Clouds: (n) a visible mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere, typically high above the ground.

Clouds are what make us Earth–a planet unto ourselves.

Without the clouds, the sky continues on, seemingly forever. The clouds come to bring us needed seclusion–and rain.

As a human being, there are times that my mind needs to soar to include the entire cosmos. Even though I’m incapable of comprehending eternity, every once in a while it is a great mental and spiritual exercise to at least try.

But most of the time I need the clouds.

I need a cloud cover to remind me that I’m living with other human beings on a planet where it’s necessary for us to get along, take care of our reserves and develop kindness as the law of the land.

Do clouds hold my warmth?

Do clouds hold in my mortality?

Do clouds give me an atmosphere?

A reminder that darkened skies bring moisture for things to grow.

We over-complicate.

We are a moody sort of creature, who in one moment complains about the drought and the next, curses the rain.

For that reason, we must all be grateful that the weather is out of our hands and under the meticulous attention of Mother Nature. She may frighten us with sharp turns and stormy conditions, but when the clouds clear and we’re able to see the heavens again, we are reassured that nothing can separate us from the love of our Creator.



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dictionary with letter A

April: (n): the fourth month of the year, in the northern hemisphere, usually considered the second month of spring.

“I just love the seasons,” she proclaimed to me in explaining why she lived in a tiny town in Michigan.

I assume she was talking about spring, summer, autumn and winter. But since I have lived in a collision of communities all over the country, I will tell you flat-out that no one gets four seasons.

When I lived in Ohio, the situation basically was that somewhere along the line in the month of May, it went from winter to summer. I was aware that April was supposed to be springlike, with temperatures in the fifties and sixties to prepare us for the Vernal Equinox. But there were Easters when I had to slide on my snowboots.

Living in Nashville, Tennessee for a while, I was also promised by the Chamber of Commerce that there would be four seasons, only to discover that spring was often swallowed by winter and fall would be consumed by a lingering heat wave from the summer.

The only two seasons which actually seem to have dibs in the pecking order are summer and winter.

Even in our climates which purport to be “tropical,” you get “summer” and “wet.” And I suppose “wet” can be spring, fall or winter.

So April, to me, is always a month filled with the celebration of Easter (except when the calendar screws us up and puts it in March).

Somebody jokingly told me that April is unique because it has the dubious distinction of containing the birthday of Adolph Hitler. (I don’t know why I included that.)

So although I believe that April really wants to bring the showers to provide the impetus for May flowers, it is just as likely to provide the “building fluff” for Frosty the Snowman.


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


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alimony: (n) a husband or wife’s court-ordered provision for a spouse after a divorce.

It comes down to discovering when it is permissible to be emotional. I personally think it is good to be emotional about spiritual things:

  • Loving your neighbor as yourself.
  • Feeling compassion for those in need.
  • And getting more juiced up about singing the praises of life instead of droning out a dull hymn.

On the other hand, when it comes to matters of the heart, I think running our lives solely on emotional data is very dangerous. Basically, the typical American marriage runs in three phases:

  1. You are so hot I can’t keep my hands off you.
  2.  It’s been a while since we’ve been hot–maybe we should get our hands on each other.
  3. Hands off.

The reason this happens is because we don’t take into consideration the many aspects of marriage other than sexual ecstacy. Let me tell you what I think the four things are that make up a good marriage, and how I believe each one is perfectly balanced by keeping an eye on the others.

1. Sex. Actually, I think it should be in fourth place, because it turns out that it’s better after the other three have been enacted with fervor. But I’ll keep it at the top of the list to keep your interest in my article.

2. Finance. Partnering with someone else is often a good way to stay solvent. If not, you have to start doing things like paying child support, alimony and lawyers to be your mouthpiece.

3. Status. Our society is set up for people to be together, work together, plan together and even interact fiscally in pairs.

4. Children. Once you give up on a marriage, whether you like it or not, the earthquake sends aftershocks through the entire family. You can fake it, act mature, and present yourselves as upbeat individuals who can maintain two or three different lives, but even though divorce and child custody are practiced in our society, our art and entertainment more truthfully portray them as implausible.

If two intelligent people will figure out a way to hold things together because of the children, consider the status they have by being united, garner the potential of the second income, and then take a bit of giddiness from the three discoveries into the bedroom, you might be surprised how many people could stay together, instead of chasing the dream of new genitalia.

Yes, being adult is considering the plus and the minus in every situation, and discovering a great compromise. Short of abuse or neglect, marriage can avoid alimony by appreciating what we’ve got and working with it, knowing that just like the seasons … hot and cold come in their time.