Archive for September 2013


September 27, 2013

All “spruced up”   for THE ARRIVAL:

27 keys down

Hello  —  a 90-degree turn in the Spruce Tunnel today – a new direction for a few days – and Son and I are prepared!     Inside, outside, top to bottom, all the four corners of our world.

We went to work and I needed to ask Son for some advice, but he went missing for a while.

27 disappeared

He’s up there somewhere with water hose and leaf blower, taking care of eave troughs, sticks and twigs and leaves and acorns. Have you checked your roof lately? They can become surprisingly messy.

27 mowing

Way back,  there was work being done.

Wearing “safety sunglasses”  –

27 with machine

Down on the patio, more work

27 patio machine

I was working too, taking care of grass and shrubs and all the things that don’t stay in their places outside in the lawn  — and inside the house, way down to the basement.

Son and I had to laugh at the end of that day.    We had just cleaned from the roof to the basement and all around – places that a 2 3/4 year old will never see!   But we couldn’t stop ourselves.

Then I got the kitchen ready too for the Big Visit.


Nothing Cooper and Grandma like better than dinosaurs!    (And some guitars and trains. . . .)

And there are some big boy cookies too – for Cooper’s Mommy. And lots of other food.


Then the ride to the airport.    You know what a wonderful feeling that is to be arriving, just as your loved ones are touching down.      (“An –ti – ci – pay – yay – tion …”)


Fortunately for us we have a very small,  simple airport. We were one of, oh, maybe ten people waiting for the commuter flight in from Chicago.


Then – at last!   A ride home through the “big city” — with the capitol dome in the lights –


And then…..the arrival.   The Little One comes into the house, he looks at the shoes in the entranceway and says:   “Ooooh, I better take off my shoes!”


And so…we are together.   All our little family… Son, Daughter, me, and Cooper.    What a gift.

It’s my birthday today.

Deo  gratias!


September 25, 2013

This is a posting about  my garden.   Really.   Any resemblance to our nation’s political situation is purely….intentiional.

We started out so well!

SAMSUNGThese are pumpkin leaves with a pretty good beginning.   HIgh hopes and optimism – and much care thinking about “future generations”   That is,  Cooper’s coming!   Our first and only grandson is coming for a visit this week.  I’ve known about this “end of September” visit for a long time, and so I began to prepare a surprise for him:  I’d grow pumpkins!   And then,  at 2 3/4 years old he will see where pumpkins come from!

But soon a problem began to manifest itself.


In spite of tender loving care (and “good feelings”) and a nice bed of straw,  white spots developed on the leaves.  I showed it to some friends, but no one had much to say.   I stayed loyal and attentive and optimistic;  a little uncomfortable about this new development, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

I built “strong defenses”  for the pumpkin plants – protecting them from attack from without:  i.e., deer and raccoons and rabbits.


The pumpkins found a way to escape.

Turns out no deer or raccoon or rabbit ever launched an attack.    I should have been looking within, at conditions within the fence, and specifically at the soil, the land, the location from which the leaves were growing.

The pumpkin plants were rotting from the bottom leaves upward.   New leaves and orange flowers are all right at the end of the vine,  but there is a spreading white-spot rot that is corrupting the plants from the ground up.    And they are dying.

It’s not attacks from without but corruption from within that kills a nation.  I mean a garden .   (The white spots turn leaves a sickly gray,  much as the sickly “red” of politics spreads from nation to nation.)

So I called on some help from Son, the scientist,  the pharmacist.   If anyone knows diseases, a pharmacist should!

He got to work.   Test tubes.  Chemicals.  Soil samples.  Charts….


He discovered two things.   One, the soil itself was malnourished.   I fertilized once.   Once is not enough.

And the second thing is that I needed to be doing a lot of other things for the pumpkins because the world they live in is “corrupted.”    Eventually,  Son and i noticed that the surrounding leaves of the trees and bushes also had white spots on them.   Not all the plants.   Not all surrounding plants were diseased,  but enough to spread to the pumpkins plants I cared about.


  That’s a maple sapling.

Son and I took a walk around our neighborhood, looking closely at our neighbors’ trees and shrubbery.  We inspected all the leaves that we could, and discovered that our whole neighborhood,  this “world”   that our garden was growing in,  was full of these white spots.

The disease is called white spot powder mildew.   Something like that.      There are things we could have done to keep our garden clean and strong,  but we didn’t know it in time.   It’s too late.    We have lost this pumpkin crop.

If we had known right at the beginning. . . .      If we had taken measures to stop the rot. . . .   If we had been vigilant and worked hard. . . .

If only we had known where we were heading. . . .


September 24, 2013

A Science Fiction script in the tradition of Harry Turtledove and H.G. Wells…and, of course,  George Orwell.   (Think big, when you read the news today.)


B Top l



B New bottom l


A Tribute to that one final Tuesday,  11-06-12,  that brought this all together.


September 24, 2013

I think I must still be in a bit of a funk here.   Feels like I’ve been A.W.O.L. from myself for a few days,  but I wouldn’t really know that unless I were coming out of it,  so I guess I’m just fine.   Maybe my earache is going away.

And so,  with this temporary funk,   something that I thought was really kind of funny several weeks ago is taking on a different meaning.

Here’s what gave me a smile this summer:


And here’s the bottom part:



At least I didn’t pay any tax for those items!

I had been to an estate sale and was very careful to pick out only those things that would be useful in my house.  Some hacksaws, and some other tools that I don’t know the names of.   Some kitchen utensils.  A few crochet hooks.  Candles  (for power outages).   I forget what else,  but they were all old, made many years ago when things were made to last, good quality materials and  good workmanship, useful and unbreakable.

Being reasonably careful with my money,  I thought when I get home I’d check the receipt and mark down what I had paid for some of the bigger items.    

So now I know what my “blacks” and “blues”  cost me!

I came across this receipt again recently, and thought about where I had been that day.     It was an estate sale.   The kind of “garage sale” where the public can enter the house and walk around rooms and buy just about everything in the house.  And in the closets.  And in the drawers. . .  .

Things which perhaps a few months before mattered very much to the owner.  And now, the owner is not there to care, anymore. 

So I get thoughtful.   I hope the owner of these things didn’t put all his hopes in what he  owned, or in what he  did to be able to own these things:  farmer?  doctor?  mechanic?  teacher?      I hope he hoped in things that will matter to him fifty or a hundred or two hundred years from now…or for ever and ever.  I hope he placed his hope in the only One who is worthy of our hope.  I hope he found that One who has earned for us, on our behalf,  a good next world.

As I use his things, now,  and then clean them, and clean all my things, and wash and dust and sweep and try to push back the center of Cosmic Entropy that seems to exist inside my house,  I hope I think often enough of my own next fifty or hundred years, or my forever and ever. . . .


. . . .perhaps take down from its shelf the “Thoughts,”  the “pensees”  of Blaise Pascal.   I remember he had a lot of good things to say about this matter.


September 21, 2013

 You wouldn’t think the ending of a day could present such peace and beauty.


I paused a few evenings ago at twilight,  just standing on my deck,  noticing that the darkening sky created a beautiful shade of blue.   Really, really beautiful – so I ran in and got my camera so I could remember it.

I looked downwards.   The deep blue was reflected in the pond too.


I was thinking about twilight for that day that was ending. . . and endings of everything.

Usually sometime in September I write about how many NEW  things there are:   new season of Fall coming;    new school year;   my birthday gives me a whole new year of life to anticipate;    and I’m usually congratulating my Jewish friends at Rosh Hoshanna, the Jewish New Year.   Beginnings, not endings.

I even took a picture of my deck flowers that evening, trying to stay cheerful and upbeat,  trying to think of “new things” and not “endings and twilights.”


I’m pretty sure I once wrote a big blog posting on all that, but I’ve gone back in the archives for every single September and couldn’t find the one I was looking for.  In fact I didn’t find “new  beginnings at all, but it turns out I unexpectedly  bumped into a lot of life’s twilights.

In glancing over all those September posts,  I found all the “endings”  of my past five years, endings that I didn’t know were so near.   Twilights in my life.

One September I didn’t know that it was Suzy’s last few months of life.  Suzy…my little “companion” who parked herself inside my mind and “bossed” me around, her little mind accompanying me wherever I went, whatever I did.  I am still as lost without her as though I had lost an identical twin.  And I can’t bring myself to post another picture of her.

The next September I didn’t know it was the twilight of my life with Hubbie.  I didn’t know it was his last few months to live.    The ending of so many years together.

By the next September it had been my own father’s last time on earth.

This September I find myself experiencing a kind of “twilight” in my health…It’s the “end” of taking my health for granted, but I’m fighting, and I think I’ll live to fight another twilight later on.

All these endings.

All these twilights.

You’ll have them too.

My blog tells me that this is my 1200th posting here at the Spruce Tunnel today.  I’m not going to say something “philosophical”  like:  “For every ending there is a new beginning.”   Or:  “There has to be an ending to make room for a new beginning.”   Or maybe:   “You can’t make an omelette without bringing some eggs to an end”  !!!

But I know for sure,  you can’t stand outside during a beautiful twilight and not stop and think for a moment about the ending of the day, and then try to find all the beautiful things that were in that day . . .  all the hopes and possibilities that day had . . .  knowing that you did the best you could with that precious gift of time. . . .

Here’s some philosophy:   “Don’t worry about tomorrow;  God is already there.”    You are noticed.   You are loved.

What follows a twilight might be even more peace and beauty.


September 20, 2013

A light, easy posting today.

There’s been a little interlude here in my postings.   I think I didn’t feel well.  My immune system is precarious, at best,  quite overtaxed,  fighting something big, I think.    I notice some improvement when I take care of myself but that’s  very hard work.    Before I get back to any “serious”  random thoughts here,  I’ll just muse a little bit about the medicine that God gives us to grow stronger.


Color.   Our “medicine”  starts with color.  Red is nice.


Warmed, plumped, pureed raspberries.    (It’s possible to prepare your berries without seeds.)

So,  fruit.   Of all colors.  And then a salad…once or twice a day.   Start with some good, “meaty” tomatoes to add on top of some “greens.”


These look almost like watermelon pieces.  They are dense and packed with flavor.    But you can’t get them from grocery stores very often.


Looking back over this past summer,  there was a lot of work that went into these tomatoes.  They are growing in small, homemade containers on my deck.   Convenient.  They don’t take up much room.  The containers were cheap!   (cardboard boxes and plastic bags – make sure the “container” drains well in the bottom)

Peppers do well in containers too.


Again,  hard work to get them set up and growing, but so firm and crisp and tasty.   Nutritious, I hope.

This all adds up to the once or twice daily salads.  I don’t get tired of salads  because –  well, which one would you be talking about?  There is an endless number of combinations, an endless variety of salads.

And a trip to the (container) herb gardens for flavor for the salads:

SAMSUNGJust. . .  choose.   Choose whatever smells good to you that day.   All herbs taste good and I believe they are all medicinal in one way or the other.  They just don’t taste like “medicine” !

Then just wash them off, and snip them over your salad bowl:


I think I see chives and basil and parsley in that handful.

Well, that’s it.   A  portion of my diet that actually works to recharge my batteries and get the strength flowing again.

Recommended for all human bodies.






September 17, 2013

(Correction made to the name written below, in case you need to use a Search engine.)

For this Tribute to Tuesday  (the 11-06-12 one)  we have to go back to about 1610, and several thousands of miles south of where I live.

black light

And that is what it looked like in the entire room where a devout Christian lady knelt all alone one day in 1610 before our Lord, praying, praising, thanking, meditating … listening for Him.

red light  This is what it should have looked like in there, a small but comforting red light, a small  flame burning in the oil, indicating the presence of God.

And then He turned out the lights on her!

I have been in small rooms, small chapels, where the only light is that steady red light indicating our faith in God’s presence.  I am not nearly as devout as I know this lady to have been, nor have I achieved the purity of mind or strength of will that she had when she prayed; but I have experienced the sense of our dependence upon the existence of God, there in the chapel and everywhere, actually.

The things this lady had learned in her life were supposed to be directed at the 20th century.   Her name was Mother Maria de Jesus Torres, and some of the things she was shown shocked her senseless – in fact, once she was pronounced dead for a couple of days by the people around her and by the doctor brought in from the city.

When this sanctuary light incident happened,  she inquired of her heavenly visitor what caused the light to go out.    She was told five reasons.

And one of them is why I’m writing this particular post.   She was told that in this coming godless century (ours)  there would be such a flood of Impurity (sexual immorality) flowing  through our streets and homes that even the souls of innocent little children would be corrupted.

Of course there has been public immorality of all kinds in past centuries, but never before have whole “Christian”  continents been characterized this way.   Never before have our common dress, our actions,  and our way of speaking to each other been drenched in such rude and lewd manners and almost  never before have people seemed so comfortable to live in moral filth.

We allow our sisters and mothers and daughters and wives to be  inappropriately touched and rubbed in private areas of their bodies in public airports –  and I see no brothers, sons, fathers or husbands with their swords or warclubs or fists ready to smash into the person who is committing such acts.   This is why I don’t fly.   Immodesty seems to be a requirement.   We are desensitized to criminal sexual conduct when performed by the “authorities.”

We don’t blink an eye when our Rulers declare that inappropriate sexual knowledge should be presented to our littlest ones at school.   Kindergarteners, for goodness sakes!    I once taught Kindergarteners.     I know for a fact that you get more of what you teach –  and in that year, those little children were already doing things to each other and saying things that still make me blush.    Our culture had already corrupted them.

And now I see in the news that YOUR private sexual activity will be made a matter of PUBLIC RECORD under the Health Control Bill.   Your doctor will interrogate you (and your mother and your sister and your daughter and your wife)  as to the most private, personal  acts – not for the sake of treatment  –  but for the sake of reporting to government officials.   Such public Electronic Health Records have already been found to have been sold, leaked, and hacked —  and what now?

So what Mother Marina de Jesus Torres saw four centuries ago nearly killed her for the shame  of it.   She generally disbelieved such things could be allowed to happen.

Not so,  us.    They know how to boil us frogs.

Our Lady of Good Success,  help us through this mess.



September 15, 2013

One of my favorite garden tools:



When you care for a garden which includes grape vines,  you must be watchful for disease, blights, and all sorts of rotten branches, and if you don’t get rid of them, they’ll spread their corruption to the whole garden.

vine branchesWhen it comes to vines,  you search for bad areas that bring weakness and corruption to the whole vine.   Now, when you find such an area,  you don’t destroy the whole vineyard!  You don’t even destroy the whole vine.   Or the whole branch.   You find just the offending “slip”  and “snip” it off.

There is a certain Hebrew word used in the Psalms to present this idea, and it’s often used in the sense of snipping off a small part of a vine, taking it away.   How amusing, then,  and comforting to discover that in Psalm 75 this word is used with respect to the “princes” of great nations who do not fear God.

(If you use the Jewish Psalm numbering, as Protestant Bibles do, you’ll have to go to Psalm 76 and verse 12.) 

This verse was not part of our Readings,  not part of our sermon,  but part of the short prayers Proper for this day, and it’s been in use for many, many, many centuries for this particular Sunday after Pentecost.  (Wisdom comes from knowing what great and enduring ideas existed in the past.)

The Propers began with the Introit (a particular kind of entry), which reminded us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”   That is comforting to know, although not comforting to know one lives in a nation which does not officially recognize the LORD God.

Nevertheless,  our leaders, in all their pride and power,  are like little vine slips in the eyes of God — and if such a one becomes weak and corrupted and harmful. . . Then….SNIP!

Here is the prayer we offered today:   “Make your vow, and pray to the Lord your God, all you that round about Him bring presents to Him who takes away the spirit of princes…”

“Takes away”  –  Snip!

As bad as things can get from our point of view,  God is in control of the garden tools.


September 13, 2013

13 goth

I find the whole idea of triskaidekaphobia mildly fun.   As a child, I wanted to participate in all the “fear”  about the number 13,  but it was like Halloween frights – just not really real.   I      (a contemporary woman with Viking blood flowing in her veins –  genealogically speaking, of course)   was interested to find out that Loki, that mighty god of destruction that frequently appears in warrior tales, is considered the 13th in the list of Norse gods.

Well,  okay.   Doesn’t do much for me though.

Jacinta2     Today is not only Friday the 13th,   but it is September 13.    On this day in 1917 there was a Fifth visit of the Virgin Mary to the three children in Fatima, Portugal.  (The Fifth on the 13th.)     By now, many  people had heard of these monthly visitations,  and in September tens of thousands of people had gathered for what they hoped to be an apparition that they also could see.

They didn’t see much.  Maybe a  flash of light.   And the vision?    I know what was said was important (keep praying the rosary so the war will end soon; some people in your village will be cured, some won’t;   you three children:  lighten up a bit on your mortifications),  but mainly, this visit seemed to be all about announcing the next one, in October, the really, really big one.

So no big theatricals.   Just daily prayer, daily faithfulness, daily perseverance.

But  there is a fun-scary link here between Loki and Fatima, in my mind, provided by mu Friday morning class.

Today, they were discussing  the Readings  that many of you will hear on this coming Sunday.  The first one involves the story of Moses at the time that he was up on the top of Mt. Sinai, receiving instructions from the Lord God.    He was gone for so long,  that the people, who had been led out into the desert by Moses  thought that Moses was dead.    Dead and gone.   And without having yet received much instruction,  some of them reverted back to the gods of Egypt whom they knew well.


God literally interrupted His conversation with Moses and said “You’ve got to go now. The people who came with you are down there sinning greatly – they’ve  become totally depraved, and I’m not going to be able to work with them….”   (loose paraphrase.)

Knowing this meant their destruction,  Moses began to plead with God to not destroy them.   He appealed to God, he reasoned with God, he begged God to be merciful….

Well, that lit the fires of imagination, as often happens with this class.  And they speculated,  what if Moses had not worked so hard to intercede?    Moses could have said,  “You’re right.  Put an end to them.”

And God could have waited until some other “Abraham” came along,  some other group of descendants from that person,  another tribe of people through whom the Incarnation would happen,  some other “Moses” to lead them….  We could still be waiting for this process to develop.

And I could still be fearing Loki, the 13th god of the Viking pantheon.

And my country would be living in a state of ignorance about Christianity, with no knowledge of Christ in its schools and government and public square.

Fearful indeed.


September 12, 2013

Are you keeping up with Fukushima news?     I have a link in the right-hand column to make it easier for you to find enenews, for instance.     But — it’s okay.  It’ll go on even if you’re not paying attention.

destr earth

It’s worse than we realize, and all the scientists who know some of what’s going on have no idea how to stop the meltdowns which are contaminating the earth.  More than one time I’ve heard it called “an extinction level event.”

And so, when it rains, sometimes I go out and see how much Fukushima is coming down on us.  I have a wet deck.   I have vegetables and herbs growing on my deck.   And I have a Geiger counter  (radiation detector).

Normal background Counts Per Minute is 20 – 30.   I tested my own living room.


Then I went outside, in the rain.


Speaks for itself.   And then I checked around and under my green pepper leaves.    A sideways 114 CPM.


That was a few days ago.  Some of the radiation dissipated.  It rained again today, briefly.  I forgot I had placed my newly-washed white kitchen garbage can out on the deck to dry.   It wasn’t dry anymore after the rain, so I brought it in to dry.

And thought I’d check the Counts Per Minute.


Slightly radioactive white kitchen garbage can.

Extinction Level Event,  eventually,   just not as fast as a giant asteroid.


September 11, 2013

I can’t help it.

face unhappy

Once a teacher, always a teacher,  I guess.   Can’t let an error go unremarked – especially when it is a large and dangerous error.

The man whom our Rulers put into the wh ^  it ^  e   ho ^  use  for us gave a speech last night.  I understand that he thinks our country is a Constitutional Democracy.


Our Founding Fathers formed for us a Constitutional Republic, and gave it to us to protect and to keep and to guard.

A Democracy quickly becomes another word for Mob Rule.     It’s like the old joke:

          “What is a Democracy”

          “It is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.”

Our Founding Fathers knew better than that.

We’d better find out what they knew – or else we’ll end up in a Democracy.   We will have failed our test – and Teacher will be very unhappy.


September 10, 2013

A little fun for Tuesday’s Tribute to (that) Tuesday (11-06-12)

Remember that fun “telephone” game we used to play when we were children?     When I taught first grade, I’d have half of my little six year olds “stand quietly in the hallyway,” and then I’d tell the rest of the class some interesting little sentence.   Then the children in the hallway would come back in, sit in a semi-circle in the front of the room, and I’d whisper the words into the ear of a child on the end.  Then he would whisper it into the ear of the one sitting next to him, and on down the line.

And then it was time for the child on the other end to tell everyone what he heard!


It was as much fun for the “audience” as it was for the participants, because they just knew what was going to happen!    Then we’d switch places,  and the audience got to be on the telephone line.

Great hilarious fun for all!  I was careful not to draw an adult lesson from this game.  They were children, and it was their business to just learn – by having fun – how the world really works, without unnecessary adult comment.  They’d “get it’ some day in the future.

I hoped.

I sometimes fear that whole generation or two forgot to notice how messages change – and now it’s not fun, it could be deadly.

Phrases heard on American television, day by day:

suspected chemical attack

alleged chemical attack but unclear by whom

alleged chemical attack carried out possibly by the Assad regime

alleged chemical attack by the Assad regime

chemical attack alleged to have been done by the Assad regime

the chemical attack carried out by the Assad regime

 . . . when Syria used chemical weapons on a peaceful demonstration. . .


My dear children:   Why on earth do you think they call it  “television programming“? 


September 8, 2013

 This is the village of Maaloula.

Village seized

It is described as “the peaceful mountain village of Maaloula, near Damascus….”    It’s been this way for thousands of years.   The inhabitants are mostly Melkite Greek Catholic and Orthodox Christians, but have historically lived peacefully alongside a Sunni Muslim minority. Some inhabitants speak Aramaic,  the language spoken by Jesus and his family and friends and disciples.

It’s been a city of peace and of refuge for a long time.  Once, about 1,900 years ago, a woman from the Middle East took a vow of chastity so that she could better concentrate on her Christian faith.   Not everyone understood.  After her vow she had to flee to avoid an arranged marriage.  She fled to this very village, and to this day they know the place where she hid. . . .  She was St. Thecla,  a convert of St. Paul.

Even today, these people have no more involvement in international politics than your own community has.   You just want to live in everyday peace.

Maaloula is in the country of Syria, which has recently been invaded by armed groups of radicalized — you know.   There are various terrorist groups that want to overthrow this country’s government.   There is fighting, bombing, and now the use of chemical weapons in Syria, although a certain “rebel” group claimed that it was an accident.

Just last week,  this peaceful village has been attacked and overpowered by these radicalized groups.   Christian homes and business have been destroyed.  Christian people are dead, wounded – and still missing.

If you look again at the photo of the village, you’ll see many “places of worship” silhouetted against the light.   Some are gone now, in smoking ruins.

I think of where I worshiped today, and I think of these, my Christian brothers and sisters.



September 6, 2013

I had a visitor the other day, and I’ve been staring at his photo ever since.

Dragonfly on Screen

I was passing by this window and jumped back, in an  understandable  primeval reflex upon seeing an insect with a four-inch wide wingspan at about eye level.    Fortunately, he was outside, on the screen,  so my second reaction was to run for the camera.

I pondered first what it was.    I learned it was a dragonfly,  an insect of the order called Odonata.

I pondered his size.   When I sit outside on my deck I am regularly buzzed by bats and bumblebees,  hummingbirds and  dragonflies, but I’ve never seen one this size before.  Just an accidental landing on my screen.   But, yet, my attention is still captured by this creature.  A message?   A foreboding?   An opportunity to awaken?

Pretty fanciful for the way I usually think, but life is more than physical science of size and order and species.

I think back to the time my daughter and I enjoyed the story of a little girl who passed by a fence in a field and noticed a dragonfly was stuck on the fence, struggling to get out.

dragonfly on fence She felt sorry for the dragonfly, but it seemed so delicate that she could think of no way to help the poor thing without damaging it.  She stood by, offering encouragement and compassion as best she could, but not daring to touch.   She thought of the times in her young life when she had struggled and struggled to achieve something – and the joy at her eventual success.

After a very long time the dragonfly seemed to be coming out of its trap, and a transformation took place.   dragon silver angel

The little girl seemed to be able to see the dragonfly appearing as a little angel,  a tiny little being who looked upon her with gratitude and love.      With a tiny smile, it said,  “Thank you for the compassion you gave me.   You were saddened by my struggle yet you didn’t abandon me, and that gave me courage.  I can now go on with my mission in this world.”

And then the little girl’s heart opened up to the Counsel of Heaven and to the Wisdom of the Creator and understood that she cannot prevent severe trials that come to those she loves,  but that she must stand by them in love and compassion, suffering alongside.

This is the way of our existence in this Fallen World –  this is the Way of the Cross, the way that leads to Life.




September 3, 2013

Got one?  An “escape hatch,”  that is.   Got a plan?   Ha!   This is another posting with a smile,  like yesterday’s Labor Day Follies.  Not a wry smile and shake of your head like yesterday,  but a fond, nostalgic smile. . .

A rather unattractive photo from earlier today:


I was doing errands, odds and ends,  keeping busy with my little to-do list – and fussing with my “new car” which is not so new anymore.  Nevertheless, I fuss.   I was tidying up the trunk when I noticed that T-shaped glowing marking on the right-hand side.   I’d never seen it before.

I ducked down and looked up to discover what that marking said:


Little drawings!    And they were upside down!   Now, I’m not very good at three-dimensional perspectives,  but if you can just imagine, the only way that sign would make sense to you is if you were reading it from within the trunk of the car!

The trunk of the little car drawing is open, and the dotted lines show that a little man has just run out of his trunk.

A second later I was transported back to my childhood, about ten years old, sitting in the back seat of my Dad’s Nash Rambler, my parents in the front seat, listening to the radio.   We were on our way into the city, probably to an electronics parts store like “Heathkit”  — anyone remember that?   

 I was watching the beautiful patterns of headlights and taillights of the cars on the tollroad, and the beautiful lights of the city of Chicago.   Then the radio changed to “news.”   The police were announcing that they had just rescued a man who was being kidnapped.  He had been stuffed in the trunk of the bad guys’ car and he had reached into a taillight and wiggled the wires in such a way as to create an off-and-on pattern of Morse Code, which a passing patrol officer had noticed, recognized,  and read!  

Now, I was just teaching myself Morse Code at that time, and I felt an overwhelming sense of confidence that at the very least I could save myself because I knew how to tap out S.O.S.    (If I should ever find myself locked in the trunk of a moving car at night.)

I had an escape plan!!! 

And now, back to the present,  my pretty little blue car has offered me another escape plan, and I don’t even have to remember all my Morse Code!    A pleasant thought…..a small smile.

A smile and a sigh.    I don’t have to list all the things in today’s current affairs that we might wish there were an escape from.     I have my own list,  and you’re smart enough to make your own list.

The “escape hatch” probably won’t be so easy to find, though.




September 2, 2013

“Follies” – trifling entertainment meant to amuse.

Labor Day Follies.   It’s become an annual event, and I’m going to choose just to laugh this year.   I know there are serious underlying issues here, symptoms of the deliberate collapse of a civilization and all the attendant confusion and  tragedies and injuries and death,  but, as a society self-destructs,  there are also absurdities and paradoxes and . . . whatever –

The Arrivals.   They come in their vehicles:

1 they're arriving  bj

Woodstock + Saturnalia    More than 61,000 gather to watch.

2 they;re watching  bj

Here he is!   He is . . . present!

3   He ... is bj


And this guy.   He. . . uh… he. . .um –

4  He . .. um bjOh, well.

At any time, mankind hangs on by a thread to civilization that barely holds back the animal-like barbarism that this  fallen world defaults back to periodically.

Once our present civilization fully collapses,  there will be generations, centuries perhaps, of bloodshed, violence, fear, and fortress living.  Oh, yes – and  superstition.  Superstition fueled by evil and the lust for power and the belief in supernatural entities which must be honored…and (much worse)  appeased.

GK Chesterton and many of the literary writers at the beginning of the 20th century understood full well that they were observing the deliberate undermining of our civilization. Chesterton wrote that when a man   ceases to believe in God,  he doesn’t just believe in nothing;  he will believe anything.    Decades later it comes true, giving us a momentary smile.

5 largest permitted event

This was the largest permitted event in the United States.


Labor Day.    Jesus, Salvator mundi,   says:     “Labor Not For The Meat Which Perishes…” (John 6:27)