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COUNTRY ECHOES

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BRANDON WISCONSIN RR-2 53919.

On the fifteenth of May a letter came to our mailbox from Claysville, Pa. The writer was Opal Brownlee and she has been baking Rhubarb Cobbler, and finds her family is eating it happily. But it seems somewhere along the line the amount of milk to use in the recipe was omitted. So, if you have been wondering about that, it is a half cup. Opal used that amount, she said, so she has a good sense of proportion, it would seem. Thank you, Mrs. Brownlee.

In this column we are going to stray far from recipes, though I thoroughly agree they do have an important place in our lives. My thoughts were turned to this subject recently when we spent a few evening hours in the home of my husband's niece. Their daughter, Sandy, spent four months in Europe during last school year. She was one of a rather large group of students from Stevens Point who had this opportunity.

Among the slides she showed us were several of a most amazing structure, Stonehenge. I know I had heard the name, and that was all. We learned that this unbelievable landmark is located on Salisburg Plains in South England. It is an assemblage of symetrically set stones, the largest of which are 30 ft. long and 50 tons in weight.

Four of these enormous stones have Bronze Age carvings on them. It is generally believed to have been a place of worship, perhaps to the Sun God. Historians feel that it dates back to 1600 - 1400 B.C. How these huge stones were brought to this otherwise level place has never been solved. How they were set on end in a circle with huge lintel stones forming an arch all around only adds to the mystery. But it certainly does prove how ingenious somebody was.

The entire structure is encircled by a ditch, 300 ft. in diameter, with a bank on the inner side. There is a broad roadway called the Avenue running to it. The stones are arranged in four series. Sandstone is on the outside, within that is a bluestone circle, the third is horseshoe shaped, and in the area left is the Altar Stone, a block of blue marble, 15 feet in length.

On a northeast line from the altar one finds a flat stone on the edge of the trench which surrounds the whole ruin. Further on this line is the 'Friar's Heel,' another large rock and this arrangement presents a means of determining the time of the summer solstice. This has led to the belief that Stonehenge was connected with sun worship. And there is even an older and larger monument at Avebury. So if you are travelling to England this should prove most interesting. I love to poke around in historic places.

How civilizations fall and the new ones rise is hard to understand. How ideas in power change is also something one marvels at. And right now one would think that Satan has just been discovered by most people since the Exorcist came into prominence. Somehow, I've known he was around most of my life. But God is All Powerful and that is even better to know than any other knowledge we can accumulate. We can worship Him anywhere, anytime.

Another kind of power we see exhibited at a steam reunion. How intriguing it is to see these sooty seasoned steam men building up their heads of steam. The pop off valve announces that all is set to go, and our steam men grasp those long business-like levers. There is a rocking backward, a jerky movement ahead, as these mammoth engines come to life. The wheel chains clank, the cogs dig into the earth, and they are off on their own power for a run around the grounds or their place in the parade.

What a parade of history man has put on through the centuries, and how the world has changed! Last night we drove a short distance on a two lane super highway to get to our local mall. What a bustle it all is! Such endless racks of clothing, such shops full of shoes, music, hardware, drugs! One feels overwhelmed by it all.

Even there the nostalgic longing for the 'good old days' comes sweeping over us as we remember the approach of the threshing rig on a hot summer day. Can you possibly conceive of a 'threshing rig' amidst all that passing traffic? And yet I can't comprehend power made by heat, pressure so intense it makes wheels run, and not only run but pull other large machines, and make them operate efficiently.

Having a strictly feminine mentality I just can not take it in, no more than I can understand electricity running in through a small wire, running my washer, my dryer, my stove, my refrigerator. Cold heat all from the same source?

When we think of steam power, and the people who deal with it, we have to agree they are folks with inquiring minds. You have to be vitally alive to want to deal with the intricacies of steam. Many of our steam men are at the age when others de cide to sit down and call it a day. And it is sad, sad, to see age conquer and the whistle stilled for even the most adventuresome.

But how good to know when the edge of sadness is covered over with a fresh coat of hope; when, despite age and debility, faith in God and the Christian walk has shed its light constantly on these lives.

Stonehenge, and its even larger counterpart at Avery, are, in their origin, a mystery to the great scientists of our day. The drive to achieve is strong within most of us. Thank God for that! It puts such a great challenge in life.