A dear friend reports to me that she had chicken pox, and immediately I became curious about the name. Do chickens have pox? Do hogs or cows or ducks or have chickenpox, and would you call it duckpox? How can you cathch it? How can you tell under the feathers? Vets say no, that chickens do not have pox, and you can’t catch it from them. There are several variations on the word “Circe” reported to be the Old English root derived from the Latin which simply means young foul or chickpeas or any number of others things. Another suggestion is that pox are named after the imprint left on your arm when you gather eggs from under a hen and she doesn’t particularly like it and pecks you on the arm. I also investigated a term I got wrong: Pox Vobiscum. Found out it is Pax Vobiscum, Latin meaning, “Peace be with you.” There’s very little peace when you have chickenpox since you are occupied with the itch, itch, itch. Maybe Pox Vobiscum would be better, but then my Latin is a little itchy.
My new hobby of the morning is feeding a pet squirrel who has adopted me, or maybe I have adopted him. Early morning, I sit out on the patio listening to the birds, and a young squirrel comes begging every day. Now I take a handful of peanuts out every morning. He comes closer every day, and no longer is scared of the sound of my wheelchair. The downside is that when I have no peanuts and am just outside, he follows me around looking at me with those hungry eyes, his tail twitching and his nose quivvering.
Never to see the light of day or print is my old and continuing hobby,writing short stories. The least little event or idea will get in my head and roll around and around until I put it on paper with new characters that I can manipulate. Sometimes they manipulate me, and the story takes a new twist. Fun.
The United Methodist General Conference last week took at least two exciting steps forward in the field of disabilities signaling the importance of not only welcoming but seeking out the persons who are often on the fringe of things. The General Conference meets every four years, and there are clergy and lay representatives taking up the business of the church. First, they indicated the success of the national Task Force on Disabilities in doing its work by now designating it a standing committee in the Methodist organization. This has many advantage I won’t go in to here, but the evidence of this change will be seen in the near future. Thanks, Lynn Swedberg for your leadership, and thanks to all those who worked to make this passage a reality. It’s a big deal!
Second, the General Conference voted that every annual conference (it meets every year by area) will within the next quadrennium have disabilities as the conference theme. This decision puts everyone on notice that the one in five persons with a disability should find a church not only welcoming but seeking them. Now that’s a hurrah!
My own church, Chapelwood United Methodist, already does this, and the congregation is as blessed as the persons with disabilities who attend who have become part of the working business of Christ’s body.