have been told, truthfully, that it was none of my business.  But at one stage of my life I was active in AA, and while not alcoholic myself, I learned an awfully lot.

One was this list of the following questions and I’ve used them in many ways over the years because they were true then and are just as true today.

If you answer ‘Yes’ to even one of the following questions,  the chances are you have a problem, and if you answer “Yes” to three or more, you are an alcoholic.  It may take years before you admit it, but the course of the disease is relentless, constantly  down-hill and continues to worsen until admitted and faced.

Don’t tell your answers to anyone, but for your own sake, answer truthfully to yourself, and oh how I wish, hope, that even one person will read, and let them  make a difference.

1. Do you ever take a drink in the morning?
2. When people mention drinking do you walk away in anger, thinking they were speaking about you, and wish they would mind their own business?
3. Have you ever (secretly) felt that your life would be better and easier,  if you stopped drinking?
4. Have you ever said to yourself, “I can stop drinking anytime I want”, and then poured yourself another drink?
5. When having guests or going to a party, do you ever pour yourself a secret drink, before-hand, just to ‘get in the mood’?
6. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or two, and then found yourself drinking again within one or two days?
7. Does your drinking ever cause trouble at home?  At school? On the job?
8. Do you ever have black-outs? Partial memory loss?
9. Have you ever gotten drunk when it was the last thing in the world you wanted to do?
10. Have you ever switched from one kind of liquor to another in hopes the change would keep you from getting drunk?

Simple, aren’t they?  But that simplicity is deceiving, and all the disbelief in the world won’t change the truth of them.  Or your answers.

Take Question 8.  A blackout doesn’t mean ‘passing out’.   Blacking out means that you were on your feet, talking, laughing, dancing, or whatever,  but the next day you can’t remember one thing of what happened.  You ‘blacked out’ and it’s a mean thing, for no one there would have seen one thing odd in your behavior.

Now, it doesn’t help if a spouse or parent recognizes these traits and tries to help by telling you.  The one who has the disease will fight back, maintaining ‘there is no problem’,  (See No. 4) and, anyway, ‘living with you would drive anyone to drink’.
And if No. 7 is brought up, it will always be someone else’s fault.  Always, always, always, and never, never, never, theirs.

But thank heavens today we all know about alcoholism from TV, internet, radio or magazines.  You will find AA meetings in your own neighborhood, across town, or if you wish to be truly anonymous, there are groups which absolutely insist upon it.  Where even  your Last Name is forbidden from use and Nick-Names only allowed.

It’s not an easy journey, but the sooner the alcoholic recognizes the disease, and only then, can it be controlled.   And, as I once learned, it is not a case of just the alcoholic needing help, but everyone whose life has been closely touched also needs help.  Which is why meetings for the non-alcoholic partner, teens, adults and even for adult children of alcoholics are well attended.

It’s a mean, progressive disease, and if someone recognizes the disease and stops drinking, but, years later decides one small drink would do no harm after all this time, they’ll find it  one  horrible mistake, for the disease progresses whether you drink or not, and that ‘first drink’ doesn’t react as it did years before, but in a far more terrible way, and stopping far harder to do.  It’s nothing to play games with.  At all.

As I said, I quite often get requests for these words to be repeated, and I hope that the one I met so briefly, will get the help that is now so easy to find.  Miracles do happen, you know, and my trust in such is why I now,  and again repeat my words, at the beginning of what is usually a time of heavier than usual casual, social drinking, and that my words just might help at least one such person.  Cross your fingers.  Mine are.

Feel The Force

It’s all around if we but notice . . .

ESP is so commonplace that we don’t blink an eye about it. We know it’s Extra Sensory Perception, the Sixth Sense, but it’s different from the other five, Taste, Hearing, Smell, Touch, Sight, where no explanation is needed. It’s been called Gut Instinct, Third Eye, Hunch, Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Precognition and ad infinitum, but that still doesn’t tell us what it is.

However, when it hits, we need no explaining. One time I answered my phone and it was Margaret, from Seattle. Our acquaintance was so casual that I wondered why she’d called, but as she was getting ready to say goodbye, she asked if I knew where Florence could be reached.

“No,” I answered, “I haven’t seen or heard from her for over a year.” And she said, “Well, take down my phone number and if you happen to see her, tell her to give me a call.”

Now, hearing from Florence was so unlikely that I almost didn’t write down the number, but I carelessly scribbled it, while knowing I’d garbage it within a day or two.

However, believe it or not, before I even moved from the phone, it rang again, and yes, and you have already guessed that, of all people, it was Florence. She, too, had no real reason to call me, and it amazed us both when I told her what had just happened and she said, “Yes, I do need to talk to Margaret and had no idea how to do it, but, really, Ethel, I wasn’t thinking of her when I called you.In a daze I sat there and felt as if I had been used as a tool  by someone or something. Because, with no conscious thought, I had been the connecting link between two people who needed to reach each other and didn’t know how. It has remained one of those things that puzzle me to this day.

Another ESP ‘thing’ that we disregard, but if we live around animals, we know they have it.   Tales abound. My brother-in-law Jake had a Dachshund, and they read each other’s minds, and when Jake was returning from being gone for a day or week, that dang dog sensed his coming and sat by the door, and when he began jumping up and down and whimpering, Gram knew Jake was near. And he was. Again, don’t ask me how it happened, but it did.

There was a time when there were Milkmen, who, using horse-drawn wagons. delivered our milk early in the a.m. and the tales told are many. It took but a week or so, for the horse to ‘know’ the route and so the man could leave the ‘stops’ up to the horse and he could nap, read, whatever, and the horse would stop at the right places.

As a young man my Granddad, as all men did, had a horse, and he said that at night, and no matter where he was in the valley, he could go to sleep and the horse would take him home.

And there’s the life-saving tale of a man on horseback, who lived in Bennion, when the valley’s west side was entirely open fields and, he got caught one night when an unexpected blizzard hit.

Blinded by snow and freezingly cold, he knew he could never find his way home, and so  put his life in the hands of God and his  horse.  He dropped the reins, gave his horse a ‘slap’  on its  rump,  huddled down to get any warmth he could get  from the back of the horse and, resigned his life to Fate. Within  half an hour they were at the barn and safe..

Without lights or other landmarks,  the man was helpless but the horse knew where they were. Whatever ESP is, it’s hard to prove, that is, if it needs proving. It isn’t scientific, but far, far more than that, and don’t ask me to tell you ‘how’, because I can’t. I only know that it always was and still is.

The brain, as well as the heart, stomach, lungs, kidneys and on and on, can be weighed for size, heft and dissected, But the Mind? It uses the brain, but it is not the brain. And so vital that, no matter how good a body, or how much money one has, without the Mind we are just a body, nothing more.

Traveling the inward pathway to the Mind is the longest journey we’ll ever take.   But, so often without our permission or request, it uses me and it uses you and if you ever find out what ‘it’ is, tell me. But in the meantime and whatever it is, isn’t it great?????

Name That Town

A Utah town of any name would be the same

        If you know your Pioneer ancestor was born right here in Zion, and yet the town listed on the Birth Certificate, can’t be found, take heart, you’re not alone.

Original Pioneer farms were far apart and the name, was either  for the first family there, or for some outstanding feature of the area.  Changes came fast and were no big deal.

My husband’s Birth Certificate shows him born in the family home, still in the same place, but on 1700 South.  Today, same place, same road, is 4800 South.  See?

Brigham Young had a marvelous plan for naming the streets, starting from a point at the southeast corner of the Mormon Temple grounds and going all four directions from that spot.  He divided the land into Blocks, and going south, every Block went from First South, to Second, Third,  Fourth and ended at Ninth South, because that’s where civilation, and the city ended.

Every foot of land  beyond was considered desert, but when  some man began a farm a few miles south, no matter how far,  it became 10th South, and the next farm, with no surveying,  became 11th South’    And so, at one time, 4800 South was  the eighth street  south of that original boundary of 9th south.   And the chaos of  road being created in between and  so forth,  you can   imagine the headaches it all creatated. 

And then there is Redwood Road with nary a tree or a  family named Redwood anywhere near.  Well, Jess W. Fox, Surveyor of the Mormon Grounds, was asked to draw plans for a road from North Temple Street south to where 21st South now is.  He did, and named it Campus Lane, but no one liked  that, so they tried Fairbanks, which didn’t stick, either.

Finally ‘Redwood’, the nick-name the workmen had used from day-one, became official.  Thousands of  Surveyor’s Pegs were needed to lay out that road, and those pegs were made from Redwood trees because that wood could withstand the hard pounding needed  to drive them into cement-like ground, as well as hold up under all kinds of weather. 

And so, the laborers who did the work, also named the Road.  And good for them,  it became and still is  known as Redwood Road. 

Mormon Wards were the center of Pioneer life, and were usually named after the predominant  family,  and when a ward  became too large, it was divided.  Many families settled west of the Jordan River, and so West Jordan Ward  became its name.  But in 1867  it was divided into many smaller ones and the communities of Bluffdale, Riverton, Herriman, South Jordan, Granger, Taylorsville, Hunter, and Pleasant Green were formed.

Bluffdale was named after the high nearby bluffs above the Jordan Narrows, Taylorsville after the early Taylor family, and Brighton, at first Silver Lake, was named after Thomas W. Brighton who  built the first home at the top of  Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Alta, high up in Little Cottonwood Canyon,  was the site of a silver mine, and one of my uncles, Lethair (sp?) Goodall, died along with others in a snow slide there.  And, as many of the miners were Spanish, they used their word for ‘high’ , namely Alta, to mark the spot.  The mines and the miners are long gone, but the name, Alta, is known  throughout the world as a Ski Resort and I’d bet that only one in a thousand knows that ‘Alta’ is of Spanish origin.

Draper Ward opened in 1867, surveyed and planned by the same Jess Fox.  He divided the land into farms, numbered each one, put those numbers on slips of paper, and eligible men picked a slip from a hat Fox held, and, like it or not,  that was where they would live.  They called it South Willow Creek, but soon was re-named Draper after one of those early Settlers.  Willow Creek still lives on, but now just as  an area of the far southeastern part of our valley.

So. Cottonwood ward was divided, forming Union, after Fort Union; and Granite, after the rock mined nearby to build the Mormon Temple.   Once there were many  smelters in the valley with the one in Murray being the only one that continued through the years,  but one of them, built  upon sandy soil,  became the  Sandy City we know today.

I like the humor that often crops up in staid journals, and so, with apologies to who ever wants them, Sandy  was,  at that time, known as the Red Light District of the valley.  Right in a nice Mormon town, and journals  tell of it being   prosperous  villalgae, as well.       .

Midvale (another smelter town) was first known as Bingham Junction, later as East Jordan and finally,  because of  its location, Midvale.  Bingham received its name from brothers Sanford and Thomas Bingham who grazed their cattle in that canyon and staked out mining rights to the surrounding hills.

Franklin, a Railroad spot on the rails  running south from Salt Lake, soon became Murray City, after the territorial Governor Eli H. Murray.  Sugar House was named for a Beet Sugar Mill built  there, and  Magna is the Latin word for large, big, magnificent and so on and on and on.

So, if you KNOW your ancestors were born in this valley and yet their birth certificate shows some town you’ve never heard of, and isn’t on any map, don’t fret. Poke around, there were many small,  isolated spots with names that lasted so short a time they were never recorded, but nevertheless, that place was here.
Good luck.

Orin Hatch – Redux 3, or 4, or 5 . . .

Here we go again with Orin Hatch.  Five years ago I published the column below.  Unfortunately for us, it is still relevant today . . .

If Orrin Hatch’s words were true in 1976, then they are still true in 2017.

If you’ve felt buried by political ads now, what’s coming will be worse, but it’s also when we should seriously look at the records of those who seek to be our national voice.

I’m no puritan, but it actually does get down to who is telling the truth and who is not telling the truth.  The two are not copasetic, and truth, you remember, never changes.  Now Romney and his many words are beyond me, too full of ‘what I really meant to say’ and ‘you read me wrong’ but we have absolute records of what Orrin Hatch said as he sought his first Senate Seat, and what he’s saying today.

There is a difference, and if his words were true when he spoke them against his opponent, Frank E. Moss, then those same words must be true today.   I go  back.

Frank E. Moss, his opponent in 1976, was born Jan. 29, 1903, grew up in Holladay, the son of James E. Moss, an educator who was named ‘The father of Utah High school athletics’.  Frank grew up in a home filled with words and actions of law and education.

He graduated magna cum laude (UofU, 1933), and then served FDR at the NRA (National Recovery Administration), and other national federal groups to aid in National Recovery from the Great Depression, and then during WW2, (1942 to ’45), served  with the Army Air Corps in the Judge Advocates General Dept. in European Theatre of Operations.

Not a bad intro to his political life, both local and federal, and in 1958 was elected as Utah Senator against both Arthur Watkins and J. Bracken Lee, each mighty forces in Utah politics.

As Utah’s Senator in Washington, he added more National Parks within Utah; investigated and aided in eliminating  control of abuses to the elderly in Nursing and Retirement homes; Physicians’ abuses of the Medicaid program; and with Senator Church of Idaho sponsored first legislation to provide Federal funds for hospice programs.  That Bill did not pass Congress until 1982, but his ideas held and were included in Medicare benefits.

In his Third Term he sponsored detailed Warning Labels on cigarette packages; banned their advertisements on radio and TV; the Toy Safety Act; and was Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences.

He was a hero to people of small towns and rural areas, for, in the beginning, and at first, television station signals were available only (if you can imagine) where there were major marketing areas, namely the highly populated places, with great consumer possibilities. Moss was instrumental in getting funding to make it possible for all small towns and rural areas with ‘few’ consumers, to receive the same TV transmissions.  He and his group helped found the great TV Translator system that provided television to the great rural areas of America.  It was a major battle in Washington, but he won it.

It was on his run for his Fourth Term in 1976 that Orrin Hatch opposed him, and Hatch’s strong points were how much Moss had accomplished, how much we owed him, but that he now was too old.  His mind no longer sharp and should be replaced, with thanks, by a younger man.  Himself.

Hatch won.  Now, as Orrin wishes to fill his fourth term, he does not mention age, born Mar. 22. 1934, so is 78 years of age, and 3 years older than Moss was at the same point in his career.  He refuses all requests for live TV debates, and dodges photos and off-the-cuff meetings with local or national press. Rumors in the gossip magazines (they’re not always wrong) tell that Hatch, Botox, and Senility have developed a close relationship.

He should recall his own words, spoken when he fought Moss, and admit that he is 3 years older than Moss then was.  An age he blatantly called too old to be a Senator.  Hatch no doubt also remembers what the live TV debate did to Nixon when he faced the nation against the young John Kennedy.  As they say, ‘he shot  himself in his own foot’.

If  Moss, dedicated and astute, but then 73 years old, was too old, then we’d better remember that Orrin is now 78, and for us to do exactly what he, Hatch, said then.  What do you call a Senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.”.  Yes, let’s give Orrin thanks for what he has accomplished, and then, (again his words), replace him with a man who is ‘younger, mind quicker, sharper and more in tune with this era of time”.

Orrin Hatch’s words were either true then, or true now.  He can’t have it both ways. One or the other is untrue.

If any of this rings true with you, please pass this along to others you know.

 

Perpetual Motion

“. . .  change comes so slowly we don’t see it, except when we clip our fingernails.”

I was only a kid when I first saw the words. ‘Perpetual Motion’ and they were on a large outdoor sign and,  with my interest piqued, I’ve listened as it’s been debated on radio, TV and in magazines. But I first saw them when Dad was taking the family on a Sunday ride to see the Countryside,

And, as an aside, exactly when and where did the countryside go??? Is it still there under concrete waiting for you to re-discover and give it back to us? Oh, that’s for another day.   Perhaps another life time, for if we dug it up, where would we put all the discarded concrete and the people living there?????

But, my words, today, are my answer to the subject of what or where is Perpetual Motion and which, for some reason, I’ve listened to ever since I learned how to read., and that’s been more than a year or two.

Those childhood rides however, formed memories I recall with wonder and love.. There were no Freeways, just two-lane roads winding across and around large corn or wheat fields, with barns, chicken coops, and old fashioned outside toilets a familiar sight.. But also, large companies would pay the farmer for permission to put large signboards there in his fields, and the names of ZCMI, AUERBACH’S, KEITH O’BRIEN, PEMBROKES, PARIS CO. and , as I said, PERPETUAL MOTION. were placed there to lure us to their stores.   It was a different countryside, which slowly changed into what we have to day. Priceless.

But at that time scientists were constantly seeking to find some machine to produce Perpetual Motion. And over and over we would hear of that search, but no one, as far as I know has done so. And last week, I laughed over a few of my old notes, for they are my answer to Perpetual Motion, But as you know, I have lots of ideas . . . . of my own.  So . . . .

Change, I’ve come to believe, is Perpetual Motion. Change, everything is changing,   And no matter what we look at or even think of, is changing. And while I’m no ‘brain’, I still have my days and even have a book about Einstein that I get out occasionally. And, that genius never spoke of God, but did speak or write of some Power that is the Source of all and called it The Essence of pure energy. Ever-changing, but never disappearing.  Einstein’s words, not mine.

And so, I searched for more of his words (good old Google) to find if he spoke more of how Energy is ever changing, but never disappearing, and no doubt he did . . . . but in words that are beyond my scope. However the thought remained with me, that the only perpetual motion in the world, no matter when, where or how, is Change.

From the most minuscule part of an atom . . . . change. Water, ever changing from steam, cloud, ocean, urine, ice, glacier, to the Soup Pot on my kitchen stove. Form after form, but basically, water. Then there’s our entire Planet of rock, sand, animal, leaves, all changing slowly from one form to another. Universe, planet, moons, stars, changing . Trees, wild or tame animals, plants, seeds, dry leaves, excrement. The same basic material, but never the same. Change, change, change.

I gotta think about this one, and you smart ones who might stumble upon my words, give it a thought. This world and all that’s in it, is changing. Is it the long sought answer to Perpetual Motion????.   So simple, so commonplace??? Maybe too simple? Maybe too commonplace? So simple and commonplace that we never consider it.

But, like it or not, all we are, see, or hold, is changing, even as we look upon ir. Our hair, toe nails. People were discussing the earthquakes of a week or so ago, and one stated that the earth, deep down under Nepal moves each year, the distance of how much your fingernail grows in the same length of time. But that small change, builds up, until it eventually shifts the weight of the mountain side, and we have an earthquake.

The people who lived on this sphere thousands of years ago, with time and change, change, change, became you and me. And we, all who are living now,   are and will change, and slowly surely, become those who will  change the world of ‘then’.

Follow me???   We’re all part of it.

Change, Perpetual Change. Perpetual Motion. And you can answer back about that bane or blessing of today’s world . . . plastic . . . and in spite of what Thor Heyerdahl, who with companions crossed the Pacific on a raft, said the ocean, once you got 10 or so miles from shore, was so pure. Unchanged.

Then, only half a century later he and others took the same trip accompanied by scientists, and he wept as he said they never got away from the debris of plastic. All across the Pacific, California to China, was our discarded plastic garbage. But I again cynically say give it time and in a few thousands millennia the plastic will be gone, but, only because it will have changed into some new form of garbage.

To me, ‘Change’ is Perpetual Motion, and we are part of it. Right before our eyes, in our hands, and remember. our actual hands and eyes are part of it. Only it comes so slowly we don’t see it, except when we clip our fingernails.   But we need look no further, for we, you and I  and the entire world we live in and upon, are perfect examples of the very thing we seek. Perpetual Motion.

Marriage Is Not A 24/7 Deal

24 hours per day, 7 days per week just doesn’t work . . .

       I learned to hear and respect the ideas my Gram would so casually (?) say, and many of her words are with me yet.  I wish I could tell her how those twelve I write of today, have helped along the way.

“Ethel”, she said, “a woman has to find something, in addition to her family, that will bring joy to her life.  And the more ‘hobbies’ she has, the better off she’ll be.”

Her generation also had a phrase I  tucked away, too.  It was, “I married him for life, but not for 24 hours a day.”  A dozen words that are priceless, to me, to you, and to every man,  woman alive.  No matter where you live.

Of course, when she was telling me these words of wisdom, I didn’t believe her at all.  Oh, most surely not for me, for I was still in that euphoric stage of marriage we all experience, but I learned.

I knew, Gram did not speak lightly and so, when the day came, when ‘family’ was not enough, her words resurfaced, and I followed her pathway right on.  See, she’d been there and done that.

Pearl Buck, author, also said that if a woman tries to confine all her energies, attention and love, into the sole outlet of husband and children, she will put a burden on them as well as herself, that none of them were ever meant to bear.

The husband (or wife) will retreat (escape) in self defense to the TV, newspaper, golf, nearby pub, or ski club.  And children, more outspoken will tell you to ‘get off their backs.  or stay in their room, ‘live’ at some friends home, at the mall, retreat into silence, and rebel in any thousand other ways.

At first I felt guilty when I did something that my husband had no interest in.  but went ahead and was startled to find that he liked those times  when my activities didn’t demand his presence or participation.

What Gram had learned (as we all must if we ever hope to gain any measure of happiness), is that not one of us can or wanted to spend 24 hours (see above, second paragraph)  with one person.  No matter how beloved.

Gram knew kids do grow up and leave home.  Death does come, and jobs, life and sickness, mental and physical, can separate people, and  so, for our own balance, we must find  outlets that absorb and bring delight to us.  In addition to families.

Gram had several.  Different generations, different opportunities, different outlets, but she cooked, crocheted and she gardened.  Who can say which was more beloved, but, at her table,  I learned the surprise and wonder, of dishes I thought would be found only in magazines or on TV.  I never even tried to match her kitchen skills.

Winter was a prison to her as she waited for spring to come so ‘she could get outside’, and dig, so that was when her cooking, crocheting, and bridge club really came into play .  And, oh those women were wonderful.  I substituted when needed, and not only learned how to play bridge, but listened and learned for more.  Their conversation was every bit as ‘with it’ as what goes on today. Different wording, oh yes, but nothing was verboten or unknown to those women.  My eyes popped and I not only learned, but  marveled.

I found many outlets for my ever growing interests,  and if you haven’t yet, given your husband and children a break and start looking.  Today.  Right now.  There are times in every one’s life when spouse, children, job and even life seem to fail  us.

Some hobby or avocation can be a life saver for you, the family and, no fooling,  your own sanity.  There are words of today, that speak what I’m saying.  “Get a life, get a life.”

Sounds harsh, but oh how true Gram’s words still are:  ‘I married him for life, but not for 24 hours a day’.   Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I’m a  happy woman, for I’ve found those words keep right on working,  no matter what your age.   Thanks, Gram, wish we could still talk, and I would listen more seriously today, for now I know you were an expert.

The Little (Big) Joys In Life

Thank heavens for the little joys of life, for they can be the biggest.

Yes, we all have epiphanies when our world suddenly turns up-side down, but those moments are few and far between. And you say yours come often?  Come on, don’t kid me, for most of our lives are spent on ground level and life would be dull if it weren’t for the bright moments that I call God’s Little Extras.

Little joys, coming often and lifting us over many a weary time.

It’s awesome that we have our Peaks but we shouldn’t underestimate the small joys that are mole-hills compared to the Mountains, but just the same, fill us with joy.  How about the unexpected shared laughter with some stranger, along with the unplanned meeting of your eyes, and for that moment, you are not strangers?  A letter from a dear one.  Crisp clean curtains framing shiny clean windows.   New fallen snow untouched by foot step, shovel, or plow. A smiling child running to you with open arms.

Oh, begin recalling your own, but I go on.  Seeing trees you planted, now stately, tall, and sheltering your home as you long ago dreamed they would.  And for the moment you’re one again with the loved one who helped you plant them.

Watching the moon cast its silver spell over a familiar landscape and recalling watching the same magic with a loved one who is no longer with you.  But the two of you saw that magic, while standing right in the very same spot where you stand. Tears come, but so does joy.

Sitting at the dinner table and suddenly really seeing each one and realizing how blessed a moment it is. A commonplace rite, but something to savor and treasure when they’re older with their own lives, and then bring their precious wives or husbands  with them, and added joy, the beloved grandchildren who follow.  All at your table, and the  decades of changes pass before you like a TV show, and you feel that loved ones who have died, are also with you again.

Life’s Little Extras.  Casually staying at the table long after the food is gone, listening to good talk tossed back and forth, and you see deeper into their lives than a million questions would reveal.  They open a door to their lives, and you know it’s a favor given, not a right to demand.  God’s Little Extra?  Yes, and to be remembered forever.

The joy, when, after short friendly chat with a stranger at the local coffee shop while waiting for your de-caf to get made, and when you get to the Pay Counter, find that he also paid for yours.

There are times when the world is dark and you think happiness will never again be yours.  But then, one day your eyes are opened and for the moment really see that the sun still rises and sets, and you, no longer ‘blinded’ by routine, as we sometimes are, again  really see it.  God’s Little Extras that pull us over the deep chasms that illness, distance, death, or divorce can bring to our lives.

You see that children still run to you.  That shared laughter is still precious, and letters, email and calls from loved ones still arrive and bring an inner rush of joy.  And you’re surprised to see that, as you age, new friends, new relationships, new ideas, new hobbies come, and each bring new joy to you.

Thought God had forgotten you?  Well, don’t try to tell me such nonsense, for just as the Mountain Peaks are God’s Gifts, so are His Little Extras that shower us, but so often don’t even look for much less, really see.

For me, keeping my eyes and heart open for those Extras, makes such a difference.  Remembering that as we change, our Mountains also change, and just as we ‘know’ there are no more high Peaks for us, we glance up and there, dropping right into our lap, eyes and heart, we shiver as we experience another Mountain.  And large or small, they are all God’s gifts.  Just for me, and for you.

Sex In Spaaaaace

I like to think that you and I have the same kind of mind: ie, earthy and easily amused. And so, a couple of weeks ago I read an article about sex in Space, and for some reason my mind   zoomed back to sometime around 1980, when New York had a long, long electrical black-out   and nine months later, their hospitals were over run with children being born. The story went world wide and everyone laughed.

And now, as space travel extends, the possibility of a man-woman couple being sent as part of some future Space Crew is creeping into edges of news stories, and of course, is met with innuendos, off-color jokes and I say, What’s the big deal?

We know they’ve experimented in space with frogs, insects, and other forms of life, so why not get volunteers and find out if sex, as practiced since Adam and Eve , would also work on Space’s Cloud Nine?   Yeah, the real Cloud Nine, too.

Vacations are often followed, by pregnancies, and these two space travelers will have been on the ultimate vacation, and if they choose to enjoy the excitement of it all . . . who cares? And more to the point, ‘Whose business is it, anyway’?????.

God made us to want to cuddle with the one we love, and, here in our valley, watch the moon come up over Mount Olympus . . . . . or some place along the eastern rim of the Wasatch Mountains       . . . and let nature take its course.

I recall, that back in the 1980’s. the illustrations all showed that future Space home, with parents, and, what else? Their children, of course..

With a married couple up there every magazine, newspaper, radio and TV station will make it their business to comment upon the pros and cons of a child being conceived in space, and it just could be that with our experiments with animals, we also found there is reason that ‘Space’ would not be favorable to human pregnancies and infants, but I’ve never seen where such cautions were even hinted.

Anyway, why are we so up tight about speaking of sex in space? What’s so different about it than what we see and hear every day here on good ole earth?   Test tube babies are no longer even newsworthy, sperm donor babies, abortions, no abortions, ‘right time’ advocates, condoms, pills, diaphragms, It’s constantly tossed at us, and in detail, too.

There have been enough short items, a word here, two words there, that anyone who reads the news, even casually, knows that there is nothing new to all I’m writing today, either.

And don’t tell me you’re naive enough to think it hasn’t been thought of, discussed, even planned, and if not, well, I have a few shares of the Brooklyn Bridge that I’ll sell you real cheap.

And why wouldn’t it be planned . . . The old windjammer Captains took their wife (or live-in) along, and many a child was born on the high seas. Children were born and conceived on the Mayflower, Mormon pioneers took for granted that Children would be conceived, born, some to live, some to die, on that trek across the Plains of America. And those who survived became proud that they were born that first summer, or first winter.

Yeah, and there weren’t private bedrooms, separate quarters, and all the other niceties the world is saying are absent in space capsules, either.  And I say it’s their business, just as it’s been of all exploring couples of all centuries.

I say good for them and my hat’s off to the gutsy chosen pair. How do we/they know if it will work in space as it does on Terra Firma??? Yeah, and I betcha there are thousands like me, (including you) all watching with the same amused smile on their faces.

Do those planners of space living want us to think children will be sent up in separate capsules? That immaculate conception will come back to us. Or that the women were pregnant when they stepped aboard the Craft.

No the process of a married pair on the same space ship is well planned, and will be well monitored. And I mean the results, not the actions.

Let’s get our heads on straight. Life is life and there always will be ways and means of keeping the generations arriving. And space travel is no different than windjammers, camel trains, wagons, tents or any other place men and women choose to spend together.

Yes, there will be those who will criticize and moralize but most of us will laugh and I’d be willing to bet that most of the complainers have children who weren’t all conceived at home while placidly watching TV.

No matter where people have gone, it’s happened. In fact, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that those in command would positively deny it, but betcha they secretly hope a bouncing Space Baby will result. And I say, good luck and God’s Blessings on everyone involved.