Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Does Melancholy Mean?

mel·an·chol·y [mel-uhn-kol-ee]

1. a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression.
2. sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.
3. Archaic.
a. the condition of having too much black bile, considered in ancient and medieval medicine to cause gloominess and depression.
b. black bile.

4. affected with, characterized by, or showing melancholy; mournful; depressed: a melancholy mood.
5. causing melancholy or sadness; saddening: a melancholy occasion.
6. soberly thoughtful; pensive.

The word melancholy is used both as a noun and adjective and you can use the word for a very deep feeling of sadness. Usually the word is used for a kind of sadness the reason of which is hard to explain and the feeling also lasts a long time. As an adjective the word can describe anything that makes you feel sad and you can use the terms melancholy thoughts and melencholy memories to describe sad thoughts and memories respectively.

I am not trying to make the impression that I am sad all the time but haunting thoughts from the past do drift across my memories, and some have left a deep impact on me. I am sure there are others out there that have the same thing happen to them. Even the word melancholy is sad sounding.

I think we regret things we have done and would like to relive them, perhaps we also would change some things. I think I mostly regret having to make the decision to have my pets put to sleep, it makes me feel like an executioner, I really hate that feeling. Perhaps this crappy weather we are having has made me feel melancholy.

I would like to hear what my friends think about this word, we have all experienced this feeling. I don't think melancholy is the same as depression, once I read about depression. The book said if you can resound from your feelings and not dwell on them, then you are not sick with a long term depression. I hope I remembered it right, it was something like that. I know one thing that keeps me happy is visiting all you friends.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Simple Gifts of the Shenandoah River

Shenandoah River
A couple canoes through the quiet waters of the Shenandoah River in Bentonville, Virginia.

Let your imagination go along with the flow of this great river.

Gilded by spring sunrise, the Shenandoah ripples and rolls gently into the misty light. There is muscular exuberance in its rapids, danger in its floods. But on most days the river welcomes even novice explorers with lyric grace. Virginia naturalist Henry Heatwole called this a land of "small and simple pleasures." Carrying bits of fall's color, the North Fork sparkles over aquatic grasses carpeting its stream bed

Massanutten Mountain matches curves with the South Fork, watching over Page Valley and the Blue Ridge rising in the east, here ridge and river find accommodation, folding around each other, ancient comrades settled comfortably with time. The river, hip deep, crystal clear, bath warm and just 30 or 40 yards wide, soothing both to the eye and overheated body.

Bound by mountains a quarter of a billion years old, the river meandering forks drop sharply from highland headwaters, flowing northward to their confluence at Fort Royal. From there a single channel continues for 60 miles to meet the Potomac. Beginning and ending above the fall line, the river never meets the sea.

The waters of forgetfulness do not flow in this valley, where even the sky seems to remember the storm of civil war that blew up and down the Shenandoah. Each May historical reenactors join Virginia Military Institute cadets on New Market battlefield. They honor valor, Union and Confederate alike. Reminded of old struggles, we remember to treasure peace flowing through the land, gentle as the river.

From the National Geographic, December 1996

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weather Rock

While driving around last week end we stopped at an ice cream place to get a cone. We were sitting in the car eating our cones, I noticed this large rock in the lawn and above it was this nice sign;

Weather Rock,
Present Conditions;

I just thought it was cute and wanted to share with my friends. Just wondering if there are any other weather rocks around the country, if so please let us know.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Remembering September 11 th, 2001

Early in the morning on September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers took control of four commercial airlines en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C.. At 8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower, followed by United Airlines Flight 175 which hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. Another group of hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, whose ultimate target was thought to be either the United States Capitol or White House, crashed near Shankville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m., after the passangers on board engaged in a fight with the hijackers.

During the hijacking of the airplanes the hijackers used weapons to stab and/or kill aircraft pilots, flight attendants and passengers. These reports came from phone call passengers made reporting what was going on. On Airline Flight 93, the black box recordings revealed that crew and passengers attempted to size control of the plane from the hijackers.

Three buildings in the World Trade Center Complex collapsed due to structural failure on the day of the attack. The attacks created widespread confusion among organizations and air traffic controllers across the United States. There were a total of 2,993 deaths, including the 19 hijackers: 246 on four planes (with no survivors), 2,603 in New York City in the towers and on the ground and 125 at the Pentagon, 24 people remained listed missing. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attack on the World Trade Center.

I think this is enough information, we all know the story, all of America and other countries were glued to their TV sets. I guess we all know where we were and what we were doing that day. The horror of that day still lives in the hearts of the American people, it is like a bad wound that won't heal up, our heartland was violated in such a way we have a hard time feeling safe in our homes and forgiveness towards those that created this wound.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Romancing the Road

I love to read The National Geographic, it is so entertaining and informative, I don't know a person that does not enjoy it. I have enjoyed it for the last fifty years, the articles in each and every issue is really great, and they have covered every nation and it's people, and has given us so many interesting facts, that we might have never known.

Tired of the interstate's green-sign, fast food sameness? Head for Arizona where a long stretch of old Route 66 survives, offering a nostalgic journey through one slice of Americana. The storied road once linked big towns and small from Chicago to Los Angeles

The road that carried generations of Americans west, became a relic of sweeter, calmer, slower times in 1984 when the last stretch of Interstate 40 was completed outside Williams, Arizona. Something precious was taken from us that day, the serendipity of travel. What romance could there be in speeding from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean on five connecting superhighways? How could we dream if there wasn't even time to dawdle? Route 66 never really died, no matter what the maps may say. The road lives on in our memories of an era when the great adventure was getting there, not just being there and nights on the road were full of neon signs and round-the-clock diners and melancholy exhilaration of being alone and rootless and going someplace, anyplace.

Historic Route 66

So coming back onto the old ghost road, the 158 miles in Arzonia from east to Seligman to Topock on the Californis border, this is one of the longest drivable segments left of the original Route 66, designated now as a historic state highway. The people still living on Route66 know they are living in yesterday, but people love the old road because this is where you go looking for who we used to be.

Along this road west it is written a requiem for the nation's westward migration, on a highway the spanned nearly 2,500miles from the corner of Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard in Chicago to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California, reaching across three time zones, eight states, and hundreds of towns. Parts of the highway followed the ancient Osage Indian Trail. Route 66 had many names Postal Highway, Will Rodgers Highway. and etc., but only one stuck: the mellifluous 66, bestowed by the federal government in 1926.

Route 66, this stretch in Arizona, ends near a bluff overlooking the Colorado River, only the stone foundation remained from the old Red Rock Bridge, the first railroad trestle ran over this bridge, it hadn't survived as part of the road west either. It was now painted white and now supports a natural gas pipeline. There weren't any markers around to retell the history of a restless nation's journey. But reaching across the river was a new wide span, part of I-40, and over it sped a stream of cars and trucks to remind us how much times have changed.

(excerpt from National Geographic, September, 1997, issue)