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I hope everyone is enjoying ‘nothing time’; that span of time from Christmas to the first working day in the new year. It’s nothing time because pretty much nothing gets done. There are occupations for which there is no ‘nothing time’ and I appreciate the sacrifices made to be sure everything in the country works when we need it. For the rest of us, it’s a chance to breathe a little after the chaos of Christmas and to actually enjoy all the work we’ve put into the holiday.

I was thinking about when Christmas goes away and the real world descends again and having to put the beloved Christmas decorations away for another year. Which lead me to think about my home. Which lead me to think about ‘home’ and what that looks like today. The American dream has always been owning one’s own home and a lot of people do. What is changing, however, is the idea of what that home should look like. I grew up in New York – most homes there are brick, some stone, a few frame. When the pioneers crossed the country, they took that idea of brick homes with them. Depending on where they decided to stay, a lot of the architecture of the midwest and west is very much similar to the homes of the east. Then regional changes had an impact on the design and construction of homes. Technology and innovation changed the layout of houses and how they could be used differently than our grandparents and great grandparents used their houses.

Today, I’m very much interested in ‘tiny houses’. I am both charmed by and fascinated with them. I live in a house that’s 1800 sq. ft under cover. How much of it do we use? Probably around 1000 sq. ft. As long as my tiny house has a fully functional bathroom with a flush toilet, I’m good to go.

Our children are grown, live out of state; we don’t entertain anymore. A family could use this house to its full potential. The only time the foyer gets used is when Amazon drops off a package; the dining room is lovely but unused, the spare bedroom very rarely gets used. A tiny house makes much more sense for two people or someone living single.

YouTube is filled with tiny house videos. I thought this was brilliant – I’d love this house

We don’t need any more room than that. If I have room for my computer set up, I’m happy. Another option, depending on what you’re looking for is the dome – it’s been around since the 1980s, if not before, and it, too, has been improved. Take a look at these

With the space problems Japan has, they, too, are going tiny. Some are no more than a coffin with a hot plate but some are very clever and airy. Once you’ve gotten over the need to impress people with what you have – which is our tendency when we’re young – you realize it doesn’t really take much to make you happy. There’s a lot to be said for simplicity and freedom from ‘stuff’. It seems to be human nature to fill the spaces we have; the less space, the less stuff. Additionally, I’d a whole lot rather mop 1000 sq. ft than 1800 or 2500 or 5000. It just makes sense to me, those tiny houses. I think I could be perfectly comfortable in one. I have a dream – it’s silly, really – a dream of building a tiny house on a corner of the land my son owns. Far enough away for personal privacy but close enough for coffee and cake of an afternoon. Yes; I’m ready for tiny.

Gods of Flight and the People Rule

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

I want to start today by thanking my coauthors here, especially Audre and Jessica, as most of you know, for years I wrote every word on this blog. You know and I know that the quality of my writing eventually began to suffer, and once we moved into this phase of the election, I was very pleased to drop back to two posts a week, My quality hasn’t completely returned but I’m feeling much better, and since the election has moved into a portion where nothing I can say has any bearing whatsoever on the outcome, I’ve said very little, but like most of you, the last four years have convinced me that Donald Trump is one of our greatest presidents, at least equal to Reagan and perhaps the equal of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Coolidge. There is still a chance so Hold the Line and Keep the Faith.


You also know that I love the Air Force, and this week we lost one of the greatest of the greatest generation in Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, double ace over the skies of Germany, fought in Korea and Vietnam, and in Tom Wolfe’s words. “the most righteous of all the possessors of the right stuff.”  This is the man who first broke the sound barrier in the Bell X1.

There is an excellent remembrance of him at The American Spectator which I think you should read. This video is featured there.

Still an American hero at age 97, and one that managed to die in his bed. Rest in peace, sir.


But there are still American heroes out there, and the spirit that made us Americans in the first place is still out there. More and more, our countrymen are revolting at the arbitrary impositions that that or so-called elect are trying to inflict on us due to the Wuhan Flu. Rick Moran at PJ Media tells us about them.

A diner in Michigan is open for business despite being told to close. A barbershop here, a crafts store there, churches, synagogues, temples — what makes this COVID revolt different is that the businesses that are defying lockdown orders are being swarmed by customers — many coming from miles away — just to support the defiance. It’s the most demonstrative political statement being made today and authorities who would try to enforce their edicts are playing with fire.

Spectator USA:

The short notice taped to the door is addressed ‘to all government officials’. It gives them a warning: ‘You are in violation of your oath of office by trespassing unlawfully on the property of this business establishment and committing an act of terrorism under Section 802 of the Patriot Act.’ Taped up next to it, a longer warning in black and set-off red type, with Title 18 from the United States Code copied out underneath.

The notice appeared on the door of the D&R Daily Grind Café in Portage, Mich., and the owner, Dave Morris, is being rewarded for challenging the government with land-office business. Morris’s story was on a local TV station and the customers have made a point of standing with him in his defiance. […]

In some ways, it shows how freedom threatens those in authority. Since power depends on the consent of the governed, when the people withhold their consent, there’s precious little those in power can do. They can frighten them into obeying — shooting them down in the streets or arresting them and making them “disappear.” Dictators have found those tactics work very well.

But in America, if you start shooting people, they’re likely to start shooting back. That’s “American exceptionalism.”

So the governors, mayors, and other wannabe dictators post their edicts, tell people to obey, and they don’t. Now what? You depend on the army of social media squawkers to “tsk-tsk” and wag their fingers at the rebels. “Shame on you. Are you trying to kill your neighbor?” That may work with some people. It probably worked on a few citizens in 1776. Otherwise, not so much.

Those people became Canadians in 1783.

And that is the ultimate state of the Union, the people remain sovereign and will enforce that. We were the first rebels and we remain rebels still. And that is why when the BBC interviewed a Dutch woman a few years ago about when her town was liberated during the war, she told the interviewer that she knew they were Americans because “they walked like free men”.

Most of you know our national colors are never dipped to any earthly king or potentate, and only one flag is ever flown above them. and that is the church pennant on a naval vessel during church parade. There is only one sovereign above the American people.

May it always be so.

Ok, Kids …

Put the books away. Reach over and turn off the news. Comfy? Why not go get something to drink, maybe a snack – and then come and sit with me.

I once lived in Pennsylvania for several years. I never heard of this place when I lived there or I certainly would have scheduled a trip. I stumbled across information about this place, many years ago now, and I take a look every now and then just to keep up with any additions.

It was Halloween season when I happened on this place on YouTube. The video had some catchy, typically Halloween-ish title and so I viewed it. I’ve been a fan ever since.

Trigger warning – no, not the snowflake kind, the stomach kind. Some of these things bring out our natural gag reflex at the same time completely capturing our imagination and wonder. What a brilliant concept this place was and I’m so glad it has withstood the passage of time and that it is even more popular today.

Oh; in case you’re wanting more – and want to laugh, too – look up this place and choose any video that mentions Mike Rowe in the title. He’s a natural, low-key comedian and he cracks me up; add that to the displays here and it’s a match made in heaven.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I introduce you to the Mutter Museum.

Some Additional Thoughts

I sent a copy of the article I Don’t Need Proof to my younger sister. I don’t think she’d ever heard of the Shroud of Turin. But she likes to read my writing and is happy that I’m writing again, so, I sent it to her. After reading it, she sent it to her priest and to our older sister. Evidently at last night’s Bible study at her church (New Hampshire has different ‘shelter’ regulations than say, here in Florida) and her priest had some information that he shared about the Shroud and a couple of the people in the group asked if they could get a copy of the article and so I sent her the link.

I was discussing this rather interesting (at least to me) occurrence with a very dear friend who mentioned, quite sagely (of course!), that we never know ‘who we touch’. That gave me a great deal to think upon. It’s very true; we never know who we touch with a kind act or an insight or a new thought. It led me to think of what we are told in church, about planting seeds; you tell someone about the Gospel of Jesus and you never know if they do anything about what you’ve shared with them – I don’t think we’re supposed to know, quite frankly – but you’ve ‘planted’ a seed of an idea, a direction to investigate, a single frame of a larger picture.

There are many possible scenarios. I considered this one: suppose you met an atheist and asked them to watch some of the Shroud videos – or even just to look at the Shroud. When an atheist is confronted with something state of the art, top of line science can’t dispel, would it make them reconsider their stance on Jesus, firstly, and the resurrection, secondly? What if the videos were shared with someone who had lost their faith? Would the viewing of the videos put bellows to dying spark and breathe it to life again? Would someone from a non-Christian background be effected? If they were confronted with Isa not being a ‘good teacher’ but truly God, and not Allah?

If someone had no faith background whatsoever, which would be hard to fathom but for the number of polls taken that show an abundance of people with no religious knowledge, would a person of ‘no faith’ be moved to search for Jesus? If they were so moved to search for Jesus and become a believer based on the Shroud, would they be less of a believer? I make mention again of “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” – would seeing the Shroud, the purported burial cloth of Christ, negate their having ‘found Jesus’? That’s a deep theological question to which I have no answer.

I’m reminded of there being only one way to God – St. John, 14:6 ” … No one comes to the Father except through me.” But there are many roads and ways to Jesus. Can one be less good than another? I don’t know.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

There’s a wonderful young man who has a YouTube channel, Jamel a.k.a. Jamal, who does ‘reaction’ videos to music. He’s just a sweetheart and really nice guy. I subscribe to his channel and always look forward to his reactions to the music of my youth. I just watched a video of his reaction to The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (written and sung by Gordon Lightfoot)

I was 24 years old (do NOT do the math!!!) when the song came out and I just loved it. I thought it was a great story and wasn’t Lightfoot clever to have thought it up. I was even impressed that it had an old sea chanty sound to it. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned it was a true story. Which fact, of course, brought a greater appreciation for the song and its story.

While listening to the song this morning with my buddy Jamel, I started reading the comments and was moved by the remarks of so many people. For many of the folks, the event and song are part of their personal history because they grew up in the areas of the Great Lakes. Some folks know “the wives, the sons, and the daughters”. Quite a few were recreational sailors, some were U.S. Navy. Many tears from many people who are touched by the tragedy.

One of the commenters suggested watching this particular video. The opening gave me chills. The lighthouse made me cry. I found this documentary that relates the harrowing experience.

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I am reminded of this Psalm. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-107-23/.

 23They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. 25For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

We tend to feel sorry for the folks ‘from there’; it couldn’t have an effect on us ‘here’. Imagine my surprise and shock to find out that one of the hands was from Bradenton, Florida – just over the bridge from me; and one was from Clearwater, Florida, the second town north from me. But we have since learned, because of September 11th, 2001, that events are usually more than ‘from there’ – it wasn’t just a New York thing, or a U.S. thing. How many countries were affected by that event?

The youngest hand on the Edmund Fitzgerald was 20 years old.

Perspective

Gosh, we have no end of complaints about this thing we’re dealing – or trying to deal – with. I just spent $65 for toilet paper. But you do what you have to do.

A dear friend in England sent this to me yesterday and it was a breath of fresh air. A reminder of when life was REALLY hard. I’ve seen, over the years, documentaries and pictorial essays about this time in our nation’s history but really had forgotten about it. This video was an important reminder that we’ve gotten through more than this and lived to tell the tale. The present day concern is ‘some here, some there, a bunch of it other places’ – the real hard times in America affected everyone – every human being in the country. If you lived in the country, you had it a tad easier (!), you could go out and hunt your food – deer, pig, or squirrel (if nothing better presented itself). Not so for folks in the city. Hard times, indeed.

But the people of our country, all us Americans, did what we could to survive and helped others along the way. It’s our history. It’s our DNA. I’ve occasionally wondered, what’s better? Having a cigarette and no light, or light and no cigarette. Haven’t come up with an answer yet. What’s better, having food and no money, or having money and no food? That one is easier to answer.

My mom and dad were both born in 1920. Mom always alluded to my father being ‘so much older’ than she was. Dad was born in March and Mom was born in July. It was an on-going joke between them. By the time the depression hit, they were old enough to be aware of what was happening around them. My mother feared poverty all the rest of her days. Mom was an only child and Dad had four siblings – two different stories. My dad had to quit high school to help support the four younger kids. At age 70, my dad got what he had always yearned for. He got his high school diploma by studying for and taking a GED class. He was so proud. He was always a good provider – native smart, as they say – and a lot of ambition. Mom and Dad gave us a good life. I hear people say terrible things about their parents and I sometimes try to explain that mine were like the Clevers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMAi6JwxlGo

Watch this video – at least the first part. See if it doesn’t make you rethink our present situation. It helped me. It gave me perspective. 

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