Saturday, October 11, 2008

Magic in the Old Cupboard in the Middle Room

When it rained there wasn’t much to do on the farm. The entire outdoors was kind of off limits as the mud would track into the house. Besides that it was yucky and cold when it rained.

There were two special places that were pure magic on a rainy day. Combining the two of them would leave lasting memories forever. Let me take you to them.

The first one was an Old Cupboard in the Middle Room of my grandparents farm house 5 miles west from Truax, Saskatchewan. The second was the large hay loft in the barn on that same farm.

The things that triggered this memory started when I read on the Internet of the new OLED – ‘organic light emitting diodes” being printed on a machine as big as a semi trailer. The OLED are already being used in cell phones but on a much smaller scale than the size that is now possible.

The words in the article read…
The size of a semitrailer, it coats an 8-inch wide plastic film with chemicals, then seals them with a layer of metal foil. Apply electric current to the resulting sheet, and it lights up with a blue-white glow.

You could tack that sheet to a wall, wrap it around a pillar or even take a translucent version and tape it to your windows. Unlike practically every other source of lighting, you wouldn't need a lamp or conventional fixture for these sheets, though you would need to plug them into an outlet.

The sheets owe their luminance to compounds known as organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. While there are plenty of problems to be worked out with the technology, it's not the dream of a wild-eyed startup.

OLEDs are beginning to be used in TVs and cell-phone displays, and big names like Siemens and Philips are throwing their weight behind the technology to make it a lighting source as well. The OLED printer was made by General Electric Co. on its sprawling research campus here in upstate New York. It's not far from where a GE physicist figured out a practical way to use tungsten metal as the filament in a regular light bulb. That's still used today, nearly a century later.

What a rush I had as I read these words. It was not the information itself it was the feeling I had when reading it. I was swept back to the Middle Room in the old farm house. Then I was taken immediately to the barn’s hay loft to be sitting in a huge pile of hay near the large open door. The rain was falling outside and the sky was gray…but the warmth of the loft was amazing. The only sound was creaking from the barns frame work…or maybe an odd chicken down below clucking…or scratching…

How in the world does that happen? The two sections of this thought are so widely separated in content – from OLEDs to a Barn Hay Loft. Whoah!

In the Middle Room, in the old cupboard, bottom shelf, right side was a store house of amazing old magazines… “Popular Mechanics”, “Mechanics Illustrated”, “Science Illustrated”, and other magazines of inventions and ideas were piled up in that cupboard – to be taken out by grandsons and savored over and over again.

When the magazine was selected I walked to the West Room – which was kind of a Living Room on the far west end of the small structure. In that room there was a collection of old soft couches and arm chairs that were perfect for curling up and reading. There was a clock ticking some where nearby mixed with the sound of rain hitting the windows. Some of the storms that brought the rain had wind as well and that beat against the side of the old house making its presence known.

But none of it was there from the moment that the old magazine was opened. I totally left the farm and was engrossed in the place that the new invention was being tested… California, West Virginia, Michigan or Germany. I had never been to any of those magical sounding places so far away from that farm in southern Saskatchewan. As the rain fell and the wind rattled the old house – I was far, far away.

Taking a pile of these magazines carefully to the Barn Loft was the ultimate experience. The smell of the hay mixed with the warmth of the barn was simply magical. The comfort of snuggling into a huge pile of hay and the light from the open hayloft door made you never want to leave.

I think I discovered the two places and the magazines when I was about 8 years old. The World War II was over 6 years before that. Most of the magazines had something in them about War and War Machines that would make it easier and better to fight. The USA and Canada were right in the middle of the Korean War (1950 – 1953). The stories of helicopters and jets flying were magic to an 8 year old mind.

Can you imagine how far the Hayloft near Truax is from the battle front in Korea? – or Germany? Through the stories in the magazines it was only a turn of a page.

Just now another thought came… I looked out the hayloft door to the fields and the open country side… and wondered… “Will I ever see these places? Will I be a part of that magic?” Only the smell and sounds of the creaking barn answered my silent question…then a kitten crawled up beside me…

Then another thought came…
“Be still and know that I am God….” I remember when I first read these words… I had traveled to some places already and had seen a world that was amazing… then God stepped into my life and the new adventure began. From that moment on it has been one adventure after another, letting me see almost every place in the old magazines and then hundreds of others – China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Irian Jaya, Kenya, most of the USA and all of Canada.

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Along time ago we traveled to the farm and it was on a weekend like this… it was then that I took out the magazines and found the chair or the hay…

Today I am so thankful… almost all of my dreams have been realized – and I am happy – so very happy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
Sources –

The Old Farm House - go into the ktchen door(center) then turn left... Old cupboard was on your right - just above the trap door to the celler....

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