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THE UBIQUITOUS TIMES
AUGUST 2020

A newsletter for discerning adults in the Gowanda Free Methodist Church.   
Others may read at their peril.
Compiled and Edited by David C. Schwedt who is solely responsible for content and errors.
Did you find the error?

LET US ALL UNITE TO CREATE A SOCIETY THAT VALUES HOPE OVER HATE, FAITH OVER FEAR
AND COMPASSION OVER CONFRONTATION.   FROM AARP CEO, JO ANN JENKINS
 
Between the optimist and the pessimist
The difference is drole;
The optimist sees the donut
While the pessimist sees the hole.

REALITY HURTS,
BUT IT STILL NEEDS TO DICTATE!
    In the days of ‘the hidden enemy,’ many of our common activities have been curtailed. Reactions are myriad across the board from those who have hunkered down, hiding under the covers, to the belligerent shopper who threatens shopkeepers and other customers with a weapon (fists or guns) to maintain his ‘right’ not to wear a mask.
    I’m an optimist… sometimes going as far as being labeled a ‘Pollyanna,’  It is just a part of my innate nature and I don’t apologize for it. It makes my own existence happier.  So those admonitions/quips above are part and parcel of me.
   And so, because of the driving force of an ‘enemy’ which we cannot yet pin down, we find ourselves in a situation requiring serious watchfulness guarding all corners of our ‘fort.’ For some it is an attack on their human rights, their ‘God-given,
 
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
    A pastor of a church told his congregants that he trusts in God, and if God wants him to get the virus, so be it! His take on scripture is completely opposite to that of Christ who, when tempted by Satan to throw himself off a pinnacle so God could save him demonstrating His power, Christ told Satan.“It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”…  Matt. 4:6
   So the unfortunate reality is we are in a battle unlike any most of us have never before seen. And we, for the sake of humanity, must temporarily, we hope, concede certain ‘rights’ in order that we and our families, our neighbors, and our community, may live.

CORONA’S LESSON
   (A story written by a twelve year-old giirl in Canada in 1918  as a writing contest submission in Winnipeg, Canada.)
    The little girl next door of our house is a very cute little girl, but very careless. Many a time her mother would call her: “Corona, dear, come In the house because it Is damp outside,” but she would answer, never mind I won’t get sick, and as she was the only child she was petted very much. Her mother let her stay outside in the dampness.
   As time passed on an epidemic called the “Spanish flu” broke out and often her mother would tell her to come in because she was afraid of the epidemic. Corona, being careless, did not want to come in the house and unfortunately the happy home became very sorrowful because their little daughter became ill. They tried as hard as they could to save the life of the child but it was all in vain. She did not only kill herself but also her dear mother and daddy. Corona’s last words were: “Obey all things said by elders,” and she passed away. I hope Corona will teach us all a lesson.
     [This is a true story and a very curious coincidence.]

SIMPLE (BUT PROFOUND) PLEASURES
   I can’t know everyone in the world! You may find it hard to believe… and it is impossible to conceive, but I’d enjoy trying.   So reality check prompts me to shrink my horizons and begin closer to home. Then I think of so many ‘great’ people—normal people who live their lives quietly, day by day, just ‘doing and being.’  The four main requirements for happiness for humankind are food, shelter, clothing and community. And this most assuredly occupies the minds of the majority of these ‘great’ people. In reflection on a community in which I’ve spent more than 55 years, my thoughts focus on various people who are living their lives by contributing their efforts to make a living, enjoying family, perhaps a few special events/vacations, and doing it daily without complaint. [For some, unfortunately, it may be with grudging acceptance, and they are not happy people.] We all know the ‘great’ people; we may even realize we are one of them and didn’t recognize it. Yes, we’ve all had our dreams; we’ve all fantasized about some great feat, trip, job, exploit, but when reality strikes, we have settled for the mundane, the common place, and have come to accept and even enjoy it, So, today, wherever you are, as you spend your time give some thought to who are the ‘great’ people around you and thank God that he has placed them in your life to bring you pleasure.

  *You can’t believe everything you hear, but you can repeat it!*
 
REMEMBER BASEBALL?
   In his book, It’s Anybody’s Ballgame, Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Joe Garagiola has a chapter called “God in a Sweatshirt,” raising questions about which team God roots for when both sides pray to Him. He tells this story about his friend Yogi Berra:
  When he came up to bat, a baseball player noted for his piousness always marked a cross with his bat in the dirt next to home plate.
   When he did this in a game against the New York Yankees, catcher Berra, also a religious man, reached over and rubbed out the cross with his catcher’s mitt. “Why don’t ya just let God watch the game?” Berra said. From Holy Humor, Samra, p.125
 
WHY DO WE SAY…..?
  A clothing origin suggests that the phrase “dressed to the eyes,” which, because Old English was weird, was written as “dressed to then eyne.” The thinking goes that someone at some point heard “then eyne” and mistook it for “the nine” or “the nines.” 
  Usage evidence indicates that shebang may have been first used in reference to a type of crude shelter. Walt Whitman used the word in that way in Specimen Days, a prose work of “diary-jottings” and “war-memoranda” from 1862 to 1865, in which he writes of the terrible conditions of the soldiers living in “shebang .
   The whole ball of wax is an American idiom of uncertain origin, so far it has been traced back to at least the 1880s. Many apocryphal stories have sprung up to explain the origin of the phrase ‘the whole ball of wax.’ but it is most likely a mondegreen* of the idiom the whole bailiwick, meaning the whole territory. *Look it up like I did.                                                                                 —The bullets for the machine guns used in American combat planes of WW2 and since were in chains twenty-seven feet in length. Thus if a pilot was able to fire all his bullets off at one target he was said to have given his adversary ‘the full nine yards’.
  There is a widespread notion that ‘saved by the bell’ originated as an expression that relates to people being buried alive. The idea was that, if someone were comatose and mistakenly pronounced dead and interred, they could, if they later revived, ring a bell that was attached to the coffin and be saved.
   Cat got your tongue? Origin: The English Navy used to use a whip called “Cat-o’-nine-tails” for flogging. The pain was so severe that it caused the victim to stay quiet for a long time. Another possible source could be from ancient Egypt, where liars’ and blasphemers’ tongues were cut out and fed to the cats.
  The expression ‘dead ringer’ comes from American horse racing and originated at the end of the 19th century, when a horse that would be raced under a false name and pedigree was called a ringer. The word ‘dead’ in this expression refers not to lifelessness, but to “precise” or “exact.” 
  The origin of the phrase pay through the nose is quite murky, though it seems to be associated in some way to the paying of taxes. When the Danes conquered Ireland in the ninth century, they took a census by “counting noses”. Exorbitant taxes were imposed on each “nose”, thus one had to pay through the nose. Delinquent taxpayers were punished by having their noses slit.
        Borrowed from the internet, the source of all ‘truth.’
 
WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING IN THE CHURCH DURING CLOSURE?
  While we’ve been away from the facilities, it was still necessary to carry on some regular business and deal with some other things because of  pandemic dictates. The carpets were cleaned throughout the main areas. Items in the nursery were also cleansed and returned.
  In preparation for the return of congregants, some seats were removed from the main sanctuary and rows were labeled for each service’s seating. Sanitizing was a major component of return preparations.
   Mandatory masks and distancing were a part of the return plan. People enter and leave only at the portico entrance and will be signed in to enable any contact-tracing if it becomes a necessity. Offering boxes were installed where one departs the sanctuary.
   The office has maintained the prayer chain phone and email network and we’ve been saddened by the many health concerns and, at times, uplifted by the praise reports, too.
   There is no question that this mandated separation has detrimentally impacted many lives. The inability to maintain face-to-face friendship connections and, as an example, for quilters not to be able to do their projects will have some consequences down the line. I, for one, believe that New York’s mandates in response to mitigating a prolongation of the virus’s stranglehold seem to have made sense; witness the hasty re-opening results in a number of states now forced to shut down even more stringently than before. Our current populace has never, perhaps with the exception of people my age, been subjected to a forced lifestyle modification such as occurred even as recently as the Great Depression and World War II. There were many restrictions on how one lived in the days of WWII, with the lack of or rationing of many products. During the depression many people’s lives were turned upside down. Jobs were lost; people may have had times of hunger. But a disciplined mindset helped them persevere and it will do the same for us.

 MAY GOD BLESS YOUR ATTITUDES!
PS: THE CHURCH VAN WAS SOLD AT AUCTION SINCE OUR CURRENT MINISTRY FOCUSES HAD NOT NEED FOR IT.

What’s the difference between COVID-19 and Romeo and Juliet?
          One’s the coronavirus and the other is a Verona crisis.
What do you call panic-buying of sausage and cheese in Germany?   The wurst-kase scenario.   
Nail salons, hair salons, waxing center and tanning places are closed.  It’s about to get ugly out there.
.Finland just closed its borders. You know what that means…..No one will be crossing the Finnish line.
 If there’s a baby boom nine months from now, what will happen in 2033? There will be a whole bunch of quaranteens.

PSA: Every few days, try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believing all is well in the kingdom.

So many coronavirus jokes out there, it’s a pundemic.

Stay Sensible… and Safe!