Sadness in Heaven and Earth

This week I attended a pathos-filled event at our school. Hardly anyone was aware of its unfolding. In fact, I only had about a 2 hour notice to get ready for it. Only a few of our faculty attended, because it took place during school hours.

The 15 year-old grand daughter of one of our part-time maintenance personnel gave birth at 7 months to a stillborn baby earlier this week and its internment was in the little half-acre cemetery on the school property.

The death of anyone brings tears to my old eyes, but the death of a little one whose smiles have not graced the light of day is especially gut-wrenching. This little one will not, in this lifetime, be able to take its first steps, or bring laughter to its parents. He will not be able to make his parents proud with his progression into adulthood. The world will be lacking the God-given skills and talent that this man-in-the-making would have been contributing.

I mourned as his parents knelt at the open grave and grieved, I could do no other. May God bring peace to the parents and extended family as they continue to mourn this great loss. By seeking God’s salvation they have the promise of seeing this child alive again. God Bless!

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Blast From The Past – part 2

Aug 12, 2017

 

One of the items that Made its way down to AZ after our Summer trip was a 1963 Edition of a Reader published by Houghton Mifflin. It was first published in 1949. Reading it again brought back so many memories from my early years in school.
Back in the day, our little three room school used the Dick and Jane readers by Scott Foresman. It is also true that I was not always the compliant, model student. Because of that wayward gene in my DNA, I was often banished to the janitor’s room in an effort to gain my complacency.

These episodes sometimes lasted for an hour or so. But fear not, my teacher was never cruel… he just wanted me out of his sight until he could regain self control. To me it was a blessing, for in that 6’ x 8’ room with shelves to the ceiling, I discovered all the Teacher’s Editions. Of course my favorites were the reading books. Not just for the readers currently in use, but those that were not used.

One of the things that irked me in the upper grades was the fact that about one fourth of our reading books had been physically cut out. No one seemed to know what was taken out…. but after so many hours in that storeroom, I, little scrawny, Donnybud, knew what was missing! It was a world of make believe. Fairy Tales, Myths and all sorts of forbidden knowledge was missing. I lapped up these stories like a kitten who is all over a saucer of warm milk.

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You see, in our little church related school, if it wasn’t “true,” then we had no business reading it, no matter how moral the stories were. Which didn’t make a lot of sense to me… then or now. After all, were the stories of Dick and Jane, or as with the Primer in my hands, Jack and Janet, any more “true” than the Fairy Tales that we couldn’t read in the upper grades?

Anyway, putting that aside, it strikes me now rather oddly why none of the books were titled Janet and Jack or Jane and Dick. Why were the boys listed first in BOTH book titles?

Another observation. It seems that air-headed blonds are portrayed that way from a very young age, as in the little sister of Jack and Janet. The book opens with Mother looking for Janet to send to the store for some milk. She sees Penny first and asks her to find Janet and give her the short grocery list of milk.

Penny can’t find her sister, so she decides to go to the store on her own. Handing the list to the store clerk in a store the likes of which you’ve never seen, he gets the milk for her. The family must have an account at the store for there is no exchange of money.

On the way home she gets distracted, typical blonde, lays down the milk and her doll to console her kitten named Mitten. They set off for home with Penny forgetting to pick up her doll and the milk. Then on page 17 we find Mother, dressed with her petticoat on the outside of her dress, meeting Penny at the door and asking, Where is the milk?”

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At this point, Penny, who is wondering where on earth the milk could have left her possession, looks around and spots Janet, her raven-haired smart sister coming up the sidewalk carrying her doll and the missing milk.

On page 79 begins a strange story of make-believe wherein Penny tries to convince the rest of her family that she is a rabbit. She manages to get out of doing some simple chores. She even refuses to help Daddy bring the groceries in out of the car.

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So, Daddy gets a big wooden box to make her a bed outside on the porch while Mother brings her a carrot for supper. On page 95 we learn the truth. It’s not really much fun to be a pretend rabbit.

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One day Mother makes a batch off cookies, but they start disappearing before Penny gets hers. They argue in that stilted, limited, Primer vocabulary about who might be taking the cookies. So, without using the actual words, they set a trap to find out if it was Tip or Mitten the kitten who is the thief. On page 112 we find that it was NOT Tip!

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When it is time for Jack’s birthday celebration, we find the sexual stereotypes of the 1940’s and 50’s. We learned that there are toys that are just for boys and toys just for girls. Twenty-eight pages are devoted to finding just the right gift… one that is for a boy, not one that the girls would like. Then Jack and his male friends end up loosing the box kite that Janet has purchased for him. It was found by Janet and her friend, Dot. They succeed in launching the kite with just the short broken string that is attached… without using those words.

Daddy, who is WALKING home from work, catches them with the kite. The girls explain that the kite string is broken, but they would like to try flying it. Daddy, being the good guy that he is, despite the fact that he is wearing a fedora, gets some string for the girls.

Daddy, on page 162, removes his fedora in shame, wondering just what kind of girls he is raising when they insist on showing the boys how to successfully fly a boys kite.

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The girls explain to the guys that, since the box kite got away from them and the girls got it flying, it is now theirs to keep.

Come on girls!

Come on authors!

It’s REALLY OK to take back a gift that you’ve given someone just because they lost it? And why is it OK to be playing with a boy’s toy when just a few pages before you were teaching us that there are toys just for boys and toys just for girls?

When my grand children were small there were books like Ted Has Two Mommies, and people complained that the schools were changing the mores of the next generation. They most certainly were and are, but was instilling the myth that mothers stayed at home cleaning, baking and wearing an apron, while father walked to and from work carrying a newspaper and wearing a suit and fedora any better?

The play and toys of boys and girls were so well defined back then! It wasn’t that many years later that women were astronauts, scientists, doctors and mathematicians. Hardly any mothers today do only housework. Most work outside the home and still find time to bear children and pay someone else to raise them.

I don’t know, maybe the Primers back-in-the-day, were more a snippet of how it was, rather than teaching what life should be like. Has life changed so dramatically because of what we read as a child? Or did we change, so our reading evolved with us?

Were we really not that good at learning the things that were so subtlety taught while we were learning to navigate the printed word?

I will soon publish a link to the entire book so that you can review 151 new words of your very own Primer vocabulary and enjoy the trip down Memory Lane in its entirety.

What do you think? Comment below.

Home At Last!

29 July 2017

 

Aw-w-w-w! Nothing beats stretching out in your own crib!
That is NOT to say that we didn’t have a good time this Summer, but it still involved living in the home of someone else.

Upon our arrival in Flagstaff Wednesday, we found a camping place in the Coconino National Forest about 4 miles from the Orthopedic surgery Center to park the RV. We were no more than barely set up when it began to sprinkle, then shower, then a full-blown thunderstorm. Jolie got her “Merry Meds” to calm her anxiety and promptly went to sleep.

Thursday, mid-morning, Evelyn met with the doctor for the pre-surgical interview for removing some hardware bracing that was left in her leg during an ankle replacement about a year ago. Friday morning the deed was done.

My Honey’s Hardware

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While in WA I attempted to interest some of my grand kids in Geocaching, but they never really got into it even though we made several successful finds.

Stops along the way yielded three Geocaching finds to add to the ones that I located while in Washington.

 

One was a “virtual cache,”

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one was in a stump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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and one was dangling from a tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At our camp near Flagstaff I tried to befriend a family of chipmunks, but they mostly just took my proffered crackers and ran.

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In one of my previous blogs I showed several examples of Nursery Logs, those rotting logs that provide nutrients for other plant life.

NurseryTree 1Here is one example from Oakridge, Oregon.

 

At our camp in Flagstaff I found a rather unique example of a Nursery Log, and I couldn’t resist showing it.

Someone had dumped several pounds of dry Pinto beans onto a rotting log where the Monsoon rains soaked them to life and they are growing and taking root.

Our 100 lb. baby (Jolie) had a good time with her brothers, but even she was happy to be home. As we approached the city limits of Holbrook, Jolie began to take serious notice of her surroundings. When we got to the place where she takes her daily run, she REALLY got excited and we could hardly keep her in the truck. As soon as we got tho the house she was ready to make her rounds of the yard checking, it seems, to see if everything in her kingdom was still there.

Tomorrow is unpacking day. Wish me luck and sustained strength.

Loaded Truck

 

 

 

 

Almost Home

July 26, 2017

After spending a relaxing evening in Las Vegas yesterday, we awoke this morning to the curious taste of a new granola. This one contains no grains! …. mostly just nuts and honey.

However for a guy that is hooked on HoneyNut Cheerios and Honey Bunches of Oats, I didn’t think that the makers of this granola were standing close enough to the honey pot! One half of a peach sliced over it helped with the flavor. Be warned, it takes a lot of chewing to get it down.

 

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Finding a nice place to set up camp in the Coconino National Forest, about 4 miles out of Flagstaff, we got ready to kiss this Wednesday goodbye.

 

 

 

 

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We discovered a little trail and set off to see what we could see. Both Jolie and Evelyn were eager the stretch their limbs after nearly 6 hours on the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Found these two hikers tagging along in the sunbeams keeping us company.

 

 

 

 

 

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Couldn’t resist bringing home this towering thunderhead in a blue sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow a doctor’s appointment followed on Friday by a minor surgery on Evelyn’s ankle. Saturday, a day of rest so she can recuperate and the final 90 miles will get us home to Holbrook and a “normal” life at hissda.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Chautauqua Reflections

Lake Chautauqua Reflections
July 19, 2017

We have spent the first night ensconced in our “Family ’n Friends compound,” composed of three consecutive RV campsites on the grounds of the Oregon Conference SDA Conference Center at Gladstone, Or. Meetings don’t start until tomorrow evening, but already this part of the RV park is half full.

 

The Lake in its morning glory.

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Six brothers and sisters of the feather flocked through camp this morningChautauquaReflections  12b.jpegFamily_Friends Compound-b.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Family and Friends Compound

 

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Ducks Breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday morning, this week, I read the last posts on my Facebook page (making only a few Comments) and deleted my account. With my announcement the week before of its imminent demise, on my FB page, I promised to keep my word, unless I was dead, unlike those who promised to leave the USA if Trump was elected President, I’ve kept my word. But I understand that it may take up to 14 days for them to snoop out all my posts and information in order to delete it, so be patient I AM on my way out.

It’s been a good run. I’ve enjoy every minute, and hours upon hours, of our “visiting” on that venue.
Some of my Facebook “Friends” were relatives, some have been face-to-face friends in real life, some of you I have never met. Those in the latter category, I think that I would LIKE to meet you one day.
I am also limiting the use of the phone that is smarter than I am. Phone calls and text messages will be answered at my convenience… usually after Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. I’m tired of being a Smartphone Zombie.
Email will take a few months longer to untangle, but for almost 200 years the postal service, paper, pen and ink has served our nation well. OK, I’ll probably use my computer as a word processor before dropping the missive in the mailbox. I’m taking that step so that I can more easily keep a copy of all my correspondence. Besides, I need to hone my handwriting skills or my recipients will not be able to read what I’ve written.. lol
My wife, Evelyn has pointed out that by Blogging, “You’re still on the internet, still being social, so what’s the big deal about not being on Facebook? You’ll be back soon as Jolie or some other fictional character.”
Perhaps but certainly not “soon.” If I can hold out long enough, I’ll be dead of old age… then what’s the point of being a “Friend” on Facebook?…. unless I join as a Zombie???
BTW, we are missing the Monsoon weather going on in south-central AZ in favor of more moderate (70-85F) !

 

Haunted Valley, WA

 

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July 14, 2017
Haunted Valley, WA
Our window with a view

 

This has been the view from our second-story window every morning this summer. There have been interesting variations, of course, but it has been basically the same. Sometimes it is clear. Some days the fog lies between us and the nearest trees.

It is with a bit of sadness that we will forever take leave of this fair view. Only four more mornings to enjoy this view … Two next week and one the following week. I say “forever take leave” because we will be leaving for Arizona in ten days. In August our youngest daughter will be selling this 20 acre paradise that we have called our summer home for so many years.

She bought this place in the early 2000’s and in 2008 they built this beautiful large house overlooking the Yacolt valley. We placed a modular home at one corner of the land and lived here for several years, until my wife, Evelyn, retired in 2010. Then we hit the road in a used motorhome, touching bases here at least once per year ever since.

Despite the usual rains, which have been noticeably lacking this Summer, I will miss this view. One never knows the multiple colors of “green” until living in the Southwest Washington countryside. There are the yellow-greens of the sunny Vine Maples to the black-greens of the shaded Douglas Firs and thousands in between.

Our Hidden Valley has water falls …

 

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…and trickles.

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There are magical rings of iron …

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….  ginormous trees …

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…and cool places to hike.

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The Lord willing, I’ll live long enough to see other beauty spots in this area next Summer.