Monday, May 29, 2017

Coversations with Random People --Nineteen

We were camping at Mounds State Park last week and as is our custom, a fire was blazing in the fire pit as darkness crept onto the scene.  Several fellows were sitting around the fire chewing the fat, Elvin adding a log now and then.

Eventually the legs, mine, needed to be unkinked so I stood and walked a few steps away from the fire.  A young couple walked up with two little girls in tow.  I am saying the man and woman were thirty or mighty near it, one way or the other.  The kinder were nine and four.  I established that by taking a wild, and correct, guess to the age of the older one, explained that I had been an elementary school principal for many years.  The younger child extended her right hand toward me, thumb tucked, fingers upward.

The man had close-cropped sandy red hair and the genes that produced the coloration was passed to both his children, though being girls they wore their tresses quite long.  The young lady had on a red t-shirt on which was emblazoned the words "I am a programmer."  Thus I saw an opportunity to probe a bit.  "I see that you write code for a living, but I have no clue as to the role of the mister here."

"Yes," she replied. "I am a full-time programmer, and also I am adjunct professor at our college where I teach coding."

The husband spoke up then and said, "I am a stay-at-home dad.  I take care of the household, care for the kids, and I home-school Nadine.  We are thinking we may send her to school this fall when Rosemary starts kindergarten."

"That is very interesting.  Your arrangement seems to be working very well for you," a comment I made just before Nadine bumped her right arm against the fire ring.  Well, that necessitated a trip to the cold water source and mother took care of that.  They returned in a few minutes and the child bore a red mark along the wrist but she never wailed or whined.  While they were gone Dad and I chatted generally about their home in Columbus, Ohio and the circumstances which brought them to this particular park at this very time.

"Come on girls.  Bedtime now."  Then to me, "Nice talking with you.  Probably see you around tomorrow.  Goodnight."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Inspiration

Sadly, there will be no inspirational piece here today; nor will Bob Warr post sermon notes as no one here is going to church.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:

Well, we are staying home in the interest of everyone's health.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Four-letter Words: J and K

I so wanted "joy" to be a four-letter word, but alas, not so.  Thus I have chosen instead:

jars.

jars (v.t.)  That jars me to the very core of my being.

jars (n. plural)  Containers for the thing contained. (ha-ha)
  
 I chose jars as a happy word because it was the labor of my father in the gardens and the toil of my mother in the kitchen that put the produce in the jars.  We were then fed sumptuously over the long winter months.  Mama cleaned, pared, and "canned" the produce in jars which she processed, I think seven at a time, in a large pressure cooker.  She was terrified the whole time it was in use which was hours and hours over many long days.  She was afraid the thing might blow up.  It never did.  Mama died at age 83 and a few years later I saw the pressure cooker in the trash bin at the alley awaiting its final trip to the landfill.  
Ball Mason Canning Jar w/ Zinc Lid & Sealing Rubber

Man has been making and using jars for thousands of years.  Early jars, of course, were made of clay and perhaps even of stone prior to that.  We read in the Book of Genesis that Isaac said to the beautiful woman at the well, "Lower you jar and draw water that I might drink."  She replied that she would not only give him to drink, but his camels also.  What a woman! 

The material changes, but the purpose remains the same: storage and transportation of the thing contained.  Mother's canning jars were Mason jars, glass, and preserved their contents beautifully.  Jars still make me happy.  So long, that is, as the contents are satisfying.

*****

 "Every kiss begins with "k," says the jeweler's advertisement.  And mete it is that our word choice for "k" is

kiss.

Kiss is another multipurpose word.  It may be a verb used either with or without an object, or a noun.

We are thinking here in our choice of the word of an expression of affection.  Though we may also consider that our skill in getting the cue ball to kiss lightly the object ball or the cushion was never refined to the point I would have liked.

A kiss may also be a small piece of candy.  Also a sweet, if not so sweet as the sign of affection. 
 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May in Indiana


 What a pleasant sight it is to see the rigs of old friends gathered together again.

 Just sitting under the awning sucking in the warm spring air.

Parked beneath a tulip tree (yellow poplar).  The tree
shed several flowers, scattered them about.  Pretty.

And now having ended our first outing of the season, we are back home again.
Thank you, Lord, for your bountiful blessings.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Four-letter Words: I

It is too bad that the word "I" is not a four-letter word because it is almost everyone's favorite word.  But enough of self.  Here is today's "i" word:

iris.
 
Iris is my choice for several reasons.  First, the bearded iris, which we are beginning to see now here in Hometown, is one of my favorite flowers.  There are so many striking varieties in an entire palette of colors.  Yet even the lowly wild iris with yellow stands and brown falls is lovely to behold.  The typical lavender flower with falls and stands of the same color may be the blossom that springs to mind for most people since it is quite common.  In the yard of a previous residence we had 13 varieties of the bearded iris.

iris (n.)  The iris is a thin disc in the eye which controls the size of the pupil opening and thus the amount of light that reaches the retina.  The iris is that part of the eye that imparts eye-color so if the iris is brown we say, "She has brown eyes," and so on.  

Such an important element of our sense of sight deserves to be recognized.  My father literally made it a practice to note eye color and recognize people years later by that feature.

My wife says I have amazingly green eyes.  My driver's license says they are hazel. (Some "experts" on the topic say that "hazel" and "green" are two distinctly different eye colors.)  I am sure that we  have all noted eyes of many colors: brown, blue, hazel, green, grey, gold, and so on.  I think probably all eyes are either brown or blue in some variation, but what a variety!  My wife's eyes are a deep brown, you know, those eyes I fell into right away!  Yet she had a brother whose eyes were such a startlingly brilliant blue one could never forget them.  (Yet with today's technology, tinted contacts and such, who knows what color anyone's eyes might be.)

Green eyes





The term iris may also be applied to a rainbow or a rainbow-like appearance in an object.  Also Iris was a messenger of the gods in classical mythology. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Downtown Beautification


The Diana has its new adornment on the east wall.  Nearly complete, the "unveiling" ceremony was held Saturday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Good Old Golden Rule Days

Past these ivied walls
and through these hallowed halls

Two generations, three
 learned their "times" and ABC.

Now occupied by ghosts
and memories of hosts

of superannuated"boys" and "girls,"
and bats, and birds, and mice, and squirrels.

All good things give way
To better things in their day.




Madison Township, Tipton County, Indiana


Monday, May 15, 2017

Superman and the Pigeons

Travel has become one of those frenetic activities I no longer engage in, so I asked a stringer in Metropolis to seek out Superman, see how he's doing these days.

Jimmy, no not that Jimmy, found the old superhero on a park bench.  The red cape was tightly wrapped around his shoulders, sunny day but a bit brisk, you see.  The great man was feeding the pigeons flocking around his feet.  A big bronze-and-white bird swooped in for a landing, sailed over Superman's left shoe and dropped a bit of whitener right on the toe of the brogan.

"Drat!"

"Excuse me?"

"Not talking to you, Sonny."

"Would you talk to me if I told you I'm a news reporter looking for an update on our favorite hero?"

"Well, are you?"

Jimmy is not necessarily quick on his feet, nor in his processing, either.  He stammered a bit, then as though someone threw a switch the light came on. "Yes, sir.  I am."

"Whata ya wanna know?"

"Do you ever want to get back into the fray, so to speak?  Catch some bad guys?

"Nah.  Too many of them; catch one, five spring up to take his place.  Or hers."

"But what will become of us, then?"

"Don't ask me. Dozens, hundreds of doomsday scenarios out there.  Pick one."

"Do you feel as though your career has been an exercise in futility, then?"

"Pretty much.  Why don't you just write up whatever you want.  You seem to have all the answers, anyway."

"Sorry.  Just trying to get the story.  Have you any advice?"

"Yes, take the sunshine, feed the pigeons, wipe the kaka off my shoe, and hit the road."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers 2017



JoAnn, my BBBH, mother to these mothers, Shari and JoLynn

Friday, May 12, 2017

Four-letter Words: G and H

I have a good friend for whom his word of choice for "g" would no doubt be golf.  He plays golf, and as he gets older his nearly-sole tv entertainment is watching golf.  But my four-letter word for "g" is:

gala.

This is a happy word, evoking balloons, bright ribbons, and sunshine.  Maybe even pinatas and cake!  It is a festive word.  Of course it is, for a synonym might be "festival."  Or carnival, jubilee, party, jamboree, or celebration.  Are these not all happy words?

Merely selecting this jubilant word for your pleasure today makes me glad.  Enjoy. 

*****
With so many wonderful 4-letter words starting with "h" it is a difficult choice indeed.  Hero, head, hymn, hues, holy.  See how tough it is!

 But on to our "h" word:

ha-ha.

In written communication this word is often used to express mild amusement, imitative of the sound of laughter, or even a brief way to say "just kidding."  But that is not why I chose the word. 

ha-ha (n.)  A ha-ha is a vertical fence built into a depression to prohibit access to an area by animals or vehicles yet not obstructing the view from the elevation above the fence.   

 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Scotland-2016-West_Lothian-Hopetoun_House_02.jpg

The word in this particular construct has always amused me, so to speak.  Ha-ha.  I hope you like it. 

We would do well to erect a ha-ha or two in our lives to keep undesirable things at a distance, yet a wall that does not obstruct our view of life's beauty.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Superman Redux

This interview with Superman appeared in STSTT four years ago.  We are seeking a follow-up interview with the superannuated intrepid crime fighter.
 
Daily Planet

Last phone booth removed from Metropolis
Superman thwarted

Metropolis- The last remaining phone booth belonging to RD&D (Ring a Ding and Ding) Telecom Corporation has been taken away by its purchaser, I.D. Ott, the well-known collector of memorabilia from the mid- to late twentieth century.

As we all know, the phone booth was a crucial aid to Superman in his relentless fight against crime in the City.  He now has no place to change while maintaining his anonymity.  We caught up with Superman recently as he sat nursing a nourishing drink at Sourduck's Health Bar on Third Avenue.

Planet:  Superman, we have noted a decrease in your activity recently.  Surely this is not due to a drop in crime?

Superman: No, unfortunately.  But remember, I started leaping tall buildings of Metropolis three-quarters of a century ago.  I like to think I am not in my dotage, but I'm not so young as I once was, and a twelve-story building taxes me these days.

P:  What about flying?  Are you still able to pursue the bad guys by swift flight?

S:  Flying is for the birds.  Besides, I have rather lost my enthusiasm for crime fighting since Lex Luthor died.  One just naturally needs a nemesis to keep him focused, to keep him in the air, so to speak.

P:  Do you consider yourself retired, then?

S:  I've been drawing Social Security since 1981, and with some good IRAs I built up over the years, I really don't need the work.

P:  I am sure the Metropolitans will miss you and your exploits.

S:  Well, they can get their thrills from TV reality shows; or better, by simply being out and about.  Crime is so rampant these days one can hardly miss being in the middle of it.  Catch your own crook.

And there you have it as Superman finally flies, er, ah, strolls off into the sunset.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How strict complementarians

get it wrong.

In the strictest sense the complementarian holds that a woman may not hold authority over a man, nor can she presume to teach him.

Who was  your first and probably most influential teacher who held almost complete authority over you?

Case closed. 

[Remember your mother.  This coming Sunday is Mothers' Day.]

Monday, May 8, 2017

Are you kidding me?

Okay, I'm ticked.

We are ticked.

One of the daughters stopped in for a visit and we are grateful for that.

But.

During the course of the evening she casually mentioned that we should consider moving into assisted living quarters.  "This place is just too much for you," she said.

Oops.

Okay, so the vacuum cleaner has not been run in over a week, the layer of dust on the horizontal surfaces is less than an inch thick, and the cob webs sparkle in the light hither and thither.

But.

The lawn is mowed and edged, the gutters are clean, and from the outside no one can see what is inside.

And.

Darn few people ring our doorbell.

Actually, the woman may be right.  But please allow us a few moments of disgruntlement.  I mean, we thought she would be the one that would want us to move into her home when we reached our dotage.

(While the above is true, I share it in fun.  No one is mad at anyone.  I think.)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Four-letter Words: E and F

This is a plural noun the singular for which has only three letters, but these come in pairs to humankind, so this is fair:

eyes.

These precious orbs are our windows onto the world, and they have been said to be the windows of the soul.  Perhaps two-way:  we look out, and to an extent others may look in.  What do your loved ones see when they look into your eyes?

To prioritize the value of the senses is inappropriate, I think, as we should rightfully appreciate and respect them all.  Yet it seems to me that sight is precious beyond my ability to express my appreciation for it.  And I do know that multitudes of people who have not the use of this sense have lived full lives and have accomplished much.

I am personally grateful to the medical/surgical community, for my sight has been maintained by multiple surgeries, at least six.  Thanks be to these dedicated physicians, and to the Lord who endowed them with the talent and the drive which placed them in their roles. 

The second word for today is:

fair.
  What a word!  It may be an adjective, an adverb, a verb, or even a noun.

Unfortunately the use I most often hear is an adjectival usage in which the speaker exclaims, "That's not fair!"  Depending upon the speaker and the circumstances I am likely to remark, "Fair is where the 4-H kids go to show their pigs."

It is certainly meet and right, fair, so to speak, to hope for justice.  But often it is the case that life is not "fair."  Thus we must call upon our resolve to do the right thing, regardless of the injustice.  And though it is not a four-letter word, "justice" gets bandied about in strange ways, I think.  For example, in the case of a loss of life due to murder, we often say we want to catch the culprit to "get justice for the victim."  What we really mean is, "We want revenge and the assurance the killer won't strike again," for there is no justice in the case of an unwarranted loss of life.