Ramblings from the Cove...

April 2010

By Lars Gren

The leaves were raked just before a Nor’easter and so much for a tidy yard until the next cleanup which took place after the trees were bare and the squirrels had aerated the soil through burying their horde of acorns. So the seasons come and go as do all things--yes, we are having a tease of spring on this Easter weekend--it is just that we do not know of winter’s departure for good, the same as it was for a squirrel who knew not that its final departure was at hand when on that sunny day it flew up and away with a hawk. Well I suppose that it really was the hawk that did the flying off and the squirrel went along for the ride. Wonder who inherits his cache of acorns?

Now that we “sit” on the brink of spring, I think back on the summer which never was—at least in this part of the country—for November seemed more like June but December brought us the reality of the season and it was “downhill” from there. Then I had a letter from my cousin Bjorg in Norway, who is as a sister to me for we were together for the first 10 years of my life. It turns out that they had a very fine summer and as a capstone to it they entered early fall with a trip to Tunis. On their return the days became shorter and the dark clouds brought on a winter with doom and gloom as they experienced -13 degrees F. in the old home town and that was warm compared to -58 F in the northern most parts of the country. Hearing of that made our teen temperatures seem summer like.

However that news did not remove the sense of doom and gloom for me—oh—not from the weather which is ever changing but from the general state of the country during this so called stimulating era of change led by a neophyte when it pertains to dealing with the international scene as well as having an understanding of what America has meant for so many. So in that sort of mood I wondered why I should do any sort of ramblings but then a couple of opening lines in recent letters “inspired” me give it a try and perhaps bring some “odd-ball” cheer in the midst of what may be for you the end of season blues—too late for football—too early for baseball as it would be for Donna, our neighbor. The lines that spur me on—“I have been wanting to write to you, but could think of nothing to write about.” and “I have been struggling for weeks to know what to write to you. I am not coming up with anything original or profound.” Well I said, “Amen, to that” and so perhaps on that note here are a few things that have brought a bit of lightness to our day and a few that bring on consternation as to what will be next and yes nothing here original or profound. But Elisabeth always said that she never had anything original or that she ever felt a moment of inspiration-so what me worry?

The New Yorker used to have small “what-nots” under “There will always be an England.” I was reminded of that when I picked up a few things that could only happen in the UK, such as the “Tunbridge Wells borough council becoming famous for replacing the term ‘brainstorming’ with ‘thought shower.” They have now come up with a new term for poor people who cannot afford to pay for elderly relatives in care homes. They call them “wealth depleters.” Not to be outdone with silly things, the Journal of Animal Science in Edmonton, Canada, have been trying to breed cattle that would not pollute the air so much. They say that there is 5.5 million metric tons of methane, mostly in the form of burps that cattle add to the environment. So they are now selecting animals for breeding which will belch less and reach market weights faster. The end results: less belching clearer air. Whatever will they do about hogs for I read that they were worse than cattle when it comes to methane?

We have a friend that writes and often encloses little things to her messages in an attempt to clean her files out. In her latest, she mentioned that at the church where she attends, there was a retired medical doctor speaking of the doctrine and the holiness of God. The second half was spent on the topic of Sin and his conclusion was, “Hell is beautiful.” I wonder where he got his information. My friend said that she had never been so bothered by an expression as that one and I triple “Amen!” that.

Now if that makes your head spin try figuring this one out. We met a person who was the first hand witness of an ex-wife, who is a high priestess and temple goddess and performed the wedding of her former husband to his new wife. The new wife has an ex who is remarried and his new wife and his old wife have a blog together. I suppose this is what you call “we’re all just good friends and get along.” As for me, I wanted shout out what I think was an old movie title, “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.”

Last year, we were attending a counseling conference. It was the first one that Elisabeth and I had gone to since she stepped away from the platform. The main reason was that they had asked if I would bring her books and I was happy to do so. During one of the breaks, I went to go get a little snack and some coffee and as I passed by one of the many tables that were available for people to sit down and have a chat, I heard one woman say, “Yes, we were married by proxy a couple of months ago.” Well, that’s not a sentence one hears too often in life and it caught my ear. I came to a stop and waited for the next utterance which didn’t explain too much, so I backed up to the table and said, “Excuse me, but did I hear you say that you got married by proxy?” “Yes, that’s correct,” she answered. “Well, how does one go about that? Do you have to go to some special place to have it?” And she explained to me that she was in the military as was her husband, and she was waiting to meet him again as a married woman. There are two states, Montana and Pennsylvania, where you can do this and you have to go to the courthouse with a stand-in who says the vows for you. My next question was, about the couple that were standing in, do they have to be in the same place? The answer was no. As was the case in this one, with one stand-in in Montana and one in Pennsylvania who had no inkling of who the other person was or who they were standing in for, but the vows were said and they were properly married and as soon as the man who was overseas would be returning, they could then take up residence as husband and wife. I guess there are some good points in this that it saves having to get dressed up and buy wedding clothes, not to mention the cost of the wedding reception. And of course you get away from having to do the pre-planning, but one wonders if after some years of marital bliss, on a cold winter’s night in front of the open fire in the den, with dreamy eyes will they reminisce a bit about the highlights of our wonderful wedding day. Oh, well. There are new things coming down the pike all the time.

For those of you who might be from the first half of the last century, might you remember some of these comments made in 1955: “When I first started driving, who would have thought that gas would someday cost twenty-nine cents a gallon? Guess we would be better off leaving the car in the garage.” “Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $2,000 will only buy a used one.” “Did you see where some baseball player signed a contract for $75,000/year to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they are making more than the president.” “I am afraid to send my kids to the movies anymore. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by saying ‘damn’ in Gone with the Wind, it seem every new movie has ‘hell’ or ‘damn’ in it.” From there, I’d say they have gone a long way down the road.

It was Churchill who said, “If we do not learn from the past, we are destined to repeat it.” Perhaps this should be a motto for politians as well as for us. So, under the “How’s that Again?” department, Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House advisor to the President, replying to a question said, “I don’t think it’s constructive to look backward and say it is a mistake. It was a very good idea that didn’t come to fruition.” It concerned the possibility of doing away with some Detroit projects which had been done in another city and its only accomplishment was to displace the people with no place to go. Then we have Miss Pelosi’s pronouncement, “We have to pass this bill in order to find out what is in it.” Can we file that under the Department of Clear Thinking?

On a more personal note—there have been several nice comments to Elisabeth for the importance of her teaching with one saying that she had read Passion and Purity eight times, while another said that she had read it, “An absurd number of times.” The blue ribbon for assigning abilities or gifts to someone goes to a sweet lady that we met first by mail and only a few weeks ago in person. She lives in Texas, not far from where we occasionally visit friends. In February we went calling and had a delightful time with Pat and her husband around their kitchen table which held several family Bibles, study books, cookies in abundance and other sweets—just what makes Elisabeth’s eyes brighten—chatted, laughed and tasted and all was sweet. Oh, what did she ascribe to Elisabeth? Pat had written to her, “You could almost inspire a dead oak tree.” And on that note I’ll say—that’s it from the Cove.

God bless y'all,


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