Ghee What a Ghal!

Ghosts and ghouls are past us by about two months during which gharries possibly arrived carrying ghastful gharials.

Admittedly, I knew three words starting with “gh” used in the above paragraph. The other two? Yep. Google. By the third grade – or sooner, if the chalk dust and marvelous marker smell has cleared my mind – I also knew these are the consecutive 7th and 8th letters of our 26 developed from the Etruscan alphabet sometime before 600 BCE (also Google 😄). It takes a bit of brain power to engineer opening paragraphs around the letters G and H and I’m not sure this little engine in my skull is puffing up hill effectively. Most likely won’t know until I’m looking down over my connected paragraph cars to the conclusion caboose. If everything is intact and there’s been no derailment, the G&H Line has been a success!

All I’m sure of is those two letters meant something to me today – and that’s all that really counts. So, hop aboard and let me tell you about my nice conversation today.

There’s a station in life where we stand. These weirdly words slapped on us are defined by society and there’s not much that can be done about it. We’re either married, or not. A pastor, or not. Have 12 children, one, or none. Maybe you’re one who employees hundreds, an employee, or not an employee at all. Ok, so we can do something about them, right? Get married, employed, or pregnant if so desired … but all these do is change the station. You’re still assigned a station in life, regardless. The life train comes and goes – in and out of your station … day after blessed day. We have to find a way to enjoy that station upon which we stand. Somehow enjoy the freakin’ show we see as people walk up and down, across and between our paths every. Single. Day.

I had that experience today. The happy human I conversed with is enjoying her station in life. Circumstances being what they are, I’m sure she would hope for better days ahead. Being careful on details for obvious reasons, I will bind this together like a coal car and engine gracefully tying their couplers for a wonderful journey ahead.

We met for less than an hour this morning. She, a purveyor of a service I needed to tie up a loose end for a holiday present, and I talked over health, religion, family relations, politics, music, and oddly enough, a little witchcraft. There is a small, friendly, historical connection between us as our pasts intertwine ever so gently. I do believe our chit-chat session could have extended beyond the time we spent before I had to leave for other engagements. This was, simply, a nice conversation with a nice, sincere person. Someone who is face-to-face with some real things as she stands on, and in, her station.

I drove away thinking about that. Moments later wrapping some presents … thinking about … that. Boy, what a waste of time arguing with a “friend” on Facebook when that time could be better spent talking to someone about their life’s struggles in person. Laughing (six feet away) from a relative stranger who needs a good joke rather than sharing a goofy meme seems to be far greater. In-person vs. Out-impersonal?

I know it’s tough, probably. My business affords me the chance to interact daily with folks. Without it, especially during this pandemic when we’re forced into distancing and lock-down situations, I’d be lost. Today’s wonderful conversation may have been a one-off’er because of the holiday need. Regardless, she certainly stepped up and lifted my spirits this morning while giving me a little hope in the midst of this rather bleak 2020.

She’s definitely on the right track for what she believes in and who she trusts. Her station in life is on pretty solid ground from the little I know, anyway. She believes in herself and trusts in herself to make the best decisions for herself. I’d say that’s a pretty good place to be. From where I stood, “Ghee What A Ghal” is pretty darn accurate…

…and her initials – engineered to be identical to the company name emblazoned on the side of her engine that CAN – is all the information you’re going to get as you watch her get up that hill. The “G & H” Line proudly steaming ahead as an example to all of us of what humanity, grace, and honesty looks like in the midst of life not being particularly kind.

Yes, two letters and not much of a start to any words, really. Didn’t expect them to be. Then again, I didn’t expect to be talking about broomsticks and Wickens this morning, either.

Speaks Volumes

Our common core, long before the insanity of diagrammatic digital black holes, is “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. Freedom from British rule and, back in 1776, an alliance with the French government to assist in the war against Great Britain. Pretty simple, right? A lot easier than the “new” way kiddos are asked to, well, do math these days. Imagine powdered wig dust flying in frustration – attached to additive inverses, box plots, and dilations – as the original 13 colonies found their way on to recycled rags, instead of what actually happened …

Our founding fathers using common sense. Common. Every day. Sense.

I liked math in school. Actually, loved is a better verb. English, history, Geography? Eh, not so much. Math and Music were the sweetness in my nine-period jelly donut. I ate both up. Notes looked like numbers when I practiced , er… played, diligently behind the keys and digits sat as quadratic equations, transforming into beautiful music in front of my very eyes. Solving for X could not have been any more exciting. Oh, and then there’s: V=1/3Bh ! Do you remember this formula?

Finding the Volume of a Square Pyramid, it is! Are you getting excited? Capital B is the area of the base (LxW) times the height, then divide the product by 3. Simple. Common sense.

I could do some advance detective work – with the assistance of the great Pythagoras and his mathematical theorum – to determine the actual volume of this particular stone structure, however, the monument above speaks volumes on its own.

Passing by every evening on the way home, my mind isn’t usually focused on it. Today, being a day off, was worth the stop. Seventy-seven years ago, the Woodrow Wilson Civic Association erected this monument to honor “Our Boys and Girls” who served. Yes, “boys and girls” spectacularly engraved on either side of the words, “Honor Roll”. I did some public google-digging and found only one source for the W.W.C.A. in America:

WOODROW WILSON CIVIC ASSOCIATION NONPROFIT

Company Number 392011

Status Active Company Type Non-Profit

So, it’s a “thing”, apparently. The address (I chose not to post) is listed and coordinates nicely with the very street, a few blocks down, where I turn to head back out to the main route. The roundabout where the monument sits is back from a very busy intersection which coordinates nicely with the 28th, two-term, Presidential log. He helped craft the Treaty of Versailles, did what he could do to see us through World War One, and was instrumental in the League of Nations, a precursor to the United Nations. He died in 1924 – only three years after leaving the White House – and is generally considered one of the better, busy, men to sit in the Oval Office.

Why 1943 to build this monument? Why “Boys and Girls”, not “Men and Women”?, I don’t know. It speaks volumes … What’s inside the outside stone cover is up to the observers to appreciate on their own …

THAT is the “Life and Liberty” we are guaranteed. THIS is why monuments such as these exist. Not to define what we should believe, but to show the ultimate sacrifice of a few or many, and let it up to us, as individuals, to acknowledge and confirm an inner belief to ourselves. To, then, leave behind a possible tear to honor those who served and make every effort to right the wrongs they fought to change … in pursuit of Happiness they didn’t get a chance to live out.

Most members, if not all, of the W.W.C.A. are not with us. Maybe. A 21-year old back then would be ninety-eight now. IF I could find someone to talk to who was around when the monument was erected, it’d be worth exploring … AND if I could find some old, dusty paperwork in a trunk along with maps, all this may start to add up.

OH, wouldn’t that be awesome for a math geek like me!