Cuckoo Clock

Cuckoo clock: (n) a wall or shelf clock, often carved and decorated, that announces the hours by a sound like the call of the cuckoo

For a very brief season, I had some money.

I did not earn it. The finance was acquired through an inheritance.

It was annoying.

Money is like a parakeet you invite into your house and no matter how hard you try to shut out the sound of the tweeting, it abides.

No matter how much I attempted to envision my money as having a station at the bank, I kept trying to bring it home for the holidays.

Yes.

I wanted to spend it.

I especially wanted to buy things I would not normally buy, but would show others that in buying them, I expressed my opulence.

In everyday English, I wanted my money to brag for me.

On some days, I sat in my small office and thought about items I could purchase that would make me seem prosperous, worldly and well-traveled.

On one such occasion, a cuckoo clock came to mind.

I had always been enamored with them. The idea of a mechanism telling time while also having a little bird pop out of a door on the hour, singing a song to let me know that sixty minutes had passed, enchanted me. How adorable.

I became obsessed.

I quickly found out that they were expensive. But hell—wasn’t that the point?

I learned that the best ones came from Germany, so I suddenly became very patriotic and decided to “buy American.”

I found the best American-made cuckoo clock that was available to be purchased by a mortal such as myself.

It arrived, I opened it up, it looked beautiful, I read the instructions, had others read them with me, so we could all come to a consensus on how to get our cuckoo clock to cuckoo.

After all this was done, we hung it on the wall.

It never worked right. Not even once.

Oh, it would cuckoo—but it would cuckoo like it was cuckoo.

You know what I mean?

It was a clock that had a whim. Apparently, it disregarded the importance of time, and the bird came out to do its show whenever the clock felt like it should.

It still looked beautiful, but if people visited for more than an hour, they became aware that I had purchased a clock with a wacko bird.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 

Crop

Crop: (n) the produce from the ground.

As the piercing tones of the political pundits wrangle with one another over decibel level, it never occurs to anyone that the United States of America cannot be compared to any other place, because unlike these other locations, this nation has a heart, a soul, a mind and a body.

Without understanding this, you begin to believe that you can nurture the mind of America while ignoring the heart, soul and body—or foolishly believe that you can honor the soul and ignore the other parts of innovation.

During my nearly thirty-five years of travel across the country, stopping off in villages, towns or bustling cities, I immediately understood the crop that comes from the soil of this great nation.

America has heart.

It has emotion. If you live on the coasts, you may think that the middle states are agrarian and backward. Matter of fact, there are people who would not even know what the word agrarian means because they consider it backward.

On the other hand, if you land somewhere deep in Nebraska, the antics of the West Coast may be discussed over the dinner table with a sneer and a frown, as those huddled around faithfully consume their biscuits and butter.

You cannot love this country, its people, its purpose, nor envision its destination without traveling to its heart, musing over its soul, mulling its mind and allowing the body to bring strength to the economics and the gross national product.

What is the crop of America?

  • Iowa believes it’s corn.
  • Silicon Valley in California would insist it’s technology.
  • The Ivy League schools on the East Coast would certainly extol the importance of higher education.
  • And those who dwell in the South will spend hours testifying of the importance of family, devotion and hospitality.

It is difficult for us to be at war with each other.

We need one another so intensely that we end up really fighting ourselves.

So when I drove my van into beautiful downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with corn fields and soybeans surrounding my journey, I knew I was in for an evening of warmth, reflection and conservative reaction to new ideas. They were never averse to progress—just wanted to make sure that no sacred lanes were destroyed to make super-highways.

When I went down to Lebanon, Tennessee, I was fully aware I was in for an evening of a probable potluck dinner, some hand clapping and folks who were frightened that they might lose the spirit of their faith by accepting too much of what, for them, seemed abnormal.

In a journey out to Palo Alto, California, surrounded by the students and faculty of Stanford University, my heart was engorged with the explosive energy of learning, experimenting and researching to find answers to problems that plague the populace.

And then, finding myself weeks later in New York City, I watched the ships come and go, feeding an economy which generates the crop of prosperity, making the whole landscape well-funded.

What is the crop of America?

It is the freedom to have a heart, a soul, a mind and a body—and to treasure each and every part.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Clinic

Clinic: (n) a hospital department where outpatients are given medical treatment

Old Marion Webster always tends to leave out a detail or two in presenting definitions.

Clinics are not only places where people go to get medical assistance, but often find themselves frequenting due to poverty.

I’ve been to a clinic. It wasn’t because I doing research for one of my essays. No–I was busted.

Broke. Without bucks. Dollarless.

I found the experience to be humiliating–not because I thought I was better than all the other clientele. It was humiliating by design.

All the furniture was old, scarred, some pieces broken. The magazines were dated at least four years earlier, and had articles which had already proven to be incorrect. The candy machine was empty except for peanuts and Cheese-it crackers. The Coke machine was out of order and the coffee maker had a crack in it, so they could only make one cup at a time.

The nurses were volunteers who attempted to be cheery, but still conveyed a sense of yearning to get over their stint quickly and return to their normal lives.

The people around me were sick–some very sick. It made them look and act dreary.

I sat there and thought to myself, how easy it would be for people of substance and finance to just donate new magazines.

How about that church down the road which recently bought new furniture for their parlor–giving that old plush couch and chairs to this clinic so people would feel just a bit more comfortable as they sat for hours, waiting for a three-minute visit?

Would it kill the vendors to make sure that the candy machine was adequately stocked, and price it just a bit more reasonably for those who have to search longer for quarters?

How about giving them a new coffee pot, or taking up a donation to make the Cokes reappear?

I wasn’t angry over the indifference–just perplexed by the ignorance.

Now that prosperity has crept my way, I have a little extra money every once in a while that might seem like a gold mine for a clinic.

Maybe just buying flowers for the attendants to wear every day. Or if you worry that the patients might be allergic, purchase more colorful scrubs.

For some reason or another, rich people do not feel it’s enough to insult the less fortunate with mere poverty. They want to make sure the experience leaves a bitter taste in their mouths.

 

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By

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By: (prep) identifying the agent performing an action.

If you want success to radiate around your efforts, you have to discover what makes things work best.

Finding out by what means peace of mind and joy are enacted is probably the most important pearl we can recover.

This happened to me the day I accepted the idea that faith works by love.

A loveless faith is just a braggart spirit–a person filled with presumption who decides to make bold statements, hoping that eventually he or she will luck into achieving them.

By the same token, love that does not prompt us to expand our faith becomes cloistered and sappy.

What are some other possibilities? What additional “teams” can be brought together for righteousness?

Politics works by truth. Wow.

Marriage works by communication. Certainly.

Good health works by good eating. Not medication.

Prosperity works by labor. (After all, you even have to buy a lottery ticket.)

And human appeal works by good cheer. Everyone loves the funny guy or gal.

Finding out by what means things are achieved is the actual definition of genius.

 

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Bourgeoisie

Bourgeoisie: (n) the middle class, typically with reference to its perceived materialistic values

It was called a skeleton key.Dictionary B

Certain locks were made to be universal, and opened by a single common key.

It was so simple. You just put the skeleton key in the lock and it opened up the door.

You didn’t have to have key cards or specially-ground units specifically designed to open particular doors. Of course, it fell by the wayside because it didn’t provide much in the way of privacy.

But as we consider the future of our country, with a desire to honor the needs of its people, let us realize that leading with finance or the ownership of things may be a good campaign approach, but it does not do very much to further our joining together as a nation.

Yes, we need a middle class. That middle class should have solvency. But that solvency should be used to expand the vision of those families to look for reasons to help others.

As it pertains to the bourgeoisie, you cannot simply give money to people and think it will miraculously turn into mercy.

It doesn’t.

Therefore–as in the case of the skeleton key–the most important thing we can do is teach people to value each other so when they do go into the marketplace and achieve success, or even prosperity, they will open their hearts to use their profits to profit others.

 

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Boulevard

Boulevard: (n) a wide street in a town or city

Los Angeles, California.Dictionary B

I was thirty years old before I got there. I tried many times. My failed attempts made it seem even more charming.

I had an old beat-up van, so when I drove to Hollywood to see the sights, it was really quite comical to spot my vehicle in the midst of such sunshine and splendor–especially when we pulled into the parking lot across from the Chinese Theater where they have all the footprints of the stars, and my brood of children poured out of the side doors to explore. I’m sure the natives thought they were being invaded by the “Bluegrass Brigade.”

Los Angeles is full of boulevards and reminders of its opulence and place in American folklore.

When my feet finally got tired and I went back to the van before the rest of the kin, I was studying a map to the stars’ homes. As I read, I considered that most of these supernovas were dead.

I looked around at the wealth and prosperity and realized that these individuals, who were so revered from the silver screen, were once living, breathing human beings, walking the streets, and now seemed to haunt the region.

It gave me a chill down my spine.

Life is short.

Find your boulevard.

Travel well.

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Borrow

Borrow: (v) to take and use something that belongs to someone else with the intention of returning it.

I have an inkling that determining whether people are getting older can be evaluated by judging the shows they watch on television.Dictionary B

For instance, when I was younger I would never have watched “Wheel of Fortune.” And even though I would not call myself an avid viewer now, it is occasionally on in the background while I do other things.

Likewise, I would have made fun of myself for watching the judge shows like “People’s Court.”

I bring this up because on these court TV shows, each case finishes up with an interview in the outside hall, where the announcer asks the litigants what they learned from the experience. Universally, the eternal truth that falls from their lips is, “Don’t trust anybody.”

Benjamin Franklin intoned, in his pseudo-intellectual way, “Neither a lender nor a borrower be.”

It is a wonderful philosophy–if you are never in need.

But since my life has been bespeckled with all varieties of poverty and prosperity, I can appreciate the fact that every once in a while … you are one cup of milk and one bowl of cereal short of breakfast.

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