12-27-2018 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

Learning to meditate Once in this column I mentioned that old people just can’t refrain from giving advice! Well, I’ve tried to practice what I preach… but now I’ve gotten on to something I think might be helpful. That is the practice of meditating. And I will give you an example of how I do it. In our new apartment we live farther from the dining room. Some time ago I decided in order to build my strength I would walk to meals always. This worked very well where we used to live. I noticed after a few days here that I was feeling very different. I asked one of the girls to take my blood pressure. Yup, it was up! So I started meditating, and I brought it back down again. That simple! How does it work? I started back when we were living in Ann Arbor and I went to the dentist to have a tooth repaired. In my journal from that time I wrote the following: “I’m sitting in the waiting room at my dentist. He has put in a temporary crown on a tooth I broke off. Now I’m waiting for The Beauty Queen (hygienist) to check and clean my teeth. “I have found that I can go into a state of meditation while I am waiting in uncomfortable circumstances. Don’t know how to explain it, but I sort of quiet my body down, relax each part of it; then I become a giant ear listening to all of my body processes going on. Then I say, ‘All right breathing, become regular. OK, pulse, slow down a little and become more regular.’ “Then I relax each part of my body, monitoring everything so the clockwork becomes a little slower. It all fits in together and meshes in a certain harmony. I am observing my processes from the inside. Then I almost seem to move outside and be surrounded by a gray softness. It enfolds me, I am floating free, sort of suspended… in overdrive. I am in harmony with the universe and all the clocks are ticking internally along with the earth outside and the solar system. Extraneous sounds become detached and I am not aware of the passage of time. “Thus I went into the chair about 2:15 to get prepped. I came out at 3:30, not having any idea of what time it was. Now I sit here relaxed, my body even feels rested, as though I have been sleeping… and I can tell you it was uncomfortable while they were working in my mouth. After the drilling stopped the meditation was more effective. Isn’t the whole thing strange? Does it sound crazy? But it works! I have used it before, and it really works.” I don’t often mention the above which I wrote in my journal. Oh, I talked with Marion about it, and she believes me on the meditation part. And I have used the technique when I had to wait in line for something. But lately I find that it has not been necessary as often. I make sure not to get in waiting lines… unless I absolutely have to. Guess I got my fill of that when I was in WWII. Everywhere we went we had to wait. Stood in line to eat at the mess hall… stood in line to get into the movie theater… stood in line everywhere we went. And I made up my mind (along with several million other guys like me) that if I ever got out of that situation… I’d never stand in line again. Well, I’ve had to eat those words since. The above practice of meditating got me through some of them. And I find now that waiting is not so bad. When in an unavoidable situation I take along a book. Or my journal. In crowded places the journal can be embarrassing… people ask me what I am doing. I tell them I’m a writer and I’m writing in a journal. Sometimes they seem impressed. And I now have another ploy while waiting. My chief Accountant (who is also an expert seamstress) has obligingly sewn on my jacket the insignia of my Air Force outfit in the China, Burma, India Theater. And fairly often, some old geezer (my age) will slide up to me and say, “I was over there too!” Then we have a mini reunion. Just recently a younger man stopped me and said, “I saw your Air Force patch… just wanted to thank you for all you guys did for us!” That almost brought tears to my eyes. One time we were vacationing out in the mountains of East Central Pennsylvania as we have done so many times. In a little restaurant called The Brass pelican we were having lunch. I noticed across the room an older man looking at me. When he and his wife left, they stopped by our table. He said, “So, you were in the China Burma India Theater?” Turns out he was there too as a tech rep for Curtis Electric Propellers, which we used on our ships. Through him we got to know his younger brother who published an online newspaper. I have appeared in that publication and I have used some of his material in my column. David Kline has since retired. He and his wife are vacationing in Florida where they are trying all sorts of exotic eating places. I still miss reading his paper! There is a whole world out there. We can never know all of it, but it is interesting to meet new people. You don’t meet many of them if you meditate while waiting out a line. So I have fun doing it both ways. You know, a writer is always looking for a story. And I have found some waiting in the most unlikely places. Life is still an adventure as we weave more golden threads into the tapestry of our lives in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Watervliet Library News Kids out on Holiday Break are encouraged to visit the library – they have table top board games, puzzles and of course books. Teen Table Projects: December Book-parts ornaments – yeah they’re messy! Do-it-yourself projects at the library for teens; all supplies provided. Story Hours Picture books, crafts and fun designed to inspire the love of reading! Wednesdays 10:30–11:30 a.m., Thursdays 1:30–2:30 p.m., for ages 3 – 5. Sensory Bin Blast Jan. 8, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Here is the perfect time for a perfect mess! Water table, painting, rice bins, play-dough, reading and toddler toys for 0-5 year olds and their families. Make-it Monday Jan. 14, 4 – 5 p.m. Monthly craft, project & game time for K-6th graders & families. This month: cardboard rocket launcher. Library Garden Park Purchase a Legacy Walk brick and celebrate a memory! Bricks are $75; 13 characters, 2 lines. Pick up a form at the library. Yoga Mondays