Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Big Miami Reserve Marker in Our Yard

[I wrote the following account in July, 2005 and it is presented here modified only to the extent that names and addresses have been masked. The described line as surveyed in 2005 passes through our bedroom and exits our property approximately twenty yards behind the house.]
Imagine my excitement when, on a Monday, I saw that a little red flag had sprouted in the front yard and the BBBH said, I bet it’s the Indian Reserve Line marker. A little later, we received a phone call from the planning office telling us that the surveyor had placed the marker in our yard and that we should check to see that we were satisfied with the placement, as on Wednesday the sign would be erected.
Wednesday, I peeked out several times, and finally late in the afternoon I observed that a little white flag had been placed directly beside the red one. A closer look revealed that a little circle of silver paint had been sprayed on the lawn at the base of the flagsticks. On Thursday, the water company came by and marked the location of the feed for the hydrant in our front yard. Friday, the sewer company dropped by and marked the spot where the storm drain lies. Still no sign. Saturday afternoon (who knew anyone worked on Saturdays these days?) the gas company sent a worker to mark the location of a nearby gas line. Yellow paint and two yellow flags on white flagsticks. We now have two yellow flags, a red one, a white one, a painted silver spot, blue paint marking the water, green paint for the storm drain, and of course, the yellow paint for the gas line. Very colorful, but no “Historical Marker”! You see, these things are not done in a careless or precipitous fashion. Oh, and the next Monday, the Cable Guy painted two long orange stripes through our yard. Tuesday we left for a short trip, and when we returned Thursday afternoon the marker had been placed.

My involvement in this whole thing started over a year ago when, for whatever reason I may have had at the time, I got to musing about the stone placed across the street from our house. I was aware that the Miami Reserve line passed through town and I knew where the New Purchase boundary line was marked on the highway. Also, I had been told many years ago by someone that the stone in a front yard on Green Street lay on the line. Somewhere I had acquired the information that the line ran at a 79 degree angle to the cardinal points of the compass. So with a map of Tipton and a protractor, I was able to estimate that the line should pass through my property. I later learned by researching more carefully that the angle was 79 degrees, 51 minutes, or nearly eighty degrees. Hence the first little paint spot I put in my driveway had to be relocated by a few feet, but still lay in the driveway. Also, I got the old 1927 city plat map at the library and found just a two-block portion of the line seemed to be marked on the map. By extending it with a straightedge, I found the same results and concluded that the stone, whether or not placed there as a marker (I still don’t know if it was or not) did in fact lie on the Reserve line. The surveyor’s results show that the south edge of the boulder lies on the line, and hence the rock is entirely within the Reserve.

My next step in the process was to take a bicycle tour through town, starting at the New Purchase Marker (you may note that the fence line along the south end of the church property follows the boundary line surveyed nearly two hundred years ago.) With that as a beginning point, I looked for stones along the “guesstimated” line to the west. I found one near an alley in Sycamore street, but thought it not likely to be a true marker. However, in the 300 block of Oak Street there is a stone hard by a front stoop which almost certainly has to lie on or very close to the line. I located another stone on Douglas Street, which the later survey showed to be too far to the south. The line crosses just south of the city waterworks on, though there is no marker evident. On Main Street, there is a stone in a front yard which has a plaque on it stating that it is an original marker stone for the Reserve line. I was subsequently told that that plaque was placed by the Historical Society in the early eighties. I found a stone in the alley near Conde Street, but again it was probably placed there as d├ęcor or to keep cars out of someone’s yard. The next stone lies in the front yard of the Green Street home which I mentioned above, and the surveyor’s mark verifies that it is on the boundary.

Satisfied that I had learned what I set out to discover, I thought little about it until, a few weeks later, after a meeting I overheard a conversation about the Reserve Line. I interjected that I had done the stuff described above, and I was then told of the signage project underway to preserve this piece of history for posterity. I signed on as one desiring to place a sign if my property proved to be qualified; and I passed on a little chart on which I had marked the stones that I thought were on the line.

Thus one could conclude “and the rest is history.” However, I have since done a bit more research, as my interest was piqued by the whole project. I learned that the surveyors Allen and Benton, who did the original layout of the Reserve had an exciting time of it, and that the task required two trips to Indiana due to confrontations with the Indians; I learned that the line that passes through town was drawn to be parallel to the Wabash River which forms the north boundary of the Reserve. By 1842, the Indians had ceded all their property, except for some individual homesteads, to the whites, and were relocated to Kansas and later to Indian Territory (Oklahoma).

A fascinating account of this was written by Carl Leiter, and may be accessed, along with much additional information, at the website of the Kokomo Public Library.

Project Possible!

This is the same cherry tree I showed you two weeks ago today. [Memory and History]

There's just something about snow. Yeah, it's white, cold, and wet.

We started the Christmas Season at church today! We sang "Angels We Have Heard on High," "O, Come All Ye Faithful" and "O Come Let Us Adore Him."

Some congregations practice a more liturgical tradition and would not sing these this early in the season, but it works for us. Especially in view of the fact that Pastor Doug started this season with my favorite rendition of the Christmas story, namely as told in the Gospel according to John 1:1 - 18. Before he began his sermon, I jotted the following paragraph on my bulletin: The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. He laid down His life and died in the flesh for us. Yet the flesh arose again unto life that we might arise in the flesh to Eternal Life in Him.
Sermon points.
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. The Cosmic Supreme Being is a mystery. Logos, the Word = thing, event, action. You were in God's mind from the beginning (v. 1) thus He knows you today, inside and out.
Christmas is the result of God's knowing all about you. That you need a Savior. That you cannot save yourself. Morality and ethics always fall short of salvation. Only faith in the Christ will save you.
God is the source of your life. (v.4) The life that God gives us is light. (v.5) God is Light. We don't understand God, but He wants us to walk with Him. He then helps us to understand Him. The light that shines into your life at conversion begins to move, and you must follow. The fullness of His grace is available to you. It is a privilege to be a child of God. We are all creatures made by God, but we are not all children of God. Those who believe in His name have the right to become the Children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. (v.12)
One of the greatest verses in the Bible, John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
When we believe we have access to the fullness of His grace. (v.16, 17)
And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. From the fullness of His grace we have received one gift after another.
All things are possible!

Friday, November 28, 2008


that being said, or

having said that

twenty-four seven
hit the ground running

on the ground
give back to
datt-a (instead of dayt-a)
(btw, Dodge can call their cars anything they like, but why did they need to use a real word then mispronounce it in the promotions?)

grow your business

what "x" looks like

at the end of the day


[Are there any you would like to add?]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Thanksgiving Day. A national holiday, a day set aside specifically for the purpose of reflecting on our blessings and expressing thanks to our Creator and Provider for the blessings we have.

Are we truly thankful? And should our thanks be expressed only on a designated day? Thankfulness is an attitude of the heart; to be thankful and to give thanks is a choice. We need to be in such a posture every day of our lives, come what may.

Searching (yes, I used text search on the digital Bible) I find the phrase "give thanks" thirty-four times in the KJV. The phrase "praise the Lord" appears thirty-two times. Doesn't it seem that we are under a very powerful injunction to choose thankfulness and offer praise and thanksgiving?

As Pastor Doug pointed out this Sunday past, thankfulness is expressed by the words of the mouth and by the works of the hands. Be thankful: praise the Lord. Be thankful: help someone.


[While the accompanying drawing may look like it was done by my eight-year old great granddaughter, it is in fact mine. So much for artistic ability. And when I sent it to my friend, Nina, her response was that that is a pretty scrawny looking bird, doubt if it will feed the family.]

Monday, November 24, 2008

Black Border Day

I am sure you have days, we all do, for which the calendar box is bordered in black. If not literally then the black character of the day is noted mentally. These are days of real trauma which we memorialize as an unforgettable part of our lives forever. It may be the anniversary of the worst day of your life, or just one of the many days that you have had which could have been better.

Note, though, that the accompanying illustration, while black-edged, has a much larger area of light. Psalm 107 tells us to give thanks even in our darkest hour. I am thinking of a couple of lines from the song "Peace in the Valley" which go something like this,

The day is so bright for the Lord is the light
Though the night is black as the sea.

This is a black border day for me, but I know that no matter how I feel Jesus is with me and so long as I keep my hand in His all is well.

Jn:12:46: I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Give your troubles and cares to Jesus.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Taking Time to Give Thanks

In his final sermon in the series "Stewardship" Pastor Doug taught us that thanks-giving is the fulfillment of a biblical injunction. I Thessalonians 5:18: In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

The pastor used Psalm 107, which he asked us to read every day this coming week, as basis for the lesson.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: His love endures forever. We must give our thanks away. This is God's will for our lives: that we give thanks in all circumstances.

We are dependent on God for everything.

Being thankful is an attitude of the heart.

We demonstrate thankfulness 1) by the words of our mouth, and 2) by the works of our hands.

Make up your mind to be thankful.

Psalm 107:1 Give thanks. Who? v. 2: Those who have been redeemed.

v. 8: for His wonderful deeds for men. Who? v. 10: Those who are hungry, athirst, in darkness, gloom, bound in affliction.

v 15 for His unfailing love. Who? v. 17 Those who have fallen, who have behaved in a foolhardy manner.

v. 31 again, His goodness and wonderful deeds. Who? v. 33 Those in a desert place, abandoned, even though by God seemingly.

Thankfulness is a choice.

v. 42,43: The upright see and rejoice; the wicked stops his mouth. At the end of days, we can rejoice in thankfulness or perish in bitterness.

What do you choose?

It's Off to Church We Go

Vanilla and Beloved Beautiful Better Half are on their way to morning worship service.

You didn't think we were Lois and Clark, did you?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Court Adjourned

While the American automakers, who could not listen to the people for three decades, beg the people via its congress for money to stay afloat, the competitors from across the Pacific are asking the courts to provide them with parking places on our shores for the inventory they send here and have no room to park, what with the slumping sales.

Asking the courts?

Hossinota Motor Company: Please honorable sir, allot us places to park our inventory.

Judge Vanilla: Turn the ships around at once. Do not dock. Do not unload. Return vehicular stuff to point of origin. Let esteemed worker in native land eat them.

[gavel bangs]
Would Congress like to send the Detroit three to Judge Vanilla's court?

Change is Coming

Are you as fascinated as I am in watching the Obama "team" being developed? I have witnesses who will testify that I predicted long before the election that Mr. O's administration if he were elected would be heavy on the philosophies of the Carter Administration and loaded with the policies and practices of the Clinton Administration. How new is that? Turns out even the cast may look the same.

Oh, wait. We were promised change, not new. Perhaps I am "fascinated" in the same way that we are "fascinated" by a horror movie or an impending disaster. I hope not. What does "trepidation" mean?

My prayers for the new president and the country will be for success, progress, justice and fair-mindedness.


I mentioned in the previous post that my father was not interested in family history. Lest you form the notion that he did not care about people, be disabused of that idea. My father was truly a people person, a righteous man and a minister of the gospel who took scripture literally, even to Paul's admonition to Timothy, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1Tm:1:4. And so Dad did. He devoted his life to the dissemination of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in loving and earnest endeavor to bring people to the Savior.

His ministry was enhanced, supported and in great measure made possible by Mother. Mom was a prayer warrior, a minister in her own right, but always believing that her primary ministry was in the support of Dad's work and in the tending of her family.

Though I miss them both, their work lives on in the lives of those with whom they came in contact. And I know that they live on in the eternal reward that the Lord and Savior has prepared for them.

Have you met Jesus?                                                                                      (relocated)

Monday, November 17, 2008


Two decades ago when I asked my father for family history since I had developed an interest in tracing my ancestry, he replied, "I was laid as an egg on a fencepost by a jaybird, hatched by the sun and blown away by the West wind." Further, he made it clear that he had no interest in looking backward into the generations that preceded us. Finally, he went to his file cabinet and pulled out a manila folder which contained two sheets of paper, telling me I could have it. This turned out to be a sketch of the research that one of my aunts had done and which gave me a starting point. From there it was to the library and the IGI on microfiche. Genealogical research bug had bitten me.

Someone once told me that one didn't want to look too far up the family tree, lest he find someone hanging there. This is virtually inevitable for most of us since our interconnectedness is bound to hitch us to the good, the bad and the ugly. Somewhere back in the branches of my tree I have found Frank and Jesse James; but I have also found Dolley Payne Madison, so President James Madison occupies a place in the family tree ("Husband of third cousin six times removed.")

This hobby leads to many fascinating stories, some of which are verifiable and some of which are questionable, or at least lack substantive proof. I like this one. My ten-greats grandfather was killed by my ten-greats grandfather.

John Woodson came from England to Jamestown in 1619, where he was ultimately killed by Opechancanough in one of his raids on the settlers. Woodson came to the "New World" to make a life for himself and his family, whereas Opechancanough was attempting to preserve the only world he had ever known. Fortunately for me each had offspring and two of them got together somewhere down the line. This is one of the tales which is reliably recorded.

Have you taken a shot at your family history?                                                     (relocated)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Memory and History

Memory and History

A couple days ago I posted a snippet titled "Nostalgia." Now we know that nostalgia is an unreasonable yearning for something in the past, something that cannot be. But what we don't often think about is that everything is past. What we recall, we may hold so long as we can remember. What we record is history.

Imagine a movie being played reel-to-reel. (We have to go retro tech here for the imagery.) The top reel is the future, the lower reel, the past. As the film flicks by the lens the present is revealed, in this case, 1/24th of a second for each frame. But the present can actually be defined by infinitely smaller units: nanoseconds. Nay, even less for instantly the "present" is the past. We cannot see the future. We may anticipate it, contemplate it, fantasize about it or even plan for it. But we cannot live it. Only the briefest of instants compose our present experience.

We cannot live in the past; it is gone. But we may remember it, recall it, relate it, thereby relegating yet more of our "present" to the past. What is your life without memory?

For all that philosophers and physicists may expound on this "time" we have, it is just as simple as we have limned it herein and just as complex as our memories allow.

Are you making any memories? Are you making history?
Is your hand in the hand of the Eternal Guide?

Taking Care of My Talents and Abilities

Pastor Doug's sermon today focused on responsibility for our abilities and the proper measures of success. He used several scriptures, including Colossians 3:17, 23 - 25 and I Corinthians 10:31 - 33 from the Epistles and Proverbs 16:3, Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

"Commit" means to put God in charge. "Success" is the knowledge that God is pleased with our effort. Our responsibility is 1) to bring glory to God; and 2) to cause no one to stumble.

Serve as unto the Lord in the Name of Jesus.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tony Hillerman

In a salute to a great storyteller, I am rereading The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman. We have lost one of our premier writers.

I introduced my BBBH to Mr. Hillerman's novels seven or eight years ago. She was as engaged as I had been and I believe she has basically read everything she could find that he wrote. In 2002 we took a trip to the Four Corners area of the American Southwest, the scene of this author's novels set in the Navajo Nation and surrounding areas. BBBH was enthralled with the trip, especially since she felt she knew the environs through reading Hillerman. He will be greatly missed in this household.
Ya eeh teh.

Friday, November 14, 2008


The 'old' book collection that I maintain receives its share of criticism from the BBBH. Or rather, I receive the criticism for maintaining it. But what fun. This afternoon I picked up a "TV Guide" from 1960. It can easily be held in the hand, the listings are easy to find and easy to read, totally unlike what they call "TV Guide" these days. To which, by the way, I let my subscription expire, because --see previous sentence for what you can't do with it; not to mention the adverts which obscure any usefulness it might have had.

So end rant and share the fun. Here's what you might have watched on a Saturday night.
6:00 Amos & Andy
6:30 Perry Mason
7:30 Bonanza! [In color!] (If you had a color TV. I didn't.)
8:30 Have Gun, Will Travel
9:00 Gunsmoke, or bust up the Western string with "Lawrence Welk."
10:00 Pat Boone Variety show, if you can stand this after LW. Maybe if you watched Gunsmoke.
11:00 News, of course. Or if you're feeling daring, Playboy Penthouse.

Now, wasn't that a Blast from the Past?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weir Cook

Appropriately opening on Veterans' Day the new airport terminal in our neck of the woods has been named the H. Weir Cook Terminal, returning a hero's name to the local transportation facility. Weir Cook, WWII flying ace and war hero from Wilkinson, Indiana, has been re-honored as he rightfully should be.

I have a small connection to Wilkinson. I lived there for a few years as my younger self while I taught the local sixth-graders. Nice community. Good people. The school building still stands, but the school no longer exists. Consolidation, you know.
Good times.

Honor to all the heroic service people who have protected our rights and to those who still serve on our behalf.
(Oh, did I mention $1,100,000,000 ?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your Government at Work

So, let's see if I got this right. A government task-force of 35 members formed to study the problems of "tarmac" delay of passenger flights, charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to deal with passenger concerns and well-being, finally issued a report recommending


Why were there sixteen airline representives on the panel?
Why does the government continue to waste our money on efforts which do nothing but raise false hopes?
Why am I not surprised?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post Election Commentary

Jon has written the ultimate in Christian commentary on elections. Check it out at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's over!

November 4, 10:59 p.m. EST

America, you have a new President-elect!