Bus:(n) a large motor vehicle carrying passengers by road

I was a town kid.

Growing up, I always lived close enough to my school that I was expected to walk.

I would occasionally complain that I was at least a half a mile away, and maybe the school bus could pick me up. The administration thought it was neither valid nor particularly humorous.

So I never got to ride a school bus.

It was annoying. Other kids who came in “from the country” always got off the big, yellow magic machine with frowns, and I thought to myself, don’t they understand the beauty of the moment? They’re on a school bus. I’m walking or peddling my cheap Schwinn bike.

Then came football season.

Our first two games were held at the local field, so there was no travel. But the third game was scheduled away from our little burg, so required a school bus to take the team to the game.

Even though I was excited about playing the sport, what really thrilled me was that I would get to climb on a school bus and travel.

It was a road trip.

I couldn’t sit still in my seat. I kept trying to get everybody to sing songs. I even fought back some tears over the sanctity of the surroundings. I was so loud, so overbearing, so all-encompassing that the coach finally screamed, from the front of the bus, “Shut up! We’re just going to Mount Gilead!”

My fellow teammates laughed.

But I was hurt.

It is an evil thing to quell the enthusiasm of an expanding mind.

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Ball: (n) a solid or hollow sphere or ovoid, especially one that is kicked, thrown, or hit in a game.Dictionary B

Thirteen years old is such a fussy, giggly time.

I was at church camp and one of the counselors had forgotten to bring balls for us to play.

First of all, being thirteen years of age, when the counselor announced that we didn’t have balls for us to play with, we all had to giggle uncontrollably. (You see, that’s the problem with the word “ball.” It has so many meanings that it’s nearly meaningless.)

But anyway, back to my story.

So when it was announced that we were “balless” (hee-hee) we thought that this adult standing in front of us was going to go out and acquire us … balls. (This article is doubling over with double-entendres…)

Anyway, he didn’t.

I don’t know whether he was lazy, or figured there would be some sort of other entertainment for us that wouldn’t require balls. (Oh, my God…)

So in frustration we began a great search across the campgrounds. After about an hour and a half, in a ditch outside of the cafeteria, we found an old basketball that obviously had been discarded, which was about halfway filled with air.

In other words, it was still round, but did not bounce. When we tried to bounce it, it more or less splatted.

But this became our ball for the week.

Since no other circular objects of play were afforded us, we changed the rules of every sport to use what was provided.

So our basketball game, rather than being a dribbling affair, became more like football, where one would run toward the goal, knocking people over, and then shoot it and try to rebound and catch it before it haplessly squatted to the earth.

So by the end of the week, we had discovered that the most logical way to use our hampered ball was to play game after game of kickball.

I cannot tell you how sad we were on Day Four, when the kicked and abused sphere sported a gash and lost its remaining air of life.

As important as it is to have a ball, it is much more important to have air in it.

Somewhere within, there’s a lesson for life, but since I am desperately trying to get out of this awkward column … I will let you draw your own conclusions.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AActive: (adj.) 1.of a person engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits 2. working; operative: e.g. the mill was active until 1970

I was so glad s I thought of it.

About nine months ago my knees started bothering me.

I have mistreated them profusely, being very active with my large frame–lifting, traveling, playing tennis and all sorts of physical exertions which my knees never actually signed on for.

When I realized I was no longer going to be able to run and goof around on them anymore without having a surgeon go in to rip my legs apart, disabling me for months, I was glad I saw the young man in Washington, D.C. who served as a courier between the Capitol and the White House. It was his job to get messages written on paper transferred as quickly as possible from one place to another. You know how he decided to do it?

Roller blades.

It was a magnificent sight. Even though he was completely young and healthy, he still realized that walking and running were insufficient to the need, and would result in exhaustion at the end of the day. So he glided along on his wheels, weaving in and out of foot traffic, cruising to his destination.

And it looked like he was having the time of his life, while performing a meaningful duty.


  • They made his life possible.
  • They made his life easier.
  • They allowed him to do his job well.

So my desire to be active, even though my knees have chosen retirement,  was made possible because of the vision of that young Mercury, zooming through the avenues of our nation’s Capital, came to my mind. Therefore I wasn’t nearly as frightened about getting some wheels of my own when I needed to get somewhere quickly.

I haven’t given up on walking. I’ve just given up on being stubborn.

If wheels will get me to where I can deliver the message that needs to be heard, then thank God for remaining active.

And by the way, thank God for the cave man who discovered the miracle.