The Ladies Page

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.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment