Nothing New Under The Sun

And there was Sappho,  who lived on the Isle of Lesbo

Today, we’re daily bombarded with articles about same-sex marriage and other ‘different’ relationships.  So many, in fact, and coming from all directions, we might think homosexuality to be a fairly new phenomenon and probably the result of our free way of life with drugs, alcohol and such.  But how wrong such thinking is.

The Bible has many tales and references of male-male and female-female love, and the most famous one, perhaps, is that of the love between David and Jonathan, and in 2nd Samuel, 1:26, at Jonathan’s funeral, David publicly declares that he and Jonathan loved in a manner greater than from women.

There are many other Biblical notations on this facet of life, with Ruth and Naomi also well known, but more close to home, I tell of my own experiences with those of that large group.

The day Armstrong walked upon the moon, there was a young 9 or 10 year old lad in my home watching the TV with me, and I surmised (and later knew I was right) that he was Gay.  Years later, and then an adult, he sadly told me that as a child, he knew he was different, but couldn’t figure out what made him different, for he was sensitive enough to know he didn’t fit in with his brothers and their pals, or with his sister and her group.

He said, “Ethel, I cried so often at night because I was so alone, so isolated, that it was a tremendous relief, and to tell the truth, and also a welcome surprise to find that there were others exactly like me.  That I was not alone.”

Gay and Lesbian people are all around us, if we just have the openness to see and accept.

Later on in my own life, there was a young man who had a Hair Salon and as he worked to make my hair all one color, he said, “I knew I was different, long before I knew what made me different.”  Which echoed almost the same words I had heard years before from that child in my kitchen.

“My parents”, he continued, “were of no help at all when I cried and asked them “why?” but later,  when as an adult, I faced and questioned them, they both admitted they knew of my struggle. I suppose they hoped it would all go away.  How foolish they were, just like hoping the color of my eyes would change.

“It would have been a ‘life saver’ to me, and such a help if someone, anyone, would have told me what my ‘difference’ was, while I was still a youngster.  It would have saved me from many neurosis and deep personality problems to be coped with after they were so deeply and well ingrained with me.  How wonderful if help and understanding could be carefully given at the very beginning.

“See”, he reiterated, “we do not become homosexual, but are born as such, exactly the same as any child who is born with any other ‘difference’.  We need help in order to know and cope with the difference and the sooner the better for all concerned.

“It was such an eye opener, surprise and consolation, to find I was not the only one, but was bitter for many a year, and although my parents loved me, there was no true understanding.  I forgive, but it’s such a common, almost routine relationship with parents and child, whether gay or lesbian, that most of us leave and escape from our childhood environment as soon as possible, to search and find understanding and solace with others who are also considered ‘different’. It was there that I received my first true education as to what kind of person I was and am.  Far too late for me to smoothly find a way to adapt and have a fulfilling life.”

But going back even further than the Bible was Sappho, an ancient poet who lived on the Isle of Lesbo, and wrote of love with both sexes and Lesbo, of course, became the root of the word Lesbian.

I also know of a two wonderful men who became very well known in both the academic and artistic life of western America.  They have most quietly been partners for decades and their fellow academics could not help but know, but  chose to silently ignore any ‘difference’ and center only upon their great intelligence and achievements.  The work and artistry created by this pair has been consistently quoted, referred to and exhibited in many ways and places.

It’s wonderful proof that our world is not all of judging and crippling people.  There is much love and acceptance around us, once we dare ‘take off our blinders’ and bravely, and with open minds, look over the walls.

Anyone who is seriously interested in the Biblical history of this phase of sexuality can turn to Google where the many references could take you days to explore, and many go far back before Biblical records. I make no claim on being an expert on this subject, except what has come into my life, but, I am on ‘first name’ basis with Google, and use it, just as most of us also do.

A Machine Named Ethel

I am in it, but not of it . . .

I’ve written often of who I’ve been, but now find it most important to find out who I’m in the Process of Becoming. and find that everyone, aware of it or not, is doing the same. I take this seriously and think back on Shakespeare’s so oft-quoted words: “To thine own self be true,” and wonder, just who and what is my True Self.

To begin with, we became what our parents and early teachers made of us. What else? But by the time we’re in our teen years, many of us find we don’t fit into their pattern but try to conform, guiltily thinking that to be different must be wrong.

The Process to find our own True Self is difficult for young people, but in some manner, (with me it was books), many of us find that we are not wrong, only ‘different’. And that’s alright. for if we’re uncomfortable with who we are, we, and no one else, has the power to change  or help us change to fulfill our inner dreams.

We have initially been formed into what others wanted us to be, but for a successful, happy maturity, we must ultimately learn to respect, accept and finally love our difference.  And to  find out who and what we do want to be..

I tell my journey. I was born one of five siblings, and different from all. I was pure Svenska, with white, straight hair, and surrounded by a dark curly- haired family. Mama must have felt God had made a mistake, but I would have fit smoothly into my paternal Swedish lineage, and thankfully, finally became mature enough to know I was not wrong, just had been born with my own Scandinavian genes.

Little by little, I learned I was not unique, and that there were many with my same physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual propensities. Needless to say, it was a deep relief to find I was not some odd, unique being and far from being the only one.

It was a blessing to me that from childhood I was a reader, and my father never once complained of the many trips to and from the Murray Library  that  I carelessly asked of him. It was an eye-opener to me, and shook me to my core, to find books explaining the thoughts and lives of thinking people from the different countries of the world.

There, but a mile from home, was where I found that I was not wrong, only different, and more important, held the power and shown the way to become the person I wanted to be.

Aware or not, we’re all Beings In Process, and I wish Teachers could let young students know that every second of the day, everyone is in the Process of Becoming a different person. And, of prime importance, it is everyone’s choice as to the kind of person they are becoming.

There is not a one of us who wouldn’t like to go back and live our lives over again, but with the wisdom we have gained along the way.  Not to be, I know, but when we reach the last decades of our lives, we don’t wish to be another  Einstein, but to have allowed our True Selves to meet and work with those who entered and continue to enter our lives.

So I ask myself. ‘Ethel, who are you now becoming?’  For none of us are through with the Process, which will continue until we enter The Next Room, where the machine, no longer needed, is discarded and Spirit, that ever-present inner Source, reveals Itself.

I think I’ve caught a glimpse of the Goal, and shiver as I know that if I allow and grow, we all will, in some Higher Next Room, become One With The Source of All. You know that, too?   And that we’ll someday meet each other There?   What a blessed Process.


 A few years ago I penned a small booklet I titled A Machine Called Ethel, and though I’d make changes in it to-day, the concept stays firm. I walk, talk and live in a ‘Machine’ called Ethel, but I Am not that machine. I use it, take care of it, could not continue in a physical body without it, but I am not it and it is not Me.   I think you’d like the book.

It’s under the Ethel’s Books tab if you would like a copy of ‘A Machine Called Ethel’.

Time To Think About Sex Again

Spring has officially sprung, (despite being under yesterday’s melting snow) so here is one of Ethel’s advice columns on how to make your garden grow . . .

I’ve written about Artificial Insemination before and have yet to be sued for malpractice or even threatened with a law suit. And so, here goes again. And my method is absolutely infallible. Time tested.

Of course, the fact that it happens to be Tomato Plants I tell about might be the reason for such indifference, but just the same, if you plant a few tomato plants in your back yard, and grow beautiful vines, but no tomatoes  develop, try my method. It works like a dream.

I blundered upon this solution one year when I bought 4 or 5 tomato plants which had small tomatoes already formed. They grew into beautiful red globes, but, though the bushes continued to blossom, there were no more tomatoes.

Yes, they were getting enough sun.  Yes, I watered them and yes, I cultivated and even fertilized the soil, but still no fruit.

What I had forgotten, oh foolish me, was that it ‘takes two to tango’, and for two of the same species to create another of their ilk, the rules must be followed.

Yeah, I knew about the birds and bees, the boys and girls, and even the fish in the sea. But tomatoes? Frankly, I hadn’t given  them a thought, and had to be reminded by one wiser than I, that if you have only one or two plants, spaced too far apart, they just can’t do what they’re supposed to be doing, and will remain sterile.

Just like a couple going on their honeymoon, but each going to a different Hotel.

So, with fewer than a dozen words, that maven, my wise-one, gave me the secret to backyard failures and backyard triumphs.  And now I am an agricultural specialist and pass the information along to you. Pay heed and you too, will become an expert.

Each day the gardener must stroll from one tomato plant to another with  a Q-tip in hand, and gently, gently. touch each blossom with the cotton tip and then go to the next blossom and do the same, with the same Q-tip. and repeat the soft touch. Spreading the good stuff around, don’t you see? Oh, and be sure to keep that same Q-tip to use every day, gently, and again and again and again.

It works and this spring your tomato blossoms won’t dry up and fall uselessly to the ground, but soon there will be a tiny tomato sitting there, needing only time to develop into one you will take to your table. Or eat right there and then.

I always thought such impregnation techniques had to be performed by highly trained people, wearing white sterile clothing, etc. etc. But this spring, knowing nothing about reproduction (well, hardly nothing) you will be doing that marvelous job as well as a pro.

My   mother and dad could have used the wisdom of my teacher, as I did. They had a beautiful cherry tree and each year that tree bloomed profusely, but nary even one cherry developed.   Years later I read that certain trees, cherries included, have both male and female trees, and at least one of each must be planted close to each other before pollination can occur.

At one time, in what was then a vacant yard, and now Bill and Nina’s home, I had a Pie Cherry tree side by side with a Bing Tree. And had more fruit than I could ever have eaten and gave most of it away. And there, with a male and female tree, it worked.

Every farmer knows that a few long rows of corn won’t produce, but the very same number of stalks, bunched cozily together, will produce ears and ears of corn. The wind, which is the pollinator for corn, whips the precious ‘stuff’ into the air, but if the stalks aren’t right handy, the vital ingredient drops uselessly to the ground.

Even for tomatoes, you gotta have togetherness for the ‘birds and bees’ thing to work naturally.   And so, this summer, if people see you . . . with Q-tip in hand . . . going from tomato plant to another tomato plant, they will know you’re doing your job of matchmaker.

No, you won’t be in a doctor’s white coat, or in a sterile laboratory, or have expensive equipment in hand, but this method works, and you will have tomatoes by the dozen. Sometimes I amaze myself at the folk-lore that someone learns, passes along, and we all eat better because of it.

Spring Time

Spring means different things to different people. Yes, it’s the interlude between winter and summer, but the memories it uncovers are wide and varied.

To me, it’s when the dreary winter-dull grass down on the Golf Course turns to bright green, and people, not just the walkers, begin to people its pathways.

My friend jumped at my question with, “Oh, Ethel, yellow baby chicks.  They mean it’s Spring and warm weather will be here in two blinks of our eyes.”  She told me that the fertile chicken eggs were kept in the house and carefully cosseted in warm shallow shelters, where watchful eyes could keep track of seeing the chick, from inside of the shell,  would keep pecking at the shell until it broke and they found their way out.  A miracle to the child my friend then was and still a miracle to anyone watching such wonders.

I hadn’t thought of animals as Spring,  but, of course, young animals mean Spring to most who grew up in rural areas, and so it was no surprise when Bob recalled running in their pasture and playing with baby lambs. He says the mother Ewe would watch, but wasn’t disturbed, for the newborn ones have to exercise. His Dad, didn’t let him run them too long or too hard, but says it was good for the lambs and for him. And to remember, too.

For Wayne, who grew up in Lethbridge, Canada, Spring meant the Chinooks. “Oh, Ethel, the Chinooks came and the bitter cold was over.  I recall one day when it was 25 degrees below zero, and I was bundled  from head to toe to get to school, but later that morning a Chinook came swooping down and when I went home that afternoon, I carried all those clothes in my arms, not on me.  Spring brought the Chinooks, and the Chinooks meant the end of bitter cold and warmth for us all.”

Bernice had nothing to do with green grass, baby chicks, or baby lambs, but, she remembered how our Mother, (she is my sister) would insist that we wear LONG cotton stockings all winter long, and how, when Spring came, on her way to school, and well out of Mom’s sight, she would unhook and roll those stocking down as far as possible so that all day long she walked around school with huge ‘do-nuts’ of rolled stocking around her ankles.  ‘Do-nuts’ that were carefully rolled back up and hooked (remember Panty Waists?) before Mom saw her.  Yeah, parental rebellion was Spring, too.

Nina saw herself  ‘helping’ her father Till the garden soil, as she walked behind him, barefoot, and enjoying the warmth of the just-Tilled soil against her bare feet and wiggling her toes within its warmth.  She had seen her Father put the dry fallen leaves on the garden spot before winter arrived, and now she saw those leaves as compost and being mixed with the good earth. Nina saw the ‘complete circle’ and you can’t get any better than that.

I will not forget one day when I saw that someone had scattered small pieces of bright orange paper over my back lawn, and as I tsk-tsk-ed over the ‘mess’, I  went out to clean up the trash.  But there was no trash, just the beauty of Crocuses (I know the plural is Croci, but I like the other) that Gram and I had planted, and now  had multiplied and spread over a large space.  They are gone now, for I belatedly found that Weed killer for dandelions is a killer of crocuses, too.  And I unwittingly did it.

My sons remember roaming the pasture (before it was for golf) and prowling  for frogs, toads, bumble bees, and turning over rocks to see the worms and bugs sheltered there while waiting for the warm sun to lure them out.  Everything came alive down there where, to the casual eye, there was naught but cows and horses.  Only kids would have the time and curiosity  see how much life really returned each Spring.

Deanna remembers how her whole family, aunts, uncles and cousins, would go out to the West Desert for a great big picnic, and she didn’t really know why, but only how great it was.

I think I know why.  One of her Uncles, Dominic and his kids, were Rock Hounds and that west desert was a bonanza for such hunting.  The Rocks were later polished and he made lovely pieces of art from them.  I have a beautiful Rock Clock, that he made from rocks, that maybe he found on a  ‘picnic’ day.  But it’s autographed by his daughter Joyce, and  hangs on my wall where visitors see and admire it. Rocks too, speak of  Spring.

Chicks, lambs, Rock Hunting, Crocuses, bare feet in newly tilled garden soil, long stocking rolled down to ankles, looking under rocks for bugs about to come forth, the Chinook winds,  lavender Hyacinths in full bloom with their heady aroma, all speak of Spring.  And maybe what reminds you of Spring is world’s apart from any of the above, but while you’re enjoying this 2017 Spring, take a moment to remember and enjoy again,  your childhood years.  They’re priceless.

It’s Not Just For Nails

Swiss Army Knife in a bottle . . .

A bottle of Nail Polish should be in every household ‘fix-it’ kit, and not for finger or toe nail decoration, either, and for a complete kit, make certain there is one of Clear polish and another of the Glow-In-The -Dark bottle. Dozens of uses

I use the Clear to protect a fingernail that has a surface roughness that nothing but growing out will eliminate. And it’s the answer, if you happen to have one of those fingernails that ‘ layers’, and not only looks bad, but are always catching on clothes, and forever forming another loose layer.   Keep it covered well with dull, colorless nail polish and let the nail grow out. Might take a month or two, but it’s worth the trouble.   And anyway, what other choice do we have?????

My husband was one handy man around the house and before he ever knew of colorless polish, he still kept a bottle of polish, on his shop bench, and any color I happened to have would do.   He didn’t care.

But when he was installing a screw into something, he would coat that screw liberally with the nail polish and then immediately tighten it into place and the screw would really be tight. And making double sure, he’d also paint the head of the screw .

When he became aware of colorless stuff, he would cover the heads of nails and screws on most everything he saw, for it keeps rust, dust and other kinds of stains away.

I once had a pair of metal ‘Salt-and-Pepper Shakers’ at my stove, but they often were left damp when I used them and in a day or two I’d find stains where they stood. But with one quick clean up and then with a coat of colorless nail polish on the bottom of the shakers, any staining was a thing of the past, and no one knew my trick.

If you have a measuring buckets or whatever for liquids used in your outside summer water buckets, mark inside of the bucket, the correct lines so you know when you’ve filled it to a pint, quart, or of whatever measure you need. It works, it lasts, and the time spent figuring where the lines should be, saves you hours of time all summer long.

The Clear polish will fill and hide the dents on the top of wooden furniture, and if you coat the brass handles and knobs around the house with the clear polish, they will never tarnish. Mix a bit of vinyl dust with the clear polish to repair any scratches on y our vinyl flooring. Nice.

My husband would have grabbed onto today’s Glow-In-The-Dark polish,  for it now spells the end of fumbling through the bed covers in the middle of the night, to find the Remote to turn Off the tv or music when sleep came and left the programs going on loud and forever.. I’ve also found that a few daubs on the edges, as well as painting the On and Off buttons are godsends. Betcha more bottles are sold for such purposes than for finger or toe nails.

Touch on the ends of a rope, string, or cord to keep them from raveling , as well the polih is great in mending small cuts or tears in window screens. No fooling, and the Glow polish is a wonder in helping you find the key hole in your car when it’s pitch dark outside, too
When the knobs on your dresser or cabinets become loose, dip the screws into clear polish before tightening them and the tightening will be good for a long time.

Never tried it myself, but was told to use acetone polish remover to repair burns on wooden furniture. Now, I think they were referring to hot ashes accidentally dropped from a burning cigarette, but of course, no one smokes any more, and so cancel that one.

All together, I think we’ve found more uses for Clear and for Glow in the Dark nail polish then the makers imagined. Or maybe they did and left it to us to find out. And we have, and we keep on doing so, too.

Hobbies Aren’t Just For Fun

They can be life-savers . . .

Took me a long time to finally understand and respect many of the words Gram would often so casually say to me.

But many of her thoughts have stayed with me, and oh how I wish she could know how her words, such as these I use today, have helped me.

“Ethel’ she said, “for a woman (and also for men) to be happy, they must find something, in addition to her home and family, that will bring joy into her life. And the more hobbies she (or they) have, the better off they’ll be.”

I listened, but really didn’t ‘hear’ her, for after all, I was still in that euphoric stage after marriage when you took for granted you’d live happily ever after. Impossible to think she could really mean that I might someday need anything more than my husband, her son, to   bring happiness to my life.

But I also knew Gram didn’t waste words, and so I filed her thoughts away into the ‘hard drive’ compartment of my mental computer (although such things had not even been dreamed of then) and when the day did come, and I found that ‘ family’ wasn’t enough, her words re-surfaced and I began to follow her advise. See, she had ‘been there and done that’ and was doing her best to pass the wisdom on to one she loved. Me.

Gram was not alone, for others have said the same thing. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, is the old peasant way of telling us the very same thing. And Pearl Buck, that wise, wise author of so many best-seller books, wrote that if a woman tries to confine all her energies, attention and love into the sole outlet of husband and family, she will put a burden upon that relationship that it was never meant to carry. And I remembered.

The husband or wife will retreat (escape) in true self-defense, to their own hobbies, to TV, reading, a garden, golf, or the neighborhood bar. Your children will stay in their rooms, ‘live’ at a friend’s home, retreat into silence or rebel in any of the thousands of ways a teen can find or devise.

And when I first attended some meeting or demonstration that held no interest whatever for my husband, I felt guilty, but went ahead with a friend , and was startled to find that he liked  those times when his presence or participation wasn’t needed, as well as I did.  And slowly I saw that he had his own interests that I didn’t care one whit about. And it was all to the good.

What Gram had learned, as we all must, if we are to gain any measure of happiness, is that not one of us can (or wants) to spend 24 hours a day with just one person. No matter how loved that one might be.

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

Women’s lives were woefully limited at Gram’s time, but I think that “Cooking”, and experimenting with different recipes was her first (or second) joy, and it utterly shattered her when Jake, one of her sons, ‘fell in love with cooking’ and so casually became ‘head’ of that domain. She simply could not believe it and I felt for her, but was helpless to change it back to ‘where it all had been’.  Straight to her.

Gardening was her second, (or first) hobby, and I never greet Spring without recalling her delight in ‘getting outside’ to dig and plant. And Gram is my companion as, each year, I spend my first days in my own garden.

I have hobbies, and if you haven’t found yours, get busy and scout around. My friend Beverly Wheeler Mastrim amazes me, for now in her 80’s, she is taking piano lessons. Her lifelong dedication to oil painting had been crippled when failing eye sight increased, and she recalled the joy her husband Ray Mastrim took from the piano and organ, and just like that, she is now doing the same thing. And urging me to do the same. And I’m thinking.

And one of Gram’s most succinct phrases of all, and as true today as when    she passed it along to me, “Ethel, remember, we marry for life, but not for twenty-four hours a day.”      In other words, that wise, wise woman, was telling us to get some hobbies, and I hope you read and remember.  Just might save your own  sanity one of these days.

Nothing New Under The Sun

Nothing Really New,  anyway . . .

In a world where change is ‘the thing’ and old customs and values are heedlessly tossed aside as worthless, it’s easy to find much to fret over and hard to find anything for solace. At such times it’s good to remember that even in the midst of the whirlpool of change, some things remain constant.

A newborn infant still clutches one’s fingers in the same tight clasp, bringing tears of wonder to the new mother, utter devotion from the father and deep thankfulness for the continuation of life to grandparents.

The first bicycle is still the most wonderful gift a six or seven year old can get, and will likely ride it with more pride and sense of adventure than they will ever again feel, too, for in this blase’  age the first car is often greeted with only an ‘it’s about time’ yawn.

Little girls still play with dolls and have parties where endless cups of punch are drunk along with endless dishes of dry cereal.

And . . . if you can force yourself to get out of bed by five or six any morning, you’ll see dawn come up over the Wasatch Mountains as it has for eons, and will continue to do so for more and more eons to come.   You’ll see its beauty light up the sleeping valley, feel that God is still in His heaven, and wonder why you’re too stupid or lazy to rise at that hour, and feel that rapture more often.

The pride of accomplishment one feels upon the completion of a hard job, well done, is still the same, also. For work that has taxed the mind, imagination and patience, once done, is so fulfilling that even the work and sweat that was required, is recalled with satisfaction.

The swift cut of despair when death touches your life is ever the same, and a letter, or email, from a loved one remains pure magic. It could be from a lover, husband, son, or daughter, from a missionary, service man or woman, student or grown child off on their own. it matters not, the letter is priceless and whether you share it with others or hold it close and ponder it in your heart, the emotion is universal.

The peace and up-welling of joy that enters the heart in moments of true prayer and meditation is ageless, giving you a breathing spell where one can shed the vagaries of life as unimportant and the timeless, important things can fill your very Soul

Children are still born  (the Pill notwithstanding) to be loved and guided to adulthood and their maturity is still met by parents with pride, sorrow, regret and bewilderment.

Pride to suddenly know that your child is capable of making his own decisions. Bewilderment because you suddenly realize that any advice and love they now give or ask of you, will be because you have earned that respect and not a right for you to demand unasked.   You feel sorry and regret that though this is the goal  you’ve worked so hard for, it’s a heartache to see it arrive.

Joy, pride, thankfulness, heartache, prayerfulness, these are the verities of life, the same yesterday, today and will be the same tomorrow.

In a world where all else is changing by the minute, some things, thank heavens, will never change. Amen.

What Was That You Said?

You surely know by now that I love quizzes, or odd questions.   Yeah, and you also know that when I get  ‘hooked’ then I’m going to try to drag you in on it . too.

So, come along. Read the next 37 thoughts and wonder, along with me, just who and when such ideas get put together. I think they’re all good.

1. Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.
2. I went to a bookstore and asked , “Where’s the Self-Help section?” and was answered, “If I told you, it would defeat the purpose.”
3. Atheism is a non-Prophet organization.
4. If a snail doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
5. If a Parsley farmer is sued, can they Garnish his wages?

6. The reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the ‘bad’ girls live.
7. Where do Forest Rangers go to ‘get away from it all?’
8. Would a Fly without wings be called a Walk?
9. If someone with multiple-personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
10. If man evolved from Monkeys, why do we still have Monkeys?

11.Do Infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
12. Why are hemorrhoids called “hemorrhoids’ instead of ‘Asteroids’?
13. Can an atheist get insurance against Acts of God??
14. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
15. If a deaf person swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?

16. Why do they put Braille on Drive-through ATM’s?
17. Why do we ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
18. Who do you call when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
19. Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid some on might clean them?
20. Isn’t it unnerving that doctors call what they do “Practice”?

21. Is it possible to be totally partial?
22. How much deeper would oceans be, if Sponges didn’t grow in them?
23. Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
24. Do Roman doctors refer to IV’s as 4’s?
25. Why do we put Suits in a Garment Bag, and put Garments in a Suitcase?

26. If ‘Con’ is the opposite of ‘Pro’, then, (be prepared to laugh) what is the opposite of Progress?
27. Why is it called a Hamburger when it’s made out of Beef?
28. Why is ‘Quite a few’, the same as ‘Quite a lot’?
29. Why do you Recite at a Play but you Play at a recital?
30. Why are Boxing Rings square?

31. Why are they called Apartments, when they’re all stuck together?
32. Why doesn’t Tarzan have a Beard?
33. What happens if you get Scared to Death, two times?
34. What is the speed of Dark?
35. Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

36. If an Orange is orange, why isn’t a lime called Green, and a lemon, a Yellow?
37.Why do you need a Driver’s License to buy liquor when you can’t Drink and Drive?

If you didn’t ‘catch’ them all the first time, go back and try again.   They’re all worth it. See ya next week. Ethel

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.