THE INDIANA CAR

Editor’s note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal.

Two days of hot driving and heavy Interstate traffic from Gainesville, Florida to Goshen, Indiana wore JK and me down.

After I had turned on water and the under sinks valves, I had adjusted the thermostat in my Indiana condo. We had dropped into bed.

The following morning I had stepped into water on the kitchen floor –the under sink valve had leaked! Added to the long drive, I was not my sunny self. Neither was my hubby. But another “oh-oh!” surprise was yet to come.

All morning, JK and I had complained to one another. By afternoon, I had unpacked Mother’s china. I carried an armload of crumpled paper to the garage. Over the top of my Indiana Ford which was sitting where I left it 6 months before, I saw Hubby setting up the new charcoal grill on our driveway. It stood not far from rear bumper of the Escape.

I shook my head to myself. What is he thinking? I hollered, “The grill is too close to the Escape!”

Ignoring me, JK continued shaking charcoal from a large bag into the grill. Did he hear me?

I raised my voice repeating, “The grill’s too close to the Ford!”

JK returned, “I’m not going to stand and grill in the hot sun! You’ll just have to move the Ford forward … there’s space.”

“Alright then!” I stomped toward the car. “But, you have to reconnect the battery. My hands are too weak.”

Why haven’t I started the Ford yet? I muttered to myself, “Why does everything need to be done at once!”

Raising the hood, I propped it. JK ambled over to the battery side of the engine.

Pointing to the disconnected battery cord, I announced, “It’s there.”

JK leaned in to look as I explained, “Doug helped me disconnect it. He jiggled it and just lifted it off.”

With slow careful movements, JK lifted the cord.

I pointed again, “It slides on that.”

He pushed on the connection and stepped back. “There!”

Opening the car driver’s door, I slid under the wheel. Leaning forward, I reached for the key. It wasn’t there. I must have left it in Florida!

(Somehow I knew the key was not in Indiana.) But, I usually have a backup key.

JK studies the battery connection.

JK studies the battery connection.

At one time, I had taped a key to the back of my license plate.

I trotted to the rear of the car and felt behind its plate. No key. Picking up my cell, I called my cousin in a nearby town. “Hey, Julie! How are you?”

After we exchanged hellos and small talk I asked, “Did I give you and Sam an extra key to my Indiana car?”

As if trying to remember, Julie paused. “I don’t think so. Let me ask Sam.”

I heard her turn from the phone. “Sam? Did Fritzie give us an extra key to her Escape?”

Distantly I heard, “No. We have her condo key.”

Julie repeated what Sam had said. She asked, “You can’t find your key?”

“Nope! Maybe I took it to Florida. But, I usually make myself an extra key and hide it somewhere.”

In my mind I saw Julie nod. “That’s a good idea.”

I put an extra key somewhere. I just can’t think where!”

“Do you have one of those ‘Hide-a-Key magnetic things?”

“Maybe. I have looked under the car and around the engine compartment. I don’t see anything.”

Julie paused again. “The key will show up when you least expect it.”

Meanwhile, JK had hatched a plan. “You can send our Florida house key to Barb across the street in Gainesville. Ask her to go in the house.” JK went on. “Call her when she’s in our house and ask her to look here and there for the key. Once she finds it, ask her to send it to us and return the house key.”

I sighed. Had I been desperate, I might have done that. I was not. I did not want to inconvenience our sweet neighbor. I am not even sure where to have her look! Had I known the key was there, I would have brought it with me!

Tired, and upset, I was feeling foul. My ungracious reply was: “It’s my car and my problem! I’ll handle it.”

While I found no key, I did find out what to do about a lost auto key.

First, I called Dave, owner of my local garage. He said, “I could do it, but I’d have to change all the locks –doors, too. It’d be too costly.” He paused. “Call the Ford garage.” He gave me the number.

When I called Eby Ford, a pleasant-voiced man said, “We don’t handle keys for cars more than ten years old.”

My hopes fizzled until he added, “I’ll give you the number of a locksmith who can make you a key.”

I called G and E Locksmiths and a pleasant fellow came out the next day. Though the service required many steps, he had it all covered. When he left, I had two keys for the Ford Escape.

The lost-key episode blessed me with a solution that required only money and inconvenienced just me. In working through the problem I touched many lives.

Everyone I asked contributed something to its resolution—even JK, whose idea I didn’t like.

God always has a plan.

I am blessed.

Frances Fritzie

Frances Fritzie

2017 SELF-DISCOVERY GAME

Our Self-Discovery Game, is called “The Greatest Mystery.” Tadahiko Nagao and Isamu Saito, authors of Kokology, The Game of Self-Discovery, posed a scenario where one is asked to imagine one’s soul after death.

Choices were ‘1) …same size and shape as in life, 2)… retains human form but expands 3)…tiny and human-shaped, like a fairy and 4) …a ball of flame or a cloud without definite form.”

To this exercise and choices, Georgene (See her article in FABRICS) says, “I have to answer, ‘None, of the above.’

I view the soul as being recognizable to those who know the person yet in a perfect form –for a soul. None of the (authors’) answers make sense to me.

Number One would be closest, but I don’t believe the ‘same size and shape’ applies. Size means nothing to my idea of soul. And, being without definite form doesn’t resonate with me either.

The form of the soul is still a great mystery to me.

Thanks for the brain exercise!”

THE MONTHLY QUESTION

Editor’s note: I neglected to include either old or new Monthly Question in the June issue. My apologies.

For July our question is: My first paying job was…”

My aunt and uncle gave me money when I occasionally babysat for my younger cousins. However that’s not the “spirit” of the question. My first ‘paying’ job was working in the women’s department of a local retail and sporting goods store.

I didn’t apply for the job. A neighbor -couple owned Harter’s. The summer after I was a high school Freshman, Mrs. Harter asked me to pose for some cheer clothes photos.

Me? I said, “I’ll have to ask my parents.”

Maybe she chose me because I was a high school Freshman cheerleader.

My folks discussed the idea and gave their approval.

Frances posing school days

Not long after, she asked if I would like to work in the Women’s Department of their store after school and Saturdays.

As with the photo session, I replied, “I’ll have to ask my parents.”

As usual, my folks discussed the idea privately then said, “As long as you keep your grades up, we think it would be a good experience. Tell Mrs. Harter you’ll accept.”

I began working at her store the fall I was a sophomore in high school. I was just sixteen when I learned that straightening clothes on racks and cleaning glass showcases wasn’t for me!

**

The “first paying job” question will hold over for August. A new question joins it, “One thing I have always secretly wanted to do is….”

GRAMMY IN THE HALLWAY

Cynthia was never around to see

what I was

Doing, but Grammy, it seemed, was

there

all the time.

She would meet me in the hallway,

sure

she had smelled something.

Gayle, have you been smoking?”

No, Grammy,” I would say,

or

Gayle, have you been playing

in the dirt?”

No, Grammy.”

Not far from the truth I was

playing with children who

were not socially

acceptable.

I didn’t fit in with most kids.

I couldn’t play “Movie Stars”

because

I couldn’t remember any

movie stars’ names.

I could jump rope,

but I couldn’t remember the rhymes.

I was having trouble in school.

I was not a teacher’s favorite.

I was often sick.

I was anemic.

Had low blood pressure and for hyperactivity I

was given Phenobarbital.

I thought something

was wrong with me.

Everyone was trying to help but

there was a lot

I didn’t want

them to notice.

No one could see how I felt inside –

Grammy noticed something was

wrong, but she

continued to ask me

the wrong questions,

Gayle have you been smoking?”

Have you been playing in the dirt?”

Bluebird (June ‘17) reflects on those days, “Grammy was my great-grandmother and had very religious old-school ways of thinking.  She would have liked me to be a different child, but I was not the sweet endearing child of her dreams.  Her other question is whether I was playing in the mud.  Bluebird can be reached at: gaylebluebird1943@gmail.com.’ “

GIFTS

Giver and taker both –

impossible to be

Like saying you’re a he,

but really a she.

Sweet and salt water can’t flow

from the same well.

Like saying you’re asleep

while ringing a bell,

Taking and receiving are

two different things,

Receiving’s acknowledging

what another one brings.

Taking is claiming

what really ain’t yours,

Like taking credit for growing

veggies and flowers.

Receiving with grace

is giving in return.

Taking’s not believing

what you have learned:

God has promised

our daily bread”

Taking’s not honoring

what the Gift-giver said.

So gather around children

and you shall see:

It’s better to give, and, receive

both with exuberant glee.

DAPepple (June ‘17) Says, “My heartmind felt something was missing with: ‘It’s better to give than to receive.’ It started with my understanding of God and His gifts of life, grace, love and the ability to embrace the fruits of the senses –music , colors, art, giggles, hugs, comfort foods and barefoot water skiing. Being able to receive these gifts with gratitude was profoundly reciprocal.”

BONDS

When you do something

for someone,

You make a bond…

no matter how small. 

All big things start out small.

Simon Stargazer III (June ‘17) adds to his thought, “I have also found that the other side of this concept is equally as important. At times it is (Next.) important to let someone do something for you – perhaps something you could even do for yourself. It may fulfill a need of theirs.”

KNOWING NO LACK

We lie on the gentle debris

one finds in a gallery of

artists: brushes, books,

creatures of iron. Our orbit is now

in slippers and afghans. We orphans

of our own choosing,

speak

from within ourselves, new languages;

throw out symbols,

words like bricks, gestures of flesh, a ceramic dish,

a splash, a paragraph. The language

of I Am,

this simplicity of being, is a soft

vibration, a mist of energy

painting space with every breath,

painting now,

an ongoing tapestry. We leave trails

of light

behind us as we move.

Life is canvas.

Brian Janisse (June ‘17) adds, “This piece reflects a time in life when I was seeing art in everything, becoming free in my own creativity, and spending my time in passionate company.”

TWO BOOKS

A while back I bought two books. I was disappointed with In Full Color, Rachael Dolezal’s story. She is the white woman who passed herself off as black. I found it unbelievable.

However, at the same time I purchased Shattered by Jonathan Allen. It is the story of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for president. The book is rather sad. The affair was really a bunch of people who didn’t know how to run a campaign.  Only a few people actually knew her.

Really a mess.

Patricia (June ‘17) adds, “I’m still reading Shattered.  It was co-written with Amie Parnes.  She and Allen are both news reporters.  He writes for ‘Politico’ ‘Bloomberg’ and ‘Vox.’  She reports for the ‘The Hill.’  I was a little surprised they wrote the book.”  

A NEW COOKBOOK

Lovina Eicher is an Amish lady who writes a weekly column for local newspapers. She always includes a recipe and I’ve tried many of them. They’re good!

She has a new cookbook out, The Essential Amish Cookbook. I attended a book signing and liked the book. It has wonderful photos in addition to recipes. I bought one and look forward to trying the recipes.

Kay (June ‘17) adds, “I’m a fan of Eicher. There’s a total of 127 recipes that include canning and freezing. Also in the book are sections on Amish Church Meals and recipes and one on Wedding Meals that features details from her daughter, Elizabeth’s Wedding in 2015.”

Words and thoughts…

Words and thoughts cannot change the evolutionary process.

James (June ‘17) adds, “Survival is the key to evolutionary change.”