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Native Americans of the Grand Canyon

We had eaten a small breakfast at the spacious, high-ceilinged cafeteria near our lodge, then had taken the Rim Trail and walked to the middle of the village. We paused now for a gentle swing on one of the porches of El Tovar Hotel and I set up my tripod so I could take a couple of pictures of Jerry and me. In the distance you see the Hopi House. After a fine lunch as we were leaving El Tovar we heard the tom tom tom of an Indian dance; we walked over and joined the gathered crowd.

The man whose ornaments you see here was the emcee and was announcing the dance a young man was about to perform. He talked leisurely, in a casual across-the-fence sort of way, going on and on about the dedication of the young people during the summer, their study of traditions and lore and Indian dances.

It was very hot, and finally the stone-faced young indian turned to the emcee and, expressionlessly, did a spinning motion with his arms.

Amusement was perceptible in the voice of the emcee as he said, “The floor is hot. He wants me to get on with the music.” He went on talking, though, about the rings and how the heat makes them so flexible it is hard to perform the maneuvers. It was an interesting interchange, although a little unnerving to me. I think that may have been so because Indians usually present such stoic faces and their performances seem exact and regimented and the man, who was also the drummer and the singer, seemed a bit uncaring of the young dancer.

 

The young man was quite talented and performed flawlessly, it seemed to me. Using the rings, he intertwined himself, then stepped smoothly out of them; he arranged designs and signals, all in perfect rhythm to the music that was being played.

Immediately on finishing his dance, the young man went to the side of the stage and grabbed a bottle of water. It was so hot, I assumed he would lift it to his mouth and guzzle it down. No, he sat down, poured the water in his hands and began rubbing it across the soles of his moccasins. His feet must have been blistered. 

The American Indian communities surrounding Grand Canyon actively maintain their ancient cultures and traditions. They have long been associated with exquisite but functional crafts which reflect their close ties with nature. Fine collectibles created by native artisans began to be marketed to outsiders in the 1880s through trading posts they erected. Within driving distance of the Grand Canyon are reservations of Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Kaibab-Paiute and Navajo. It is a fascinating area of the country.

We just had time to breeze through the Hopi House before boarding our train, and when Jerry asked one of the clerks if the building was original, she explained much of their history and handed him a small card with this information on it.

“Hopi House constructed in 1905. Designed as living quarters for Hopi artisans and as a place to sell Hopi crafts and souvenirs, this building represents the efforts of the Fred Harvey Company to revive Southwest Indian arts and crafts. Designed by Mary Jane Colter, the building was modeled after part of the Hopi village at Third Mesa, in Oraibi. It retains much of its original appearance.”

We were ready to walk to the long flight of stairs that led to the train station when I spied a van that was tastefully lettered “Grand Canyon Railway.” Jerry asked, the driver said, “Sure,” we climbed in and within minutes had been discharged and were now mingled with the crowd awaiting the boarding call.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: I am experiencing significance computer challenges and consequently am not able to respond to your comments as I would like. Last Thursday, my sweet little Apple crashed. There is no certified tech here in Lake Havasu, so it’s either a trip to Las Vegas or Phoenix or California. We’re going there in ten days, so I’ll take the little hurting white machine to be repaired while we are “home.”

In the meantime I’m using Jerry’s Fujitsu which has an aversion to the internet connection at our motor home park and also, at times, refuses to type a y. I’m at the Lake Havasu library at the moment–Fujitsu likes it here and has allowed me to use its y all afternoon. 🙂

I do appreciate your comments and anticipate reading them. I promise to respond when I can.

Patience, please.

 

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My devotional blog is here.

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Deliver Us From Evil

Lynda over at blah blah blog tagged me, stating as the reason for choosing me: “because she’s a writer and prolific blogger and I have no idea what kinds of books she might read, but I’d sure like to know.”

The rules are:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

The nearest book to me is Deliver Us From Evil by Sean Hannity. The three designated sentences are:

They always seemed to be on the wrong side of history. Reagan won the Cold War, no thanks to the Democrats and their “freezenik” friends. Bush I beat back Saddam, and kept America safe in the early 1990s.

I’m asking for volunteers to be tagged. Just let us know and follow the rules.

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My devotional blog is here.

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The Ubiquitous MoonPie

“We’d like something about this big,” the man said, lifting his arms to the sky, and framing the moon within the circle of his hands. Thus was laid design for the ubiquitous MoonPie.

Is there anyone reading here today who has been denied the sheer pleasure of freshly tearing away the cellophane wrapper around a fat chocolate sphere, then biting into the gooey marshmallow stuffing between the two cookies? Have you reached over for the bottle, upended the cold glass cylinder and chugged down a draft of RC Cola to wash down the sweet morsels?

In his book, “The Great American MoonPie Handbook”, Mr. Dickson had written of the MoonPie’s® lost history. Not long after his book was published, he received a telephone call from Earl Mitchell, Jr., identifying his deceased father, Earl Mitchell, Sr., as the person responsible for the invention of the MoonPie®.

Mr. Mitchell’s story goes like this … Early in the 1900s, while servicing his territory of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, Mr. Mitchell was visiting a company store that catered to the coal miners. He asked them what they might enjoy as a snack. The miners said they wanted something for their lunch pails. It had to be solid and filling. “About how big?,!” Mr. Mitchell asked. Well about that time the moon was rising, so a miner held out his big hands, framing the moon and said, “About that big!” So, with that in mind, Mr. Mitchell headed back to the bakery with an idea. Upon his return he noticed some of the workers dipping graham cookies into marshmallow and laying them on the window sill to harden. So they added another cookie and a generous coating of chocolate and sent them back for the workers to try. In fact, they sent MoonPie® samples around with their other salespeople, too. The response they got back was so enormous that the MoonPie® became a regular item for the bakery.

The phrase “RC Cola and a MoonPie®” became well known around the South, as many people enjoyed this delicious, bargain-priced combination.

I ate MoonPies as a child, and although I was familiar with RC Colas (it was my mom’s favorite soft drink), I don’t recall particularly drinking RC as I ate my fat cookie, although I understand many people did. I believe I lost contact with MoonPies for many years, for I don’t remember buying them as Jerry and I were rearing our children. Probably, this was because our homes have been in California, and the MoonPie was born and proliferated in the South and drifted to the Midwest. I’ve noticed in recent years, however, that the MoonPie has made its way westward, and a time or two, I feel to confess, I have taken a box from a WalMart shelf and handily transferred the treasure to my shopping cart. At home–not with an RC Cola–but with an icy glass of milk I have indulged.

Have you?

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My devotional blog is here.


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God’s Word from Antiquity

Dead Sea Scrolls

One of the highlights of our being in San Diego last week was Thursday evening when we drove to the Natural History Museum in beautiful Balboa Park and viewed the stunning display of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

As you probably know, the The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by Bedouin herders on the shores of Israel’s Dead Sea in 1947, and is considered one of the most important archaeological finds in recent history. After the original discovery, archaeologists took charge of the area and between 1947 and 1956 in 11 caves near Khirbet Qumran they found thousands of fragments which they pieced together into over 900 separate documents including biblical books, hymns, prayers, and other important writings.

4Q41-981. A Dead Sea Scroll manuscript. Photo courtesy IAA
4Q41-981. A Dead Sea Scroll manuscript.
Courtesy IAA. Click on image for larger view.

The Dead Sea Scrolls date from 250 BCE to 68 CE. Among them are some 230 biblical manuscripts representing nearly every book in the Hebrew Bible; more than 1000 years older than any previously known copies. There are also apocryphal manuscripts (texts excluded from the biblical canon) previously known only in translation or not at all.

Jars with lids, ©IAA
Jars with lids, © IAA

Most scholars believe the scrolls were copied and composed by a group that broke away from mainstream Judaism to live a communal life at Qumran. This group, known to us from ancient writers, saw themselves as the “true Israel” and viewed those living in Jerusalem, including the priesthood at the Temple, as corrupt. The sectarian scrolls—non-biblical texts—reflect a wide variety of literary genres: biblical commentary, religious legal writings, liturgical (prayer) texts, and compositions that predict a coming apocalypse. They reveal the fascinating transition between the ancient religion of the Bible and Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.

CoinWhen the Romans invaded Qumran around 68 CE, the community hid their manuscripts in nearby caves. Their brand of Judaism did not survive the destruction, though many of their practices made their way into both Judaism and Christianity.

When we first entered the exhibit we were handed ear phones and paraphernalia that enabled us to go at our own pace from exhibit to exhibit and to hear clear descriptions of the material. Beautiful, large pictures and other displays of the fauna and flora of Israel were mounted on the handsome walls as we neared the actual scrolls. The scrolls was beautifully presented, and although the lighting is dim so as to prevent damage to these documents, the scrolls themselves were adequately illuminated and situated at a comfortable height and angle so that one could properly examine them. The movement of the people slowed as we stood near the treasures and gazed at the ancient, precious writings. A profound quiet and sense of reverence pervaded the atmosphere.

I was struck by the phylacteries and the infinitesimal writings therein. I saw displayed Holy Writings from the books of Nahum, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Deuteronomy and parts of the Ten Commandments. Non-Biblical writings included community rules which set down guiding principles for the lives of the people of the settlement where were found the scrolls:

Where do we fit in God’s plan? How should we live our lives? How will the world end? What will happen to us?

It was last week in San Diego, yet from antiquity, that I was profoundly moved again by God’s Word. As I stared at those ancient fragments and considered the fine and careful strokes with which some long-stilled hand had scribed His Word, I was deeply stirred.

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My devotional blog is here.

 

 

 

 

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Glory To God in the Highest

I wish all of you a wonderful, blessed Christmas–a day in which we pause to rejoice with our family and friends, and to tell again of the glorious, redeeming love of Jesus Christ.

Luke 2

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

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Meet The Real Thumbelina

She’s five years old and when you hold a ruler to her, the top reading is 17 inches. Her name is Thumbelina. She’s a horse, and the Guinness Book of World Records has titled her The World’s Smallest Horse.

ThumbelinaLittlest pony: Thumbelina. Click enlarge for full image (Picture from the Daily Mail)

Enlarge the image

Thumbelina was born on a miniature horse breeding farm, Goose Creek Farms in St. St. Louis, Mo., but from her birth, it was evident she was a much smaller horse than anyone there had ever seen. She weighed only 8 pounds when she was born, and at one year of age, she stopped growing. Her weight now is 60 pounds.

‘The tiny mare has become sometime of a celebrity in St. Louis, but her owner, Mr Goessling, insists they will never sell her, no matter what price is offered.

“She is too precious to us to sell,” he said. “I think my parents would sell me before they part with Thumbelina.”

Now a Foundation has been established, and Thumbelina travels around the country spreading cheer and raising money. I took the following information from her website which indicates that her touring is over for this year, but in 2008, she will again be traveling. Hope some of us can visit with her. I’ll sure be taking my grandchildren to meet her if I get the chance.

From May to November of 07, Thumbelina will be bringing smiles to children across the country. The Thumbelina Children’s Tour will make stops in all 48 continental states (plus Washington DC) to brighten the day for kids and staff at over 100 hospitals, special camps and schools, group children’s homes and shelters from coast to coast. Our goal is to raise over $1 million for these very worthy charities and institutions. We hope to see you all along the tour.

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My devotional blog is here.