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On spring flowers, upcoming events and healing actions

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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 12:00 am

This day (Sunday) has been a lovely one, somehow hinting (very gently!) of spring. Possibly that's because so many flowers are in evidence. Some are well ahead of their time, some are on time, and some haven't stopped from last year, although their efforts have become more and more half-hearted. You can't blame them — they haven't had their sleep! Some, poor things, have pretty well frozen down to the ground. Let's hope the roots have kept safely buried enough to come back when it's really spring.

The hawthorn tree finally made up its mind: It is deciduous!

Given we're dealing with growing things and the weather, this from my poet friend Jim Turner:

Frozen Farm

On the frozen farm its young farmer moves at thrice his age with singing kettle, sizzling pan; aromas of smoky bacon, thick, yeasty toast, the hot promise of coffee his wife warms her kitchen for his return from the barn's summery odors of dusty hay, steamy droppings of animals, moist white fog of their breathing.

A long day has begun.

The sun still sleeps.

***

Big news from West Point! Local radio station KQBM (Blue Mountain) is not yet broadcasting from its tower, but it is streaming on the Internet and has been picked up in countries in Asia and South America and various locations in the U.S. I've picked it up on my own computer — at a time when Second Son was announcing! Go to KQBM.org and then hit the old fashioned radio.

***

February is not that far away, and the month starts with a local treat. International Ballet Theatre Institute is presenting a performance of Clara's Dream from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2 and 3, at IBTI's studio, 4 1/2 W. Pine Street, followed by the Winter Wonderland Festival fundraiser and Clara Party at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for seniors and children, or $10 for adults. Tickets for groups of 16 or more are $5. Tickets for the Winter Fest alone are $5 for everyone. Tickets can be purchased online at www.intlballettheaterinstitute.org or reserved by calling 209-334-1974.

***

Look way ahead to April for something special. Chapter IM, PEO Sisterhood, is planning a gala fundraiser for Lodi-area high school scholarships: The Way We Were, a luncheon and vintage fashion show at the Woodbridge Golf and Country Club at 11:30 a.m. on April 20. Tickets are $35 for open seating. Call Claire Lima at 209-334-4047. A dress code will be enforced — no denim!

***

People are always doing such nice things for me and my husband, and we are really grateful. We are finding that, as we get older (whether we want to or not!), activities and errands become more difficult, and conserving strength has become an Aim In Life.

Example: A very nice man whose name I failed to get came to my rescue at the checkout line in Apple Market a couple of weeks ago. I had misread the total and written the wrong amount on my check. The checker and I were discussing changing and initialing or just writing a new check. The difference was $1! I rarely carry cash, so as we were debating, this gentleman in the next line over simply proffered the needed dollar bill. God bless him and his. Such genuine kindnesses help heal the world.

We are also very grateful for our children and grandchildren. They are continuously helpful and generous, and we do not know how we would manage without them. This goes to those others who help us with house and garden chores, too.

***

I still take a lively interest in the English language — it's built in! I cringe when I see stories with "laying on the street" instead of "lying on the street." To lay is to place or put something somewhere. To lie is to take a prone position. You can't believe how many printed books of all kinds can't get the past tenses right! And coulda, wanna, shoulda, etc. These are in news stories as if they are real words. Please! Don't ask me about texting — I don't go there.

Did you know this? "Bug" was first used to describe a computer error during the development of ENIAC, when a moth in the circuitry was discovered to be the cause of a malfunction. Lots of other words have come into the language in similar ways. One never knows!

***

And one to end with: "The great aim of education is not knowledge but action." — Herbert Spencer (1820-1923), English philosopher.

Gwin Paden has been penning this priceless prose since 1999. That's 42 years after she first landed in Lodi. She has always believed in the printed word, and will help this paper any way possible. (Stop writing?!!)

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