Don's blog

Real Life Situations

Category: Creation

King Ranch Helps Provide Milk For The World

Viewing hills and valleys through which the Buck and Doe streams flow mesmerized the 44 Jenner’s Pond residents on a comfortable tour bus as they rode through the outstanding natural beauty of the King Ranch. A historian and her two cowboy friends whom they picked up to ride on the bus and guide them, intrigued and heightened their imagination as they rode along together. She explained how the King Ranch operation had been superbly organized by outstanding wealthy businessmen and their managers who employed  cowboys to herd cattle which were brought from drought ridden Texas pastures by train to Pennsylvania’s mid Chester County luscious green pastures to be fattened and sent to slaughter houses to feed residents of large east coast cities. The cowboys, their families and managers lived in yellow houses with green shutters provided by the King Ranch businessmen who occasionally came and rode horses with the cowboys to learn what could be done to improve the operation. 

As one of the Jenner’s Pond bus riders, I enjoyed learning about the businessmen who enabled the cattle business to flourish and the hilarious stories of the Pennsylvania cowboys. I also appreciated the manner in which the King Ranch cattle business was closed down with happy memories for everyone when it was purchased by an industrious land conservation group to preserve the phenomenal memories of the cattle operation and Pennsylvania cowboys. But I would be even happier if there had been mention of the current operation of transporting heifers from the surrounding Chester County and other productive farm areas to King Ranch in modern large two level tractor trailers to be unloaded and individually examined by veterinarians and given inoculations before they are hauled to the Seaport of Wilmington Delaware and placed on ocean going cargo ships to be carried to foreign countries over the world. This means that King Ranch had not only been active in the past but is currently active in a new and significant manner to help people around the world by providing them with pregnant heifers to become milk cows with calves. 

One of the cowboys sitting next to me on our tour bus told me that he had loaded 44 heifers onto a big dairy cow truck in 7 minutes and they had loaded enough heifers to supply 5 individual ocean going cargo ships last year with 2,700 heifers on each ship. Sounded to me like some King Ranch business men and cowboys are now helping to provide milk for the world.

The movie “Hidden Figures”

Tears of joy and wonder ran down viewer’s faces as Katherine Johnson played by Taraji P. Henson and her two women friends employed in 1961 by NASA in Hampton VA, broke barriers for being colored women applying their mathematical calculations to guide John Glenn’s Mercury Friendship 7 aeronautical space capsule four times around planet earth and safely parachuting it back to earth, outlasting Russia’s Cosmonaut, Yuri Gagaran, who circled only once.

Dramatically and engagingly written and portrayed, this non-fiction real life story convincingly portrays the gifted three women who strenuously exerted their intelligence and wholesome family and human relationships under excruciating bias circumstances to make an incredible difference in helping America accomplish it’s first great space endeavor.

Viewing the motion picture film,“Hidden Figures” during this time of American’s political unrest, moved Muff and me as well as many of our friends to do our best to collaborate with friends to encourage US citizens to move upward and forward. Kevin Costner, who played the part of Mr. Harrison, who directed the capsule’s flight plan asked Kathrine Johnson after John Glenn’s space capsule had miraculously landed, “Can we make it to the moon?” She responded by saying these three last words of the film, “We’re already there!” By helping one another maybe even with our biases, “We’re already there,” too!

This film helped Muff and me understand, accept, support and appreciate ourselves, one another, others and especially strangers in spite of, and maybe, even because of ours and others biases. And don’t think that those, who don’t believe they have biases, don’t. We all do. Sometimes our biases are hidden so well that we don’t even know we have them. Katherine Johnson and her two women cohorts inexpressibly and wonderfully inspire US and world viewers of “Hidden Figures” to become brave and effective activists for the betterment of all human kind and the world in which we live today. It’s an astounding film.

A Christmas Wonder

Not a car or person stirring in The Y or the huge shopping center parking lots near us on this Christmas morning.  Only three individuals walking their dogs, and no cars moving on the streets running through the Jenner’s Pond Continuing Care Community in which we live. Everything and every household at least on the outside was unbelievably quiet where we live. Stopped my car and started walking to safely contemplate even more quietly alone on the banks of a creek in the woods in back of where we live.

Along the way, I paused to enjoy a look at a picturesque pond where I saw less than twelve feet away from where I was standing, silhouetted by brush on the edge of the pond – the most picture perfect scene of a Gray Heron I had ever been privileged to see, frozen in place to not give itself away. Slowly, but evidently not slow enough, I reached into my pocket to get out my smart phone to take a picture, but it detected my move and quickly flew to the safety of the other side of the pond and slowly landed to stand in the water. The picture in this post is obviously not the one I missed.

Mesmerized, I quietly sat down on a nearby bench and contemplated the wonder of the heron which had statuesquely retained it’s delicate, graceful upright pose. Perhaps it conveyed a message to me to keep the many ungainly parts of my own person in perspective by timely observing all that’s around me and when all else failed, fly safely from who or whatever might hurt or harm me. I thanked the heron for it’s undeniably wonderful sponsor free message by which I had been connected to nature on this Christmas morning. I hoped and prayed that the heron might remain safe and unharmed, so that we humans who are supposedly tending the earth for it and all other creatures, might continue to learn from it and all other forms which watch out for and help us. We’re all connected.

This was a God gift which I received on a wonderful 2015 Christmas morning.  Couldn’t help sharing it.

Incidentally, in case you are wondering, this was the first Christmas morning my wife,  Muff and I spent with just the two of us alone together for the 58 years of our marriage. After I observed the Gray Heron, I spent a delightful time with her in our apartment, looking at pictures and  remembering our Christmas mornings together with our parents, children, grandchildren and their significant others. Tomorrow, after many afternoon happy phone calls with our family, we all gather together at one of their homes for our Family Christmas celebration.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

This morning I read for the second time an article clipped from the Wall Street Journal and given to me by a friend, who serves on our Jenner’s Pond library book selection committee. She wrote on a note attached to a book review, “thought of you when I read this.” It was a review titled, Where Earth and Water Parted authored by Gerald Helderich in reference to Aaron Hirsh’s new book, Telling Our Way To The Sea.

Describing Hirsh’s pictorial writing of his personal explorations of the Sea of Cortez and information from John Steinbeck Sea of Cortez adventures, Helderich makes a perfect pitch for persons to read Telling Our Way To The Sea.

I was grateful for my Jenner’s Pond friend cutting out and giving me this book review not only because I have taken people sailing on The Sea of Cortez but also because it reminded me of an important author’s practice of making reference to those who have gone before us in creative ways.

In this review the author makes use of Hirsh’s reference to Steinbeck before him. It helps me as an author to remember and practice this in creative ways not only because Hirsh does this in his book but because memorable practitioners including John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham and Jesus, the Christ, have done so. However, so far as we know, Jesus did not write it down, just filed it in his memory, and pulled it out and used it when ever necessary by mentioning the laws and prophecies before him, whenever and wherever he could use it to help him to give credence and persuasion to his presentation. He noted that he was then not only able to fulfill the law and the prophets but expand and enlarge interest and engage the people with whom he was talking in their own vernacular. Our memorable great presidents did the same thing. John Kennedy reminded the American people to not ask what their country could do for them but what they could do for their country, a saying that originated many years before in ancient Greece.

It’s a practice, my friend reminded me of by reading the article second time which she had given to me with her note. She helped me to practice my own deliveries in talking as a pastor and writing as an author by including the gifts of those who have ventured before me in their exploration, understanding and projection of the subjects I wish to talk and write about. Thanks to my friend, Mary Jane Hofmann.

Another way of looking at this wrinkle which needs to be ironed out whenever talking or writing is what Robert Schuller has said in reference to speaking and writing when he instructed us to give credit to those from whom we have received information or an idea. Claiming credit for something we’ve said or written without giving credit to those from whom we received it, is termed plagiarism. The truth of the matter is that most of us have few if any completely new ideas or understanding. We simply continue to learn from others mistakes and successes as well as our own and we build on them. It behoves us and whatever or whoever we’re talking or writing about to give credit where credit is due.

Frankly, I am humbled to learn that my thoughts and feelings have been thought and felt long before I ever experienced them. Fortunately, I can then enjoy expressing what they said or have written in new significant and hopefully life changing and interesting ways.

Once again thanks for your note, Mary Jane

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