Besides all the other upheaval of 2020, it was like a record year for hurricanes. They went through the entire English alphabet of names, then started on the Greek alphabet! It's reminiscent of those two massive hurricanes that hit within days of each other. Remember? Harvey swamped Texas. Irma devastated Florida.
So how many diets have you been on in your life? Lost count? Yeah, me too. I think I must have gone on my first diet when I was about six months old. If you're one of those over-blessed people who can eat anything you want and never gain weight, oh fine! Just keep it to yourself and have some sympathy for the rest of us. But if you've been on a diet, then you know what it's like to blow a diet probably. You've been eating just celery and tofu for the past couple of weeks, and you're getting lighter. Then somebody offers you a French fry and you succumb. Then you say, "Oh well, I might as well eat all the French fries!" Then you feel so bad about it, you say, "Oh, what's the use, I might as well wash it down with a milkshake while I'm at it!" An hour later, you're thinking, "If I've blown it this bad, I might as well order pizza too...with extra cheese and extra pepperoni, of course!"
There's something really special about having a new baby in the family at Christmastime isn't there, since it's really all about a baby. I remember, you know, for example celebrating with a brand new granddaughter. Well, she didn't do much celebrating that Christmas. She really didn't do much of anything except lie there and look irresistible. Now, in my head, I know that babies are helpless, but being around one for a little while really brings that home. Our little darlin' couldn't eat unless Mommy fed her; she couldn't burp unless someone burped her (that's something that some of us grew up and learned to be quite good at); our baby couldn't move unless someone moved her; her little hands sort of flailed around - absolutely no ability to control what they did. Helpless.
I had never heard of centrifugal force when as a boy I went to an amusement park. In fact, I don't know if I could pronounce it. But I did experience it! They had this ride called The Rotor, and you get inside this round chamber and you stand against the wall. This chamber starts to spin faster and faster. Pretty soon it plastered me against that wall. Before long I had no choice where I was going to stand! There was this powerful, invisible force that was pushing me to the outside of that chamber. Well, guess what? That's the centrifugal force that my science teacher told me about years later - the kind that pushes things to the edge.
We were with our precious then two-year-old granddaughter at a theme park, and we took her to a part of the park that's usually a children's favorite; they called it "Happy Harbor." Water cannons that shoot out into this pond and water squirting up randomly from these holes in the sidewalk. One whole section had these cannons that propel Styrofoam balls all over the place. It was usually raining Styrofoam in there. Well, our granddaughter's three- and six-year-old cousins were already in there having a ball. Actually, having a good time. But our little princess, well, she didn't like those loud noises very much. She'd be frightened even by the loud train whistle in the park all day long.
One vacation morning, my wife and I woke up real early for some reason - so we decided to make the most of that pre-dawn time. We went out to the porch of the mountain cabin we were in and we just sat there to watch the sunrise. It was awesome! We watched the eastern sky slowly brighten over the mountains, and it turned the sky these beautiful shades of pink and yellow. It took a while for the old sun to rise. I mean, we were waiting for almost an hour as the sky gradually got brighter. At last, there was this brighter spot over one particular peak, and then suddenly there it was - the sun crested the mountain. And even though we had to wait a while for the sun to come up, wow! Man, when it did, it totally cleared the mountain and it began ascending the sky in less than two minutes! Literally, as it rose, everything seemed to come to life across the valley. It's incredible to watch how God begins a day!
Well, the world sure looks different on a foggy morning. In our neighborhood the neighbor's houses suddenly aren't there. There's a hill I can usually see out the back door. On a foggy morning - no hill. And on the highway, forget it! I mean, it's suddenly hard to find out where you turn or to plan much beyond the car immediately in front of you.
You know, all those headache remedies promise fast relief, of course, but they all actually take time - even the best of them, whatever one that is. I mean, can you imagine someone with a headache and they take two aspirin, and immediately they say, "Nothing happened! My head still hurts. This stuff is bogus!" So they pop three more. In five minutes this person says, "I've still got a headache!" They pop several more.
We had two weeks in our area that I call "The Ice Age." And a car actually slid into our vehicle in a parking lot. So the right side looked pretty ugly. Interestingly enough, that damage didn't affect the performance of our car at all. Like so many older cars we've had over the years, the outside was banged up but the engine was running fine.
Our friend is incredibly creative - including creating jewelry. You know, she told us about how she made a beautiful gold ring. Actually the ring is designed in wax. When she has the ring design that she wants carved in the wax, she pours plaster-of-Paris around that molded wax ring. Then she puts it in an oven. Well, of course, the intense heat melts the wax away until there's no wax left, just a vacuum, which is shaped like the ring she wants. Then she puts this in a centrifuge, and that spins gold into the vacuum where the wax used to be. Gold rushes in where it used to be just wax. And out comes something very beautiful and a whole lot more valuable.