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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Coat

Coat: (n) an outer garment worn for warmth

Is it possible I was allergic? No–that’s not the word.

I certainly couldn’t stand to have a coat on until… well, very recently.

All through my teen years, my mother insisted I wear one to school, and I always removed it within ten feet from the door of our home, convinced, I think, that I would break out in a rash if I continued to wear it.

I don’t know whether it was a case of macho, or whether there was a part of me that believed that only wimps and Mama’s boys wore such outer protection.

In the winter months in Ohio, I went with short sleeves.

I once found a sweater I liked for a while–but then my older brother claimed it as his own and I never saw it again.

There was something powerful about remaining chilly. Even as a man, in the wintertime I would find a sunshiny day and play tennis in shorts and a tank top.

I always loved the question, “Aren’t you cold?”

Hell, no. I’m hot, Mama.

I guess that was the thing. I suppose I was trying to communicate to the females around me that I was a furnace. A blazing fire of love.

Or maybe it wasn’t that at all.

Maybe I hated the confinement. Because I was chubby, coats always fit me like a straight jacket–especially if I zipped them up. They were so tight I felt the garment was holding my organs in.

But of late I have changed my mind. The feeling of warmth coming on your skin, suddenly protecting it from chill and frost–it’s very comforting.

I enjoy it.

But, while wearing a coat, I still feel like Wimpy Boy Billy.

 

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Apparition

dictionary with letter A

Apparition (n.) a remarkable thing that makes a sudden appearance, especially a ghost.

I believe in ghosts.

Not the cloudy, smoky spirits of souls who have gone on to their reward or retribution. I’m talking about the ghosts of bad ideas, inclinations and fallacies that possessed our world in the past, and now have come to haunt us in the present.

  • Sometimes I just wish we could come up with new bad ideas.
  • Sometimes I just wish there was something new.

But instead we have the poltergeist of previous ridiculous concepts rising up from the grave, where we thought we buried it, only to spook us once again.

We don’t have new scandals. We have the spirit of Richard Nixon and Watergate infesting the present bodies of our politicians, making them do the same stupid mistakes he tried to pull off, which ended up with his destruction.

We don’t have music born of the spirituality and emotions of our own generation, but rather, grave-robbers who go and dig up the tunes of those who are now decomposing.

We are continually vexed by the apparitions of past failures or the ongoing celebration of victories, where the band has already played and marched away.

We spend too much time celebrating the past, forgetting the prejudice, disease and dumbness that prevailed.

I believe in ghosts because we refuse to inter the past.

So we just keep living this stuff over and over again … like a bunch of tales from the crypt.

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Apparent

dictionary with letter A

Apparent (adj.)1. clearly seen or understood; obvious. 2. seeming real, but not necessarily so.

All of our eyeballs have been blurred, leaving our vision tainted.

Perhaps it was the disappointment brought on by the tension of adolescence, or some hidden prejudice inserted into our thinking by well-meaning parents.

It might have been high expectation which was dashed and brought crashing to the earth by the flak of reality.

Somewhere along the line we began looking at the world through clouded lenses of bigoted conclusions.

Therefore what is apparent to one person is not equally as apparent to another. Matter of fact, we’ve developed a whole philosophical approach to the issue, insisting that we’re all quite different, and in our difference we find our “special purpose.”

Yet it doesn’t occur to us that if we all have different views of what is necessary, beautiful and spiritual, we’re more likely to collide into each other in the dark than to embrace each other in the light.

I do think it’s important that we come to some common ground on what is apparent, and even if we don’t completely understand it, submit to the wisdom of some very essential precepts:

1. We are not here alone.

In other words, we cannot live our lives as if there are no other human beings, and trying to pursue our goals without a belief in a Creator can be more frustrating than enriching.

2. The truth will make you free.

Lying is a detour which takes you through town, past the beautiful houses, but always ends up at the city dump. No one ever gets away with lying–and truthfully, the longer the deceit is disguised, the worse the retribution.

3. Miracles are God’s business, but talent is mine.

There is no replacement for ability applied with hard work. Those who peddle shortcuts, easy diet plans and get-rich schemes may be the closest thing we will ever see to flesh-and-blood satans.

There are things which are apparent. If we agree, we can begin to pull together instead of pushing and shoving each other. But to get this done, we must stop believing that the Earth is a series of human islands instead of a continent of brothers and sisters.

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Apparel

dictionary with letter A

Apparel: (n) clothing

For most of my life, I have been a vagabond traveler with a bit of gypsy in my soul, who mustered just enough air of sophistication to avoid being deemed “Bohemian.”

But for a very brief season, I bought a piece of land and became “Lord of the Manor,” which along with its title, warranted the purchasing of garments to hang in a closet, since it was available for walking in.

I was a little shocked at how quickly I accumulated apparel. A shopping trip here, a gift there, a sale when someone was convinced I couldn’t live without some sweater handed over to me as a surprise…

It all eventually filled my closet with more turtlenecks than prayer.

And with it came shoes.

In my early years, I had one pair of shoes to my name and when they began to wear out, it would take me several weeks to conclude that they were no longer foot-worthy and needed replaced. But at one point, I think I had almost twenty pairs in my hideaway.

So here’s what I discovered about an abundance of apparel: for most of my garments, it was a very lonely life. Matter of fact, it’s a wonder that some of them didn’t “suit me” for non-support. (I apologize for that one. Sometimes I can’t resist.)

After all was said and done, it boiled down to about four outfits that I universally wore from week to week, and a few extra pieces thrown on as occasional accessories.

I truly learned the importance of the adage, “Take no thought for what ye shall wear.”

Because all a closetful of apparel did for me was make me feel guilty about ignoring my threads.

 

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Adrenalin

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAdrenalin: (n) a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, esp. in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.

I wanted a shot of adrenalin just last night. It’s the body’s cocaine, you know–except no policeman picks you up because you have white powder on the tip of your nose.

The trouble with adrenalin is that it is only available when we find ourselves at our worst. It’s a drug the body secretes when we are stressed, frightened to death, or overly angry about some situation.

Actually, one of the questions I would like to ask God is about adrenalin–because giving adrenalin to someone who is already insanely imbalanced in their judgment is like selling a gun to a person who is deranged and might go out to shoot people in the workplace. (Wait a second. We DO that …)

Truthfully, what I need when I’m trying to find my car keys and about to burst into fury is a shot of Valium. (“Chill out, Pilgrim. We’ll find the keys, and if we don’t we’ll go back in the house and toast up a frozen pizza and watch reruns of The Waltons…”)

The LAST thing in the world I require when I am scared by an unexpected bogey man, is to have my heart rate suddenly go up to 180 beats per minute, stealing my breath and depriving my brain, which needs to accessed for escape plans, of oxygen.

My mother told me that when I was a child that I got bronchitis so severely one night that my heart stopped and I couldn’t breathe. Our local doctor gave me a shot in the heart of some adrenalin. (Now, I don’t know if this was true or not. I love my mother dearly, but she was known to spin a yarn, and I don’t mean to make a sweater…) But if any of it IS true, and I did require that drug to start my breathing again, I am grateful.

But it tells me how potent it is, and how dangerous it can be at the wrong times. I suppose if I were in a car accident and someone I loved was underneath the back wheels and I was suddenly required to lift the car up, adrenalin would be helpful.

But feeling pumped, driven, intoxicated and drugged at a time when I probably should calm down is not helpful.

So as far as adrenalin is concerned, like so many things in nature, I do see the purpose … I’m just not really clear on the application.