Chimney

Chimney: (n) the part of a chimney that extends above the roof; a chimney stack.

I grew up living in a brick home.

Dead center in the middle of our roof was a huge chimney. It was probably about one-third the size of the house. I don’t know why they made such a large chimney–the fireplace was tiny.

But affixed to the chimney, on the front, was a large letter “S.” Now, this had nothing to do with our name, so as young children we speculated on what the “S” stood for. We never actually came up with anything that made sense, but it filled some time.

What also occupied our interest was using our sloped roof as the bouncing area for a ballgame, where we tried to get the ball to bounce as near to the chimney as
possible without getting lodged behind it.

It was great fun–until the ball got lodged.

The chimney was so large that we couldn’t reach the ball with a long stick, and so, after three weeks there were six of our rubber balls stuck behind the chimney.

Every time I complained to my parents about the situation, they gave me a lecture on how foolish the game was in the first place and how if we didn’t throw the ball on the roof, it wouldn’t get lost behind the chimney. You see, to an adult mind, this logic made sense. But when you’re a kid, to eliminate fun just because it’s sensible is sheer torture.

So one day when my parents were away, we tok the youngest, smallest kid in our community. We called him “Toot.”

I’m not sure why. Maybe because it sounded small.

I stood on the bottom. Someone smaller than me climbed up on my shoulders, and finally, Toot scaled all the way up both of us, as we groaned in pain each time his foot stepped on our skin.

He got onto the shoulders of the fellow above me, and tried to jump over to the roof. He was able to get there–hanging by his fingertips.

We were scared to death.

We quickly tried to push him up on the roof as Toot struggled to pull himself up by grabbing shingles, which fell off the roof and onto the ground below.

Eventually, Toot, by some miracle, got his knee up on the roof, climbed up, raced over to the chimney, and threw down our six balls--and two frisbees which apparently had been thrown up there generations before.

We were so delighted that we forgot that Toot had no way to get down. He wouldn’t be able to get down the way he got up. So Toot sat on our roof waiting for my parents to return–because they had taken our ladder with them to do some work out on our farm.

When they arrived and saw Toot sitting on the roof like a little leprechaun, they were quite angry.

They quickly put up the ladder, retrieved Toot, and then began their lecture. They screamed, yelled, yammered and yakked for a good fifteen minutes. My friends wanted to leave, but my parents decided to be the disciplinarians for the neighborhood.

Afterwards, my mother turned to me and asked, “So what do you think about this?”

I thought for a long moment.

I probably should have thought a little longer–because without really being thoughtful enough, I replied, “Toot got our balls down.”

Needless to say, playing with balls was not permitted for me for several weeks.

 

 

Donate Button

Advertisements

Brace

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brace: (v) to get ready for something difficult or unpleasant

“I’m not alone.”

This statement is the essence of human sanity.

Being alone makes us lonely.

Lonely causes us to think we’re insignificant.Dictionary B

A feeling of insignificance makes us believe our contribution is meaningless.

I am not meaningless.

But I must understand that common sense, compassion, tenderness, fellowship and faith are often isolated on islands, separated from the mainland by cynical thinking.

Brace yourself.

  • You need to be prepared to be considered an outsider if you’re going to bring anything of value inside.

Brace yourself.

  • People are not going to naturally be kind, but instead, are motivated in a mob mentality, to pursue such wisdom.

Brace yourself.

  • What is passed off as logic is often, within a few short months, considered to be harmful and rejected for its ridiculous premise.

Brace yourself.

  • Look for things that are everlasting, and pursue them with vigor.

Brace yourself.

  • If you aren’t considered a little weird, then there’s no reason for you to be in the game.

Brace yourself.

  • Loving your neighbor may be considered to be unnecessary, irrelevant and unrealistic.

It is time for people who do not view themselves as good, but who desire to pursue good … to do good things.

 

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


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Bond

Bond: (v) to be joined securely to something else

Putting my shoes on.Dictionary B

It’s a confirmation that I’m heading somewhere–usually out the door.

So footwear has a special significance to me. It tells me I’m ready. It tells me I’m going to be moving from my place of personal sanctuary into the coliseum of fellow-gladiators.

At that point, I need to understand one immutable reality: I must bond.

  • I must find a reason to get along with others.
  • I must be looking for commonality.
  • I must carry a pocketful of logic to pay the toll on a highway of misunderstanding.
  • I must realize that even though the humans around me may put on ugly masks or disguise themselves behind clown noses, beneath all that fakery is another soul not so different from me.
  • I must penetrate color.
  • I must be able to incorporate another gender.

I must find the bond … or stop being surprised that the whole damn world seems unglued.

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


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

Boiling

Boiling: (v) to bring a liquid to the temperature at which it bubblesDictionary B

It’s not that we forget old sayings, nor that they’re proven to be untrue, but rather, that their validity annoys us so much that we punish them and cast them into obscurity.

“A watched pot never boils.”

This is an adage.

I would venture to say that the average person under the age of thirty would not only be unfamiliar with this premise, but also baffled as to the logic of its meaning.

Why, you may ask?

Because we have convinced ourselves that waiting for things to happen–becoming impatient with the length of time involved and finally frustrated–is normal human behavior.

I don’t know why we can’t take the truths discovered by one generation and carry them into the next, while dispelling the superstition and silliness–but apparently if someone over the age of forty thought it, we just throw it in the trash.

Human beings suck at waiting.

If we’re told there will be a ten minute delay, after forty-two seconds, we are convinced we have been waiting a half-hour.

The only way to wait for anything is not to wait for it.

So if you put a pot of water on the stove to boil, it knows its job. Leave the room and let it boil.

The happiest you will ever be is when you realize that you’re not as capable as you think you are.

Then you can work with your frailty toward a realistic solution instead of insisting that the damn pot is taking longer this time.

 

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


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

Arguable

dictionary with letter A

Arguable: (adj) able to be argued or asserted; open to disagreement

“I like to argue,” he said with a smile.

It was obvious that he found himself extraordinarily engaging. He believed that disagreement, even to the point of dissension, was often necessary in the human family, in order to bring about the compromise that pushes ideas forward.

It’s a very popular notion–matter of fact, we think we need Democrat and Republican Parties to create the tension that fosters our tenuous democracy.

Would we have television if we didn’t have arguments?

Many of these impasses are considered to be natural and healthy. For instance, the notion that men and women can understand one another and come to any mutual tendency seems absurd to the masses.

We have relented to a discourse which favors disagreeability.

  • I am uncomfortable with it.
  • I have lost the passion for my own opinion.
  • I am no longer enamored with the mere sound of my voice.
  • I do not feel strong by making others weak simply by overcoming them with my sentiments.

I think somewhere along the line those who argue need to understand that there are truths that exist, which must play out and be honored. Otherwise, merely winning the day in debate is a victory with little meaning.

Simply because someone can form the words to disprove my assertion does not make them right. It’s also not honorable when I over-think some issue and develop a presentation which counters good reason just for the sake of proving my prowess.

I think some folks would be happy with disaster as long as it was their idea.

Not me.

Sometimes I just like to shut up and see if there’s a still, small voice in the universe … that’s whispering wisdom.

Donate Button

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

Analyze

dictionary with letter A

Analyze: (adj) relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning.

Perhaps we should print signs.

It may be a bit cumbersome but certainly would be helpful in reminding us what exactly is the right procedure in a given situation.

One sign should read: Analyze

The other sign should warn: Please do not analyze.

Mixing these two up is what creates some of the more awkward and even tense moments in our day.

For instance, if you come home and your ten-year-old is sitting in his soccer uniform, dejected and pouting, and you use your laser insight to realize he must have lost his game, it is probably not the best time to sit down and become analytical about the game of soccer or go outside to practice kicks and moves. It is time for a bowl of popcorn, a hug and a funny video.

Likewise, if you were to return to your abode and your wife asked you to sit down and discuss a problem she was having in the household, it would be unfortunate to decide to launch into a tickle-fest.

Do we analyze or do we just allow ourselves to feel? The right answer brings understanding; the wrong one lends itself to retaliation.

For after all, trying to be flippant over things that need an analytical touch makes us appear calloused and useless to those who are hurt or abused.

  • Waranalytical
  • Kissingnot
  • Abortionanalytical
  • Parentingnot so much
  • Financea little of both

So you can see, the true definition of maturity is knowing when to be analytical and when to allow yourself to escape the prison of logic … and run free as long as you possibly can.

Donate Button

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