Monday, November 29, 2021

Words from Lucy's Past

STACY IGEL: Thank you Old Journals and Best Friends
                                 Old Journals



 When the town’s beloved, elderly, and feisty Lucy Powell died suddenly at age 95, all wondered how to peer into her belongings.  

Miss Powell had no relatives yet alive and no family to inherit a lifetime of her history.  Her family was her community and friends.

Slowly, close friends began to assimilate bits of China, old books, quilts, and other items into their own homes.  That was when the diary was discovered. Who should take it?  Who should even open it?

A diary can paint a picture of unrequited love with hearts broken, hearts renewed, and love lost then found. Finding a worn diary, fringed from fingers turning pages over decades, awed all who gathered around.

Finally, Old Ms Alda Franklin stepped forward.  I will take it.  She and I shared so many memories… All agreed.
When Alda finally settled down into her rocker with a cup of tea, she opened the cover and began reading each page. She chuckled, cried, gasped, and sighed until she read the last page:
My life had meaning and gave me reason to exist.  Touching others, being kind and generous, loving those who are unloved: that is the essence of life.
To all who turn these pages: Go!  Make your life count! 

 Journals paint lives in ways that simple words cannot. When we moved, I unpacked 10 complete diaries and a few not so complete. The bold underlined words are from Wednesday Words, 2015.  Delores started this challenge for bloggers to try other genres.


Saturday, November 27, 2021

Love floating in the balloons.


The Balloon of the Mind
Hands, do what you’re bid,
Bring the balloon of the mind
That bellies and drags
In the wind,
Into its narrow shed.
Wm. B. Yeats

A Drinking Song
Wine comes in at the mouth
And Love comes in at the eyes.
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift my glass to my mouth, I look at you and I sigh.
Wm. B. Yeats

Enjoy, and follow the balloons.

This is a post from October 14, 2013. WB Yeats is my favorite poet.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

I have finally arrived.

                             The "Kid's Table"

This is THE Thanksgiving! Victor laughed as he placed two casseroles in the back seat of his new hybrid Toyota Prius.  His new pristine, low maintenance Prius—Victor eagerly caressed the leather seats around the Jell-O™ salad and hot vegetable dish.  How I love the new-car smell!

After years of wishing that he could finally sit at the Thanksgiving Adult Table never seemed feasible, Victor squirmed excitedly as he started the engine. The Adult Table!  And, I am only 25! Great-great Aunt Agnes had died in August, moving Victor up the roster from the Children’s Table.  At last!

Jell-O is Utah's official specified snack.
  He glanced back at the assigned dishes he was bringing.  Man, I was lucky with these!  Improvising, Victor had thrown together a lime Jell-O™, along with some fresh kiwi and fresh pineapple (see note belowęśś).  These guys were on the verge of rotting…sure lucked out!

The odoriferous steaming hot Brussels sprouts, swimming in Cheese Whiz™, wafted fragrantly through the car. Victor opened the window, and in those few seconds, that precise moment, the beat-up Honda ahead of Victor’s precious Prius braked suddenly.

Victor braked hard and swerved, barely missing the damned Honda. 

That one moment sent the gelatinous Jell-O flying, covering the precious leather with green slime.  Brussels sprouts bounced merrily around the leather seats, leaving ball-sized Cheese Whiz dots there and on the ceiling.

What to do?? What to think??  Victor’s mind spun in search of an answer.

What do you think he should or will do? 

Note from Jell-O box: Do not use fresh or frozen pineapple, kiwi, ginger-root, papaya, figs or guava.  Gelatin will NOT set.
Many thanks will always be given to Delores, the founder of Wednesday Words (underlined above).

Friday, November 19, 2021

Wednesday Photo Prompt: Auntie Marie

 Wednesdays are always fun for me. The Wednesday Words are entertaining and challenging.  This week there photo prompts provided by Margaret Adamson, and her friend Sue Fulcher. The prompts will also include photographs taken by Margaret's friend Bill Dodd.  

Here is my take on those photos:

Auntie Marie reached a shaky hand to the iron work. It had been once black and strong, now it was covered with lichen and rattled. Pushing slightly, Auntie opened it with a creak and rattle.

What had been a garden with pinks, red, and yellows was a tangle of brambles. The house had been one filled with people and family. Now it was bare brick, windows long boarded up.

Auntie opened the heavy door, dust floating in the still air. Closing her eyes, Marie whispered, "I'm home. Do you hear me? I am home."

You may find more bloggers and their comments at Elephant's Child. Head on over there and also to River where prompts are posted.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

A Field of Punkin' Chunkin' Candidates


A fall festival with fun for the entire family – contests, prizes, games, live music, carnival and more!
All are welcome.
Each season in the Midwest has its celebrations and events where there are glorious reflections of community and its people. Traditions date back decades or even centuries where ancestors and their following generations can hold hands across years.

The Midwest, along with the rest of the world, has an event approaching in the first days of November: Pumpkin Chunkin'. I have to believe this event arose from leftover Halloween pumpkins to Medieval ages. Maybe or maybe not, Pumpkin Chunkin' has evolved from simple to complicated.

Here is an official statement from the WCPCA:

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) is a trademark nonprofit that raises money for scholarships, as well as organizations that benefit youth and the local community. 

We host a signature pumpkin-launching event each year, fueling innovative engineering and science-based ideas that draw spectators from all over. 

We believe that Punkin Chunkin cultivates the odd, challenging, and competitive quest for distance that inspires creativity, ingenuity, teamwork, and passion. 

It is this very dedication that drives teams to compete using science and engineering skills and brings spectators to the gate which allows us  to continue our never ending thirst to support our scholarship and charitable programs.

YouTube, about 3 minutes long

There are several divisions from historically accurate to serious military grade.
The passion is the same, love for the event is palpable, and enthusiasm seeps through the attendees.

The above YouTube shows the divisions and constructions. The one below sticks to traditionally accurate 1,000 years ago trebuchet:

About 6 minutes long, skip ahead.

Despite all the mechanics that can overshadow the joy of finding a pumpkin in the field, we look at those faces and hear "Over there! That's the one I want!"

I do not know how many years we have scampered over the fields, chasing grandkids. Each time is like the first time.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Heart of the Sea


Movie reviews are supposed to help movie goers decide what to see.  Most of those who write these reviews seem to have forgotten why people go to see movies.

We go to escape.  To enjoy.  To be part of something bigger than ourselves.

We do not go to examine the plot line, seek to deride director errors, editing decisions, actor choices or screen writer inadequacies.

When I wrote this post, “In the Heart of the Sea” was story about a story.  Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”, had sought out the one of the survivors, adult Old Man Tom Nickerson who had been the traumatized youngest of the crew on the whaler ship, Essex.  It was a bloody, horrible story, and this survivor needed to wrench the images of memories from his tortured mind.
Some strong actors deliver strong performances.

Brendan  Gleason is the adult Old Man Nickerson, who saw the horror of whale hunts when he was innocent and ignorant. Chris Hemsworth is the strong main character who makes hard decisions. He gives an excellent performance.  

Nathaniel Philbrick.JPG
Nathaniel Philbrook
Author Nathaniel Philbrick researched Melville, the painful consequences of the Essex and the greed of the company who owned the ship. With this incredible history, Philbrook wrote "In the Heart of the Sea", based on the events of this tragedy.

Interview and relating the story was therapeutic for both the story teller (played by Brendan Gleeson) and the writer, Melville (played by Ben Whishaw) . Tom Holland in a young actor on his way up: think Spider Man).  Even so, film reviewers turned their noses, criticizing it for lacking “stuff”.  

At This Site  every amateur critic had not read "Moby Dick".  One such critic said this. 

"Nobody gives a crap about Moby Dick.  Just THINKING about the idea of a movie about the friggin' story that inspired the story of Moby Dick puts you to sleep.  How did he (Chris Hemsworth) get paid $80 million to make that?!"  

For us, the movie was riveting.  The actors were strong and skillful.  The director was Ron Howard.  The setting was true to the times.  The interaction between Melville and the survivor was emotional and bonding. Knowing the story of the Essex and its demise hung over the audience, hoping “No, not that!”

Engrossing, hope, loss and gain, greed, a dirty industry, eminent death, and finally redemption—all make for a movie that rises above a flood of bad movies.

Please see what the whaling industry became before its demise.  It was a horror. 

More than that, see what the current intelligentsia reads or has not read. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Turn of the Road


 Charger's many fine points from YouTube.

Charles sighed deeply, gazing at his brand new, fresh off the show room floor, Fire Red Dodge Charger, lying in a field just off the road. Just a dent...I wouldn't mind that.  But this??

Taking that last U-bend on hwy. 238 and then skidding to miss a stray sheep had sent Fire Red spinning out and over onto weeds and grass of some rancher's field.

It did not matter now how many fluoride rinses and teeth extractions Dr. Charles Bentley, DDS, had done to buy Fire Red, now a totaled mass of metal, seat belts, open door, and shattered windows. 

He managed to "extract" his phone, and call 911. Sigh.

Note: there was no way I could insert "espionage" into this and keep a cohesive story.  Instead the Table of Elements will come into play. You will need to use a magnifying glass to read this.

The Periodic Table Of The Elements
This page provides names of the symbols.

Es = Einsteinuim**;  P = Phosphorous; I = Iodine; O = Oxygen; Na = Sodium; and, Ge = Germanium

**This is an element table, a mighty small one, named after Albert Einstein. It is metallic and radioactive with a life of 20.8 minutes.

Works for me. Why I put the periodic table here?  If you can figure that out, let me know.

The underlined and highlighted words are from May 2016, Wednesday Words. This had some challenges. We have a red car and I enjoy the thrill of a red car.

I misspelled "Albert" to "Alfred".  Dang.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

That is the right question.


Question  James Cromwell

People tend to accept ideas without questioning the validity. Over modern times, many have nodded their heads and moved on when given such questions. This may have been part of history, but current herd-mentality changes everything. 

We just don't ask enough questions.  And then, we tend to accept the answer and take it as truth, walk on in ignorance. When we hear questions, whenever and whatever they may be, we must think through the question before accepting it, before we are blinded by the noise that floats around.

What is the instigation that pops up in my mind?  Will Smith. He is such a good actor, great comedic sense. But, why him? I mean, why would I see him as a beacon of searching for truth?

asks the questions to Will Smith

   I Robot was written by Isaac Asimov, a famous science fiction writer. His characters are intelligent, and struggle with questions, with the possible answers. He was a prolific writer. 

Synopsis: 2057 was a world with an industry that produced robots for many reasons, but mostly to assist humans. But, then...the essential  creator (James Cromwell) committed suicide. Leaving a holographic message, he asked for police detective Will Smith to investigate the whole question of why. Cromwell says, You must ask the right question.  

Why is this question important? Detective Spooner wrestles with this question and discovers the answer bit by bit. Seeking an answer to the question several times, Spooner finally does find the answer.

Ask questions, and then pursue the answers. we have the responsibility to search for honest truth. If we don't ask, then who will?

Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Magic of the Oreo


These are not real, thanks be to God.

Over the decades after WW2, there was a burgeoning of fast foods and junk foods. Drive-Thru and fast: No one even needed to leave the car.

That has not changed, not one iota.  More of this and then more of that appears.

On the sugar front, oh boy!  The list is too long to read through, but this one item is high on the list: 

The simple Oreo, at least it used to be simple. 

The Oreo started with 2 chocolate biscuits with a creamy white filling. It was heavenly. We never had them in our childhood, having only homemade cookies (that can be described only as amazing). We then learned about the only way to eat an Oreo was to twist it apart, scrape the cream goodness with top teeth, and eat the biscuit later. 

Here are some newly distributed peculiar Oreos:


Some are real and others could be "are you kidding". Time for a field trip to the store. Heck, serve them at a holiday buffet. Your family will finding this highly amusing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Hard times


As Theo rumbled down the country road to catch his cousin Victor at his business,  he prayed incessantly.  OhpleaseOhplease, Dear Lord…

Victor waited, clearly watching for Theo, his spirit battered by now.  Cell phones are marvelous things he thought as Theo braked in front.  There was urgency in Theo’s step, and some in Victor’s stance.

Theo pulled a business card from his wallet and held it out as they shook hands.  “Does this offer still stand?” Theo gulped.  “My barn was blown to pieces, and I need this….”

Victor’s eyes widened, assessing if this was a true offer.  He credited Theo for the strength it took to come there. “You mean this?  Really?  You want to sell?”

Theo nodded with determination.  “I gotta do this.  I ain’t got a choice…Does the original offer still hold?”  Oh, please say it does!

“Here, sit down,” Victor replied, pulling over a leather chair.  “I’ll make the call, ask him if it the offer stands.”  Victor made the call, spoke briefly, and his eyes widened as he made a thumbs-up. 

Theo relaxed for the first time since the windy storm had crossed over his farm.  He released a deep breath.

Victor jumped up, placing his hands of the desk.

“He’ll give you fifty more!  Think what this means!  $160,000!”  

Dropping his head between his knees, spots and stars floated in darkness. 

“He already has a buyer, some fancy dancy designer up in Chicago.  Been waiting for one of those barns in your county to tumble down! He's been putting together a collection of old reclaimed timbers for a year now. *** 

Who knew some rich person wanted the 'country touch' in their mansion. ###  Gol’durn. You’re going to be okay, Theo.  That designer is already putting together a crew and eighteen wheeler to take that wood away in the next day or so."

Victor heard the sobbing and relief in Ellen’s voice when Theo called with the news.

In the sunny week that followed, from the old growth American chestnut, white oak, black walnut, pine timbers, planks and, hand-carved pegs that had held the structure together since 1840... the hand-hewed timbers were chosen.

The collection embraced the history, decades, and lives which the barn had sheltered.
Then the old barn was driven away, charred wood remaining.

The designer handed Theo a cashier’s check, wished him well, and followed the truck back to Chicago. Victor stood on the concrete porch with Theo and Ellen.  “You’re gonna be okay, Theo. Okay…”

Theo nodded, finally seeing a brighter future. Ellen whispered, “Okay…we’re gonna be okay.” She saw, with a sudden clarity, her husband's courage.

Our old barn was taken down in the 1970s, before the trend to purchase the reclaimed wood began.  At that time, the barn was wafting in the wind.  It was sadly burned to the ground when it lay in pieces. When it was built? Possibly it was built in mid 1800s. We found items that were part of that era. 

italicized and  underlined words are from a 2015 post, and posted from Wednesday post. Many thanks to Delores the creator of Wednesday Words. Talented lady. She started a writing challenged for bloggers.