Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone: (N) 1734–1820, an American pioneer, especially in Kentucky.

There’s a lot of things that can be said about Daniel Boone.

Like many historical figures, I don’t know if any of us would be comfortable sitting down and having a conversation with him, nor trying to adjust to his particular interpretation of hygiene.

It is a blessed realty that we are better off enjoying the deeds of our forefathers instead of actually having to put up with their attitudes.

But there are several things I like about Daniel Boone.

When he was floatin’ around, the frontier didn’t go any further than Kentucky. Beyond that was considered Indian country—and therefore, no need to cause trouble, since there was good land right under his feet.

I like that about him.

Something I could learn from Mr. Boone:

Stop complaining about where I am, thinking that a change of residence would do me better.

The second thing about old Daniel was that he shot, gathered and ate what was available to him.

I understand that a healthy diet is important, but sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the things we want to eat are not immediately accessible.

So if Daniel came across a bunch of rabbits, he was suddenly a great fan of bunny.

A whole bushel of wild blackberries could temporarily turn him into a vegetarian.

And he grew what the ground would allow.

The final thing about Daniel Boone that touches my heart is that he was encompassed by Native Americans—who were there long before he was. History tells us that Daniel chose to get along with them instead of trying to kill ’em all off. Matter of fact, he made friends with some of them. The natives became his buddies. They respected his frontier ability and were grateful that of the white people they had encountered, he seemed to be least offensive.

Many of the white men who joined him in Boonsboro married up with the Native Americans and didn’t feel they were slumming at all.

Now there’s three things I can learn:

  • Enjoy where you are and at least pretend it’s where you want to be.
  • Eat what’s available to you.
  • And get along with the people and creatures who are your neighbors.

I will guarantee you—if you do this, just like Old Daniel Boone, you can make the history books.

Curfew

Curfew: (n) a regulation requiring a person to be home at a certain prescribed time.

The startling thing about wisdom is how much sense it makes if you’re not running from reason.

If you’re in a mood to listen and hear, the gems that can be picked up from the desert floor of human interaction is mind-boggling.

But the minute you’re convinced that your aspirations, your lifestyle or your pursuits are supremely energized, then your ears will close and your mind will flap in the breeze.

Such is the case with the American adolescent.

I was once an adolescent, so I feel qualified to speak on the issue. On top of that, for some reason I decided to birth babies, who unfortunately became adolescents—and once again, I peered first-hand at the lingering problem with these creatures.

An adolescent is self-destructive because an adolescent believes that truth is better acquired outside the home, outside the faith, outside the school and outside common sense.

So anyone who tells an adolescent about an exciting adventure suddenly becomes the “John the Baptist” of the high school hallways, declaring the “way of the Lord.”

Nowhere is this any more true than in the arena of curfew.

If every living human were completely honest, they would proclaim: “Nothing good is ever done after twelve midnight, unless you work the third shift making ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.”

Everything that happens after midnight is drenched in iniquity, covered by darkness and surrounded by the kind of rascals who feel it is their privilege to “party all night and sleep all day.”

So when a Mom, Dad or any authority figure sets a curfew sensitive to that border into the entrance of Dante’s Inferno, it is based on a concern that when fun is done, we need to run.

Because after we’re done with all the eating, the movies, the bowling, the partying—then we are in the car, driving and looking for a new location to continue an event which should be over.

Everyone knows this.

Even if you caught a teenager speaking bluntly to a friend, this adolescent, too, would have to admit:

“At midnight, the coach turns into a pumpkin and the slipper drops.”

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Armadillo

dictionary with letter A

Armadillo: (n) a nocturnal omnivorous mammal that has large claws for digging and a body covered in bony plates. Armadillos are native to the south central US and Central and South America.

Along with crocodiles and spiders, armadillos clearly remind us that our world is ancient and was once occupied by really scary creatures.

Even though these animals are now much smaller and have a shrunken fear factor, you can certainly comprehend that in their heyday, they must have turned a head or two.

Matter of fact, the first time I saw an armadillo in the middle of the road while driving through Texas, I pulled over and stared at it for a while.

In some ways it looks like a knight in unshining armor. A really ugly knight, mind you.

Rather than seeming to be something natural, the bony plates on the outside of the body look like some kid placed them as a joke on his pet dog and then released the puppy into the wild, and stood behind a cactus and laughed.

The armadillo is also kind of like the pineapple of the animal kingdom. Even though the fruit inside the pineapple is really quite sumptuous, the outside looks like it was constructed by a medieval tinsman.

So it always causes me to reflect on the great debate between creation and evolution.

I will have to admit, if God made all of these creatures at the same time, He certainly had to be on some sort of heavenly acid trip.

And if evolution is completely accurate, it’s difficult to comprehend why the armadillo survived and the stegosaurus ended up in the pits.

So for me, I land somewhere betwixt: envisioning a God who used evolution to create, and a Creator who even to this day, continues to evolve.

 

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Aquarium

dictionary with letter A

Aquarium (n): a transparent container of water in which fish and other water creatures and plants are kept.

Sometimes I look back at the hiccups in my life and giggle over my choices, predilections and the fads that permeated my consciousness temporarily, only to fall to the wayside as a new idea punctured my awareness.

About fifteen years ago I decided I wanted an aquarium. I think I saw one in a movie, thought it was cool and believed it would be a conversation piece for individuals who came into my home and seemed incapable of speech.

I did what I usually did–researched the subject just enough to make me totally unqualified.

Unqualified, but verbose.

So I bought the tank, filled it with water, got the pellets, put in the little furniture, rocks and stuff to go along with it, and bought myself some fish.

Let me tell you–I selected my fish based upon what looked pretty and interesting. The proprietor of the pet shop, in great generosity, donated five gold fish, which looked rather bland and unappealing.

I threw all the fish together with no concern for cultural integrity.

In two or three days I noticed that my gold-fish were gone. I looked for them in the bottom of the tank, planning to retrieve them for a decent burial, but no luck. I looked along the sides, but not there either.

So I called my pet shop owner and he explained to me that those pretty fish I bought were…well, shall we say, cannibals.

They ate the gold-fish.

I asked him why he didn’t tell me that in the store and he gave that lame response often provided by shopkeepers.

“I thought you knew.”

So you see, much like my gold-fish, my interest in aquariums was short-lived. But it gave me pause for thought.

In the aquarium kingdom–and I assume paralleling into the human–the pretty and interesting fish always eat the dull and boring ones.

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Antelope

dictionary with letter A

Antelope: (n) a swift-running deerlike ruminant with smooth hair and upward pointing horns, native to Africa and Asia.

Another childhood myth, shattered before my eyes: I now realize the improbability of deer and antelope playing together.

I’ve sung the song. I’ve not only sung the song, I have intoned it with complete confidence.

Home, home on the range

Where the deer and the antelope play

And now, unless this “home on the range” is somewhere in the Serengeti, and some deer got transferred there, the likelihood of such a playtime is miniscule.

Why do they do that to us? Why isn’t there a disclaimer at the beginning of this song that says, “Locales for creatures are greatly exaggerated.”

Did they think that “where the deer and the buffalo play” would have been out of the question?

And just for the record, I’m not so sure antelope would want to play with deer. I think with the presence of those little horns on the top, the antelope would feel superior and would think they were slumming it by playing with the deer clan.

Of course, maybe there is no bigotry in the animal kingdom. Basically they don’t shun one another. If there’s some form of displeasure, they usually just eat each other.

Maybe that’s what we should do. Rather than telling prejudiced jokes, we should just turn cannibal and be more obvious. Of course, I jest.

Similar to the dude who wrote Home on the Range.

 

 

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Aluminum

dictionary with letter A

Aluminum: (n) the chemical element of atomic number 13, a light silvery-gray metal, the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, obtained mainly from bauxite

It is amazing how words, ideas and concepts are all related to our personal experience rather than the reality of what they may be.

For after all, hearing the word aluminum, I might think of cans of soda, which I certainly have enjoyed over the years.

I might conjure an image of aluminum siding, which permeated the thinking of my townfolk growing up, as everyone deliberated whether it was a good alternative to the peeling paint on their wooden homes or the crumbling mortar on their brick ones.

But for me the word “aluminum” has an entirely different representation.

When I was a kid I lived in a household where various plans were hatched to attempt to make extra money or projects were pursued which were deemed worthy of our attention because they were new and innovative.

For instance, my dad bought a piece of multi-colored plastic which he was convinced could be placed over our television set to give the illusion of color TV without having to buy one of those more expensive brands. But of course, all it did was make the picture appear like fruit-striped gum.

Likewise, somewhere along the line my dad devised a plan to build a storehouse for boats to be held during the winter months in Ohio, when things were not sea-worthy. (Or since Ohio is landlocked, shall we say “lake-worthy?”)

This was an investment. And I remember that the main part of the investment involved purchasing huge sheets of corrugated aluminum to place on the building to protect it from the elements.

Well, here’s what happened. My dad laid the foundation for the warehouse, put up the boards for the framing and ran out of money before all of the aluminum could be attached. Even though he did put a couple of ships into the lean-to, it was never completed, and piles of the aluminum material were stacked nearby. They seemed to stay there forever.

Matter of fact, they remained long enough to become the home for all sorts of vermin: spiders, rats, possum, raccoons–any number of less-than-fortunate creatures from the animal kingdom did their wintering underneath the pile of my dad’s ignored aluminum.

So to this day, I cannot hear the word “aluminum” without a chill traveling down my spine … as I wonder what’s going to crawl out and bite me.