Friday, February 28, 2014


JAN 31, 2014
Enter the year of the Blue Horse

For centuries the Chinese have had a yearly cycle designated with a creature or an animal’s name. From today on, until January 2015, the Chinese symbol for the year is the horse.

The spirit of the horse is one that makes great efforts to improve themselves. The Ancients liked to designate an able person as “Qian Li Ma,” a horse that covers a thousand li a day. (“Li” is a Chinese mile, or thereabouts.)

Unfortunately all of us can’t be born in the Year of the Horse. I am one of those born at the tail end of the Year of the Snake. In polite society it is known as the Year of the Small Dragon.

I must agree with the records that say one born the Year of Horse is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able.
Why do I agree? Because, my lovely wife of nearly 64 years, Nelda JoAnn Long Towery, known to one and all as Jody, was born in the Year of the Horse, 1930. She is all of that and more.

Jody has the communicating techniques so evidently needed in the art of teaching. She began as an elementary teacher at Alice Carlson Elementary School, next to the campus of Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.

Then in the beautiful desert in San Manuel, Arizona; teaching English and Bible in Pingtung, Taiwan. She kept at it with vigor in Hong Kong: Pui Ching Middle School and Hong Kong Baptist University in Kowloon, and Hong Kong International School on south side of Hong Kong Island.
The Ancients go on to say Year of the Horse people are cheerful, perceptive, talented. Earthy but stubborn. I am sure of one “stubborn” moment only. That was when she fell in love with West Texas and wanted to move to San Angelo. I’m glad she knew we should move here. These 12 years have been some of the best and we have lived in lots of places.

Now I should confess that the Ancients also listed a number of weaknesses. Those I do not think apply to Jody, so no reason to list them here.
Thanks to the Internet information sites we know that other outstanding people are Year of the Horse people: Chopin, Davy Crockett, Rembrandt, Teddy Roosevelt, Sir Isaac Newton, Harrison Ford, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, the Emperor Kangxi and Emperor Yongzhen of China’s last dynasty, the Qing, and finally old Genghis Khan himself. What a crowd!

According to the Moscow Times, many Russians love to honor the animal that symbolizes the coming year, based on the Chinese astrological calendar, believing — half-jokingly but many would insist – that it brings them luck for the next 12 months.

The Moscow Times advises its readers: “The year of the wooden horse is supposed to be a temperamental one, so if you feel like horsing around during the upcoming festivities, that may be particularly fitting this year. Just be careful with the fireworks: Setting something on fire or upsetting a police officer would be backing the wrong horse.”

To be precise, the color blue in the Year of the Blue Wooden Horse, is suppose to be a lucky color to wear. Green also ranks as a lucky color to many Asian peoples as well as the Irish.

Russians and some others speak of the Blue Horse, while in the Chinese tradition the Horse is green. In fact, both blue and green are possible, as are emerald and turquoise. Green is the color associated with wood, nature and harmony. Blue is the color for Water, the element that nourishes the Wood.

(Personal Word: Last Christmas night Jody had a stroke from which she is coping at this time. She always read these columns to help me do s better job of writing. I shall be very glad if and when she can do so again,)



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