The Gathering Place

 
 

Happy Birthday

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March 27, 2020

Today is my Mother-in-law’s Birthday 🎂

 

Ethel and her two sisters, Audrey and Anne (in this order), were the first which welcomed me with open arms and open hearts, ♥️ without hesitation or reservation; without judgement. Some believe your marry a family when you marry someone (my wife, Susan Meech Hayden), in it. But there was also my father-in-law, an uncle, three step-sons, their wives, their 7 children and cousins and other kindreds. Marrying any woman is work enough and then there is work with all she is kindred to. Few men are ever good enough for a mother’s and father’s daughter. Multiply this many times, if you marry a divorced woman with children! But, call it Kingly or Queenly kindness, Mom and her two sisters (my aunts), graciously accepted me the first time I met them. And I liked all three of them, the first time I met each of them. Now unless you think this is about me or three sisters, it is not. But it is about a similar trait that all three shared and this merely is my observations of the qualities of one in particular.

Ethel Lovatt Meech, is my mother-in-law, to which I have long dispensed with the factual and formal title and just call her Mom. Blood not, but not any less is she to me, than my birth mother.

Her husband Henry, “Bud” Meech, my father-in-law called her “Lovie”. She was indeed, a loving 🥰 sister, a loving 🥰 wife, a loving 🥰 mother, a loving 🥰 aunt, a loving 🥰 cousin, a loving 🥰 grandmother, a loving 🥰 great grandmother and a loving 🥰 friend!

Our only granddaughter Leona, and one nephew Chase, both have ‘Lovatt’ as their middle name.

Mom was a proper Lady. She was often quiet and a good listener. But she was an exceptional conversationalist too, poignant, sharp and smart.

She also had a fun and funny side too. Both her two true children could tell you about her burgundy red convertible 67′ mustang she loved to drive.

Her comedic timing was often unexpected, but greatly appreciated. I would’ve loved to have been at the dinner table when her husband Bud asked her to throw him a pickle and she tossed it into the air! I remember standing next to her and my wife Susan, was on her other side at the funeral home. We were there to say goodbye to her husband, the father of her children, “Bud” Henry Meech. The grandchildren called her, ‘Grandma Sweetie Pie’. Yes, she was a sweetie, made great pie and was a wonderful cook. But there we were and it was a solemn moment, for all in saying goodbye, as we drew near to see him and pay our respects and begin the grieving process. Mom looked on her husband and friend and just quietly said, “The shell is still here, but the nut is gone.”

I would have loved to have been a fly in the car when she and dad were in the front seats (Dad was driving) and it was the first time she met his mom and grandmother. They were all singing songs and then there was a sudden quiet. To break the ice and cut through the edginess, Mom broke out singing, ‘Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall’. If that’s not funny enough for you, unbeknownst to Ethel, her newly met grandmother-in-law just happened to be the wife of a Methodist minister and her new mother-in-law was aligned with The Women’s Temperance Movement that opposed the consumption of alcohol. 🍹 🍸 🍺 🍷 🤣🤣🤣

But to me, the greatest thing my Mom had been was a career registered nurse. And that fact does not even begin to tell the story. I have met a few famous people in my life and had my heroes and heroines, But never in my wildest dreams, could I ever have imagined, marrying into a family with one hero and one heroine, married to each other. Their family became my family!

But Ethel was not only a registered nurse, oh no, a million times no! She was a proud and lifelong member of, The United States Nurse Cadet Corps.

Logo

The United States Cadet Nurse Corps (CNC), was authorized by the U.S. Congress and signed into law as a nondiscriminatory program, in July 1943. Its purpose was to help alleviate the nursing shortage that existed during World War II. The United States Public Health Service (USPHS), was named the supervisory agency; it was answerable to, the Surgeon General of the United States.

Its origins can be traced to the establishment in 1798, of a system of marine hospitals. In 1870, these were consolidated into the Marine Hospital Service, and the position of Surgeon General, first began.

The program was formed, July 1st, 1943 and was dissolved, December 31st, 1948.

The Media carried the news and offerings everywhere

The program was open to all women between the ages of 17 and 35 who were in good health and had graduated from an accredited high school.

All state nursing schools in the U.S. were eligible to participate in the program; they were, however, required to be accredited by the accrediting agency in their state and be connected with a hospital that had been approved by the American College of Surgeons. The participating schools of nursing were required to compress the traditional 36-month nursing program into 30 months and were obligated to provide the students with the clinical experiences of medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and obstetrics.

Ethel was an operating room and surgery nurse, for the better part of her career in nursing.

This was an incredible opportunity for women, for financial independence and a lifetime career, no matter the economic situation or societal woes that may befall a nation. If you were a nurse and even today, you always have a job. All of these things appealed to young women which before, may have had little to no opportunity to improve the quality of their lives. The uniforms, stockings, lapel pins, a particular shade of ruby red lipstick, and berets were highly attractive to many. If you were a nurse, a Cadet Nurse, you were in essence, a fashionista!

Status symbols and fashionistas

Many wanted to be one or to be seen with one!

 

There was a lot of prestige being a Cadet Nurse. You were not just anybody or just a woman, you were often gorgeous, highly intelligent, professional, highly trained, in high demand and were often viewed like rock stars of the times. Many women longed to be a Cadet Nurses and along with all these characteristics and compassion for others and the faithful dedication, many men fervently desired to date a Cadet Nurse, kiss one and with an ultimate hope of marrying one!

    

Beyond these things, Cadet Nurses were honored to serve their country as the country was honored by their presence. They filled great voids in this country, when so much of the medical field were on the front lines overseas. But no matter where a Nurse Cadet served, she was also on the front lines and among the ‘first responders’. They did not only give life giving aid and literally saved many a life, they often wrote letters for their patients, read to them, talked to them, comforted them, and kept vigil the whole dark night of their patients’s souls. They were heroes and heroines each one, and often your trusted confidant and best friend! Doctors could never, and cannot ever, survive for any length of time without them! And the greatest medical people in the world are in the USA! 🇺🇸 The quality of the entire medical industry that we enjoy today, are the direct results of The Nurse Cadet Corps that forged it in fire, 🔥 on the front lines, of the front lines of, human trauma and tragedy, crisis and redemption, by what many think on as the ‘angels of grace and mercy!

My mother-in-law, Ethel Lovatt Meech, my adopted mom, was a pioneer on a love frontier. And she is my heroine!

She knew her grandson Jonathan was following, in her footsteps and she spoke of him often fondly and beamed with pride. He wanted her to be the one that pinned him when he graduated from nursing school, but sadly, she passed before. But he did graduate, is a husband, a father of three boys, and a NICU nurse (neonatal Specialist), but he is also studying and soon to graduate, as a Nurse Practitioner. I know she would be (is), so very proud of him as he like her, in our current World War against the Covid19 virus, is on the front lines of the front lines!

Triple Victory- The War is Over, Home Again, & Kiss a Nurse! 🙂

Jonathan was there and Susan and I were there when Mom took her last breath. I have no other way to say this than, it was a beautiful death. She was surrounded by people that loved her and that she loved and she quietly closed her eyes and went to sleep. She was draped with a quilt that was given to her by a Nurse who had also served in the military. The quilt has an American flag woven design. We still have this. It was just a token of a grateful country, for her service!

The Quilt that draped Ethel, in honor of her service to the USA

We now live in the same home that she and my father-in-law lived in, from 1973 until they passed. We inherited a simple little kitchen timer that runs off of batteries. It is just inside one of the cabinets in our kitchen. For some unknown reasons and at different times, when either of us walk by the cabinet, the alarm inside starts dinging. We always think it’s Mom trying to say something and we always say, “Hi Mom,” and then shut the alarm off. And today is, your birthday! Your your daughter Susan, is making a cake for you, to celebrate you today and for as long as we still draw breath.

I don’t know if I ever said this to you, but like the line from a favorite song of mine, “Did you ever know that you’re my hero?” 🥰❤️

Your Dahni
(Because you made me yours)

A Beautiful Woman inside and Out

Still kept her red curly hair

   


Cadet Hymn

Faithful ever to my country, to the Corps, my sacred trust,
Grant that I may follow wisely, all the guidance offered me.
Give me kindness, grant me patience,
That I may not fail this noble challenge to heal the suffering ones.
Help me to ally the sorrowing in a world torn by strife,
May I hold the lamp of nursing in the sprit of the Corps,
Give me strength, and grant me knowledge,
To pursue my chosen way with courage to heal the suffering ones.
Now I dedicate my service, pledge myself and all I am,
Thus to make of life a triumph, over sorrow over death,
Give me pride in my endeavor
In the service of my Corps, o grant that I may heal the suffering ones

The cadet hymn was composed by the director of music at Mt. Vernon Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. and the words were written by a member of the Division of Nursing Education of the USPHS. It was released in 1945 on the second anniversary of the CNC

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The Gathering Place

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Cherry tree in full blossomed glory

When you live in Western New York and on top of a hill as we do, Spring can be long in coming and short in duration. Trees and flowers at the bottom of the hill on either side, has perhaps already bloomed two weeks ago. Forty-five minutes or so from us, the famous Rochester, NY Lilac Festival ended last week and our lilacs are barely budding. The winds are strong and fierce here, across the 100’s of acres of farmland in back and in front of our home. Winter is long here and is so often, accompanied by snow drifts several feet high, all around us. Atop the the hill, it seems an ideal place for the wind and rain and snow to blow and fly. It is what it is and unless you take this as complaining, it is more, just my observations.

My wife Susan and I, frequently gather on our small and narrow front porch. It was originally built as a two-season room with screens and storms and a screen-storm door. We thought replacing these with thermal pane, dual-glass windows and the door, would extend our usable time here. But the floor has no insulation and is built over a crawl space. Having so much of a wall of glass, there is not really room for much insulation there. And there is probably not much if any, above the ceiling.

We added a little electric heater that looks like a wood burning stove and it warms the room nice and toasty, while adding to our electric bill, considerably. But we love this room! Children, friends, family, Bella our cat and Lady our dog, and our seven grandchildren, love this room. Notice the many toys and Bella on one of the chairs, in the picture below. 🙂

Other than changing the windows, the door, adding a heater and installing an oak-look floating laminate floor, it really has not changed much, since Susan’s Mother and Father lived here. They were the first occupants since the place was built, in 1973. When the porch was enclosed or added-on (I’m not sure which),  her father installed rough-sawn paneling and the ceiling fan we still use today. I can say for myself and think it true for Susan too, it is our favorite room, in all our home!

Our Favorite Room
Sunrise and bird good morning

Most of the furniture has been in the family, for many years. The couch and two chairs were refinished, repaired and re-covered with a blue-jean color, cotton jean-like material. The couch has at times and the floor next to it, has been covered with napping bodies of friends and family. Other furniture is also, family heirloom. Family pictures and military paraphernalia adorn the interesting wall of carefully designed and saw-cut paneling, and are a continual tribute to the man that built this porch, Susan’s Dad. The room is nothing fancy or expensive. It is comfortable, just wonderfully comfortable!

Susan and I often gather here in the morning with our coffee and look out and watch the birds. We also gather here for drinks at Happy Hour, around 5 PM. These are those special times we share together and converse about life and are still getting to learn something new about one another. I call these times, ‘Sips with Susan’! 🙂

Whenever I finish my book, ‘The Gathering Place Feast Book’ (How anyone can turn their home into a five-star culinary experience), under the category of beverages, it too will be called, ‘Sips with Susan’. 🙂

But, for the long wait of spring at the top of the hill, at ‘The Gathering Place’, I came up with not a bit solace, for a sorrowed soul, but anticipation, for whenever Spring in full arrives and for how little in time it may last? For myself, while waiting for anything, any little subtle changes, anything new, it causes me to get excited and my heart all twitter-patted, in anticipation and appreciation!

“They who wait for Spring the longest, appreciate it the most!”

-dahni-

Our lilacs just coming
Azalea just this morning
Susan’s birthday sculpture – hummingbird made with spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Susan, just this morning, during ‘Sips with Susan’, wrote the following. It captures it all perfectly, from our little comfy-cozy porch, atop the hill at The Gathering Place.

Our red-bud is almost ready

 

 

 

The Gathering Place

By Susan Meech Hayden
©️ 2019, all rights reserved

Our Gathering Place, on top the hill we wait at morn or eve
For sun to rise, burst forth and shine, then sink to take its leave.
Sometimes the sun plays hide and seek in clouds of grey or white
Or mist and fog might cover the fields and stretch beyond our sight.
Our little home, through nature’s powers,
We sit content, because it’s ours.
Oh, from our hill the stage is set for every kind of weather
The blustery winds, the snow and cold, but we stay warm together
We wait for spring’s array of colors beneath the sullen skies
It lags behind, but now and then, bursts forth before our eyes.

 

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The Windshield

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By Dahni
© 2018, all rights reserved

Not too much is free anymore nor is there a place to feel free much anymore, except from the windshield of life.

There was a time when where I’m going, I could probably get to Hometown Columbia, MO and back Home again in Macedon, NY, for about a $20 bill. I probably could have and would have driven straight through, for about 14 hours. And did the same on the way back. It would have even taken less time, when you could drive without being pulled over at 76 mph, on most highways, where the speed limit was 70 mph.

Tolls? I would have and will avoid them.

Even if I did stop due to poor weather or I was tired, to where they leave they “light on for you”, (Motel 6 or some other), it would have only cost around $20-25 dollars. Food, 🥘 maybe a couple of bucks and coffee ☕️ 15 cents?!

Turn your radio on or play a tape, a CD, 💿 a DVD, 📀 and now, some playlist from your media device. Play what you want, when you want and as loud as you want. That was and still is, freedom in the ears, from the windshield of life!

Weather then and now (soon), could be about the same as it ever was or ever will be? Take care, know how to drive in inclement weather; how not to tailgate. Don’t be rude and stay far enough away, from unknown others. Watch your own windshields of life; not theirs.

Prepared then and now with maps, emergency kits, cash, water and warmth; something to eat and be prepared to wait, for the traffic to move again or help to arrive.

All in all, you prepare for the worst, but why else leave, unless expecting the best?!

My expectation then and now remains the same, Freedom to think 🤔 and if the music 🎼 is not on or is not too loud, actually hear my own thoughts. It’s free-time magnified, when the imagination is fired up like the vehicle’s 🚗 engine, tuned like the radio; humming and purring on all cylinders. What shapes and things in motion like the clouds, ☁️ will I imagine, coming through, the windshield of life?!

Free Peace to turn off and tune-out the daily news and the daily do’s, in the windshield of life.

Free to speak my mind! Free to be silent, quiet and still! Free to hear and to listen and to take heed of common sense, my own inspiration, or that still small voice of God, which draws near to, the windshield of my life!

Free to Resolve and Move On, into the future that’s seen in, the windshield of life, before your eyes.

Free Adventure! What new or old things in new ways will find me, in the windshield of life?!

Free Expectation! To bond with those who really matter that you are with and to bond with those who really matter that you are traveling to see. Their faces and lives seem to be, all superimposed, on the windshield of life.

Free Control! Free to the things you can control and free to change with what you cannot, in the windshield of life.

Free in the USA! 🇺🇸 There are no border guards from state to state, checking papers, no ID required to show; no purpose of your travel to declare or how long you will stay. None of these are seen nor demanded, in the windshield of life.

Free to Be! None to care, or ask, criticize or condemn me, for what I believe or don’t, in the windshield of my life!

Free to change! Free to take an exit and get off my planned trip to, whatever attracts me; calls out to me, from the windshield of my life!

Free adventure! While the destination is purposed, planned and important, the journey Is equally important and it builds the excitement after every mile in getting closer, in the windshield of life.

The costs paid then or now, cannot even begin to compare with the graces of the journey and the joys at the destination!

Free New! Free new of those things and friends I have not yet met, and free new news, of those friends and family, I have not seen in a time or a long time or a very, very long time!

Free Thanks!🙏 How apropos, with Thanksgiving coming and towards Thanksgiving I am preparing to be going, through the windshield of life. There is always something(s) and someone(s) to be thankful for!

Not much may be free anymore and not much freedom perhaps? But there’s still Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, and we are still FREE to experience these, from the Windshields of Our Lives!!!

It is about time for some Steppenwolf, “Born to Be Wild”, some John Barry, “Born Free”, and some Willy Nelson, “On the Road Again”!!!

I’ll not be posting on FB (Facebook) or Twitter until perhaps, after 11/26/2018? But Until We Meet again, I would you each and all, a Very Happy Thanksgiving!🦃 I would for you each and all, a wonderful road trip from the windshield of your life, even if it is just, from the windshield of your mind and heart!

Live FREE at—

The Windshield!!!

I leave you now with a big and hearty; warm and friendly, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans—

“Happy Trails…Til’ We Meet Again!!!”  🙂

 

From the Windshield of My Life at— The Gathering Place,

-dahni-

“Born to be Wild!”

“Born Free!”

“On the Road Again!”

“Happy Trails!”

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Tree of Heaven?

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By Dahni
©️2018, all rights reserved

Tree of Heaven in Summer

Ailanthus altissima /eɪˈlænθəs ælˈtɪsɪmə/, commonly known as tree of heaven. It is related to poplar and tulip trees. It is a deciduous tree in the Simaroubaceae family

It is native to both northeast and central China, as well as Taiwan. It prefers temperate climates. Grows well in sun or shade, moist conditions or dry, parched and drought-ridden areas. Sounds good yes? Tree of Heaven?

Tree of Hell 4/21/2018

It is so named the ‘Tree of Heaven’ as it grows faster than most trees and in a forest, they are prone to dominate the canopy, starving other trees of precious sunlight. Tree of Heaven? I think not!

The tree grows rapidly and can reach heights about 49 feet in about 25 years. Typical heights in the USA is about 15-30’. What? The USA? Yes, and one WAS (for years before today), was between the side of our home and our neighbor’s property.

Well how did they get from China to the United States?

Thanks to the Chinese gold miners that brought these to CA during the Gold Rush and some idiot gardener in the “City of Brotherly Love” (Philadelphia, PA,), these damn gifts of the Tree of Heaven spread across the USA literally like a plague or a virus!

By the way, the Standard Chinese word for this tree, ailanthus is chouchun (Chinese: 臭椿; pinyin: chòuchūn; literally: “foul-smelling tree”). It has been described as the smell of rancid peanut butter. YUCK!

But they are not likely to live more than 50 years. I don’t think I will live 50 more, but, maybe? 😀 But, but, through its remarkable suckering ability, makes it possible for this tree to clone itself indefinitely!!!!!! What? Tree from Heaven? Oh, NO IT’S NOT!

But, but, but since these suckers are linked to the mother tree and PARTLY fed by it, the suckers are less vulnerable than the seedlings and can grow faster. Tree from Heaven? Oh HELL NO!!!!!!!!!! But, but, but, but “seedlings”, let’s talk about those.

Seedlings Tree of Heaven

The Tree of Heaven’s seedlings are like maple tree seedlings like we used to call ‘helicopters’ when we were kids. Oh it was fun watching the wind spin them and carry them off. But, but, but, but as an adult (I am chronologically an adult anyway), NOT FUN AT ALL!

Behind our home is a much (a bunch), of rocks purposely put there so not having to mow the steep pitch. It was planned perfectly years ago and did its job nicely. The area is rectangular in shape, about 40’ long by 30’ foot wide; edged with flat concrete blocks.

Rock bed for seedlings from the Tree of Hell

After many years, stuff started to grow out from the spaces between the stones. Particularly what grew profusely, like weeds or multiplied like rabbits were those damn seedlings from the Tree of Heaven.

It seemed that if these grew above 1 inch tall, the roots would already have grown back to China, their mother country. 🙂

If I did not pluck them out at or below 1” or douse the whole area with about 575,000 gallons of ‘Round Up’® every freaking year, nothing was going to kill them!

Note: Round Up is a registered trademarked chemical or its technical name is, Glyphosate, a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant, from your friendly chemical and world’s largest distributor of seeds, Monsanto company! Yes that was sarcasm and factual.

After 1” I would have to try and chop them out, use a jackhammer, break chain saws or concrete blades or try dynamite because, the evil green-less dead looking crap was like diamonds or petrified stone in hardness!!! Tree of Heaven my ass! This is the Tree of Hell!!!

Old root from Tree of Hell – like petrified stone in hardness

We were GLAD to pay half to have this Tree of Hell cut down Yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today (Sunday 4/22/18 Earth Day), they will cut down the trunk and remove it all away!!!!! YAY!!!!!

Thanks China! NO, NOT REALLY; NOT AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have a Tree from Hell or if you really and truly care about someone you know that has EVEN ONE OF THEM, watch and/or share the following video!!!!!

The Gathering Place,

Dahni

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The Gathering Place

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Note:

This was written sometime ago. I would come back to it every now and again to edit and add etc. Perhaps I should have published this at or near the beginning of this blog. But it was intended to show what is behind the title of this post and the actual wooden sign (as shown as the cover picture for this blog). It hangs over the mantle of the fireplace, in the great room of our home. This blog and that sign (a gift from family), represents our home which we also lovingly call– The Gathering Place. This post was written to explain why this place, called the The Gathering Place (our home), is so named, The Gathering Place. For one thing, I believe most people understand what a gathering place is and what it is for. That visual explanation works for this place, this blog and our home as well. But I want you to understand the depth of my meaning for it as well. I thought today, April 17, 2018, was as good as any time to publish it. Cheers! 🙂

-d-

(What’s in a Name)

by Dahni
©️ 2018, all rights reserved

When I was a child, I believed in many things. Then I found out I had been lied to. And I decided right there and then– there was no Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy, no such thing as the Easter Bunny, that people cannot be trusted and there must be, no such person or thing as God. Then I came upon many beliefs about the meaning of life and I just started looking.

Then I found this and that and was told this and that– “Because”, ‘That’s what I was taught”, “Because, that’s just the way it is”,”Come here”, “Go there”, “Look here”, and “Look over there”, and I just kept looking!

I went to the mountains. I went to the desert. I went to the sea. I looked to the stars. I wondered and I wandered. Then I looked to the healing arts. Then I looked to the law. I looked towards anywhere and any place I could find. I turned to the so-called creative arts. I wrote and wrote in journal after journal and would read them from time to time. Then it was discovered I had encircled myself in my own words, trapping me inside them. I burnt them all! The Religion of obscurity and confusion was NOT for me, so I kept on looking.

I went to the valleys of the human kind. I searched the ancients and the currents, their dark arts and their light arts. The Religion of uncertainty, contradiction, hypocrisy and evil, was NOT for me, so I kept on looking.

I returned to the religion of my youth, for some solace and some comfort. I went back to something familiar and discovered the mystery of faith. But faith could not be explained, it was not understood and I could NOT apply it because, I had no faith, not enough faith or I had turned away from the faith. Then I thought, if it cannot be articulated in words it is because, it is not understood. If it cannot be understood, it cannot be applied and there can be no results or consequences. The Religion of faith was NOT for me and I must NOT have been adequate, for the Religion of faith. I found no comfort or solace, so I kept looking.

I thought I must be tried and purified. I must take the chance on luck that by chance I might be chosen. Born to stand upright, to seek and to excel, how could I rise if the fates were not calling me? I was NOT chosen. And the Religion of Fate and Predestination was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

At one time in my life, I considered living a life of self-sacrifice and use my all and everything to suppress my passions, to elevate only logic and reason, much like the ancient Stoics. But that did not seem like much fun to me. The Religion of endless works without ceasing and a joyless existence was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

I saw the dying and the dead. Some of the dying cried out in terror; in fear of the unknown. Some of the dead cried out in losing their lives to the void. They cried out in guilt, for what they had done amiss or had not done, vainly making deals with the unknown, for another chance, more days; more years. I saw them curse when the answers they wanted and needed, did not come and they all died. The Religion of helplessness and hopelessness, was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

I saw and heard the dead eulogized and memorialized. Some were great, near great, just common folk and some were despised. But all of them still had at least a few that sorrowed for them, pretended to cry or were happy at their departure saying, “Good riddance.” And I heard religious leaders proclaim that those embalmed, dead and lifeless before my eyes, were not dead, but alive with God. How cruel I thought and unfair to us that remain. We that are left must continue to bear the slings and arrows of humanity and inhumanity. Even if the dead were hated, they are better off than us poor, pathetic creatures, fragile and miserable. We the left-behind, continued to struggle and even with good intentions, were paving our own roads in hell, in the slim and unverified sliver of hope for, heaven’s door. How much rather better, to go nowhere at all! For to the dead with no coins laid on their eyes (or our eyes), for the ‘Boatman’, without consciousness or conscience, is this not the bliss of ignorance! The Religion of ignorance, favoritism, partiality, inequity was NOT for me and I, I kept looking right there.

Then I looked at the words from the same book these religious leaders read from. I heard them say that the dead which were before me were dead and I could see they were dead. I heard the tears of those left behind. Some were mournful, some pretended and some smiled happily.  And I heard and saw these preachers contradict that the dead were not dead, after they had just read and said they were. And they said they were not dead, but alive and living elsewhere, not needing their shells. And these preachers talked of resurrection and I thought, if these dead were alive, why would God need to return and pick up their dust and bones? Is this not what it means to be raised (resurrected), from the dead? And then I heard my own pastor say, “The whole duty of a minister is to be intellectually informed for their congregation.” I supposed none of this was NOT spoken from some callous hearts; not abject hypocrites, but attempts at empathy, to comfort the mourners? How were we, was I, comforted in knowing the dead were alive and we alive were born to die? And the dead were alive? And the words the leaders read were, the dead were dead and yet they said these were alive! The Religion of stupid and the illogical; false hope and false comfort was NOT for me, so I left, got out and kept looking somewhere, anywhere else!

Then I thought, “Eat, drink and be merry”, cuz’ some tomorrow, I’m gonna’ die anyway, like the ancient Epicureans. But then I thought, surely there is more to life than just feeling and sucking the marrow and all the juice out of life, as much and as fast as I could?! The Religion of burning my candle at both ends, depravity, debauchery, self Indulgence, self-contentedness; total wholly selfishness, was NOT for me, so so I kept looking, but with barely any strength left to continue. It amazes me how fat I can become and yet how weak it makes me so, yes, I kept looking.

Then I discovered people who don’t believe anything (atheists). How mindless, irresponsible, how blissfully ignorant. And I decided that the Religion of nothing, no purpose or reason for the reasons and passions for life or that non-religion was NOT for me, so I kept looking, then nearly crawling, for lack of strength. A mind spent on arguing is one starving, so yes, I kept looking.

Then I discovered the really insane people who can’t decide or even make up their minds as to what they believe or don’t believe (agnostics). And Religion, that Religion or the i-dunno’-religion, the I don’t want to say yes and be wrong and the I don’t want to say no and be wrong either. This without a mind Religion, insanity was NOT for me, so I stayed blind, deaf, and dumb, looking nowhere.

Then I grew really, really grew tired of looking, but more tired of not looking!!!

Then I was found! And my empty hard heart, soul, and mind were pierced and shattered by these words-

“Don’t you know that by his stripes you WERE HEALED?”

Then I came to discover that I already was a Christian; that Christ was already in me, and that the riches of this mystery was, Christ in me, The Hope of glory (future). I found the best of both lifestyles (reason and passion), and the balance of reason and passion for my past, present and future, plus hope for an everlasting life of joy, health and wholeness! I found when I so concentrated on these things- focused, without allowing any distraction in, I was calm and as pure as undiluted and undisturbed water, while the storms of life raged all about me. And my whole life was quickened– physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I have been healed often to the absence of any possibility and without medical explanation. I am alive when I should have died several times that I know of and perhaps more than I know?!

I have been filled according to my appetite. My questions all answered to my satisfaction. I overflow my fullness. I know what and why I believe what I believe and can show the same to anyone that desires to know the hope that is in me. This I can show that they can be filled according to their appetite and their questions answered to their satisfaction and their filling full, can overflow from them too!

I no longer look anymore! Whew, if you only knew how much time, resources and life this saved and saves me!

Then I discovered I have the best possible life going, even if I’ve succumbed to something so foolish and explained away as rapture of the deep and unrealistic euphoria, going nowhere! 🙂

But daily there are proofs and sometimes I prove them to myself and others see them in me too!

Then one day I will discover that I’ve been gathered together– dead, alive; here or there. Then, I’ll one day meet Jesus Christ, in the air!

And now I hope, to see you there! To the some I KNOW. I’ll be gathered together with you!! To all the rest, I hope to see you there!!! Until then, The Gathering Place (our home), is purposed to be like a miniature or mini-gathering together, until the real one or the big one occurs. 🙂

What’s in a Name?

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:25 KJV

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

I Thessalonians 4:16,17 KJV

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

II Thessalonians 2:1,2 KJV

Don’t stop looking, you’ll be found if you want to be!

Oh, and what and where is real comfort?

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

I Thessalonians 4:18 KJV

The Gathering Place,

Dahni

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Mary Did You Know

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Mary, Did You Know?

This is one of my favorite songs. You decide, which is my favorite version of this song below and decide for yourself, which is yours.

Kent Rogers & Winnona Judd

Voctave

Original Music by Buddy Greene and lyrics and originally sung by Mark Lowry

Pentatonic

Clay Aiken

 

Mary Did You Know

(Lyrics)

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God

Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?

This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am

Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

Music by Buddy Greene & Lyrics by Mark Lowry:

‘If Mary Knew’ by Dahni © 2012, all rights reserved

 

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Stuffed

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By Dahni
© 2017, all rights reserved

Stuffed

Stuffed? Stuffed with stuffing? Why yes, but so much the more! 🙂

Stuffed with information about how we came to celebrate Thanksgiving, what the first one was really like hundreds of years ago or what is really wasn’t like.

Stuffed with customs and traditions.

Stuffed with a measure of tired to you and they, depending on how far the distance traveled, the manner of transport and how long it takes to arrive.

Stuffed with the excitement and anticipation of, “Can’t wait for this day to come,” “Can’t wait to get there,” or “Can’t wait, for them to get here!”

Stuffed with the real possibility that you, “Can’t wait to go home,” or “You can’t wait, for everyone to leave!” 🙂

Stuffed with ‘catch-up’ since the last time together.

Stuffed with so much to stuff in and so little time, celebrating ‘long time no see,’ fall, Thanksgiving, birthdays and even Christmas too, early.

Stuffed with joy and perhaps, some trepidation from meeting new folks or some concern over how they find you and will remember you from the first impression you make.

Stuffed with nasal blockage, upper respiratory breathing restraints, colds, headaches, pains, strains, prescriptions and the need for perhaps more.

Stuffed with care and concern, empathy and sorrow over those that cannot be with you.

Stuffed with care and concern with all the things left behind that need to be resolved.

Stuffed with stuffing and all manner of culinary delights.

Stuffed with so much work and hours to make such a feast and preparations and accommodations that are devoured and messed up in mere minutes, and forgotten in even less time.

Stuffed with wonder at conversations from: “Where’s the gravy,” “Pass the potatoes,” “What time is the game on,” to all but total disengagement, nap time (The tryptophan effect), and texting one another from device to device while sitting right next to each other.

Stuffed with wonder at, “Why do we do this,” (all this work and effort), when there is a Denny’s, open 24/7, somewhere down the street or close by, with no dishes to wash or mess to clean up.

Stuffed with Thanksgiving, ThanksLiving and thankfulness.

Stuffed with even more wonder at being thankful to any degree for all one has to midnight of the new Friday, where so many rush and pull and push and knock down each other for all they perceive they do not have and must have before it’s too late.

Stuffed with despite it all and because of it all, thanks, for my favorite holiday and with anticipation and hope, for, “Can’t wait to do it all again!”

Stuffed with long or short goodbye, farewell until next time!

Stuffed with so much stuff, I’m just stuffed!

Stuffed with tired and into some easy chair of comfort wrapped snug in a blanket of love and joy and thanks.

Stuffed with peace and reflection at the afterglow of hearth fire and heart fire of memories, awaiting all these calories of a full and grateful life, for when I can get stuffed again!

Happy ThanksLiving, One and All!

https://youtu.be/0fYL_qiDYf0?&autoplay=1

Afterglow. A nice fire for your Thanksgiving! Gather yall’  🙂

The Gathering Place,

Dahni

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Hydrophobic Pusillanimous Skin

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By Dahni
© 2017, all rights reserved

Hydrophobic Pusillanimous Skin? As the Sesame Street Character the Swedish  Chef might have said, “Vert Der Ferk,” or just WDF?? 🙂

VDF????

Actually, the full wordage and one of my favorite lines of all time, was often said by our grandfather, ‘Papa.’ (pronounced, paw paw). He loved to laugh and make others laugh. He would often say the following with a twinkle in his eyes and a huge warm grin on his face:

“Gosh dern you hydrophobic pusillanimous skin!”

Papa [pronounced paw-paw], was a very smart man, but what on earth, was he talking about?

Fingers and toes!

Yep, fingers and toes, particularly that have been submerged in water. About five minutes should do the trick. At or around this 5-minute mark, fingers and toes do this curious and funny thing. They wrinkle! 🙂

Hydrophobic Pusillanimous Skin 🙂

Gosh dern you hydrophobic (scared of water, not liking water or water hating), pusillanimous (lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid), skin (fingers and toes)!”

Hydrophobic Pusillanimous Skin 🙂

Fingers and toes? Yep, some parts of human skin, better known as glabrous skin, have a unique response to water. “Glabrous?” Isn’t this just a nice fun word; another way of saying, “hairless, naked or bald!” Now, let me use this in a sentence. “When I was born, my baby butt was as glabrous and smooth, as a cue ball!  🙂

Glabrous and smooth as a cue ball 🙂

 

 

Unlike the rest of the body, the skin of our fingers, palms, and toes, and soles of our feet-ies wrinkle, after becoming sufficiently wet. As I said afore, about 5 minutes or so, will usually do the trick.

But why do these patches of skin wrinkle? Some believe it is just a biochemical reaction, an osmotic process in which water grabs a handful or a foot-ful of stuff out of the skin and leaves the prune effect or the prune-y like skin, in place? 🙂 I dunno’, but there are a couple of things known, that I do know. To follow here is one thang’ I knows’! 🙂

 

 

“Even though you can’t see it, your skin is covered with its own special oil called sebum (say: SEE-bum). Sebum is found on the outermost layer of skin. Sebum moistens, or lubricates (say: LOO-bruh-kates), and protects your skin. It also makes your skin a bit waterproof. That’s why water runs off your skin when you wash your hands, instead of soaking it in like a sponge would.” 

Excerpts from: ‘Why Does My Skin Get Wrinkly in Water’

http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/wrinkly-fingers.html

If the nerves in your feet-ies and toes-ies are cut or damaged, guess what? They won’t wrinkle anymore! So, the second thing I know about wrinkly or hydrophobic pusillanimous skin is, it’s a good sign of a healthy nervous system!

But why else could they possibly wrinkle?

“We have shown that wrinkled fingers give a better grip in wet conditions — it could be working like treads on your car tires, which allow more of the tire to be in contact with the road and gives you a better grip,” says Tom Smulders, an evolutionary biologist at Newcastle University, UK, and a co-author of the paper.

People often assume that wrinkling is the result of water passing into the outer layer of the skin and making it swell up. But researchers have known since the 1930s that the effect does not occur when there is nerve damage in the fingers. This points to the change being an involuntary reaction by the body’s autonomic nervous system — the system that also controls breathing, heart rate and perspiration. In fact, the distinctive wrinkling is caused by blood vessels constricting below the skin.

Better grip in wet conditions? I dunno’ what do you think? For me personally, wrinkled fingers and toes were invented by God and just so our Papa (pronounced paw paw) could say—

 

“Gosh dern you hydrophobic pusillanimous skin!” 

 

From The Gathering Place,

-Dahni-

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Any Road

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By Dahni
© 2017, all rights reserved

“Any road is, an English colloquialism. You know, “English” as from England or British (Britain). Instead of how many of us use and say “anyway” (any way), “any road” (anyroad), takes on a similar meaning. example: Anyway as I was saying, I have to get to the dentist or anyroad (any road), traveled, I must get to the store. 🙂

There is an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat, in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where the following line has been incorrectly attributed to, Lewis Carroll. It appears all over the Internet and all kinds of merchandise are being sold with the line, falsely quoting Lewis Carroll, as its author. The line reads as follows:

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

This MAY (?), have been someone’s paraphrase of the exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat, but Louis Carroll never wrote those words!
BrainyQuotes inaccurately attributes this to Carroll.

Lewis Carroll NEVER said this!

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lewiscarro165865.html

 And you could even buy a vinyl decal from Amazon (and other places), with the line and supposed quote by Lewis Carroll. Note: Currently this item is not available from Amazon (but it was, just do a search). Maybe they figured out they were selling something falsely quoted?

The Cheshire Cat, NEVER said this!

Anyway or Anyroad, back to ‘Alice.’ 🙂 Below are the actual words of the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat, from Chapter 6, ‘Pig and Pepper’ of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

Alice
Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?

Cheshire Cat
That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the Cat.

Alice
I don’t much care where— said Alice.

Cheshire Cat
Then it doesn’t matter which way you go, said the Cat.

Alice
So long as I get SOMEWHERE, Alice added as an explanation.

Cheshire Cat
Oh, you’re sure to do that, said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.

Excerpts: Chapter 6, ‘Pig and Pepper’ – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

Oh NO, he did NOT say or write this!

So, if neither Alice or the Cheshire Cat never said the line or the words “any road” (and they didn’t), and Lewis Carroll never wrote them (and he did NOT), who did?

It MAY(?), also, be found in the ancient Jewish Babylonian Talmud?

But if not Lewis Carroll, Alice, the Cheshire Cat, someone’s paraphrase of the three or the Jewish Babylonian Talmud, who else could have written these words?

‘Any Road’ is, a song written by the late, former Beatle, George Harrison, who passed in 2001. The song was released as a single and from his posthumous album ‘Brainwashed,’ in 2002. Notice in the lyrics to follow, the line is NOT “…any road will get you there,” but “…any road will take you there.”

CD Jacket of ‘Brainwashed’

Oh YES, He said it, sung it and wrote it!

Any Road

By George Harrison

Oh I’ve been traveling on a boat and a plane
In a car on a bike with a bus and a train
Traveling there and traveling here
Everywhere in every gear
But oh Lord we pay the price with a
Spin of a wheel with the roll of a dice

Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

And I’ve been traveling through the dirt and the grime
From the past to the future through the space and the time
Traveling deep beneath the waves
In watery grottoes and mountainous caves
But oh Lord we’ve got to fight
With the thoughts in the head with the dark and the light

No use to stop and stare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

You may not know where you came from
May not know who you are
You may not even wondered how
How You got this far
I’ve been traveling on a wing and a prayer
By the skin of my teeth by the breadth of a hair
Traveling where the four winds blow
With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow
But ooee it’s a game
Sometimes you’re cool, sometimes you’re lame

Ah yea it’s somewhere
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of a wheel, with the roll of a dice

Ah yea, you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

I keep traveling around the bend
There was no beginning, there is no end
It wasn’t born and never dies
There are no edges, there is no sides
Oh yea, you just don’t win
It’s so far out – the way out is in
Bow to God and call him Sir

But if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

♦  ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦  ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦   ♦

The only known public recording of this song by George Harrison was on VH1 in 1997. For your enrichment and enjoyment, the link to the YouTube video follows here.

The last song on the last album by all four Beatles (Abbey Road) was ‘The end.’ The last words are:

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

But all things considered, in the end, for me-
“All things must pass” [G. Harrison] “Let It Be” [the Beatles]
All the unknown and undone and what I’ve left this life, showing
I’d rather to have been on the road and known, where I am going!

-Dahni-

PS And at my end, I’m taking more love with me and in me, than it is possible, for me to have ever made, in 10,000 X 10,000 lives! I cannot equal, out-give, out-love and out-live God, but His Road will take me there!

-d-

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Be the Bean

Good to the Last Drop of the Midday to you!


Taking a break from the series about Java Joe, I picked up something I believe Joe would approve of. Because, of course, it involves coffee! 

The following story is being picked up and is popularly seen all over the Internet and the media, but neither sourced nor credited as to its authorship, the original author. I believe in giving credit where credit is due and I do believe the credit is due to:

ABHISHEK KUMAR SINGH,. CEO
TAJ PHARMA INDIA (MUMBAI)

The Carrot,  The Egg,  and The Coffee Bean  
By Abhishek Kumar Singh

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her – her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, grandmother?’

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be like the COFFEE.

Be Like Coffee!

Share this with your friends and family today.

Be the Bean! 

 

From The Gathering Place,

 

Dahni

Categories: Beverages, Coffee, Family & Friends, Inspiration, Live Laugh Love, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Uncategorized, Vision | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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