Click on the pretty picture if you’d like to see more of the redoubtable Mr. Doherty’s work. I was going to write the most depressing blog in the history of blogs. Think the death of bees and literature all in one day kind of thing. But then someone made me smile. DAMN HER!!! And then this young lady, say 20 to 25, who boards the train where I get off answered my daily “Hello smiley” with her first words instead of flashing her usual electric smile. She said “Hello Shrek.” Well how the hell could I be in a bad mood after that? Even the train conductor was laughing and I don’t think she’s cracked a smile since Elvis died. Another thing that put me in a good mood was finding out that a group of Ohio college students went down to the Lake Como ConneXions Church in Orlando Florida. Believe it or not this is a Florida story that doesn’t involve nudity, erratic behavior or sex with animals (although there have been 2 separate instances of Floridian men having sex with dogs on their front lawns this past week). No, in this case I bear thee good news. The kids from Ohio went to that church to make caskets for infants and toddlers who die and their families can’t afford them. Florida has no health care system to speak of and this is a, sadly, common occurrence that happens around 4 times a month. And when the families can’t pay the $400 the state mandates the deceased are slated for cremation or the family’s credit is ruined with another bill they can’t pay. Since many religions prohibit cremation this has been a real problem. And now there is a real solution. I’ll leave you with the words of wisdom issued by a young lady. “Caskets are not personal,” said Liz Bowles, 21, a senior majoring in fine art. “This is like giving a piece of your soul to someone who is broken.”
Then I noticed Andrea’s blog. She’s dealing with 5 kids, one with special needs, a new home and trying to deal with public aid. I am going to share part of this with you but, if you need to cry tears of joy, go read the whole thing.
You have no clue I have cried more days than not; that I fight against bitterness taking control of my heart. You have no clue that my husband’s pride was shattered. You have no clue my kids have had the worries of an adult on their shoulders. You have no clue their innocence was snatched from them for no good reason. You know none of this.
What you do know is I tried to buy my kids some food and that the EBT machine was down so I couldn’t buy that food. I didn’t have any cash or my debit card with me. I only had my SNAP card. All you heard was me saying “No, don’t hold it for me. My kids are hungry now and I have no other way of paying for this.” You didn’t judge me. You didn’t snarl “Maybe you should have less kids.” You didn’t say “Well, get a job and learn to support yourself.” You didn’t look away in embarrassment or shame for me. You didn’t make any assumptions at all.
What you did was you paid that $17.38 grocery bill for us. You gave my kids bananas, yogurt, apple juice, cheese sticks, and a peach ice tea for me; a rare treat and splurge. You let me hug you and promise through my tears that I WILL pay this forward. I WILL pay someone’s grocery bill for them. That $17.38 may not have been a lot for you, but it was priceless to us. In the car my kids couldn’t stop gushing about you; our “angel in disguise.” They prayed for you. They prayed you would be blessed. You restored some of our lost faith. One simple and small action changed our lives. You probably have forgotten about us by now, but we haven’t forgotten about you. You will forever be a part of us even though we don’t even know your name.
Several years ago I was buying groceries and ended up about $5.00 short. I started to pull things off the belt when an elderly woman behind me handed the cashier a $10.00 and then turned to me and said “Keep the change.” I was so stunned I couldn’t reply. She just walked away smiling. Since then I’ve made it a point to watch for others who are short. It’s usually a buck or something. If I have it I help. You’d be amazed how many people a buck can make happy.
Okay, today, at 11:57 AM (CDT), the Vernal Equinox will occur. Susmita Baral shares some fun facts you probably didn’t know.
1. The vernal equinox is when the sun moves across the celestial equator and as such, there should ideally be 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.
2. The vernal equinox takes place on March 20 or 21 each year and is the indicator of the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
3. Ever wonder why the spring boasts warmer temperatures? Because the Earth’s axis is tilted towards the sun, which means longer daylight hours and warmer weather.
4. The term equinox is a derivative of the Latin word equinoxium, which literally means “equality between day and night.”
5. The holiday Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. This year, Easter is on Sunday, April 20.
6. The vernal equinox may take place once a year, but there are two equinox’s each year: one in March and one in September. During the two equinox’s the sun rises east and sets west.
7. The ancient Egyptians built the Great Sphinx of Giza on the west bank of the Nile to directly face the rising sun on the vernal equinox.
8. The Mayan city Chichen Itza has been the celebratory site for “The Return of the Sun Serpent” since ancient times on the spring equinox. The sun, when it sets, creates a triangular shadow on the El Castillo pyramid which creates the image of a descending snake that’s said to be the feather serpent god Kukulkan.
I linked to Susmita since most bloggers are lazy jerks and simply post that “equinox” means “equal night” which is wrong. Since she got it right she gets honored here today.
Ann-Marie Imbornoni and Elissa Haney add in a little more fun.
Reasons for the Seasons
These brief but monumental moments owe their significance to the 23.4 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis. Because of the tilt, we receive the Sun’s rays most directly in the summer. In the winter, when we are tilted away from the Sun, the rays pass through the atmosphere at a greater slant, bringing lower temperatures. If the Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, there would be no variation in day lengths or temperatures throughout the year, and we would not have seasons.
Rituals and Traditions
Modern astronomy aside, people have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years. There is no shortage of rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring. Many early peoples celebrated for the basic reason that their food supplies would soon be restored. The date is significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.
The first day of spring also marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. The celebration lasts 13 days and is rooted in the 3,000-year-old tradition of Zorastrianism.
Now, the big one. Every year some brain dead yahoo pretending to be a journalist toddles off to a park or restaurant or psychic parlor to videotape eggs standing up. This is always “due to the solar gravitational equality offered on the vernal equinox.” Well, no, it’s not. It’s simply due to placement and gravity. You can perform this trick, and it is a trick, 365 days a year. It depends on the properties of the egg and has nothing to do with gravity.
NOT A THING!
Okay. Sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you. I just get frustrated by idiots.
Anyway, it seemed appropriate to put some balance back into this blog. Especially today.
In honor of that, let’s all do a little Sun Dance.