Awning

Awning: (n) material stretched on a frame and used to keep the sun or rain off a storefront, window, doorway, or deck.

Years ago I bought a very large house.dictionary with letter A

I did so because I could–probably the worst reason for becoming a land baron.

The home I purchased was a gorgeous castle sitting high on a hill, snubbing its doorway to its lesser-constructed neighbors.

One of the features on the outside, above the windows were awnings–colorful, contrasting, and made of canvas.

The first time I saw them I thought they were a little bizarre. But the realtor convinced me they were quite the conversation piece and would someday assist in the resale of the house.

About a year after my purchase, these awnings became dreary and dull in color from the heat of the sun and elements pounding on them. It became obvious to everyone that they needed to be replaced.

I didn’t even question it.

I felt that my great revelation in the matter was that this time I would buy material for the awnings that matched the coloration of the house instead of contrasting.

God, I thought I was smart. Matter of fact, for a full two weeks I walked around bragging about my wisdom.

In pursuing these new awnings, I discovered they were very expensive. It didn’t matter–I was going to enact my interpretation of great awning display.

So after many weeks, many delays and many overages in cost, the new awnings were on my home.

As the man was fitting the last awning onto the final window, he explained that this particular material would only last about three years.

I nodded my head, portraying myself to be well-versed in the lifespan of the typical awning.

He said to me, “At that point, you can get new awnings and I will guarantee you the same price.”

I interrupted him by expressing my appreciation for his generosity.

And then he concluded: “Of course, the truth is, this house doesn’t really need awnings on it, does it?”

At this point I looked at my house with new eyes.

As it turns out, I had followed the wishes of the previous owner–to place awnings on the house for decoration–only feeling superior because my choice of color was more insightful.

I could have saved thousands of dollars if I had gone with an “awningless” home.

For after all, the only thing those awnings ever did was add a little bit of spruce… while they taunted me with their ever-evident depreciation.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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American Dream

dictionary with letter A

American dream: (n) the traditional social ideals of the U.S., such as equality, democracy and material prosperity.

I think the American dream has been over-analyzed by Freudian pundits and politicians who plan on using their own interpretation to bring about the enactment of their particular will.

I’m not so sure I agree with the Republicans that every American wants a gun.

Likewise, the more liberal view of the Democrats concerning giving people license to do whatever they want to under the guise of civil rights doesn’t achieve much more than an emotional traffic jam.

I’ll tell you what I think the American dream is: Hunk, Chunk, Junk.

I think the power of freedom in this country, with the intelligent use of capitalism, enables me to go out and get my hunk. I should have every right to do that. If it doesn’t infringe on the needs of others or hurt my fellow-man and woman, I should be applauded for my efforts and be given a barn to store my bounty.

Then from that hunk, I should get my chunk. This is probably where people will disagree with me. Lots of folks think they need every single dime they earn to cover their own personal indebtedness. If that’s the case, you’ll spend your life pretty miserable. I should be able to break off a chunk from my hunk that will make me happy and keep me in grits, gravy, gravel and glee.

What remains from my hunk actually becomes my junk. Things I don’t need. Things I don’t want anymore. It’s a startling but true statement that if everybody in America emptied their attics and garages of all the things they haven’t used in the past six months, and gave them to their neighbors, 75% of the personal needs of others would be fulfilled.

It’s not treasure if moths and rust are corrupting it and it’s being stolen by time and depreciation.

Get rid of your junk.

Bless someone else. They won’t think it’s junk.

They will treasure it as their hunktheir American dream.

 

 

Accrue

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accrue: (v.) to be received by someone in regular or increasing amounts over time: e.g. financial benefits will accrue from restructuring.

THAT’S not the way the word’s used.

Sneaky, Mr. Webster! Trying to make us believe that the word “accrue” can be positive! WE know when the word “accrue” is used–it’s when we’re late on our credit card payment or our mortgage and we are warned that because of our tardiness, our account will accrue more interest.

“Accrue” is a THREAT.

It is a reminder that our temporary station of poverty is being downgraded with further poverty because we DARED to have some sort of ungodly lacking.

So in an ongoing attempt to remain an energizing force instead of a constant sapping off of the great American legacy, I suggest that we find ways to accrue interest … in ourselves. (You see the play on words? Not that it’s particularly clever, but it is sufficient for this twenty-four-hour period.)

How can I accrue interest from the world around me? Here are five really quick suggestions which will take you from being an ignored deduction to being a possible asset:

1. Stop complaining. Immediately that puts you in the upper percentile of the human family. You’ll get better tables at restaurants, better service at dry cleaners. Your family will start listening to you because there’s a possibility of something positive being said instead of abstract grumpiness.

2. Do what you say. Be careful with this one. Intelligence will demand that you speak less often so as not to have to back up your words. But once you have boldly made a proclamation, go ahead and put in the effort.

3. Stop thinking you’re better than anybody else. Even if you privately do hold these feelings, don’t publicly take out an ad on Craig’s List. When human beings are convinced that you are willing to be equal with them rather than superior, they are much more likely to cooperate–and much less likely to rob and kill you.

4. Don’t talk about politics or religion. It’s better to let your beliefs bear fruit and your political ideas prove out to be helpful to the surrounding problem.

5. And finally, keep growing. Don’t settle for your talent as it is. A certain amount of deterioration is inevitable in our earth span in order to confirm depreciation. If you’re not always moving forward and multiplying your abilities, you will gradually “deduct” in spite of your denials.

There you go. There are five ways to accrue interest without getting a phone call from a condescending telemarketer from India who mispronounces your name and threatens you with all sorts of penalties.

I was determined to turn “accrue” into a positive force of nature instead of a negative curse from financial institutions. I don’t know about you, but in the process of me accruing interest from the humans around me, I might just end up not having to accrue interest on delinquent accounts.

I’m not sure–but it’s worth a try.