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.


Valentine’s Day: Eros, meet Agape

That most tender of emotions . . .

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

All for Love? So what is love? It’s not food for the hungry, or drink for the thirsty. It will not knit the broken bone or give rest to the overworked. It isn’t a drug for the suffering . . . and yet . . . today, right now, there are people giving up their hold on life and slowly dying for the lack of it.

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

Love is the magic that changes homes for the aged from dull, lifeless places where, so often, men and women sit silently and dully in empty rooms, waiting for their lives to pass. Yes, love changes them into homes. (no more affluent) of quiet activity, alert eyes, contentment and days that are lived. Not just endured.

Love, Every civilization, culture, people or tribe from earliest times until now, have recognized its strength and made rules and provisions for it. Oddly, too, the more ‘un-modern’ the culture, the better their overall concept of love has been.

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

Yes, and there’s the often forgotten taken-for-granted, love of the parish priest or local bishop for their flock. Only those close by could know of the countless hours that are cheerfully, thankfully given.  Hours whose very numbers make the task seem impossible.   And it would be, too, if it weren’t for love.

No, love is not actually food for the hungry or drink for the thirsty. It cannot be put under a microscope, analyzed and then prescribed for a broken body or diseased mind. But yet . . .

It is both food and drink for BOTH body and Soul. It is rest for the overburdened and new energy to the sorrowing. the bored and the listless. It has given more peace than all the tranquilizers ever made, and brought a shine and glow to tired eyes and faces. It is the magic medicine that every doctor in the world wishes he could patent, bottle and prescribe for his patients.

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

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


May The Force Be With You

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

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

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

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

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

Think how long it must have taken sailors, and later pilots, to learn to circle a storm by flying to its right, (going with the wind, instead of to the left which would be against it.) Pilots trained south of the equator are naturally taught the opposite and it is one of the basics any flyer must quickly learn if they go into the ‘other’ side of the globe.

This phenomenon was the cause of many a fatal accident in the maelstrom of WW II air fighting before these basic Laws of the Universe were discovered and made known.

Of course, you probably know more about this force than I do, but still in my elementary way, I plod along. And if it is new to you, that basic power is called Coriolis. Read on and see what it means.

Your vines grow counter clockwise and it is ‘right’ for them to do so and your efforts in trying to change them is useless. The water swirling down the drains from a full bathtub, sink and our toilets all agree.  And watch your dogs and see how they observe the identical rule as they circle to ‘make their bed.’  Dancers as they pirouette, roulette tables, eddies in a stream, the trade winds and the Gulf Stream pouring its pathway across the Atlantic, all obey this planetary law.

It comes, as you may know or guess, from the force made by the earth turning beneath us. We shoot a man to the moon, but we don’t aim where the moon is when the shot is made. No, men who understand this force to its ultimate (?) strength, take care to aim the capsule to where the moon will be, in relation to the earth, when the arrival time is scheduled.

During World War I, records tell us the Germans knew, but didn’t understand  this law, but they knew enough, when shooting  their “Big Bertha” cannon, only 70 miles to Paris, their goal, they aimed it a mile to the left to correct for the distance the world would turn in that short three minute time lag.

And a rocket fired to New York from the North Pole, unless adjustments made would land near Chicago after an hour’s flight. For in that hour, the earth’s turning would put the Windy City exactly where the Big Apple was. And we don’t even know or feel that we’re buzzing through space.

It is why an airplane flying east (moving faster than the earth) is lighter than the same plane going west; why a pendulum clock, taken to a northern country runs fast and it is the secret (but don’t ask me why) of the gyroscopic compass.

People at the time of the Mayflower knew the trip to the New World would be faster than the return to the Mother Country and adjusted their provisions that way.  I doubt if they knew why, but know they did, and careful plans were made to provide the amounts of food and water.  More needed one way and less the other, giving them more space for Cargo and other commercial products.

Coriolis…a new word? It was to me, but I read lots of stuff and found that while the word people invented to describe it, was once new, the force it tells of has been with us since God created heaven and earth and while you can’t rise in the sky to feel the constant trade winds, can’t see the adjustment made on a moon flight, or can’t travel south of the equator to test it out, you can still see its force.

Watch your Morning Glories twist and turn. Watch your bath water going down the drain, ask any air pilot. Coriolis, unseen, unfelt, mysterious, but oh so real.

And I have no doubt that some smart men and women are, or have already, studied to figure out how it affects you and me in our daily lives.  The way we walk? Our car’s miles-per-gallon of gas?  I’m smart (?) enough to know that if it affects the birds, animals and vines, why should we be ignored?

The name is used for the dozens of products on sale that ‘guarantee’ to straighten and reverse the natural curl found in some human hair.

Coriolis. Know it or not, or even give a dang about it, it’s here, and always has been and always will be.  Next time you take a bath, take time to wait a moment and just try to change how the water goes down the drain.  Good luck.

You Can’t Take God Out Of History

Thousands of people have and are trying to take God out of History, but it won’t work. And on January 20. 2017, at the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th United States President, that sacred name was used reverently, over and over doing all 48  hours of that unique span of time, and from both sides ‘of the aisle’, TYG.

Those who know me even slightly know I am not a religious person, but those same people know also that I am a deeply spiritual  person.

Most of us skirt around the name of the Deity, and MCs at most public ceremonies are uncomfortable, not knowing whether to pray or not to pray and I can’t blame them, when we find the subject matter given on some of the programs they are asked to present.

In ‘olden’ times, it was accepted that we give thanks to some Higher Force at Public meetings and inasmuch as most were Christian, the name of God was used, and our coins still say, “In God We Trust”.

What we do in private is our own business, but publicly it has become another story, and with the name God beginning to be removed, our history books are changing and showing signs of becoming nothing but ‘once-upon-a-time’ tales.

If we go back and scan our history books, however, we’ll find that every battle, war, Crusade, or tale coming from both, or any side, claim their instructions, and motives for war, were received from their God. And the names cited were many and varied.

So, if the name of God, the driving Force,  is removed from print, within a generation people would not learn of the Pilgrims, Amish, Quakers, Mormons, or such. Thanksgiving would naturally, and nationally, more and more  become Football Day, and Christmas no more than Rudolph and Santa.

The Crusades of the Middle Ages would have to be left out of our books entirely, for although they spanned several centuries, . . . every Crusade, even the Children’s,  were fought to take The Holy Land from the power of the infidels, who called their God, Allah.   And you can’t relate even history without mentioning the main Character, which, era after era, time after time, area after area, has been God.

The Koran, re-written with each   new conqueror,  has, at times, been almost decimated and scholars of old manuscripts would have to go back to their ‘beginning’ when the Angel Gabriel ‘gave’ the words to Mohammed. And, unless such a group could be found, and given that freedom, the result would remain as it is today, in the hands of the World’s  strongest Economic Power.

Without God, Utah’s Pioneer beginnings would be lost, for history would simply say that thousands of people traveled west, and groups would stop at different places to make homes.  Our Twenty-Fourth of July celebration, would, more swiftly than ever, become a larger and fancier rodeo.

Not mention God in history books?? How then could anyone explain the Dark Ages when those daring to differ with prevailing beliefs were ‘tortured and burned at the stake?  Joan Of Arc would be even more forgotten,  and who would dare tell of the Wise Men who outlived Christian enemies and so were able to keep our Bible pure(?) for you and me.

How can the plundering of towns, cathedrals, cities, and Jewish Pogroms be explained without mentioning the name of God? How can we tell of missionaries who went into the wildernesses becoming the very first outposts of civilization with their staffs and Bibles.

How can literature be studied without referring to the most powerful books in the World?? The Holy Bible, The Koran, the Bahgavad Gita and China’s  Book of Changes? They all tell of that   Unknowable Force, calling it by such names as God, Jehovah, Providence. Allah. IT. Brahma, Old Heaven, All Our Relations, The Lord God, The Unknowable, or as our scientists euphemistically say, The Unknown Factor.

But. by whatever name you know IT by, you should also know that there are those who are attempting to make laws to prohibit any mention of God in schools, school books, TV, history and certainly not in public meetings.

Take that Imponderable out of our history books and how can our children know about the Amish, Quakers, Mormons, Jews, Muslims . . . or, finally how are they to know of our Pledge of Allegiance and             join in singing our National Anthem? It came home to me forcefully back in the 1990’s, at a National Press Meeting, where, in their effort not to offend anyone, or to break any law, the Prayer was nothing but a hooshmi of words, and when it was over we all looked at each other as if to say, “Is this where our laws have taken us?”

Use whatever name you will, but the history of the world cannot be written unless the Cause, or the ‘why’ of it all is given. Our scientists euphemistically have called it, the Unknowable and, Einstein, who gave us so much of our basic, essential Knowledge, called IT Pure Essence. I call IT God.    And while respectfully recognizing all the others, still stick to my beginnings, and  never even think of any other Name when I think of My Diety.         And so, TYG.  with naught but reverence from Ethel.