Christian Wiman wrote; “As a small child I would sneak into my parents’ room in the middle of the night and peel open their eyelids in the hopes that I could see what they were dreaming”. As an adolescent, I would sneak into my parent’s room and listen to them breathing. Dad had sleep apnea and would stop breathing, for what seemed like 10 minutes or more. I was afraid to awake him because he would growl at me, so I just stood there, silently waiting for him to take his next breath, not knowing when to sound the alarm if he failed to do so. Consequently, I grew up with the fear that my father would die and leave mom, my brother Jerry and me, to fend for ourselves. But my father always took that next breath like a bolt of lightning from the sky, surprising and totally unexpected. I would be hard put to guess the number of times I stood by his side of the bed waiting for the noise his next breath would bring. I was probably 13-14 years old before I stopped doing that, but needless to say, my anxiety over Dad’s well-being stayed with me into adulthood. I seriously doubt that Mom & Dad knew of my frequent visits to their bedside. If they did, it was never mentioned. Dad took his final breath in October 1986 (Mom in March 1988) and not too many days go by that I fail to think of them. I am aware that a lot of my core values come from my childhood, but I also believe a fear of the unknown can have it roots in adolescence. “I asked for wonders instead of happiness, Lord, and you gave them to me.”….. Abraham Heschel
I read recently that adults blink at a rate of about 20 per minute and babies only do it about twice per minute. The blink rate for babies increased if they were focused on something. I have never checked my blink rate and cannot possibly think of a reason to do so, but I’m confident that when “Our Maker” sat down to design humans, he had a logical reason for doing so. There are so many things about us, as humans, we take for granted without ever giving it any thought whatsoever. I am guilty of taking so many things in my relationships with others for granted as well. All of us have been given an infinite ability to develop our skill at communicating with others, but few of us do. I have several friends that love to write (Frank, Vic, Reese) and they do it without any thought of being paid. On occasion they write books to sell, but they are always sold for a modest sum. I have pondered the question of why people spend many hours at their desk writing about things for someone’s enjoyment/gratification and getting very few responses. I send this missive out to about 60 friends via email (plus 12 via USPS) and, on average, I’ll get less than five comments. So why do we do it? In my humble opinion, it’s an attempt to reach out to our friends that are far away and whom we seldom come in contact with. It’s a desire to focus on friendships and relationships that matter to us. For me, when I get a response from a reader, my heart kinda gets a glow of satisfaction, knowing that what I have written something that touched someone. T.S. Eliot said ; “We must remember that what a writer does to people is not necessarily what he intends to do. It may be only what people are capable of having done to them”. But, Jorge Luis Borges, wrote; “You are not what you write, but what you have read”. Hmmm, I think I have succeeded in confusing myself .
My wife bought me a Davis Weather Station (Vantage Pro2) for Christmas, and she gave it to me early so I could replace my old one. The old one chose to start transmitting incorrect information after many years of reliable service. Needless to say, the new one has all the bells & whistles and required reading a lot of instructions to install it correctly. It took me three days to finish the installation, get it to communicate with my desktop console, and then connect to the Weather Underground online (www.wunderground.com). If you want to see the weather at our house just insert the following station ID into “Search Locations” on that website: KVAPOQUO11. It will show “Westover Shores” and then our station ID. Click on that link and it magically appears.
I decided recently to install a floor in the “Lean-To” on our shed. I sat down, planned how I would construct it, the materials I would need, and determine if I had the necessary skill level to accomplish such a task. It took me three days to do what a decent carpenter could probably do in three hours, but it looked good after I finished, and I was sorta proud of it. A couple of days later I decided I wanted to screens on both ends of the lean-to leaving the front open. So, I ordered the necessary screens and installed them but it wasn’t as easily done as I had anticipated. I have come to the conclusion, after 27,725 spins on this planet we call earth, that most worthy things are, by nature, hard to accomplish. That not only applies to tasks we want to get done, but to friendships we want to maintain, hearts we want to touch, and a Savior we strive to convince that we are worthy of his blessings. I work to keep my life simple, putting things that happen in perspective as to their real importance in my life. I find that to be a balancing act that can be extremely hard to do. I try to look at finding joy in my life as an Easter Egg Hunt. Joy is tucked in small cramped places as well as sitting on the balcony of a cruise ship. It’s sitting at your granddaughter’s table eating with your great-grandchildren and bathing in the love and laughter that surrounds you. It can be me talking to you on the phone , each of us sharing a part of our life with each other. And, yes, it can be installing a floor on my Lean-To and adding side screens.
I ran across this quote the other day; "Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon". --- Susan Ertz. I have given some thought as to what that could possibly mean. Immortality means perpetual life after death. I think that, perhaps, what we want is to be remembered after we die; at least, by those we count as friends & family. Yeah, on a rainy Sunday afternoon I may rummage around trying to find something useful to do, but I cannot equate that with an inability to want to be remembered long after I have transitioned to the other side.
I was reading an article a while back that contained the word, amanuensis, and had absolutely no idea of its meaning. Of course, off to the time-worn dictionary I go to discover it’s meaning to be: someone skilled in the transcription of speech (especially dictation). I doubt that I have ever seen that word before, and I began to wonder how many other words there were that I was unaware of? I did a little research and this is what I came up with:
The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. To this may be added around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries. There is a website (www.languagemonitor.com) that has the English Language word clock and says the English language passed the Million Word threshold on June 10, 2009. Currently there is a new word created every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words per day. The English Language Word Clock stands at: 1,005,366. So, about how many do I, personally, know? This is what I discovered: Most adult native test-takers range from 20,000–35,000 words. Average native test-takers of age 8 already know 10,000 words. Average native test-takers of age 4 already know 5,000 words. Adult native test-takers learn almost 1 new word a day until middle age. Hmmm, I wonder what happens after middle age? It’s about at this point that I notice your eyes start to glaze over…..too much information .
Well that’s it, another missive on random thoughts and things happening in my life. I hope you enjoyed the view from “My Window on The World” and that your life is filled with joy wherever you may be.