Decongestant

Decongestant: (n) a substance that relieves mucus congestion of the upper respiratory tract.

I hate colds.

I am not alone in this, but they are a hazard for my profession.

I have spent my life using my voice in various capacities, and having that altered is at least annoying, if not costly.

Over the years, I’ve learned that the sooner I treat a cold, the better off I am.

This discovery was birthed during a particularly nasty head cold I had when I was a junior in high school. Being that particular age, I took no medications and certainly would never carry Kleenex in my pocket.

So one very cold day, when the study hall at school was overly warm, my nose began to run. I had nothing at all to stop the flow.

I had not taken a decongestant to dry me out.

Kleenex was for girls.

And unfortunately, the only thing available was the fuzzy sweater my brother had loaned to me, which had big, bushy sleeves.

I resisted for a long time.

I tried to breathe in deeply, sucking the nose flow back into my head.

I did a quick reach-up with my finger to push back the lava.

But it just kept coming.

Finally, in a complete breakdown, I lifted my sweater sleeve and quickly rubbed it across my nose, allowing all the furriness to absorb the “ick.”

I immediately reached down and tried to redistribute the human glue throughout the sweater so it wouldn’t be noticeable—and fortunately for me, the bell rang. I was able to run to the bathroom to blow my nose.

Being a teenager, I forgot all about the incident until a week later, when my brother put on the sweater and asked me what the deal was with the sleeve.

I could not tell him the truth.

It would not be healthy for his heart. (I don’t think he had a heart condition, but he could develop one.)

Being an adolescent and not quick-thinking on my feet, I replied, “Wear and tear?”

My brother looked at me, perplexed, then down at his clumpy, sticky sleeve. I don’t think he really wanted to know, so he accepted my explanation.

I have since learned that the power of a decongestant is that it dries you up so much that you don’t have to do embarrassing things to your clothing.

 

Crochet

Crochet: (n) needlework done with a needle with a large hook at one end.

I know nothing about crochet.

Yet this, by the way, does not discourage my need to espouse.

I have never crocheted. I don’t think I’ve even seen someone crochet, though they could have been doing it incognito—because since I don’t know what it is, it could be done before my very eyes and fool me for sure.

But I do recall that I had a great-aunt who decided to crochet me a sweater, since I was so overweight that it was difficult to buy them in stores. (As you can see, the premise for the gift was already somewhat flawed.)

So she set out to do this sweater for me—and then, six months later it arrived in the mail.

It was huge, and the color of straw.

In other words, it wasn’t yellow, it wasn’t brown, and you couldn’t even call it brownish-yellow or yellowish-brown. Although it was brand new, the flatness of the color made it look like it had been worn for many generations. And even though it was very large, when I put it on it felt funny. It was like one shoulder was crocheted shorter than the other, and the left-arm length was about three inches too long. It also had no buttons—you know, in the front, so you could join it and turn it into a sweater instead of a human horse blanket.

But it was warm, and it was the first piece of clothing that had come my way for a while (since in my era there was no such thing as “big men’s shops.”)

I decided to wear it.

My friends tried to be nice, but finally, when the class clown walked in, unaware that everyone was attempting to be sensitive about my misshapen garment, he just burst into laughter, which caused everyone else to feel free to mock at will.

You would think that this would have cured me from wearing my crocheted sweater—but because it was mine, and warm, and because I refused to be intimidated by the foolish fashionistas, I ended up donning it quite frequently.

Matter of fact, I kept it for two years, which is quite remarkable for an adolescent.

I wore it until one day, in study hall, I was suffering from a severe head cold. I had no Kleenex and feared that my entire brain was ready to run out of my nose and into my mouth. I reached up with my sweater and ran it across my nose, trying to sop up unwelcomed mucous.

You can tell by my description of the event that my wheaty-colored sweater could not be worn again.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Croak

Croak: (slang) to die.

There is a general reluctance among the populace to admit to things deemed frailties.

I believe lots of individuals would cautiously, but freely, be tagged as “sex addicts.” Or if someone attributed the fault of “over-talented” to them, they would sheepishly hang their head but allow the assertion to remain unchallenged.

Yet I suspect a good number of human beings would be offended to accept the term “hypochondriac” if attributed to them.

Even when you’re in the presence of an admitted hypochondriac, he or she will insist that you are ill-informed and have not read up on their mysterious, unknown or unproven condition.

So I am going to step out and tell you that for most of my life I have battled being a hypochondriac.

From the time I was a nine-year-old boy, frightened to go to sleep because I thought I might swallow my tongue, to my early twenties, when I was trying to stay awake driving, and overdosed on the caffeine in No-Doze, and had to go to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack, to any myriad of symptoms that might stumble my way, I am frighteningly susceptible to dwelling on them longer than they deserve.

As a father of young sons, I occasionally yelled at my children for getting colds—not because I was concerned about the pain they were experiencing or the discomfort of runny noses. No, I was just pissed because I was afraid I would get their cold, too.

I am not happy to report this to you, but if you spend all of your life wondering when you’re going to croak, then, in that brief season when it actually happens, you will be quite disappointed that you squandered the non-dying time.

I realize this.

I never thought I would live as long as I have.

So rather than wondering whether I’m going to live a lot longer, I have chosen to believe that I’m on borrowed time. In other words, “playing with house money.”

This makes me happy.

Because as exciting as it is to be alive, there is an extra thrill in knowing that by the grace of God, you’re cheating death.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Breath

 

Breath: (n) the power of breathing; life.j-r-practix-with-border-2

The human body makes heroic attempts to warn us of the beginning of difficulties:

  • A little headache
  • A runny nose
  • A scratchy throat
  • A sore muscle
  • An achy joint

And our breath.

Sometimes we’ll have a heaviness in our breathing, or even a shortness of breath that can forewarn of difficulties.

Dictionary BIt is almost mind-boggling to consider how many breaths we take each and every day without giving it thought. So paying attention to the process to make sure it’s working with its customary ease is an intelligent way to ensure that our bodies are proceeding with great confidence–or if we’re being gently warned about weariness or an affliction that requires our attention.

God gave us the breath of life.

It is often our job to produce life through that breath.

 

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