The Human Touch

While searching for something in one of my long forgotten notebooks yesterday, a small piece of paper fell to the floor. On it was a poem my dad had typed on his ancient Royal typewriter; a poem I heard him quote many times as I was growing up.

'Tis the human touch
in this world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which means far more
to the fainting heart
Than shelter and bread and wine.
For shelter is gone
when the night is o’er,
And bread lasts only a day.
But the touch of the hand
And the sound of the voice
Sing on in the soul always.                

The author of this poem is Dr. Spencer Michael. Dr. Michael graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Johns Hopkins University in 1880. He practiced medicine and surgery for fifty years, wrote over one hundred medical papers, and still found time to write many poems.*

I’m sure that, as a physician, Dr. Michael was aware of the power of human contact with relationship to physical healing. But this verse also reveals his knowledge of the relationship of human touch to mental and spiritual healing. A wise physician, indeed!

Information from AllPoetry.


Boring Menus

It was not a New Year’s resolution, but a decision. I set a goal to vary my dinner menus by testing new recipes. Magazines and the Wednesday food section in my local newspaper are my sources for achieving this goal.

January does not seem to be a good month for depending on magazines to increase knowledge or augment the recipe file. As with the lackluster Monday edition of our newspaper that apparently has had the life sucked from it by the massive Sunday edition, January magazines are quite anemic. This is probably due to the recipe-laden December publications.

But I’m valiantly trying. One of my January magazines has a total of 100 pages, 42 of which are full-page ads. And, yes, I do pay for this magazine. Among the ads, I did find some interesting recipes, but before I can try them, I’ll need to make a trip to a specialty grocery. Muscovado brown sugar, bourbon vanilla bean paste, fava beans, and panko bread crumbs do not currently occupy space on my pantry shelves.

Until I have time to drive across town to shop, I’ll just have to continue with boring. Fortunately, Hubby never complains!

Clipart by OCAL


Dread Alert

Today is dental day for me. An appointment with my dentist comes around once every six months. Her office is close, so I don’t need to fight traffic to get there. She is pleasant. She is gentle. She even gives me a little bag containing a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss before I leave. So why do I feel anxious on dental day?

Thinking about my appointment set me to wondering if any of my students over the years were filled with dread on school days. I was always excited to greet my students and tried to plan engaging activities for presenting concepts. Since none was ever dragged to the door kicking and screaming, I made the assumption they were okay with being there.

As a child and teenager, I enjoyed school. I liked the structure of the day and felt satisfaction, and maybe a little pride, when I saw a star at the top of an assignment (although pride was frowned upon by my parents). However, my brother, though far more intelligent than I, was on “dread alert” five days a week between September and May. Even before I started school, I remember the battles between Dad and said brother on many days prior to Bro’s departure for school. And he did depart, since Dad always won. Many years later I learned from my brother some of the horrendous things that happened in his first grade classroom.

Dentists must be happy that they see most of their patients only twice a year. They can be liked on 363 days. By contrast, a student who dreads school is stuck with dreaming about weekends for many weeks during each year.

I will go to my appointment. I will arrive on time. My dentist will never know that I dread being there. My newly polished teeth will sparkle, and I will forget that she is a dentist until my reminder call in July.

Clipart from Freeclipart


Lessons From Magazines

Each month I look through hundreds of ads in magazines to which I subscribe. In the process I manage to find a few articles, fashion trends, decorating tips, landscaping ideas, and recipes.

Having subscribed faithfully to some of these magazines for several years, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons. Sharing them here could possibly save someone else the price of a subscription. I’ve learned that:

  • What goes around comes around. Keep the wallpaper. According to the January issue of one magazine, wallpaper again needs to be on walls. This will really “steam” those who still have sore muscles and empty wallets caused by wallpaper removal and the wall painting process.
  • Everyone can be a successful decorator. There is no need to hire a consultant. This I realized after seeing a model room in a magazine that had a vase of fake flowers presented in a wilted state. I can even do that with real flowers. It’s now obvious that any choice I make with relationship to floral arrangements can’t be a bad choice.
  • A one-piece bathing suit is again acceptable beach attire. Great news for those of us who have tired of seeing bare muffin tops.
  • A coat of white paint gives almost everything modern appeal. No need to shop for new stuff. Just slap a little white paint, chosen from one of the many shades of this non-color, on the cabinets, a chest of drawers, or a chair and all will be decorator worthy. (I know, I know – one can argue as to whether or not white is a color.)
  • The lighting fixtures that were dated a short while ago are now “vintage” and “in.” Reminder to self: Save everything.
  • Recipes can be concocted from anything edible. I’ve decided to pass on the sweet potato dumplings, but reading about them reminded me that it’s been a while since I last made my not-so-light, full of bad stuff dumplings. 

The January editions of my magazines are headed for the recycle bin, but the valuable lessons I have learned remain with me. And the few recipes that look interesting are cut out and filed with many other recipes I will probably never use. 

I now look forward to my February periodicals. So goes my very interesting life!

And, you were expecting?

Clip art from Sweetclipart