Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winning Words 2/27/13
“Too often man handles life as he does the weather.  He whiles away the time as he waits for it to stop.”  (Alfred Polgar)  Life is often like the weather.  “Into each life some snow must fall.”  The local weather forecast is for a BIG snowstorm, but probably not as big as Whittier described in his poem, “Snowbound.”  Snow-bound, or life-bound, what  are some interesting and worthwhile things to do as we while away the time?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM JB IN PENNSYLVANIA:  This one hits home.  Time for me to get moving. :) ////JACK:  We each have only so much time in this life.  How much should be allotted to "whiling?"

 FROM WALMART REV:  Great time to catch up on posting, filing and studying by way of the computer and internet . . . electricity off, makes for a whole different attitude and direction!////JACK:  It's amazing that you can use your computer when the electricity is off.  You and God have miraculous powers.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There  was a lot of scurrying around yesterday morning by people getting ready for the BIG snowstorm.  But it was nice to see the beautiful big snowflakes coming down.////JACK:  In the poem, Snowbound, the family made sure that there was plenty wood available to keep a fire in the fireplace.  Their only forecaster was The Farmer's Almanac, which didn't seem as scary as TV and radio.

 FROM MV IN MICHIGAN:  My father used to sing us that song: “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall” ////JACK:  Did you know?  That song is based on this poem...
The Rainy Day (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

THE day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
  And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
  And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
  Some days must be dark and dreary.
 ////MV:  I did not know this. Thank you for letting me know. I forwarded this to other family members. I love the poem.

   FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  I am taking advantage of being temporarily snowed in today.  Our Wed morning Bible Study is cancelled as it is when ever the schools are cancelled.  I will try to finish a special scrapbook that I have been working on.  But I have made a huge pot of soup for tonights Lenten supper!  I wonder if it will fit in my freezer!?  I am NEVER lacking something interesting to do! ////JACK:  WWJD?  Do you think he'd call off the Soup Supper?

FROM MY LAWYER:  Among them, reading your precious emails.////JACK:  Did you mean precocious?

 FROM MY FLORIST:  TIME that is the real currency of life; how you spend your time is critical.  Billable hours, hourly rates, salary’s are paid for ones time, through which fortunes can be built. Not by the one who receives the wage rather by the one who pays it wisely.  I remember a “Twilight Zone” that allowed for an old man to buy years from a young man although all the complications escape me, my 30,000 foot recall was that it turned into a mess for everyone. ////JACK:  The Twilight Zone was one of my favorite TV series, because it caused me to THINK!  BTW, A stanza from Isaac Watts' hymn, "O God, Our Help," is:

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Another of the stanzas may be of interest to you....
Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering ere ‘tis night.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Your poetry reference brings back old memories...I think it was the first significant poem that I had to read in elementary school, and memorize the first verse.  "The sun that brief December day, rose cheerless over hills of gray, and darkly circled gave at noon a sadder light than waning moon."  (Interesting how some things stick in your mind.)  Since we moved to New England we have witnessed what the poet chose to write about.  Stuck inside during a snowstorm, writing poetry is one thing to do to wile away the time...but another prudent use of the time (though less interesting) would be tackling your income tax reporting.////JACK:  My use of "while" and your use of "wile" caused me to research the grammar..."The phrase meaning to pass time idly is while away. It is older and more logical than wile away. But because the second phrase occurs so frequently, it is now included in many dictionaries."  Wile waiting for the storm to pass, you can while your time in any manner you choose.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It helps for me, as an only  child, to have 18 grandchildren to keep me busy with all of their activities,  It helps,too, to live in a neighborhood where most of us have lived over 40 years and we all know what is going on and who needs help  and when they need help. I have already  told  you about Pop who is102 and who was riding his bike around the block until a few weeks ago.  Just last week another neighbor celebrated her 95th birthday and still works in her yard. Other than helping others,  I walk and swim and travel and go to USF Olli classes (the last class of the American Dream is today), concerts,opera,and plays, museums,etc.  And the Strawberry Festival starts Thursday Plant City.  Life is exciting and wonderful.////JACK:  For our church's Soup Supper tonight (if it's not cancelled because of the snow) someone has signed up to bring Strawberry Soup.  Have you ever heard of that?  BTW, maybe you can buy Pop's 3-wheeler if he's not going to use it anymore.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  You got me again!  Read the whole bloody thing because I got hooked and didn’t know how long it would be.  What a great piece of writing.  Thank you for sharing.  I admit I had to look up Buskins, Couchant and the long town Memphig…….  A fascinating look at life “back then” – having just seen Django unchained the comments about slavery were of interest too.  Thanks for always making me think!////JACK:  The same thing happened to me.  I pulled "Snowbound" from my memory bank and Googled it for a refresher.  I kept reading and reading and reading.  JGW was a great writer.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Life is just a bowl of cherries  So live and laugh at it all////JACK:  And sometimes life is "the pits."  My aunt once made a cherry pie, leaving the cherries unpitted.  "I didn't feel like pitting them, so you can just spit them out, if you want the pie."

 FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  Make quilts for needy folks, and play "words with friends"////JACK:  I've never made a quilt, nor even sewed on a button...but I've collected money, food and clothing for the needy, and I've played Scrabble, if that"s your word game.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I read a thought this week that seems  to apply here:   "Many events will happen in one second~ enjoy the seconds that give you life; with them you can do many things,  Important or Trivial, Eternal or Perishable, Relevant or Irrelevant  It does not matter, Just  enjoy your seconds, they are unique."  And of course seconds turn into minutes, minutes to hours, etc. and  so a life goes by... Hopefully, we won't miss a second of it!////JACK:  There are 31,556,926 seconds in a year.  Let's see...How many seconds have you lived?

 FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  Whiling away the time is not so good for us old folks.  Dave has had a decline and been identified as a "vulnerable adult".  Which results in my being with him 24/7.  That is difficult as I love to quilt, play bridge, facilitate the support group etc etc etc.  Besides getting grocery, going to church, the bank etc etc etc.  so the kids are coming home on Saturday to help plan the best course for David and me.  It is quite overwhelming and very scary.   I know you will pray for us.  And that is comforting.////JACK:  "Life-bound" has taken on a new meaning for you.  I think of the "storm" story about Jesus and his disciples in a boat during fierce winds and big waves.  The disciples were distressed, because Jesus was sleeping.  "Master, why are you sleeping?  Don't you care."  Jesus awoke and stilled the storm.  Sometimes our faith is tested by life's storms.  Be assured.  Jesus is near, and he does care.  You and Dave and your family are in my prayers.

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