I Learned Something Already Today!

RDP Thursday – ORCHESTRATE

early 17th century: via Latin from Greek orkhēstra, from orkheisthai ‘to dance.’

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Well now.  I did not know that.  But it makes sense, doesn’t it?  To dance is to move to an organized set of steps, after all.  Someone who orchestrates something is simply organizing it into useful order.

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I think nearly everyone would recognize that these people are waltzing–orchestrating, if you will.  Everyone does the same steps at the same time.  It’s quite beautiful to watch when a group like this dances in perfect unity.

Waltzing is a lot different than the dancing you might see at a rock concert, where the only common action is to wave one’s arms up above the head. Otherwise, everyone just seems to do whatever the music tells them.

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Now, here’s a bit of musical trivia that may not be news to anyone.  Do you know the difference between a band an an orchestra?

A band has no stringed instruments.  Add  a violin, a cello, a bass, and now you have an orchestra.

Yes, you’re right.  Guitars are stringed instruments.  But now you’re talking about  a newer use of the word band, as it applies to any group of musicians who play together for fun and/or profit. But a classical band is brass and wind, with some percussion.

And there’s your music lesson for the day 🙂

RDP:  Orchestrate

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A Fairy Tale

There was a great variety of life under the bridge.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff thought they owned it, but they didn’t. There was a family of trolls who hid during the day, but emerged after dark to chase the goats away and terrorize the neighborhood.

However, they had to watch out for Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and even Baby Bear.  Bears weren’t afraid of anything, and Papa was impressive.

Two people were different.   Rose Red and Rose White tended whatever flowers they could nurture into life, and were kind to everyone.

Too bad the others didn’t follow their example.

A Wonderful Life

RDP Wednesday – BIRTHDAY

Etymology

From Middle English birthdaibirtheday, from Old English ġebyrddæġ (birthday), equivalent to birth +‎ day. Compare Saterland Frisian Gebuursdai (birthday), Dutch geboortedag (birthday), German Geburtstag (birthday).

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Birthdays are great, most of the time.  As poor as we were when I was growing up, my mom and dad always managed some kind of gift.  And a delicious cake 🙂

Because my birthday is on the Fourth of July, everyone was always home.  We went down to the farm in Iowa sometimes.  After we moved to Oregon when I was 10, we did some really cool trips on my birthday.  I remember going to Mt. Hood one year, and it seems we also went to the beach at least once. There were always fireworks at the end of a long, full day, and I remember going to bed so tired that falling asleep was a matter of seconds.

Now it’s a little different.  My kids are scattered hither and yon.  Sometimes they manage their vacations  to get here for my birthday, but it’s rare.  My daughter and her family are the only one who are nearby, so usually the day is spent with them and, occasionally, other family friends.

It’s different in another way, as well, now that I’m on the other end of the life spectrum.  I’m perfectly happy with a quiet day, very little fuss or bother. Looking at 72 this summer, and that’s not nearly as exciting as becoming a teenager at 13, or graduating high school and leaving home before I was 18; getting married at 21, having my first baby at nearly 23.   Big milestones in life, for sure.

For many years, we had each child select their guests for their favorite birthday dinner, which almost always included a triple-layer chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing.  And ice cream.  Always ice cream.

I’m thankful to have lived this long.  I have no particular goal for how much longer I want to live.  That’s up to the Lord, and I look forward to going home to heaven, too, when He  decides it’s time.

It really has been a wonderful life.

RDP:  Birthday

No Reliving the Past

Ragtag Tuesday: Past

Middle English: variant of passed, past participle of pass.

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I have many more years behind me than I have ahead of me.  That’s just fine.  I don’t wish I could go back and live anything over again.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  There are things I’ve said and done that still make me cringe.  If there were a big eraser for life, I’d like to rub those things out of my memory, and maybe out of the memories of people I may have hurt along the way.

Mostly, however, my memories of the past are positive.  I had good, imperfect parents.  All parents are imperfect.  Everyone has them.  Part of growing up is learning to forgive them and let go of hurt, anger, and bitterness.  Of course, if you had the misfortune of dealing with abusive parents, or addicts to whatever substance, or unfaithful parents, then that’s a whole different story.  Let me say here that one though I offer to clients with dysfunctional parents is to realize that it isn’t fair to ask them to give you something they’ve never owned.  Look into their own childhoods, and you will likely see a similar pattern of dysfunction in their own parents’ lives. They couldn’t give you what you needed/wanted because they never got it.

Anyway.  I have good memories of church, Sunday school, Vacation Bible School in the summers.  Good memories of school.  The only thing I disliked in school was gym class.  I gave it my best effort, but I’m just not an athlete.  I always though it was SO unfair  that gym class sometimes kept me off the “A” honor roll.  I was delighted to learn that I didn’t have to take gym any more during my junior and senior years,

I loved going to see relatives;  the long car drives  could become tedious, but the end result made them worthwhile.  I had loving grandparents, aunts and uncles;  we rarely saw them, so there wasn’t a close relationship with cousins.  We enjoyed being together, but  never had the kind of closeness that cousins have when they grow up together.

Dating was fun, but I don’t miss it.  We’re counting down the months to our 50th anniversary in June of 2019.  Now, that’s something to crow about 🙂  Almost 50 years, three sons and a daughter, nine grandchildren (six boys, three girls).

Are all my memories of the childrearing years warm and fuzzy?  No.  I’m like my own parents–imperfect.  In hindsight, I would do some things differently.  But in spite of our errors, they’ve all turned out quite well and besides, they’ve given us nine grandkids.  What’s not to love?

Wife, Mom, schoolteacher, therapist.  Those are the careers I’ve had in my 71 years.  I’m working on the next one, have been for some time.  I have a book percolating away in my head, about half of it transferred to my computer.  Will I ever finish it?

I certainly hope so.

Age has taken its toll on both Terry and me.  We move slower. We forget stuff, like where we were fifteen minutes ago. Pain has become a constant. Our physical bodies have changed.  We don’t have the strength and agility it would require to parent little kids.  That’s why God gives them to us while we’re young–we’ve got the spizzerinktum  in our 20’s that has declined a LOT in our 70’s.

Wouldn’t I like to go back to some point in my past?  No.  I really wouldn’t.  I’m quite happy and content where I am right now, and I hope to still feel that way if the Lord gives me another 20 years, or maybe just one more. The past is gone. The future is not promised.  Enjoy the day, because it’s only today that you can control to some extent.

I do not want to relive the past.

RDP:  Past

A Favorite Smell

RDP Thursday – PETRICHOR

1960s: blend of petro- ‘relating to rocks’ (the smell is believed to be caused by a liquid mixture of organic compounds that collects in the ground) and ichor.

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Well, okay, but that doesn’t tell me what ichor is.  A little further searching tells me:   ichor ((Greek mythology) liquid that flows in the veins of gods in place of blood).

Huh.  Somehow that’s not very glamorous.

However,  that smell of rain after a dry spell is one of my all-time favorite smells.  I had no idea there was a word for it.

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I remember, living in Minneapolis, the incredible refreshment of rain  after a long, dry, humid spell.  The concrete streets and sidewalks seemed to soak up the rain like thirsty plants do.  The grass and the earth woke up, giving off a wonderful aroma.  Even the leaves on the trees smelled different.

Our street was lined with big old trees.  I loved pulling a leaf off of a tree after the rain stopped, and just holding it to my nose for a few minutes while I enjoyed the smell.

I still love rain.  I love clouds, and I love thunder.  Lightning? Not so much, because it’s dangerous.  But I do like to watch when it’s far enough away to not be a threat.  Such power in the skies!  The wind that accompanied those storms seemed to blow all the heat, dust, and humidity away, and after the storm the sky would be heartbreak blue, with maybe just a wisp of a cloud now and then.

And now I feel like bursting into song:

 

RDP: Petrichor

The Tree

PHOTO PROMPT © J.S. Brand

“Aaaaagggggh!  Zang, don’t look!  Someone is KILLING this poor tree!  It’s horrible! Skinning it alive and carving designs on its insides!  Oh, we have to leave this place!”

“Zing, the tree was already dead. Can’t you see, it’s only a stump?  A tall stump, but still. It’s dead.  It has no nerves.  It cannot feel what is being done.”

Zing calmed down. He began  to examine the carvings more closely. “Zang, I can’t make out head or tail here. Do you have any idea what the carver is saying?”

“Nope. It’s not what you look at.  It’s what you see.”

I Like Fridays

RDP Friday: FRIDAY

Old English Frīgedæg ‘day of Frigga,’ named after the Germanic goddess Frigga, wife of the supreme god Odin and goddess of married love; translation of late Latin Veneris dies ‘day of Venus,’ Frigga being equated with the Roman goddess of love, Venus. Compare with Dutch vrijdag and German Freitag .

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Years ago I did a little mini-study about how the days of the week got their names.  It was most interesting, a carry-over of Greek and Roman mythology that has translated down through the centuries into other languages and cultures.

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Frigga (Freya)  used a chariot pulled by cats.  So you know right there that the story is a myth 🙂

I don’t think about Frigga when Friday rolls around 🙂  I think about the beginning of my treasured four-day weekend, which is, for me, a reward for all the years of working five or six days a week.  At this point in my life, at age 71, I COULD retire.  I don’t want to just yet, though, and with every new client who comes into my office looking for help, I know I’m still where I need to be.

I do value my status as an independent contractor.  I can choose how much I work, and when I want to work.  That’s very nice.

During the school year, every other Friday I get to teach a class for the home school co-op our church hosts.  This year, we’re studying the Constitution and Current Events, which,  believe me,  is never boring.  Plenty of news to keep us talking, and figuring out what our Constitution is really all about.

So yes, I like Fridays.

RDP: Friday