Fleur-de-Legend

 

OK, let me orient you. See the tall evergreen on the far left of the photo above? If you walk up the knoll, past that tree, and keep going, you’ll hit Country Club Road. Cross it, and you’ll come to the wrought-iron fence I photographed last summer with my bike shadow. Hop the fence, walk the length of a football field, and you’ll see it: Joe Paterno’s grave site.
Or maybe not.
Last week was an emotional one in Happy Valley. Thousands streamed through Pasquerilla Spiritual Center at University Park in hushed reverence. A large spray of white roses, tied with Penn State blue ribbon, blanketed his coffin at the public viewing. Two Penn State football players (one on the current team, one from the past) stood as honor guards on either side of the coffin. Off to the left of the altar was a large photograph of the beloved coach, educator, philanthropist.
The afternoon of Joe Paterno’s burial, a dozen or so police cars blocked the road to Centre Hills Country Club and Spring Creek Cemetery. My mother lives just past those two landmarks at the top of the hill. We were driving home from an errand and approached the barricade. We were told we’d have to take a detour through Lemont. As we drove in from the other side, we were stopped by another set of officers blocking the other road. After we gave them our house address they let us through. We went home.
The next morning, the newspaper said Joe Pa was buried in Pine Hall Cemetery on the other side of town. Office gossip claimed that Spring Creek Cemetery was used as a decoy, to keep curiosity seekers away.  On Thursday afternoon the memorial service at the Bryce Jordan Center streamed into our office via computer. We worked, and listened.
A week later, as my mother and I take our daily walks past that cemetery, cars quietly pull to the side of the road. One, sometimes two or three people silently leave their cars and walk toward the back of the cemetery. They huddle around a recently dug grave site topped with a pillow of spent white roses tied with Penn State blue ribbon. And there, in the background, the hedgerow frames our beloved Mount Nittany. Laurie Lynch
Working Stiff: When I worked on the farm, especially in early spring around asparagus weeding time, my muscles ached. But after a good night’s sleep, I felt refreshed and ready to go again.
I can’t say that was the case this past holiday season. During the last several days of 2011 and into the first several of 2012, I was in PAIN! Yes, there was the stress of a shower of post-nuptial paperwork, a flurry of family friction, and an avalanche of secretarial duties as a co-worker took a three-week vacation … but the pain in my neck/shoulder was primarily caused by the exertion of sitting at a computer all day! Imagine, from sitting. I couldn’t sleep; heck, I could barely lie down in bed without a handful of Ibuprofen and a hot-pad of lavender.
Just before New Year’s I made an appointment with a massage therapist. This was not your incense-wafting, feel-good-pampering, light-the-candles massage. This was heavy-duty medically based therapy. The fellow runs a school called Integrative Bodywork. He found the knots and kneaded them. Twisted, pulled, pummeled and squeezed them. Tears were welling up when I pleaded, “I’m no whimp but you are really hurting me.” He replied, “I bring tears to football players eyes – but I know what I’m doing.” And he did.
After a half-hour of muscular torture, 24-hours of ice-pack therapy, and a few days of my lavender heating pad treatment, I was feeling almost comfortable in my body again. But the best part of the entire prescription was a simple preventive exercise.
For the rest of you computer-bound folks, here’s the scoop: Sit in your office chair with feet flat on the floor. Take your right hand and grasp under the chair at your right hip. Take your left hand and place it on top of your head. As you pull up on the chair seat with your right hand, you firmly pull your head toward your left underarm. “Pull it down like you’re sniffing your armpit,” the fellow coached. Hold for a few seconds and release. Then, switch sides.
Doing this exercise every hour or so got me through inputting a kazillion pages of inventory and material transfers  — 10,000 pcs of 14×1½ hex heads w/ washers, 8265 pcs.of 2 ¼” AP screws, not to mention too many square feet of 2’’ 60 PSI extruded polystyrene and another mouthful – Polyisocyanurate – which people in the know call “ISO”  — without so much as a twinge of discomfort.
LOL: After reading about my “found” pierced earring holes, my friend Terry sent me a thought for the day that I think we all can appreciate:
“I don’t want to brag or make anyone jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.”
Wine & Cheese, DYI Style: For those of you in Eastern PA, my friend Lelayna is giving a class on making fresh cheese using raw milk and minimal equipment Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at The Cob Studio, Chester Springs. The class includes making three varieties of cheeses, sipping local wine, and then eating a hearty organic winter soup made with cheese. $65 for the whole shebang. You must email Lelayna Klein at stresslessn@gmail.com by this Friday and mail the payment to her at P.O. Box 4, Kempton PA 19529. (Bring two glass containers with lids to carry your cheese home.)

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