NOW IT CAN BE TOLD!--Chapter 16: Horsmonden, England! 7/4/91 DO 2797
--Storytime with Grandpa!
1. (Techi: Thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! We really pray, Lord, that You'll give us a good storytime. Please bless Grandpa as he tells us these things, & do really anoint him & give him wisdom & help us to be good listeners, in Jesus' name, amen. Thank You Lord!) Amen! Praise the Lord! Thank You Lord!
2. Amen! Well, where were we? Do you remember? (David: You were in London at Mama Helen's in a big sunny room, & then Ho came to get you in a jeep.) And took us to where? See if you can remember. (Techi: To the house where the Boy Scouts had been.) (David: With the bed bugs you were going to tell us about!) Yes, & the name of the town was Horsmonden. Hors--"H-o-r-s"--monden--"m-o-n-d-e-n."
3. It was this cute little typically English village about 30 miles (50 km.) south of London where we stayed for a few weeks, & several important things occurred there. First of all, I think I described the village to you, how it was built around a little central park about a block square with stores opposite about three sides of it. And there was a little village inn on one side where they had advertised what they had each night for their meals.--Either roast lamb, roast pig or roast beef. They would cook it right there in front of you on a rotating spit in front of the fireplace.--A real old-fashioned English way of cooking, the way they used to cook in the old days.
4. (Techi: They used to have dogs, didn't they?) Roast dog? (Techi: No! But in the olden days they'd have a treadmill & the dog would run on it because he'd think he was getting to the meat, & that would turn the spit round & round!) Well, that's a new wrinkle! That's the first time I ever heard of that, so thank you for that very important information! I knew I'd never heard of a roast dog! Of course, that wouldn't be unusual in some poor countries of Southeast Asia & the Orient where they roast dogs & cats, almost anything edible or inedible to eat!--Where people are so poor they're starving & they'll eat anything! They even eat huge big lizards if they can catch them, & they're considered a real delicacy!
5. Well anyway, Horsmonden was a beautiful little English village! And this little cottage was sort of a Boy Scouts' outing place where they'd come out to the country from the city & spend a few nights, or even a week's vacation. We didn't realise that the last little group of Boy Scouts hadn't left any sheets for the beds & no pillowcases. So the first night we had to sleep on the bare mattresses & on pillows without pillowcases, & I got a head itch from it. (Techi: Do you think it came from that?) Oh, I believe it! I never had it before.
6. We always stayed in very clean places, but sad to say, the poor little Scouts came from very poor neighbourhoods that were not too clean. (Techi: How did you find out about the Scouts? Did Ho tell you later?) Yes. Of all things, he told us later! I guess he didn't want us to be too afraid to go there. (Techi: Did he tell you after you told him that you had a head itch?) I don't remember exactly when he told me, but anyhow, we finally found it out.
7. It was quite a primitive little cabin, & it had an outhouse, an outside toilet, not very far from the back door. The house itself was only about a block from the center of town. A lot of the homes out there in the country had no flush toilets or septic tanks or anything, just outhouses. You were doing well to not have to go to the well for your water, or they'd have a pump well. I think we had running water in that little village, as I recall.
8. I can still remember the kitchen. First of all you'd come in the front door & there was a nice big long living & dining room. It was like what they used to call a hunting lodge. All the walls & the floors were natural wood. We later found out they had quite a few mice, so we would set traps in the kitchen & almost every morning we'd find a mouse. They were cute little things, but we couldn't have them running all over our food & groceries, so we did set traps.
9. The cottage was furnished with nothing fancy, but just kind of rough cabin-type of furniture, wooden chairs & a dining room table. Then you went on into the kitchen, & on the left side there were these two bedrooms, as I recall. The kitchen was very simple & plain. It had a few dishes & utensils, knives & forks & spoons. It was very simply furnished, & it was just like camping out!
10. Mama & I spent several weeks there, I've forgotten how many, until we found the house in Downham. (Techi: So it wasn't too bad after all?) We enjoyed it! It was beautiful out there in the country with all the hops growing right outside our window, huge fields of hops which were just blooming & flowering & beautiful! People were working out there on the hops, & I think there may have been a little brewery there in the town, I don't remember for sure.
11. There was a very small grocery store right across the road, & we could just walk over there & buy the few little simple things we needed. The Inn was a rather hoity-toity exclusive place where Londoners drove out from London just to eat in an old-fashioned country Inn. So mostly the Inn had Londoners eating there, not the local people, because it was a little expensive. So we decided we would have to do our own cooking, & we did! Just simple cooking was all we needed, & that was all Mama knew how to cook, so we got along just fine!
12. We got up & had breakfast in the morning with bacon & eggs & toast & coffee, which I fixed most of the time. We usually ate a late breakfast & then after our day's work of writing, we'd go out before sunset while it was still light & walk around the little village & out through the park. It was very beautiful & pleasant & the country people were very homey & friendly.
13. So here we are in the Spring of '72 living out in the little country village of Horsmonden amongst the hops fields! And every evening we'd take a walk before dark & come back to our little cabin. Then Mama would cook hamburgers & mashed potatoes & gravy, & we'd either have canned peas or canned corn or canned string beans.--All my favourite vegetables. We didn't have to give them a lot of preparation & cooking, etc., so it made supper very simple. Every once in awhile we'd have a little dessert that we bought at the store, but normally my dessert was my tea & I would even eat bread & butter with my tea, which was dessert enough for me.
14. They used to keep the door to the grocery store wide open all the time. The British are so used to cold weather, they hardly seem to mind the cold at all. Of course by that time it was May, because we had arrived in April & spent a little while in London at Mama Helen's. So it was about May time, & in London, England it is often still quite cool in May. We were pleasantly surprised with the nice weather in London! It was cool & sometimes cold, & sometimes rainy & sometimes it even snowed, but it wasn't nearly as violent & as changeable as we had been experiencing in Oklahoma. Goodness gracious, in Oklahoma the barometer would change almost every day! There were changing weather & changing conditions all the time in Oklahoma!
Pipes & Cigars!
15. Later when we moved to our next house in Downham, I bought a little barometer at a little cigar store in Lewisham, the nearby city. At that time I was smoking a pipe in the bathroom when I sat on the throne, but that's the only time I ever did. I would just light it & hold it in my hand in order to fragrance the bathroom. We hadn't discovered incense yet, but incense usually is too sweet for me, I don't care for it.
16. Mama really liked the fragrance of my pipe. You can get certain types of pipe tobacco which are actually honey-flavoured & sweet, not too sweet though, & it has a really delightful fragrance! You've probably walked through stores or been in restaurants where you suddenly noticed a pleasant kind of smoke, & you always know it's pipe tobacco smoke & not cigarettes, because smoking cigarettes is like smoking trash!--About half of it is paper! Cigars are usually pretty strong & they didn't even allow cigars to be smoked in some places in those days. I remember they always told the people on the bus or on the train, "No cigars, please"--because most cigars have such strong-smelling smoke.
17. Later I started using cigars on the throne, because there's a big problem with a pipe. You have to keep lighting a pipe because it's very hard to keep it going, especially since I didn't keep it in my mouth all the time & I didn't inhale. I have never inhaled tobacco either in pipes or cigars.
18. Well, anyway, the thing about a pipe is you've got to keep puffing on it to keep it going. They even have pipe-smoking contests in England to see who can puff it the longest & make it last the longest with one filling of tobacco. So I got weary of that & finally I think somebody sent me some cigars to try. I never inhaled the smoke, I'd just put the cigar in my mouth long enough to light it & get it going, & then I'd hold it in my fingers to fragrance the bathroom. (Techi: So you don't have to inhale to make smoke rings?) Oh, no! You just suck it into your mouth like you do when you light it.
19. (Techi: But when people smoke cigarettes, they don't go drinking the smoke & sucking it all the way in, do they?) Oh, they do! The real addicts do! In fact, nearly everybody who smokes cigarettes inhales the smoke. (Techi: They suck it right into their lungs?) Oh, they do, deliberately! (Techi: That's yucky!) You ought to see them! They go like this: (Inhales & exhales). They suck it all the way in, & then they blow it out. (Techi: I always thought they just kept it in their mouth.) Oh no, they suck it into their lungs & hold it there awhile so they really get the nicotine effects absorbed into their lungs, & then they exhale it. (Techi: Is that what they do with marijuana too? They suck it in?) Yes, but I never did that. So I don't know much about drugs. But I remember when I tried my first & only cigarette, I tried to inhale it, but I just couldn't. The Lord never let me, so thank God for that! (Techi: Inhaling smoke, how yucky!) Yes, that's the way the real nicotine addicts do it, they heavily inhale it.
20. But I didn't need to because I only lit the cigar once a day on the toilet just to fragrance the bathroom, to kill other odours. And I found that that was the best method, unless you like incense.--Or unless it's enough to strike one or two matches to get rid of the odour. And in our Homes, of course, we forbid smoking. Some of our people have been delivered from a real addiction from before they joined & have never had to smoke again. We don't want it in our Homes anywhere, so we'll be a good testimony to others!
21. I've never had the addiction & I've never been a smoker. All I did was simply light the cigar & hold it in my hand. That's why I finally quit the pipe, because if you just hold it in your hand & you don't keep puffing, it goes out. But cigars will keep on burning even without puffing. (Techi: Like a cigarette?) Yes, cigarettes will too. Of course, most people are addicted to cigarettes & they really inhale them.
22. Mama likes incense, so she's got a little incense burner in there, a cute little new one that I never saw before. We used to stick the incense in a bowl of sand, that was my Mother's method, & she used to have it in the living room. But Mama has a real Oriental incense holder now. It's just a strip of wood about two inches wide, & it curves up at both ends & is sort of hollowed out, so that forms an ashtray for the incense. And there's just a little tiny hole in one end that you stick the stem of the incense into & it holds it up at an angle about three or four inches above the ash catcher. (Techi: I don't like to use incense because it's so strong I can hardly breathe!) Yes, it's very strong & usually so sweet! (Techi: The smoke fills the air & it's like you can't breathe, there's no oxygen!)
Dad's Barometer & the Weather!
23. Well, what I was saying before I got off the track a little bit was that I went into this little tobacco store which was almost like a little booth, & there they sell cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco & even pipes. And even in those days when I smoked a pipe I didn't like hot smoke at all, so I bought a real long-stemmed pipe. I can't remember the name of it, but it's the English term for one of the officers of the church. Maybe somebody will remember it. (Techi: Deacon?) No. It's something else. It's somebody who has to do with taking care of the church building, like a janitor.
24. Well, anyway, I dropped in there to buy this pipe & a little tobacco. I used to like this one kind of Scandinavian tobacco that came in a package with a picture of a sailboat on it. It was honey-flavoured & it really had a nice fragrance! Mama liked it too. And while I was there, I saw this cute little barometer hanging on the wall which looked just about like this one here, like the steering wheel of a ship. I thought, "Oh, that's nice!", & I thought it would be nice to have to keep track of the weather. I already had a thermometer, but with a barometer you can tell when there are changes in the atmospheric pressure. So I asked the lady how much it was, & it was very reasonable, only a couple of Pounds, & I bought it!
25. I took it home & hung it on the wall by the bed so I could keep track of the weather, & to my amazement, one week went by & it hadn't moved! Another week went by & it still hadn't moved! And when the third week went by & it still hadn't moved, I thought something must be wrong with it! So the next time we were in town I stopped in & told the lady about it. I said, "Are you sure that barometer was all right?" She said, "Yes, as far as I know. But you can bring it back & I'll exchange it if it doesn't work right." Well, about the next day after that it finally had a drop, so I knew it was all right. But we were so amazed at the even, regular type of climate London had!--Normally they do, but lately they've had a lot of big storms.
26. England used to be notorious for its fog, but they eliminated soft coal, which is what caused most of the fog. You're not allowed to burn soft coal in London any more, so now they just burn anthracite, which is hard coal, in the little furnaces they have. And I'll tell you all about our little furnace when we get to our next house in Downham. We're still in Horsmonden right now.
27. So it's an even climate & it was delightful! It was usually sunny. It was May, Springtime, & the flowers were coming up in the park, the hops were blooming & it was beautiful! We really enjoyed our time there at that little cabin in the hops fields, & we liked the people too. We never got too well-acquainted with anyone, of course, because we don't like people to ask too many questions. If you ask too many questions, then they ask a lot of questions. So we just were sort of mysterious visitors & we posed as tourists.
28. The next thing that happened was that we got word from Jeth on that U.S. TV show, "Chronolog"! Almost the whole hour-long show was about us! The sensational thing was that it had sexual inferences in it about "All Things"! By this time our enemies [DELETED] had discovered that we were a rather sexy outfit; whereas our reputation at first at TSC had been that we didn't allow sex except for married couples. And because we didn't allow drugs or smoking, we were viewed as sort of puritanical.
29. And they [EDITED: "attacked us"] because we had discovered that the Jews were not the Chosen People, and Israel was not a Holy Land! We had written quite a bit about it by this time and apparently some people got our Letters who shouldn't have gotten them. That's when we finally developed classifications of Letters.
30. So the whole show was about our [EDITED: "anti-Zionism"] & our sexiness, & especially this "All Things" revelation. They asked Ho bluntly, "What do you mean by 'all things'?" (Techi: What did he say?) Well, he sort of stuttered a bit & hemmed & hawed. It was a little difficult for him because he wasn't expecting such blunt suggestive questions.
31. So then the next main thing that happened was that Jeth said he thought that he & Deborah should also get out of the U.S. because that show was so bad! He said, "Well, Dad, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll come over & bring a copy of the show for you to see, we recorded it. Then you can decide on how bad the situation is & whether or not the leadership should leave."--And I'll tell you about that & their arrival in England & the film's arrival in the next episode.
32. So that's where the pleasantness of the village began to end, with the arrival of various leaders & conferences about what to do & that sort of thing. But I'll tell you about that in the next chapter, okay? (Kids: Okay!) Praise the Lord! Does somebody want to pray? (David: Yes! Amen! Thank You Jesus! Thank You for how You blessed Grandpa tonight, Lord, & that we had a good class. Thank You for all that we've been learning about Grandpa & Mama's travels. Thank You so much for that & how it's been going so well, in Jesus' name, amen!) Amen! PTL!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family