i A Time and a Place...: November 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Donna, Chico the Wonder Dog and I certainly did!

We went to Modesto and spent two days with my sister and her family and our three daughters and their families.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with our Grandson Chris and his sweet wife Beckie. It was the first semi-formal dinner they have given since they were married. We were honored to have been invited.

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, we spent the day with my sister and her family and we visited our daughter, Tracey.

We spent that night with Veronica and our two granddaughters.

Veronica invited her fellow, Brian, over to meet us and, as a surprise to him, she also invited his Mother. He is a very nice fellow and his Mother was very nice, too.

Donna and I took our musical equipment with us and, by request, we set it up and sang some songs for them. Veronica hammed it up a bit, as did I and Donna warbled like the nightingale she is.
Brians Mother sang a few songs, too. We had a grand time.

Thanksgiving we went to Chris and Beckies' house in Riverbank and had dinner with them and Margaret and Mike, our daughter and son-in-law. After dinner we put on a show for them. Everyone had a great time and everyone ate way too much!

It was a wonderful holiday and we thank God for our blessings! Sometimes, on down days, I wonder why I can't have everything I want. Then, on other days (like yesterday) I wonder how I can have so much.
I saw a woman at the Walmart parking lot, sitting in the open sliding side door of her van, holding a sign. The sign read, "Please help us. We need food and gas." All of a sudden five bucks didn't seem like much.

We have a God who loves us and gave his Son for us and we thank Him every day for His blessings. We pray for our families and we pray for our soldier boys and girls and ask God to watch over and protect them while they are defending our freedoms in that far off land.

Thank God for our families; Thank God for our blessings and thank God for the brave sons and daughters; husbands and wives and mothers and fathers who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free!


Tuesday, November 22, 2005


This poem by William Wordsworth has been running through my mind for a time so I thought I'd pass it on to you.

There is a subtle mystique about it that makes it cling to the senses and permeate the thoughts.
What could be the motive for this touching story? It would be interesting to contemplate the passion that prompted this poem.


She dwelt among untrodden ways,
beside the springs of Dove;
A Maid whom there were none to praise
and very few to love.

A violet by a mossy stone,
half hidden from the eye;
Fair as a star when only one
is shining in the sky.

She lived alone and few could know
when Lucy ceased to be,
But she is in her grave
and, oh, the difference to me!


Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Holy Alphabet...

This came to me in an e-mail and I wish to pass it on.

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame

Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know

Imagine life without His love
J oy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee

Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone

Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command

Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
'Xalting God most high

Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!



Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Bright Light of Death...or Near Death...

The bright light of death...the light at the end of a corridor...after death experiences...What is happening?

..."However, the researchers believe that neurophysiological processes must play some part in NDE. Similar experiences can be induced through electrical stimulation of the temporal lobe (and hence of the hippocampus) during neurosurgery for epilepsy, with high carbon dioxide levels (hypercarbia), and in decreased cerebral perfusion resulting in local cerebral hypoxia as in rapid acceleration during training of fighter pilots, or as in hyperventilation followed by valsalva manoeuvre. Ketamine-induced experiences resulting from blockage of the NMDA receptor, and the role of endorphin, serotonin, and enkephalin have also been mentioned, as have near-death-like experiences after the use of LSD, psilocarpine, and mescaline. These induced experiences can consist of unconsciousness, out-of-body experiences, and perception of light or flashes of recollection from the past. These recollections, however, consist of fragmented and random memories unlike the panoramic life-review that can occur in NDE. Further, transformational processes with changing life-insight and disappearance of fear of death are rarely reported after induced experiences.Thus, induced experiences are not identical to NDE...*"

I have no idea what that paragraph says or means; I just wanted to get your attention. 'yuk'

What causes the bright light seen by many when they are either near death or, for a short time, clinically dead? Is it an invitation to enter Heaven or some resting place that exists after our soul leaves our body and before whatever happens to it next, happens?

Is it simply an electrical discharge from our brain as it struggles to either end or preserve our life? There are many theories of what causes the light. Guess what...I have my own.

My theory may have been suggested before by someone else but I haven't read it. If it has, I'm sure I'll hear about it from one of my good friends! 'chuckle'

To put it in simple terms, I believe a person who sees the bright light is simply returning to the place from whence he came.

Don't get gross!...that's not what I mean! When a baby is born, he comes from the darkness of his mothers' womb. The first thing he sees when he first opens his eyes is, compared to the darkness of the womb, a bright light.

Then he begins to live a life of whatever the fates dictate. Everything he does, sees and hears is forever stored in his brain.(His hard drive)

*Some think dreams are the way the brain clears itself of information no longer pertinent to its' operation. This leaves room in its' 'memory' (as opposed to hard drive) for things now happening.*

Even though things are seemingly forgotten, they lurk still in some far reach of the brain; waiting to be recalled when needed again at some future time.

At some time and for whatever reason, everyone will die and some will come close to death and survive.

My theory is: At that time of death or near death, all the things that have been experienced by a living being, that are stored in the brain, begin to be placed in a 'recycle bin' to await permanent deletion.

The information is taken from the conscious brain in the reverse of how it was taken in. That is why our life flashes before us as we die or approach death. The last thing of which we were aware presents itself first and events scroll by our minds in that reverse scenario until we finally reach the thing we first experienced at birth; a bright light; the bright light of life after the womb.

This, however, isn't necessarily the end of our life.

First we (or fate) must decide if we will, in fact, end our life or if we (or fate) decide to return to the land of the living.
If we decide to stay alive awhile longer, many have what is known as an 'out of body' experience. This is the spirit hovering above the body, seeing the scene, aware of things happening below it. Then it returns to the body and we awake.

If, on the other hand, we decide to die, our soul leaves our body, the recycle bin empties and that is the end of our worldly existence. We go to a much better place...(hopefully)


Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I got this little ditty in an e-mail today and it brought back some really nice memories. I think it's worth passing on.

I came across this phrase in a book yesterday; "FENDER SKIRTS," a term I haven’t heard in a long time and thinking about "fender skirts" started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice.

Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you.

Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.

When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with emergency brake.

I'm sad...almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed."
Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the "running board" up to the house?

Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore; “Store-bought".
Of course, just about everything is -- store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.

"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "world wide" for granted. This floors me.

On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.

When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It’s hard to imagine the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all that talk about stork visits and "being in a family way" or simply "expecting".

Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just "bra" now.
“Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.

I always loved going to the "picture show," but I considered "movie" an affectation.

Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day -- "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down!

Here's a word I miss -- "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? "Coffee maker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and "Electrolux." Introducing the1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"

Food for thought; - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore.
Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore.

Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most... "supper. " Now everybody says"dinner".

Save a great word. Invite someone to supper and discuss fender skirts.


Saturday, November 05, 2005

It Is No Secret What God Can Do...

I got an e-mail a few days ago with this story in it. I had sung the song, "It Is No Secret," at a jam session and a lady remembered it and sent this to me. It is basically the way this song came to be written by Stuart Hamblin.

It's a beautiful song with wonderful sentiment and I enjoy singing it.

There will, without a doubt, be someone who will question the veracity of this missile, claiming the story isn't accurate, but that is beside the point.

Some make silly claims as to just when and why Stuart wrote it but I know it's basically accurate. I spoke to Billy and the Duke and they say it's how it happened so don't believe any nay-sayers.
Just enjoy the story.

Back in the 50's there was a well known radio
host/comedian/song writer in Hollywood named
Stuart Hamblin who was noted for his drinking,
womanizing, partying, etc.

One of his bigger hits at the time was
"I won't go hunting with you Jake,
but I'll go chasing women."

One day, along came a young preacher holding
a tent revival. Hamblin had him on his radio show
presumably to poke fun at him.

In order to gather more material for his show,
Hamblin showed up at one of the revival meetings.

Early in the service the preacher announced,
"There is one man in this audience who is a big fake."
There were probably others who thought the same thing,
but Hamblin was convinced that he was the one the preacher
was talking about (some would call that conviction)
but he was having none of that.

Still the words continued to haunt him until a couple
of nights later he showed up drunk at the preacher's
hotel door around 2AM demanding that the preacher
pray for him!

But the preacher refused, saying, "This is between you and God
and I'm not going to get in the middle of it."

But he did invite Stuart in and they talked until
about 5 AM at which point Stuart dropped to his
knees and with tears, cried out to God.

But that is not the end of the story.
Stuart quit drinking, quit chasing women,
quit everything that was 'fun.' Soon he began
to lose favor with the Hollywood crowd.

He was ultimately fired by the radio station when
he refused to accept a beer company as a sponsor.

Hard times were upon him. He tried writing a couple
of "Christian" songs but the only one that had
much success was "This Old House",
written for his friend Rosemary Clooney.

As he continued to struggle, a long time friend
named John took him aside and told him,
"All your troubles started when you 'got religion,'
Was it worth it all?"
Stuart answered simply, "Yes."

Then his friend asked, "You liked your booze so much,
don't you ever miss it?" And his answer was,
"No." John then said, "I don't understand how
you could give it up so easily."

And Stuart's response was, "It's no big secret.
All things are possible with God."
To this John said, "That's a catchy phrase.
You should write a song about it."

And as they say, "The rest is history."

The song Stuart wrote was "It Is No Secret."

"It is no secret what God can do.
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.

With arms wide open, He'll welcome you.
It is no secret, what God can do...."

By the way... the friend was John Wayne.
And the young preacher who refused to pray for Stuart Hamblin?
...That was Billy Graham.