TELL ME HOW IT HAPPENED AGAIN! This morning I had a brief memory flash through my mind and somehow I felt it was a little sign to adjust my thinking. In this time in our lives, we are faced with so many perilous news stories and serious elections, world events, etc. until our heads are filled with too much seriousness. I thought of a story my Mother told me how she learned to swim. I am even smiling now so let’s go down memory lane for a few quick humorous stories to lighten our loads.
Swimming lesson 101:
My Mother was born in 1924 so this goes way back when fancy swimming pools did not have cement bottoms but were ponds with dark bottoms and plant growth at the water’s edge. One way for the children to learn was the method I am not sure was the best was to toss the child into the water and the old saying, “Sink or Swim” came into play literally. My Mother and her sisters chose another method which you might never have heard was to tie a rope to two martin gourds (dried out) and position the rope across the chest. The gourds floated and worked equivalently to today’s swimmies.
According to my Mom, she had been swimming all over the pond with her floating gourds confident she would not drown or go under with her protection. She was confident; she was swimming; she had it going on……Until…….one of her sisters reminded her she had lost her gourds a long way back. She turned around and there the gourds were several yards away and she almost panicked. She struggled to get back to her gourds with all of their protection. She grabbed them and put them under her arms and across her chest. She swam back to the edge of the pond and it became evident. She didn’t need them and had actually swam. She had many good laughs off of this event and so did we enjoy it when she told her swim story. The moral of this story is we may never know if gourds really keep a swimmer up or if it is the belief they do that gives one the courage to jump in and go for a swim.
Stuck in the mud:
This is a true lesson to learn but I can see my uncles and Mom as they had this crazy adventure with their Model A. Apparently, my uncles who were young boys would stay with Mom and Dad when they first married. I am not exactly sure of the year this happened but it was funny to me when I heard this story. Apparently, Mom and Dad had two of my Mom’s brothers probably in their teens and they had gone to visit family and were on their way home on a night after a good rain. With some misjudgment on how deep the hole was, Dad decided to drive through the mud hole which was decidedly deeper and muddier than expected and they got stuck. Since it was raining, Dad made the decision to walk to the house and get the mule to pull the car out. Everyone stayed behind and it was dark and if your family was like ours they told ghost stories which made everyone a little edgy. As the stories were being uttered, they heard some noise. Somehow, during the story telling they didn’t expect it to be Daddy bringing the mule and in the shadows of the night, they saw what they thought was a monster. A lot of yelling happened before they could clearly see it was the mule’s ears and head forming the monster. Dad was tired and didn’t see the humor and he proceeded to hook the mule up to the car and asked one of the boys to give it gas when it started moving. Well, my uncle gave it too much gas and mud came all over the people in the car. For some reason, my Dad got tickled about it and then when all of the passengers looked at each other; they laughed too at the muddy sight. The moral of this story is there are times when things are not meant to make sense and it is then we need to laugh with and at ourselves.
As a child who was raised with plenty of ghost and creature stories and who has turned out fairly normal but with a vivid imagination, I looked up how ghost stories originated. Click on the link to read the full article the excerpt comes from for a little ghost history.
Ghosts in the Ancient World
by Joshua J. Mark
published on 30 October 2014 Roman Skull with Obol in Mouth (Falconaumanni)
To the people of the ancient world, there was no doubt that the soul of a human being survived bodily death. Whatever an individual’s personal views were on the subject, culturally they were brought up with the understanding that the dead lived on in another form that still required some kind of sustenance, in an afterlife that was largely dictated by several factors: the kind of life they had lived on earth, how their remains were disposed of at their death, and/or how they were remembered by the living. The details of the afterlife in different cultures varied, but the constants were that such a realm existed, that it was governed by immutable laws, and that the souls of the dead would remain there unless given license by the gods to return to the land of the living for some specific reason. These reasons could include improper funeral rites, lack of any kind of burial, death by drowning where the body was not recovered, murder in which the body was never found (and so never properly buried), or to resolve some unfinished business or provide a true account of the events surrounding their death, such as when one was murdered and needed one’s death avenged and the murderer brought to justice in order to rest in peace.
The appearance of ghosts of the departed, even those of loved ones, was rarely considered a welcome experience. The dead were supposed to remain in their own land and were not expected to cross back over to the world of the living. When such an event did occur, it was a sure sign that something was terribly wrong, and those who experienced a spiritual encounter were expected to take care of the problem in order for the ghost to return to its proper place. This understanding was so prevalent that ghost stories can be found, with very similar themes, in the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and India as well as regions of Mesoamerica and the Celtic lands of Ireland and Scotland. Ghosts are also depicted in the Bible in much the same way as they were in earlier Roman works. The following is by no means a comprehensive treatment of the subject. Many books have been written on the belief in ghosts in each of the cultures that are mentioned and the many that are not. The purpose of this article is merely to provide readers with the basic concepts of the afterlife and the belief in ghosts in the ancient world.
Blogger Notes: As I grew up, I had parents who appreciated humor and a good laugh. It taught me to enjoy life and not to get too serious about myself. To be able to laugh with friends and even laugh at myself has helped me get through difficult times. Find little things to see the humor and throw your head back and have a good belly laugh and if you don’t know what I mean by belly laugh; you are not laughing enough. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LOVING AND LAUGHING.
Proverbs 17:22 – A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced for origin credit and reference.