Newton’s Laws learnt the Hard Way

Been almost four years since I last blogged.  Thought I was through but to paraphrase General Douglas MacArthur,  “Old Bloggers never die, they just type away.”  I’ve got a few stories left.  However this time  hopefully with some Spiritual applications that will help others to walk their talk when it comes to things Eternal.

Because I was too foolish by half I didn’t save any of my former tales when shutting down the site in 2011, I now get to repurpose them with a fresher style woven through with the Lords blessing on my life.   My brother Clayton before he left us was the ultimate master at family tales.  So much so that my sister Joyce remarked that Clay’s stories get better and better every year.  That said and in the spirit of my brother Clayton we now shove off and begin this journey by remembering the day “I Learnt Sir Isaac Newton’s three Laws of Motion”.

Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion

  1.  When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.[2][
  2.  The vector sum of the external forces F on an object is equal to the mass m of that object multiplied by the acceleration vector a of the object: F = ma
  3.  When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.

The summer of 1971 was a particular warm year.  We had recently purchase our dream home in Westtown Pennsylvania.  Isn’t amazing how flaws in things we purchase never seem to reveal themselves until the buying deed is done and you now own them.  A beauty of a living room with an high arching Cathedral ceiling covered by tongue and groove oak and supported with hand hewn oak beams over a beautiful floor to ceiling stone fireplace had blinded us from a very simple observation that this beautiful room had less insulation than a worn out pair of Jockey Shorts.

After a summer of high humidity and heat, a fix was needed to make this beautiful room livable.  First order business was to ventilate the excessive heat out of the high ceiling area to allow cool air to in through the lower windows on the north side of the room.  The house had two wings.  One to the  left leading to the kitchen and the other to the right leading the bedroom areas.  The left living wall did not have room to insert a ventilator at the peak because of the huge stone fireplace. However the right side of the room at the apex was a beautiful oak paneled wall which backed up to  a thirty foot long unfinished attic.  There was an easy access by one of those pull down ladders conveniently placed in the hallway.  On examining the attic space my fertile (perhaps empty would better) brain started to scheme and churn until I hatched the perfect plan.

I’ll put into the living room wall at the peak a 36 inch ventilator, you know one with the movable vents that open and close by air movement.  This ventilator had no motor but would rely on another ventilator fan placed thirty feet away in the outside wall of the attic. Perfect analysis and  perfect plan.


Off to Yearsley & Sons hardware store in West Chester, the town just a mile up the road.  Now a confession. I have always overthought and  overbuilt every project in  my 79 years.  I bought the perfect 36 in ventilator for the living room wall.  I just finished selecting all the wiring, boxes, and switches needed when I saw it.  The Mother of all ventilator fans.   One horse power 42 inch fan with a weight about 125 pounds.  For me the love of big things always overrides any sensibility I might have every time.  Yep, I bought it.

Okay back at the house I now begin.  Got living room ventilator installed,  Cut the rough opening in the outside wall to accept the “Boss”, the name I have given to the humungous 42 in “Mother of all Attic Fans”.   Ran the wiring and installed the Thermostat and switch downstairs in the hallway and now I’m ready to put the Boss in the opening.  Now visualize the Attic.  No floor, only 2″ by 12″ rafters with insulation batting between them.  From rafter top to the roof center beam was less the 6 foot.  I was at that time about 6 foot 1 inch.  So humped over I wrestle the “Boss” up the stairs and over the rafters to the prepared opening.

We are now at the point of this tale where I explain how Newton’s three laws of motion become relevant. Every time I tell this story women laugh almost to the verge of leaking and the men will get sympathy pains in their groin and stomach.  Back to the story. I’m now lifting up the “Boss” but I don’t have enough leverage because of the head room to get the bottom into the opening.  Resting for a moment I test the space between the rafter and determine that for the few seconds I need to lift the fan into place I can utilize the extra 11 inches to give me leverage needed.  So widening my stance I lift the “Boss” up to the opening when suddenly Newton’s Third Law kicks in.   “Every action of force on an object has an equal and opposite reaction”   The ceiling under my feet give away and Mr. Boss and I start our descend to my sons bedroom directly below.  Quickly now I realize what’s happening.  I’m holding a 125 pound fan and starting an unwanted journey down, when Newtown’s Second Law of motion enters the action.  The acceleration of an object is increased be the force applied to that object”.  I’m the object and the force is the 125 pound “Boss” and I’m now picking up speed pretty fast.

Before I continue lets back up to when I decided to step off the rafters onto the ceiling.  I had carefully thought this through and as an added safety I also decided to place one foot on one side of the rafter and the other foot on the other side of the rafted thus speading my weight to lessen the pressure on the ceiling.  Now back to where I am roaring down through the ceiling with a 125 pound fan in my arms but now with a 2″ x 12″ rafter firmly between my legs when Sir Newton and his First Law of Motion  arrives on the scene. “An object will remain in constant motion unless acted upon by an external force”

You guys, are you feeling the pain, and you gals stop laughing.  This not a fun moment for me.  I’m a big guy but not big enough to break a 2″ x 12″ rafter.  It took a few moments to get my senses back but by the time I crawled over the rafters and down the attic stairs I was able to fake it and look like what happen was just no biggie.

As I walk into my son’s bedroom the first thing I notice is the rather large hole in the ceiling directly over my son’s bed.  Next I see my son in the far corner away from his bed holding his sisters field hockey stick and looking intently at the same hole above his bed.  Evidently at the time of my entrance feet first through the ceiling he was standing on his bed doing “Air Guitar” riffs of probably some Jimmy Hendrix tunes on his radio.  Not much was exchanged in conversation except “you all right Dad”.  To which I replied,”I’m okay, but if your thinking that you might be having anymore brothers or sister.  That might be a problem.”

Post Script

Rev. 5:8   “And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before     the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people”.

I’m so thankful for God’s people who have prayed for me.  Just think that everyone of those prayers are kept by the Lord and are a sweet aroma of worship to Him.  I need to pray more.


Until next time;

In His Grip;