Tag Archives: time

…Consider a Peacock

Double click to see a larger version
Double click to see a larger version

I wonder how many times in my life I’ve said in response to a query from someone about what I’m doing, “Oh, I’m just killing a bit of time.”  It’s a common enough expression, after all…but of course, when we kill time we are really killing a bit of our life because we only have so much time “to kill” and then we run out!

Today’s photo if of a peacock at the Hindu temple near Lilburn, GA.  In Hindu belief (so I’ve learned) the peacock is considered to be a sacred bird, known as the mayura.  In images of the mayura as a mythical bird, it is depicted as killing a snake, which according to a number of Hindu scriptures, is a symbol of the cycle of time (hence, “killing time” – get it!?!?!)

It is also a belief among Hindus that the feathers of the mayura are sacred and as such are used to dust the images and implements of Hindus.

I’ve always admired the beauty of the peacock, though their cries can be quite terrifying if you’ve never heard them before as they sound like a woman or child screaming.  I remember the first time I heard them was when we lived near a park in Tampa, Florida.  I was just a kid and my bedroom was at one end of the house away from my folks and sister.  When the sound of the peacocks from that park came flying through the window, I was sure someone was being murdered.  The next day, a neighbor explained what it was…and I eventually got used to it.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1885, a 19-year-old man named John Lee was taken to the gallows in Exeter, England, for the murder of Ellen Keyse, a rich older woman for whom he had worked. Although he insisted he was innocent, Lee had been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. However, after the noose was put around his neck and the lever that would release the floor beneath his feet was pulled, something malfunctioned and Lee was not dropped. Strangely, the equipment had been tested and found to be in working order. In facts, weights used in a test run plunged to the ground as expected. The hanging was attempted two more times, but when Lee stood on the trap door, and the lever was pulled, nothing happened. He was then sent back to prison. On November 15, 1884, Keyse, who had been a maid to Queen Victoria, was found dead in a pantry next to Lee’s room. Her head was severely battered and her throat cut. There was no direct evidence of Lee’s guilt; the case was made solely on circumstantial evidence. The alleged motive was Lee’s resentment at Keyse’s mean treatment.

The authorities, mystified at the gallows’ inexplicable malfunction, decided to ascribe it to an act of God. Lee was removed from death row, his sentence commuted, and he spent the next 22 years in prison. After he was released, he emigrated to America. The cause of Lee’s remarkable reprieve was never discovered.

Condemned prisoners no longer have a chance at such reprieves. Even when there are mishaps in carrying out an execution (in one case, an executioner failed to properly find a vein for a lethal injection), authorities follow through until the prisoner has been put to death.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  A dog’s shoulder blades are unattached to the rest of the skeleton to allow greater flexibility for running.

..of Things Gone By

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Double-click the picture for a larger version of the image…

Younger people laugh at older folks who sit around and talk about “the good old days” or the days that have gone by.  Why do we who are older talk so much about those good old days?

It’s not that these aren’t good days (though they may be good in far different ways), but I think it is because our  minds are filled with so many images and memories that our brains have filed away over oh-so-many years and the young don’t have that wonderful gift!

I have recently joined a gym and for the first time in my life, I have a trainer who has worked with me for the last four weeks (I have two more to go!).  It has reminded me of things gone by.  Why?  Well, I used to be rather athletic.  I played lots of sports, even up until I was nearly 50  years old.  I used to be able to run, jump, pump iron and all sorts of activity without hurting.  Now?  Well, not so much.  The aches and pains have left me reminiscing of things gone by, like my youth.

I used to be able to eat like a horse and never put on a single pound.  My folks even said that they never had to have a garbage disposal when I was teenager because there never were any leftovers.  I used to look in the mirror and see a young man starting back at me with nary a wrinkle at the corner of the eyes or mouth.  No longer.

Do I begrudge that?  At times, if I am to be honest.  I wish I could do all those things again without hurting…when I could run forever and never even seem to breathe hard.  Now, well, it doesn’t take much.

The photo today is of an old trailer/wagon that also made me think about how all things age…even the universe is getting old at the same rate as I am.  It is the nature of the game, isn’t it?  Hopefully, along the way, we amass a fortune of wonderful memories that we can look back on and think as I do, “What a wonderful life it has been!”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in a bizarre incident in 1982, a truck exploded in the Salang Tunnel in Afghanistan, killing an estimated 3,000 people, mostly Soviet soldiers traveling to Kabul.

The Soviet Union’s military foray into Afghanistan was disastrous by nearly every measure, but perhaps the worst single incident was the Salang Tunnel explosion in 1982. A long army convoy was traveling from Russia to Kabul through the border city of Hairotum. The route took the convoy through the Salang Tunnel, which is 1.7 miles long, 25 feet high and approximately 17 feet wide. The tunnel, one of the world’s highest at an altitude of 11,000 feet, was built by the Soviets in the 1970s.

The Soviet army kept a tight lid on the story, but it is believed that an army vehicle collided with a fuel truck midway through the long tunnel. About 30 buses carrying soldiers were immediately blown up in the resulting explosion. Fire in the tunnel spread quickly as survivors began to panic. Believing the explosion to be part of an attack, the military stationed at both ends of the tunnel stopped traffic from exiting. As cars idled in the tunnel, the levels of carbon monoxide in the air increased drastically and the fire continued to spread. Exacerbating the situation, the tunnel’s ventilation system had broken down a couple of days earlier, resulting in further casualties from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

It took several days for workers to reach all the bodies in the tunnel. Because the Soviet army limited the information released about the disaster, the full extent of the tragedy may never be known.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats as evil and thousands of cats were burned. Unfortunately, the widespread killing of cats led to an explosion of the rat population, which exacerbated the effects of the Black Death.

 

Today, Preschool…Tomorrow, Harvard

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How does time get away from us so easily?  We start out life waiting for so many things: to go to school, to get to junior high, then high school, to get a driver’s license, to go on our first date, to get out of high school, go to college and get out of college….then get married and have kids…and then to have the kids grow up as we wait for retirement.

But, in hindsight, when our children are grown and gone, we wish we could turn back the hands of the clock for a few hours at a time and have them back on our laps as little ones again, to hear their youthful chortles and squeals, to watch them as they are caught up in wonder at the sight of a butterfly or bird.

There is nothing from this earth that is more precious than the gift of our children.  While at times we may think our kids will never grow up, we will spend the rest of our lives missing them and wishing we could relive some of the delight of those early years.

Today was “Grandparent’s Day” at the preschool where our two youngest grand daughters attend, and we were delighted when we were invited to come to their “classrooms” and celebrate.  As it turns out, it was also the day they were taking their school pictures.  The oldest of the two is graduating this year from kindergarten and will be in first grade next year, so she had her picture taken in cap and gown, and her Pop-Pop was on the scene with his camera, too.

I can’t believe she’s already reached this milestone in her still young life, but I know this: her parents will one day look back at this day and think to themselves, “Where did the time go?”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: it was in 1997 following an anonymous tip, police enter a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, an exclusive suburb of San Diego, California, and discovered 39 victims of a mass suicide. The deceased (21 women and 18 men) were all found lying peaceably in matching dark clothes and Nike sneakers and had no noticeable signs of blood or trauma. It was later revealed that the men and women were members of the “Heaven’s Gate” cult, whose leaders said that suicide would allow them to leave their bodily “containers” and enter an alien spacecraft hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet.

The cult was led by Marshall Applewhite, a music professor who, after surviving a near-death experience in 1972, was recruited into the cult by one of his nurses, Bonnie Lu Nettles. In 1975, Applewhite and Nettles persuaded a group of 20 people from Oregon to abandon their families and possessions and move to eastern Colorado, where they promised that an extraterrestrial spacecraft would take them to the “kingdom of heaven.” Nettles, who called herself “Ti,” and Applewhite, who took the name of “Do,” explained that human bodies were merely containers that could be abandoned in favor of a higher physical existence. As the spacecraft never arrived, membership in Heaven’s Gate diminished, and in 1985 Bonnie Lu Nettles died.

During the early 1990s, the cult resurfaced as Applewhite began recruiting new members. Soon after the 1995 discovery of the comet Hale-Bopp, the Heaven’s Gate members became convinced that an alien spacecraft was on its way to earth, hidden from human detection behind the comet. In October 1996, Applewhite rented a home in Rancho Santa Fe, explaining to the owner that his group was made up of Christian-based angels.

In 1997, as part of its 4,000-year orbit of the sun, the comet Hale-Bopp passed near Earth in one of the most impressive astronomical events of the 20th century. In late March 1997, as Hale-Bopp reached its closest distance to Earth, Applewhite and 38 of his followers drank a lethal mixture of phenobarbital and vodka and then lay down to die, hoping to leave their bodily containers, enter the alien spacecraft, and pass through Heaven’s Gate into a higher existence.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Researchers believe that the proportion of left-handers has remained constant for over 30,000 years.

Resting in the Yard

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Time wears on everything: it carves canyons, humbles mountains, crumbles solid rock wrinkles skin and dims vision and hearing. It doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to physical things – time marches inexorably on while exacting its toll.

An old Ford truck sits in the side yard of a Georgia house in Canton, GA. The tires are flat now, the license expired, the paint and glass worn and metal corroding. Still, there is a certain dignity to the truck as it continues to fight the ravages that will eventually claim it.

It sits on the grass, underneath a tree that has started to display leaf buds – a seeming contradiction in terms to the rusting, crumbling hulk that sits beneath its boughs. Perhaps there is a mutual agreement between the two that as the vehicle deteriorates and returns metals and other materials back to the earth from which they came, it will feed the tree and in return, the tree helps protect the vehicle from the blistering sun and drenching rain.

We all need partners.  We all need shelter. I hope you find shelter for your life in the people around you who love you.

Enjoy the picture…an HDR image that is a composite of three different exposures.  Old trucks and cars make fascinating subjects…just like life itself!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  the U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) departed South Vietnam on this day in 1971. The Special Forces were formed to organize and train guerrilla bands behind enemy lines. President John F. Kennedy, a strong believer in the potential of the Special Forces in counterinsurgency operations, had visited the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg to review the program and authorized the Special Forces to wear the headgear that became their symbol, the Green Beret.

The 5th Group was sent to Vietnam in October 1964 to assume control of all Special Forces operations in Vietnam. Prior to this time, Green Berets had been assigned to Vietnam only on temporary duty. The primary function of the Green Berets in Vietnam was to organize the Civilian Irregular Defense Groups (CIDG) among South Vietnam’s Montagnard population. The Montagnards—”mountain people” or “mountaineers”—were a group of indigenous people from several tribes, such as the Rhade, Bru, and Jarai, who lived mainly in the highland areas of Vietnam. These tribes were recruited to guard camps in the mountainous border areas against North Vietnamese infiltration. At the height of the war the Green Berets oversaw 84 CIDG camps with more than 42,000 CIDG strike forces and local militia units. The CIDG program ended in December 1970 with the transfer of troops and mission to the South Vietnamese Border Ranger Command. The Green Berets were withdrawn as part of the U.S. troop reductions in Vietnam.

Just six years earlier on this same date, the US started bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  need a steam bath? About 20% of all volcanoes are under water. Now that’ll warm  you up!

Winding Down

It is the second law of thermodynamics that says that things are winding down, that everything is seeking a common level of energy and temperature.  How do we know that this level has not yet been reached?  Simply observation is enough to show us that there are hot spots on earth and in the universe and there are cold spots.  In a long enough period of time, everything will reach a constant temperature and energy level…and that in nature, this is not a reversible process.  To put it more simply: things are winding down.

Now one can make lots of scientific and even theological arguments based upon this law of thermodynamics, but that’s not my point today.  Today I just simply want to note that things are winding down, slowly, inexorably, inevitably.  My energy level is not what it was in  my younger years.  Nor is the energy level of my kids what it was years ago.  Every year (though we can’t notice it by normal observation), the earth slows in its orbit around the sun.

It is enough to get one depressed if you are of that mindset.  Or, we can just accept it as part of life, which we all know is winding down for us and will some day cease.  For those people of faith, there is belief in a new life – even a much better one – beyond the veil of this world.  It is an object of faith, accepted by faith, and held to tightly because there is something in us that rebels at the notion of this life “being it”.  We don’t like the fact that our bodies and faculties are winding down…we want them restored, made better.  And I think they shall be and I personally find that quite exciting!

This past summer at a family reunion in Iowa, we visited the farm where I lived when I was born and for the first 9-1/2 years or so of my life.  Today’s photo is of the back of the house (away from the road).  What you see here is an enclosed porch area.  The door on the right (it didn’t have a dog door in it when we lived there) was toward the barnyard, the left door what led to the dark, scary basement was close to the garden area. Just inside the door to the right there were windows that looked northward across the barnyard to the barn.  On cold winter mornings, my sister and I would stand inside waiting for the school bus (this was after they closed the one room school that was a mile from our farm – we used to walk to it) to come and get us to take us the 5 miles into Churdan, Iowa.  I clearly recall waiting there and looking at the thermometer that was attached to the outside sill and see it was 20 degrees below zero on some school day mornings.  Ah, the memories of childhood!

But look at the house.  It is winding down.  It was sad to see it in this condition.  The paint along the eaves flaked and falling off, the wood around the middle window discolored and undoubtedly rotting.  The only reason this house looks as good as it still does is the yellow aluminum siding my parents bought from Sears WAY back in the late ’50’s that they had installed.  It still looks as good as it did then (if it were given a bit of a scrubbing).  Still, for all the perseverance of the siding, the house is nearly a goner.  It won’t fix itself. Unless there is an injection of time, love and energy, it will ultimate collapse.

Life is like that: we need constant infusions of love, time, and energy.  Marriage is like that.  We do have choices to make that can hold the winding down process at bay for while, but ultimately, time will have its way with all things.

Let’s all make the best of each day.  Let’s infuse a bit of energy and love into those around us each day.  If I am right in my faith beliefs, people are the one thing that will ultimately last…and that makes each person a worthy object of our attention.

_MG_2815ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  on November 3, 1941, the Combine Japanese Fleet received Top-Secret Order No. 1: In 34 days time, Pearl Harbor is to be bombed, along with Mayala, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippines.

Relations between the United States and Japan had been deteriorating quickly since Japan’s occupation of Indochina in 1940 and the implicit menacing of the Philippines (an American protectorate), with the occupation of the Cam Ranh naval base only eight miles from Manila. American retaliation included the seizing of all Japanese assets in the States and the closing of the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping. In September 1941, Roosevelt issued a statement, drafted by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, that threatened war between the United States and Japan should the Japanese encroach any further on territory in Southeast Asia or the South Pacific.

The Japanese military had long dominated Japanese foreign affairs; although official negotiations between the U.S. secretary of state and his Japanese counterpart to ease tensions were ongoing, Hideki Tojo, the minister of war who would soon be prime minister, had no intention of withdrawing from captured territories. He also construed the American “threat” of war as an ultimatum and prepared to deliver the first blow in a Japanese-American confrontation: the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

And so Tokyo delivered the order to all pertinent Fleet commanders, that not only the United States—and its protectorate the Philippines—but British and Dutch colonies in the Pacific were to be attacked. War was going to be declared on the West.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Bore-hole seismometry indicates that the land in Oklahoma moves up and down 25cm throughout the day, corresponding with the tides. Earth tides are generally about one-third the size of ocean tides.

 

In the Heart

Regrets.  They are not good things to have.  Having served as a full-time pastor before, I witnessed people with many regrets.  They shared many of them with me in confidence, but you can imagine what some of them were:

  • Husbands or wives who had been unfaithful and deeply regretted it;
  • Sons or daughters who had been alienated from their parents for long, silent years;
  • Parents who were separated from their children or grandchildren for long, painful years;
  • Financial decisions that had backfired leaving a family in critical straits;
  • A woman who took a chance on a man with a flirtatious and wild background and who would up broken hearted herself when his promises to her wore off;
  • Picking up a bottle or needle again after having been clean for a while, etc.

In many such situations, there’s not much that can be done to undo the past.  We can learn from it (hopefully) so as not to make the same or similar mistakes in the present or future.  We can seek forgiveness if we’ve wronged someone…at least up to a point.

Today’s photo perplexes me.  I took it last Saturday.  I can’t tell what to make of it.  It may just be expressing a loving desire to have a lost one back again.  On the other hand, it may be that they want them back because they have regrets and it would give them a chance to make things right.  You see, we can seek forgiveness up until the point that it is too late to say the two simple words, “I’m sorry.”  After that, it is left to the living to bear the burden of the wrong…and wonder if they’ll ever have the chance to seek forgiveness.

Maybe you need to be reconciled with someone.  Don’t let it wait.  It can only lead to even greater heartbreak if you don’t take care of it while you can.

_MG_1027ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1944, 1,000 Jews left France, headed for the Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the phrase “grease monkey” came from the person (usually a young boy) that would crawl up in the rafters to grease all the pulleys and belts that ran all the equipment in a blacksmith shop or machine shop.

The Farewell

Today I want to share a rather poignant photo with you – one that I took on Saturday in East Union Cemetery in Manteca, CA.

This carving was at the top of the face of the tombstone…actually, the same image was on several of the tombstones.  It was interesting as I walked the cemetery to see that certain motifs and images were popular on tombstones for a while, then a different image seemed to gain favor until it was eventually replaced by another.  Perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising – because the same thing is happening with the people who are buried there and who visit them.  The ones who are now visiting those already buried will eventually be buried, too, and another set of people will come to replace them.  Cemeteries are wonderful reminders of the great cycle of life.

I liked this particular image, though.  Or rather, I should say it spoke to me.  As  you look at the two hands, you’ll note that the grip is not a tight one.  In fact, if anything, the hand of the lady on the left seems to be withdrawing or slipping out of the grasp of the man’s hand on the right.  Farewell, indeed.

As I looked at it, I was struck with a sharp sense of melancholy.  In just a few days, I’ll be leaving for an internship in Africa where I’ll be for 7-1/2 weeks.  It will be almost twice the longest period of time that my wife and I have been apart since we were married way back in the stone age (1970).  I can’t bear the thought of being away from her for so long.  When I am not with her, it is as if my life is less than 50% present.

Please understand that I don’t always act that way.  Like everyone else, when I am in the presence of those I love, I tend to take them for granted.  But this picture reminded me that such will not always be the case, and when the time comes for our hands to part, when the moment of farewell comes, I’ll wish I’d not spent these 7-1/2 weeks apart from her.  At that moment, I feel certain that I’ll wish we’d never been apart…and that we never would be.

On the other hand, if there is a farewell, somewhere there must also be a coming back together.  From the dawn of human history we’ve been captivated by the idea of a life beyond this one…a far better life in most cultures.  The Babylonians and Egyptians believed it, as did the Incas, Mayans and native Americans.  There is something in us that insists that there must be something beyond where farewells are no more.

I expect that I shall return safe and sound from Africa and that my wife and I will have more time here.  But just in case that isn’t the case, I hope she knows that I have cherished our years together more than I could ever explain with mere words.

Someday, you, too, will say “Farewell” to those you love the most.  If you are with them tonight, please go tell them now what they mean to you and how you love them!  Don’t let your hands part in the final farewell with those words being unspoken!

There is not too much time…but there certainly is never enough.

FarewellON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1807, the slave trade in England was abolished.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: baby rattlesnakes are born in August and September.  It’s a bad time to be in the brush, because baby rattlers don’t have the discipline to keep from injecting a victim with their full load of venom…a skill they learn as they grow older.

 

Frozen in Time

If you could freeze any moment in time, what would it be?  Would it be the moment your lover said “I do!” as you looked them in the eyes?  Would it be a time when your children were deliriously happy and healthy?  Would it be a moment when  you felt that you’d accomplished something really significant?

Or, a slightly different question: if you could go back in a time-machine to any moment in history to experience it, what moment would you choose?

I’d have to think about those things myself.  I’m not sure what my answers would be.  Alas, we can’t time travel and I can’t turn the clock backwards to freeze a moment in time, either, as much as at times I wish I were able to do so.

One of the things that fascinates me about photography is the ability to capture a moment in time that will be visible to people for perhaps hundreds of years.  And when I say “capture a moment”, I literally mean a fraction of a second.

Today’s picture is one I shot a few years ago (2009, to be precise) with my old Sony Alpha A-100 digital camera.  We were having dinner at some friends house in the middle of their vineyard in the countryside near Cloverdale.  They had a bird feeder hanging from the eaves outside the living room and I noticed that hummingbirds were busily availing themselves of the sweet nectar that was in the feeder.  I had taken my camera with me (as I am wont to do!) and shot several pictures.  This is not a great photo by any stretch of the imagination, but I liked the way it froze this hummingbird in mid-air as it approached the feeder.  In order to freeze his wings, I shot this at 1/1600 of a second.  And now, this bird is captured forever in a magnificent moment of time, a slice of life frozen in time.  He will never get tired, never need to land.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1492, Christopher Columbus established the first Spanish colony in the Americas, on the island of Hispanola.  It was located in what is now known as Haiti.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  in the 1900 Sears-Roebuck catalog, a piano was sold for $98.00, FOB Chicago.

 

Frozen In Time

Photography has the ability to capture emotions with merely a press of a fingertip.  Happy, sad, laughing, crying, mourning or rejoicing – every aspect of human emotion has probably been captured by the lens.  It is one of the things that make photography so interesting.  A photo of a face can speak volumes about the person’s life.

Another ability of the camera is to freeze time.  A photo shot one day does not change overnight.  What the lens saw, it captured.  No mussing or fussing with the hair or make-up, no chance to change the jacket or strike a different pose.  What the camera sees is what it gets.

One of the things that intrigues me most, however, is the ability to capture a moment in time and freeze it forever.  Take today’s picture, for example.  I took it  with my first digital camera, a small Nikon 4MP point-and-shoot type camera in Times Square, New York City, way back in 2002.  I don’t know any of the people in the photo.  I don’t know where they were going or what they were doing.  They were just there…and they are frozen in time.  How many of the people in that photo are still alive?  How do they look now?  In what ways have they changed?  Are they happy today, or sad? Take the person closest to the lens, for example.  Had he just caught a glimpse of a person across the street that he would fall in love with?  Or, does the look on his face suggest he’s seen mobsters who have been chasing him?  Whatever became of him?  Wouldn’t it be strange if, as we look at a photo, those in the picture could be looking back at us and seeing us, too?????

Recently, because it is time for high school graduations, many of my high school friends from Facebook put up their graduation picture as their profile pic.  It was great to see them again.  We have a reunion planned for August, but I know that the images that I so readily recognize from the high school yearbook were moments frozen in time…there is no turning back.  In the words of Rod McKuen, a popular poet from San Francisco in the late ’60’s, from his poem, The Lonely Things: “The sun behind the clouds, the starless night, when you’re alone in crowds the need for sudden flight, the empty loneliness that parting brings….these are the lonely things.  A taste of love too soon gone wrong, the sad mistaken heart that heard the siren song, and sang along….the waves that drum the shore at morning light, the friends that come no more to try and make things right, the hopes that fly too soon as though on wings…these are the lonely things.”  (Recorded by Glenn Yarborough)

Frozen in time…

Frozen forever in time...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1977, George Willig, aka “the human fly” climbed the World Trade Center in New York City.  It took him 3-1/2 hours and he was fined $1.10 – a penny for every floor.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the strongest muscle in the human body (ounce for ounce) is the human tongue.

The Speed of the World

For years I listened to my “elders” talk about how fast times flies.  I remember when I first heard such talk, I thought they were crazy!  I was waiting…and waiting…and waiting…to get my driver’s license, to turn 18, to get married.  Time just seemed to crawl like an ant through molasses!

Well, now I’m a wee bit older and I have to admit that time does fly…and it seems to fly faster the older we get.  There may come a point at which it stops flying so quickly – if one were retired and had nothing to do (a situation I can’t imagine!).  In such a case time would seem to crawl, I’m sure.  But now…it seems as if it is approaching supersonic speeds.

On Thursday, my wife will celebrate a birthday (because I want to live a little while longer, I’ll not disclose how old she’ll be on this birthday).  She’s as lovely and wonderful as ever (in fact, better in so many ways!), but while I guess I suspected long ago that I’d attain this this age, I never EVER thought it would happen so quickly!!!!

All in all, it’s a wonderful thing to look back at life and not have any major regrets.

Today’s picture is just an image that attempts to give some kind of expression to how things seem at times to move so quickly, but in other ways, never seem to change.  I took it Saturday in Windsor, CA.  I have no idea who these people are – just that they were there for a fleeting moment and then were gone…an analogy for life itself.

A fast world...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1512, perhaps the greatest collection of paintings in the history of the world were revealed to the public for the first time when Michelangelo’s work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were put on display.  He painted the frescoes over a period of years while lying flat on his back on scaffolding erected for that specific purpose.  Someday, I hope to see them in person.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In school, most of us learned that King John signed the Magna Charta in 1215.  This is not true.  The king didn’t know how to write, so he “signed” it with his seal.