So this wasn’t that weird a day until right after dinner, when two kids from the neighborhood knocked on our front door. That was normal enough, since they sometimes come to play with my brother and me. But this time, they were dressed in strange clothes and had second faces over their real faces. Scary looking faces, too! I only knew who they were from their voices.
Then instead of staying to play, they asked for “trick or treats”, and Mom and Dad gave them each the choice of a book or an old tennis ball. They took the tennis balls, which is what I would have done also. But then, I’m only ten months old and I can’t read yet.
Dad wanted to go “trick or treating”, but he’s too old for it. I guess this is just for kids, though I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they need to have the grown-ups hand out the trick or treats? Dad asked my brother if he wanted to go out with him, but he said no, he’d rather watch all the kids come in their costumes.
So what does Dad do? Put me in a brown sleeper and a groundhog face cover that he called a “mask”. They bought them for pictures in case I was born on Groundhog Day, which was my due date. I wasn’t, I got here early, which hasn’t been my habit since then—more about that some other time.
Then we went outside and he carried me around from house to house, telling people, “Look, I caught a groundhog!” They all laughed and threw candy and other treats into a bag he was carrying. It got dark quickly, but we kept on going until his bag was almost full. Then we went back to the house, but Mom said I shouldn’t eat anything from Dad’s bag. She mashed up a banana for me, which I ate because I like those things even though I haven’t figured out how to peel them yet.
So now it’s much later, and I’m in my crib. I have time to wonder now why every time I think I’m getting things figured out, something odd happens as if to tell me I may never know it all. Maybe life is like that for my brother, too, and even for Mom and Dad, who knows?
I’m feeling a bit sleepy now, so I guess I’ll sign off. Good night, and Happy Halloween!
Autumn 2019 Starts Now — The 2019 autumnal equinox is right now 3:50 a.m. EDT, Sept. 23 according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac as the sun crosses the celestial equator. Fall has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, and the days are now shorter than the nights and will continue to be so until the spring equinox.
The celestial equator is a circle concentric with the actual equator that extends infinitely to space. As the Earth has a 23 degree tilt the the northern half tilts towards the Sun during half its orbit and away the other half. The equinoxes occur when tilt switches.
The Unanimous Declaration– A good way to start today is to remember what it is all about. If you haven’t read this in a while take a few minutes an do so
.IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1 Georgia: Button Gwinnett Lyman Hall George Walton
Column 2 North Carolina: William Hooper Joseph Hewes John Penn South Carolina: Edward Rutledge Thomas Heyward, Jr. Thomas Lynch, Jr. Arthur Middleton
Column 3 Massachusetts: John Hancock Maryland: Samuel Chase William Paca Thomas Stone Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe Richard Henry Lee Thomas Jefferson Benjamin Harrison Thomas Nelson, Jr. Francis Lightfoot Lee Carter Braxton
Column 4 Pennsylvania: Robert Morris Benjamin Rush Benjamin Franklin John Morton George Clymer James Smith George Taylor James Wilson George Ross Delaware: Caesar Rodney George Read Thomas McKean
Column 5 New York: William Floyd Philip Livingston Francis Lewis Lewis Morris New Jersey: Richard Stockton John Witherspoon Francis Hopkinson John Hart Abraham Clark
Column 6 New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett William Whipple Massachusetts: Samuel Adams John Adams Robert Treat Paine Elbridge Gerry Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins William Ellery Connecticut: Roger Sherman Samuel Huntington William Williams Oliver Wolcott New Hampshire: Matthew Thornton
Christos Voskrese 2019 — Christos voskrese, which means Christ has Risen, is the Easter greeting in Church Slavonic which brings the response Voistinu voskrese or Indeed, He has risen.
Easter, of course, celebrates the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the salvation of Man. The date for Easter is the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, which is always reckoned, regardless of astronomical observations, to be March 21 as per the Western churches that use the Gregorian calendar, so Easter always falls between March 22 and April 25.
The dating for Easter correlates with the means the Jews once used to set the date for Passover, which correlates with Scripture since Scripture indicates that the Crucifixion of the Lord occurred as the lambs were being slaughtered for the celebration of that holiday. In fact, in most Western languages the name for the day is a cognate of the Pesach which is the Hebrew name for Passover. In Latin it would be Pascha so Paschal lamb would be Passover lamb.
In English and German, the word comes from Eostre month, which was basically April, and which the pagans who spoke Germanic languages had named for the goddess Eostre much as our own March and April are named for the Greek god and goddess Mars and Aphrodite, respectively. In Slavic, the holiday is called “Great Night” (Velikonoce in Slovak) or “Great Day” (Velikden in Ukrainian). There are some caveats regarding the date. The Eastern churches that use the Julian calendar set the equinox at April 3, and, of course, the spring equinox is based on that of the Northern Hemisphere.
Spring 2019 Starts Now –According to our server’s clock it is now 5:58 p.m., EDT, March 20, which means the vernal equinox just happened and Spring 2019 has begun.
Equinox is Latin for “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west, explains The Old Farmers Almanac. At the equinoxes, the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun.
Vernal comes from the Latin vernalis which means spring.