Thursday, February 18, 2010

While visiting some new friends for the first time, I noticed an old rocking chair sitting in the corner near the door. When we were saying our goodbyes later, I asked about the history of the rocker. The friendly couple told me it had been in their family for well over one-hundred years.
Looking at the chair, I saw the original mahogany finish was intact on all but the arms. In those two places it was worn down to the grain of the wood. My hand reached out and rested on one of the arms. With quite an impact, it struck me that the wearing-down had been done my human hands. One-hundred years of hands. Pictures began to ebb and flow in my imagination: The stained -glass quality of home-made quilts; shawls covering tired shoulders; a Bible-reading grandfather; the loud tick of a clock.
Most of those who found comfort in the chair are gone, yet the rocker still stands. What might we hear if it were possible to relive the past through touching the old wood? A child's soft, "coo?" A mother's song? Or, the night winds hissing under closed doors? Would we hear the partings as young men left for war? Leaving only the space they had occupied behind? Then, a woman's tears?--a father's sighs?Would we hear the rhythm of a garden hoe through the open windows, or the ring of an axe, echoing across the fields? The whinny of a work horse, the cranking of a Model T?
I remembered a rocker that was very similar. It was the favorite resting place of my great-grandmother, Allie Moore It sat in front of the window in my great-grandparents home. There was still a spill-over from the old days at their country home. It was there in the muted fire-cracker sounds of the wood stove in the kitchen, the moss-covered well on the back porch, complete with bucket and dipper. It was in the pantry, where the pies were left to cool amidst the shelves of Blue Willow china, and in the oilcloth covered table holding a cut-glas vinegar cruet and matching salt and pepper shakers; in the kerosene lamps, sending dancing, yellow light into shadowy corners. There are hundreds of things in memeory to tell my grandchildren, but all I have are words, and words don't succeed when you want to explain the essence of a feeling. You search the dictionary corners of your unsatisfactory they are.
The neighbors chair sits silently, keeping its secrets, resting for now with harmony, beauty and gentle people. I, for some reason, cannot do the same. Science has bounded across these last 50 years like a giant kangaroo. Our world appears slick and packaged and jet-propelled. Could be these ARE better days, but it seems a shame to deprive our youth of their heritage as seen through the eyes of someone who experienced at least a part of it. And so, I'll go on trying...with inadequate words.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

When the well runs dry
Or the pump won't work
Christians have a funny quirk
They keep on praising
When jobs are scarce
And the cupboard's almost bare
Believers do a thing that's rare
they keep on praising
When the car has quit
And the payment is overdue
God's children have a different view
They keep on praising
When the house is empty
With no mate to share the days
The Born Again have the queerest ways
They keep on praising
When sicknesss rears its head
And seems to have a hold
The saved are wonderfully bold
they keep on praising
When sorrow presses hard
And distress is everywhere
The Christian says a prayer
And keeps on praising
When the world is watching
To see the slightest stumble
God's own stay blessed but humble
They keep on praising
When the doubters pause
To see why we still stand
We tell them of the Promised Land
And keep on praising
That's a Christian....
That's us....
Isn't it???

Friday, February 5, 2010

Don't Call me Shorty

Humans have been searching for the Fountain of Youth in one way or another for untold years. Being the impossible-to-please species that we are, it isn't only that we want to live longer, we want to look and feel 17 while we are doing it. Naturally, there are crowds of experts advising us on how to become youthful and good looking. Take hair for instance. On a guy what was a forest of thick locks at 21 has become an almost totally logged-of area at 50. While the experts are selling them the possibility of new growth, somebody else is showing women how to get RID of excess hair. What a world.

Another point regarding hair; more and more women are having their hair cut about the length of an ants back. It's the boyish look; supposedly youthful, but, isn't it ironic that the actual boys are lettin g their own hair grow down to the hem of their shirt? Am I getting old, or what? One thing is for sure, nobody is seeing any more of my bumpy skull than is absolutely necessary.

Most of us have a certain amount of vanity, and like to look as good as we can without resorting to extraordinary methods. However, there are those among us who go the extra mile for, what they consider a pleasant appearance. Case in point is the Body Lift. They showed the whole procedure on TV the other night and I was fascinated. Mind you, there was very little fat to get rid of it was loose skin, what is commonly known as flab.

One of the women had a 12-inch swath of skin taken from around the waist area. (That's right. One foot.) The surgeon then took the lower portion, pulled the top part down to meet it and stitched the two pieces together. I thought about this for a long time and decided it wouldn't work for me. Not that I don't have any excess flab, I do. But, that's just it...if the surgeon was going to have total success, the lower incision would have to be made at my knees and the upper one just below the neck. When the upper and lower pieces were sewn together, I would only be 2 feet tall; barely able to see over the bottom of my truck window. This simply would not do in this drive-up-window kind of a society we live in.

That surgery is definitely not for me. I have very little self-control. That's how I got the extra weight that became the flab in the first place. What if I DID get the Body Lift, with the above mentioned results? I would simply gain more weight, which as years passed, would become more flab and, before you could say, "Thumbelina," I'd have to go back for another tuck, and then another. One day I would just disappear.

There are other changes we can make for contented living. I'm getting a hobby today, a pet tomorrow, and looking for all the hugs I can get along the way. And I'll still be 5'6" or thereabouts