Roots and Wings

Seagull soaring high
Flying Free

If I had two wishes, I know what they would be,

I’d wish for roots to cling to, and wings to set me free.

Denis Waitley

Forest in early spring with fog
Well-Rooted Trees

Procrastination

I put the PRO in procrastination.

Overheard at coffee hour after church.

Definition: “The act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”

Sometimes it seems that everything requires immediate attention: It’s time to make a salad for dinner (My Other Half has a chicken stew in the crock pot, and the scent is stimulating our appetites). I need to check the library on the Internet and renew the books that are due today–because we procrastinated about getting them back in time. The cats want dinner “Now-ow-ow.” When I look out the window, there’s a cloud with one of those vertically-lined curtains draped from it, so the laundry needs to come in off the line fast. And my priority this afternoon was to find out how Nate Tanner and his friend Hi-Ho Silberman are going to make Halloween monster costumes–in other words, the first draft of a new story.

Maybe the penalty for procrastination is everything needing to be done NOW. Maybe that’s just life and we should both sit down for a cup of tea first?

A cup of tea calls for a cookie… We’ll have a snack now, dinner later.

Historic or Historical?

Grammarly–useful for editing, fascinating for details!

I downloaded the app and began using Grammarly to make punctuation and spell-checking more efficient.  If it tells me I need a comma, I either decide it’s correct and tough the button to add it, or I think, “No, you didn’t understand the construction of that sentence,” and tell it “ignore.”

The “possibly confused word” tags sometimes save me from embarrassing mistakes and sometimes teaches me the nuances of definitions.  Did you know that “historic” and “historical” have specialized meanings?  I titled a chapter “The Historic Context,” and Grammarly informed me that: “The word Historic may be used incorrectly. Review the following notes to determine the appropriate usage for your context.”

  1. Historic is an adjective that describes something important, significant or notable in history.
  2. Historical is adjective that describes something concerning history or past events. These are events of less significance than historic events.

Perhaps the second definition fits the chapter title best because when history is the background or context for Grandpa’s actions, the events may not be significant, just whatever happened to be going on.  It’s historical that he attended the University of Iowa and that he worked on his father’s ranch, but there’s nothing notable about that as far as you and I are concerned.

Or the first definition is better because the building of the Panama Canal, certainly a significant American achievement, is the reason my mother was born in Panama.  On the other hand, my mother’s birth didn’t change history, but the Canal did, so it depends on whether the adjective is applied to baby Ruth or the Canal construction.

How did I decide?  The chapter title sounds better with “historic.”  Adding -al seems either affected or too much like hysterical.

The usage may be more important in  complete sentences:

  • “The Panama Canal was a historic achievement.”  Okay–definitely right.
  • “The historical background for my mother’s birth in Panama was not only the need for surveyors to lay out railroad track and buildings there, but the liberal vacation policy which gave Grandpa time to visit home and meet Linnie Coon.”  Probably the better choice.

I can’t use “historic” again without thinking.  Thanks, Grammarly!

Three Answers

The answers to “What do Winnie the Pooh and John the Baptist have in common?”

  1. They both ate honey.
  2. They both wore fur coats.
  3. They have the same middle name.

That’s from my notes from an adult camp meeting quite a few years ago, included in a letter to family which turned up in a box of papers a few days ago.

I found my very old copy of Winnie the Pooh. When I was little, I enjoyed the stories–How do Christopher Robin and his friends resolve this dilemma?  Now I appreciate the humor.  Once again, it’s good bedtime reading.

 

 

Winnie the Pooh and John the Baptist

What Three Things do Winnie the Pooh and John the Baptist have in common?

If you can’t guess, maybe these quotations will help:

Winnie The Pooh

Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders.

(IWhat does “under the name” mean?” asked Christopher Robin.
“It means he had the name over the door in gold letters and he lived under it.”
Winnie-the-Pooh wasn’t quite sure,” said Christopher Robin.
“Now I am,” said a growly voice.
“Then I will go on,” said I.)

One day when he was out walking, he came to an open place in the middle of the forest, and in the middle of this place was a large oak-tree, and from the top of the tree there came a loud buzzing noise.

Winnie-the-Pooh sat down at the foot of the tree, put his head between his paws, and began to think.

First of all, he said to himself: “That buzzing noise means something.  You don’t get a buzzing noise like that, just buzzing and buzzing, without its meaning something.  If there’s a buzzing noise, somebody’s making a buzzing noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing noise that I know of is because you’re a bee…And the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey.”

John the Baptist  Matthew 3, Modern English Version

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make His paths straight.’ ”

This same John had clothing made of camel’s hair, a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.  Then Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, “O generation of vipers, who has warned you to escape from the wrath to come? Therefore, bear fruit worthy of repentance, and do not think to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the ax is put to the tree roots. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Answers to be posted tomorrow.

In case you’re wondering: One answer was obvious to me, I should have guessed the second, and the third—I had no idea!