Bruce’s Ski Story, January 13, 2022

During the past week’s snow storm, I recalled a winter story that my Dad related to me. The town where he grew up was in the north, west corner of Wayne county. In the 1920’s it boasted a ski jump hill. The area was known as the Little Alps of Wayyne county.

Though my Dad was too young to try the ski jump, He and his sister did own skis made of wood.

One day, after a heavy amount of snow fell in the Northville area, Bruce and his sister Marien, persuaded his Mother to drive down the Edward Hines Park Drive while pulling them behind the car.

Bruce found the tow ropes that were used in the summer to water ski and he attached them to the bumper of the old model T. Grandma started slowly down the road. There was no traffic because this was an access road for the park. Soon the car and skiers were traveling 15 miles per hour.

Marien started to ski from left to right , but Bruce pointed his skis straight ahead .

Along the roadside, he spied a mound of snow about three feet high. Bruce decided to race up the mound and jump from the top.

To his surprize, the snow mound was a pile of snow fence covered with snow.

Instead of jumping, Bruce crashed into the fencing. He let go of the rope as his ski struck the fencing.

His Mother, unaware of the crash, continued to drive for another quarter of a mile, until she noticed Marien gesturing and noting no Bruce.

Marien got in the car and they turned around to find Bruce.

By that time ,he was extracting himself form the pile. He had a few bumps and bruises and one of his skis was cracked in two.

The rest of the winter, Bruce shoveled and performed other chores to earn money for a replacement pair of skis.

Neither of his parents would believe that his sister dared him to jump the snow pile.

Finally, exasapered with the accusations, his parents remarked,”You should have known better and ignored her.”

That was something that the young Bruce couldn’t do. Marien was always able to push his buttons and get under his skin.

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Ski Hill

Some are born to soar.

Others are doomed to fail.

Which will you be?

Only time will tell.

carolaspot@aol.com

copyright 1/13,11

National Poetry at Work Day, January 11, 2022

I love seeing any day that celebrates poetry in our lives. With that said ,how do you combined poetry at the workplace?

Making up a short message to put on a sticky note or at the bottom of an email. A little note will brighten a co-worker’s day. “Stacks of folders, don’t be forelorn. After all, the coffee is warm. “

If you work with children, read the group one of your favorite limericks. I could reach for Dr. Seuss , start a story and stop to ask, ” what will happen next?” See what the children come up with. Have the children draw a part of the made up story.

If you work with adults, bring your favorite poetry book or poem and read it to your friends over coffee. A poem about coffee would be icing on the cake.

Tomorrow, I will work on a poem because I am a poet. If I can share a poem with one of my friends or acquaintances It will make both of our days. Today is also National morse Code day. I have been told by friends that Braille is like morse code to try to learn. I counter that it depends on the ability to feel braille or hear differences in dots and dashes. A person learns what he or she needs to communicate. Though the Morse code is not as used by many people, they have an idea of the system. Sadly, braille is seen as bumps on a page, with no recognized system.

For a number of years, I volunteered with my husband to teach third graders about braille and all things for the blind. I made braille name tags for each child, they saw the braille system as a novelty rather that a system to read and write.

In my world , I would be pleased to write a short poem in braille and have co-workers ask me what it says.

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With six dots,

my fingers can do,

what my eyes cannot.

read and write.

Carolaspot@aol.com

copyright 1/11/21

Epiphany, January 6, 2022

Epiphany or the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, is celebrated as part of the Christmas tide.The date can vary from the Sunday after New Year’s to the 19th of January. Differences are due in part to using the Julian or the Gregorian calendars. The Catholic church along with other Western Christian churches changed the celebration to the Sunday after New Years Day. The traditional day for Epiphany is November 6

Even the events that this holiday commemorates different events in Christ’s life.

In the western churches the emphasis is on the visitation of the Magi to the child Jesus. It marks the gift of the Christ to the Gentiles.

In the Eastern Churches the date marks when Christ initiated his public ministry. The baptism of Jesus as well as the wedding of Canna is celebrated .

Tradition dictates that Christmas decorations are taken down the day after Epiphany or on January 7th.

This year, I am leaving the decorations up until the 7 th, or the last day of Epiphany tide. My Daughter and Son in Law are to visit the Sunday before . It will be a very Christmas celebration.

So if you feel like continuing the Holidays, You have an extension by tradition into Mid January.

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Every year we celebrate the holidays.

People agree on most dates to celebrate.

In some cases, Epiphany’s date is elusive.

Perhaps it is tradition or covenience.

Happily, all can agree on the Manifestation of the Lord.

Another reason to celebrate in January is welcome.

No objections to any holiday.

Yearning to keep the holiday spirit going, we keep up our Christmas lights.

Carol Farnsworth

carolaspot@aol.com

Copyright 1/6/22

This too Shall Pass January 4, 2022

Welcome readers to a new year and a new perspective by guest writer, Leonard Touchyner. He has an interesting view on the pandemic and our responce to it. Leonard puts forth several thoughts about change and positive results to the pademic. His email is below his essay.

Carol Farnsworth

Too Shall Pass, a Different Perspective on Pandemics

How will the pandemic end?  I’m convinced this is not the important question.  Like a bug that can only feel his way moment by moment, he is not aware of what lies a few inches away until he gets there. The pandemic we are in at the present time will end. We know that because we periodically have pandemics, and all of them end.  It always happens that way.  It is simply for us to know that we want to survive it.  Maybe, as individuals, we will, and maybe we won’t. We know there are ways to improve the odds of survival. So, we concentrate on those ways. At least some of us do.  Others are in denial and refuse to understand the pandemic is real.  COVID is as real as polio or HIV. Others realize that the present pandemic will happen, and then it will end, to give way to another epidemic down the road. Why sweat it?

I could go on and on about the ways people deal with the present pandemic, but the point is, that is not the right question.  What are the more effective queries to consider? How about, what do these episodes of death accomplish for us? What is their purpose?  That would bring us a little closer to a better understanding. Let’s engage that question for a moment.  Let’s stretch out our feelers and get a bigger picture.

Pandemics kill a lot of people. They disrupt the direction a society is going. They force us to slow down and re-evaluate. It’s not a very pleasant experience, but it definitely happens. Maybe they tell us what we may be doing wrong. 

When COVID had its way with us, the air became clearer.  It stimulated the growth of alternative energy sources. It disrupted our supply lines, making it difficult to get a car. People were driving less. Pollution slowed down.

At least we can say not all the effects of a world illness are detrimental. Some of the immediate effects are bad, even devastating, but what would the long-range effects be?  Could it change our way of life?  Would that be a good thing?

We seem to just want the sickness go away and let us back to life as normal. Is that a good thing? Obviously not. As soon as we come to understand that our way of life, based partially on getting more and more out of the Earth, is not sustainable.  Our economy as it is now depends on ceaseless consumerism.  That is based on getting as much as we can in as short a time as possible. Our whole economy is structured that way. Do we really want cities with a pall of foul air surrounding them?  Do we want our water dirty? Do we want a world with decreasing life span and less and less diversity of life? I certainly don’t.

The farther we go down this path, the harder it will be to alter course. But what should we alter it to?

I’m going to take a leap here which is obvious to me but may not be obvious to others. If the Earth we live in is healthy, the living things are going to be healthy.  The same principle works in reverse. If the world we live in is unhealthy, we will also be unhealthy.  One way to determine what a person values is to visit his or her home.  

This is not a diatribe. Not everything we’re doing is wrong. But we need a change of direction.  The sooner we get down to business in finding those things which most need to change, the sooner we can say “this, too, changed.” But eventually in time, we will need another change in direction. If we don’t find our own way, there will be another plague to get us started in a better direction. 

In this world, change happens very fast. What it takes to participate in these changes may require increasing rigorous feedback from the world to get our attention. I’m afraid we may not have too many chances in the future to respond to these increasing rigors.

Don’t say “this, too, shall end.” Instead, say “what do we need to learn from this particular harsh lesson?”  Then do your part, whatever you see your part as being.

tuchyner5@aol.com

copyright 1/1/22

Thoughts for the New Year December 30, 2121

Many people reflect on changes to make in the new year. Since this is a blog about the experience of a blind individual, I will put forth curtersy rules when interacting with the blind.

People don’t have conversations often with a blind person. When they do, they may need some guidelines of what to do and not do. The braille group I belong to thought the curtersy rules from the Federation For The Blind a good starting point to open a line of communication.

These few rules will go a long way to accepting differences in each other without invading another’s personal space.We can all use a little help from our friends.

Speaking of friends, I would like to take this time to thank my regular readersof this blog. Your comments and likes make me write a better blog for you.

I would like to thank the readers who fly occasional with me. I hope to see you as a regular reader soon.

Finally, I wish to thank my family and friends that drop in and offer encouragment and corrections. Special thanks to my husband, John who cuts, paste and reads my blog before publishing. You make my day.

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Blog

Big thoughts,

long to be heard,

open conversations with each other,

good exchange of thoughts and ideas.

blogging

carolaspot @aol.com

copyright 12/30/2121

Call a Friend Day December 28,2021

There are two informal holidays that interest me today. The first is call a friend day. I imagine that many of you have done this in the past several weeks. But what about that email or card that appeared from someone that you haven’t thought of for months or years?

I have several old friends and relatives that have reached out to me this season but I haven’t return the favor. I hate to make cold calls out of the blue. I even put off calls to apple support until I have tried every solution I can think of.

The reason I don’t enjoy calls is my hearing, or lack of it. If I am honest with myself, I know that I can use a speaker phone or my blue tooth that talks directly into my hearing aids. So why am I so hesitant?

What can I say to people that I no longer know? I need to change my mind set. Calling to say hello is not about me. It is about the person that reached out to me. They may want a sounding board, a connection with the past or a confirmation that I am still alive.

So I will look through my contacts to place a long overdue call. I may find that I may even enjoy it.

The second informal holiday is play a card game day. Though I could play solitare with my braille cards, maybe I could invite a couple to come and play cards. Playing a game is a good way to have conversation about the game and what is going on in each other’s lives.

So today, I will call friends, to make a date to visit. Yes, I will bring a deck or two of cards. Deal!

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Let Your Fingers do the Walking

Let your fingers do the walking through the contacts.

they will run down the list.

To find a long lost friend. Let the fingers do the dialing.

To touch another with a friendly hello.

Even if you get voice mail, you have touched them.

You may be surprized with the results.

Happy calling.

carolaspot@aol.com

copyright 12/28/21

Christmas protocol December 23, 2021

We are making up for the shut down and sheltering in place of Christmas 2020. We are determine to celebrate as usual but at what cost?

Recently, my husband and I went to the grocery store to pick up several needed items. There were many empty shelves of items that are normally available.

There were no jars of Chicken gravy to be seen. This was that case in several stores. Karo syrup was in short supply. Evaporated milk filled the shelves but no dry or condense milk was seen.

Others odd missing holiday items was the absence of peppermint candy canes. The peppermint crop was affected by a fungus. There was not enough of the herb to make the tradition candy treat. No peppermint candy ice cream was manufactured for this Christmas.

A friend that adores peppermint candy ice cream took matters into her own hands. She found some candy canes and vallina custard ice cream. Crushing the candy, she blended them into the ice cream to make her own concoction.

Tinsel was also not to be seen for purchase. While visiting a friend, I noted that she had tinsel adorning her Christmas tree. When asked where she got it, she confessed that she kept the tinsel from year to year.

Supplies are not the only changes in the shopping experience. People have forgotten social distancing while hurrying to grab that last bag of stuffing. Most people are not masked and not covering their mouths when they cough.

A small child in a basket, grabbed a box of cerieal and sneezed on the box. The adult took the box and put it back on the shelf.

Only 10% of custoners are using masks comparied to most of the workers. Just because vaccines and boosters are readily avalible, doesn’t mean that people are using them.

There has been a sharp increase in purchasing and the use of home Corona tests. Some have waited over three hours to received a test.

Even in our houses of worship, people are crowded into pews, standing close to others in lines and not covering their nose and mouth when coughing. Believe in God’s goodness should not be confused with using vaccines and masks.

Finally, my daughter and her husband decided to take their Christmas cruise. The cruise was canceled last year. They chose a cruise that didn’t cater to families with small children. In every photo from the ship, they are the only ones in view. When questioned, they admitted that the ship is only 30% full.

This Christmas, families will meet, celebrate and be together. The usual number of flu and virus germs will be spread around. Hoping that none of the germs or viruses are deadly! Keep your guard up and your mask on in large crowds.

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Santa is down with the flu

O you better watch out,

you better not sneeze.

Turn away from the coughing breeze,

Santa Clause is down with the flu!

He made a list and gave it to me.

to deliver toys,

to good girls and boys.

Santa Clause is down with the flu.

He’s sneezing in the morning,

he’s coughing in the eve.

He has a box of tissue,

sitting on his knee.

Cookies and milk, complete with a mask.

Helping Santa is a needed task.

Santa Clause is down with the flu.

carolaspot.aol.com

copyright 12/23/2021.

Natal Luz, December 21, 2021

Natel Luz or Christmas festival of light is held in Fermata Brazil from November 12 to January 13, Making it the longest and largest Christmas festival in Brazil.

It started in 1986 with a concert and a Christmas light show. It is now the largest Christmas festival in Brazil. Earning Fernatta the name Christmas capital of Brazil.. There are many activities during the festival. One of the most popular is walking into a ninety nine foot Christmas tree. You feel a part of the decorations. There are 3500 ornaments , 2500 strings of lights, 1000 strobe lights and a snow making machine.

Other events are tree decorating contests, concerts, reindeer and a dramatic readings of traditional Christmas stories.

One of the most anticipated events is a floating parade with singers and music on lighted barges. The show has five sections. They depicts the history of man from Adam and Eve, through the birth of Christ ending with the last days. Over one million five hundred thousand people visit Fermata from November to January each year.

Christmas in Brazil is celebrated on December 24th. This is when families and friends gather to greet the coming of Christmas.

I dedicate this article to my special Brazilian sister, Adelia, She was telling me that this year the festivities are being limited because of the virus.

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A Brazilian Christmas

The warm breezes flow over the start of flowers blooming.

A cool sea wind pushes waves to lap at the shore.

Men and women dress in colorful flowered shirts and dresses.

One can see the snow on the mountain caps in a distance.

This is Christmas in San Paulo Brazil .

carolaspot@aol.com

copyright 12/21/20211

Wrap It Up, December 16, 2021

Tis time for the final step in getting the presents under the tree and labeled with the recipient’s name. This is a joy and challenge for a blind person.

When buying rolls of wrapping paper, I would look for paper that had a texture or foil on one side. Without the texture clues, I wrap the paper with the white side out. When wrapping large packages, I will wrap the item on a bed. Some heavy items are stapled together. When I wrapped an advent beer calendar. The staple hit a can of beer and created a leak when the carton was unwrapped.

Some of the texture paper was so heavy, it was diffucult to crease. I used the stapler with caution.

I notice that the newer rolls of paper were thinner and rip easily when trying to use them. I have to cut much more than I needed to get enough for a box to be wrapped.

Finally I give up with odd shaped presents and find a gift bag to put the item in. Then I surround the gift with tissue paper. I use white so I don’t have to worried about matching colors.

I have the same matching problem with colors of ribbon and bows. I have abandoned the use of ribbons, except to hang Christmas cards on. I will select a bow based on it’s size in relation to the package and stick it on. Even if it is a different color, I consider it an accent.

The hardest task is the labeling of each present with the name of the person to receive it. I start with a braille name on a label. This is attached to the outside of the present. later, I will go back and print the name of the recipient with a thick Magic marker. Since there is braille on the label, the person knows that the present is from me.

I love gathering all the gifts to give away around the bottom of the tree. They add a festive touch to the tree display.

Our holoday was early this year. So I am ready to store the wrappings in the basement for next year. I have wrapped it up!

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Ribbons and bows

Ribbons, bows, I see

On festive bags

under my tree.

What does a baby see?

She grabs a red bow,

as she cries with glee.

No presents, but an empty box

to play hide and seek.

carolaspot@aol.com

copyright 12/16/21