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Too Many Big Words

I have been reading almost exclusively on my Kindle lately. It is easier to read at night and fits in my purse so I can take it anywhere. These books are the free ones that I hear about from a number of different websites.

Since these books tend to be self published or receive very little editing if published by a publisher, they tend to use too many big words. Not that I mind having my vocabulary expanded and enjoy learning new words. That isn’t my issue.

My issue is that these authors tend to use a thesaurus too much and will pick a less common word to describe something when a simple work would suffice. This is especially irking when used in conversation. Most people don’t use words such as “terminus”  instead of “point” or “iconoclastic” instead of, well, that word didn’t fit in the sentence it was in so I don’t have an example for it. In a recent book I read about Pakistan, a character used the phrase “wizened, dull-eyed automatons”. Really? They couldn’t have just said “aged robots”?

The fortunate thing about reading these types of books on my Kindle is that I can tap on the word and the definition comes up. Unfortunately, while I read the last two books, I was tapping practically every other page. After a while, my poor finger started to hurt!!

My advise to new authors is to keep it real. Use language that is actually used in every day conversation. Well, I would appreciate it if it was kept clean but that is because most people I know don’t use the word “fuck” on a regular basis.

I unequivocally am filled with the profundity of appreciation that you have hearkened to my diatribe on the overuse of ginormous words in a completely unnecessary fashion. It is so sincerely appreciated!

Thankfulness: Day 16

Today I am thankful for my brother’s daughters – my nieces Allyson and Jessica. Now that they are older and can communicate with me on their own, I am hoping to get to know them better. What I do know already is that they are beautiful, sweet, intelligent and caring girls. I am truly grateful for them!

To be totally honest, I have never met my brother’s daughters. They have never come to visit me and I have never made it out to visit them. I have seen them on Skype and we are now e-mailing each other. But I don’t actually know them all that well.

I am hoping, as time goes on, I will get to meet them and get to know them better.  I am thankful that I am their aunt!

Thankfulness: Day 15

I am thankful for my sister’s daughters – Anna, Alexa, Micah and Lizzie. They are all beautiful girls with a great sense of humor and very smart but with unique personalities. They are a joy to be around and I love them dearly!

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed in your emotions about something that it is hard to put into words how you feel? That is what I am struggling with right now. Sure, I could go into biographical detail on my sister’s four girls – when they were born, their interests, their talents, etc. – but that information wouldn’t come near to describing how I feel about them.

I find it amazing that my sister has four daughters that are similar in that they have blue eyes and blond hair but are four such uniquely different individuals. They have similar but differing interests, they all make me laugh and fill me with joy. But how could one person, my sister, come up with four daughters that are so distinctive in their personalities?

Suffice to say, I love each and every one of them, equally and wholly. I feel so blest to be their aunt and cherish each minute I get to spend with them. Very grateful to God, and my sister and brother-in-law, for bringing them into my life!

Thankfulness: Day 14

Today I am thankful for music. I have music on when I am in the car, have it playing when I work on my computer and generally have some song bouncing around my head all the time. I wake in the morning to “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven so I have “Joyful, Joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love…” in my head when I shower each day. I can listen to a huge variety of music (from the Beatles to Coldplay to Adele to Robin Thicke) when I am running errands or driving to work. I love the music we sing at church on Sunday morning and am grateful to be able to sing along with the hymns. Thank God I have ears to hear and a voice to sing! Very grateful!

To be honest with the exception of a few genres of music (really hard rock, some popular songs, anything with unnecessary yelling in it, etc.), there isn’t any kind of music for which I don’t have some kind of appreciation (yeah…I know…double negative…but you get my gist).

I could list my favorite pieces of music but it would be difficult to do just because I would be afraid I would leave something out. I guess one way of classifying what I listen to is to say that when I am working on my computer, I tend to listen to classical music. When I am in my car, I tend to listen to the radio so I switch from a Top 40 station to a classic rock station to an oldies station to an easy listening station. I turn to Christian music when I want my spirit uplifted and will listen CDs I have such as Michael Bouble, Adele, Il Divo, etc. when I am working in the church kitchen.

I couldn’t imagine my life without music. It is ingrained in my soul and I would be one dimensional without it. I am grateful to all those who create the music I like!

Thankfulness: Day 13

Today I am thankful to be alive! It was one year ago today that I had major surgery – a hysterectomy and removal of my gall bladder. I survived both and, with God’s gracious blessing, the surgery removed all traces cancer. I am so thankful that the cancer was caught and that the gall bladder went kablooey when I already had surgery scheduled. I am so grateful it all went so very well!

I am also grateful for my doctor, who recognized my symptoms as something more than pre-menopausal issues and had me tested. If she hadn’t picked up on it, the cancer would have been much worse and possibly spread.

The gall bladder thing…well that made me sicker than the cancer did. I threw up for a whole afternoon, had the worse pain EVER (someone who gave birth to three boys and had pancreatitis like me told me the pain is worse than childbirth), and was in the hospital for a week. Not to mention, I came within two hours of being moved to the ICU and being put on even more machines.  I lost 20 pounds in seven days and an additional 30 pounds or so before I had the surgery. Was NOT a pleasant experience at all.

But I survived. And I am very grateful to be alive! Thank God!!!

Thankfulness: Day 12

Today I am thankful for my oldest nephew, Joshua. Tomorrow is his 20th birthday and I can’t believe he has been a part of our lives for two decades. He has brought joy, laughter and love to all of us and I am truly grateful to be his aunt.

I am now an aunt eight times over but, for a number of years, Josh was the only nephew I had and, at this point, I only have one other nephew. Of course I have six nieces, who I also love dearly, but there are only the two boys. Josh and his younger brother, Isaac.

It is amazing to me to think about Josh and how grown up he is now. I remember carrying him around the grocery store with me. He would sleep resting on my shoulder and I would push the cart with one hand. It was just easier than waking him up from his nap.

Now that little boy I could carry towers over me and is a grown man. Sitting here, pictures of Josh through the years flash through my head. He did grow up well and happy. A proud aunt couldn’t ask for much more than that.

I am very grateful for Joshua and thankful to be his aunt!!

Thankfulness: Day 11

Day 11 of Thankfulness: Today I specifically want to thank those in my family who didn’t let the thought of serving just pass through their head…like it did for me. So, Thank you, Dad, Aunt Midred, Uncle Pete, Uncle Rusty, Uncle Harold, Cousins – Mark, Greg, David, my brother, Ted, and anyone else I may have missed (it’s a large family – hard to remember everyone). Thank you for putting on the uniform and serving! I am truly grateful!

I had considered, very briefly, of joining the military. My brother was in the Navy at the time and I knew that I could get some, if not all, of my education paid for if I joined. But then I realized I would have to be told what to do – which I don’t like – and follow orders – which I also don’t like. It would have been the honorable thing to serve but I just didn’t have it in me.

For this reason, I am grateful to all those in my family who did serve. They sacrificed in a way that I was never willing to do. Thank you!!

Thankfulness: Day 10

Day 10 of Thankfulness: I know I am a day early but, with the congregation at the second service singing “America the Beautiful” ringing through the church, I just want to say I am thankful for our veterans. They sacrifice so much just so we can feel safe. Thank you to every one of them from every branch of the service no matter when they served! I truly am grateful!
We normally don’t have patriotic things at church just because of the whole separation of church and state thing. But it was requested by a congregant that we honor the veterans and so we did. The veterans were asked to stand up and then the spouses of veterans and then the parents of veterans. I was astonished by the number of people who were standing. Pastor then said a prayer for them and we sang “America the Beautiful” (which in the ELCA hymnal is titled “Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies” – not sure why).
It was a wonderful thing to do for the people who have volunteered to serve our country.  It made us appreciate them all the more and, hopefully, they know how grateful we are.

Thankfulness: Day 9

Today I am thankful for the night sky in all it’s glory. I am privileged to leave for work at 4:00 am on many mornings and the sky at that hour is so beautiful! The stars are shining in abundance and it makes me pause in wonder and awe every time I see the night sky at that hour. Most people are asleep at that time so it feels like I have the world and the sky all to myself and the beauty and stillness is so very peaceful!

It is amazing how wonderful the sky looks throughout the day yet can look so different. The sky can be a brilliant blue without a cloud in it and it can almost hurt to look up at it. Or it can be covered with rolling clouds or even with such thick clouds that it is solid white. Yet that has a beauty of its own just in knowing that clouds bring rain and rain nourishes the earth and us.

The morning and evening skies are some of my favorites with the sun rising or setting and creating such spectacular colors. I always think to myself, when I am seeing a beautiful sunrise or sunset that God is in his glory!

But the night sky, especially with no moon (although that can be breathtaking in its own beauty), is so awe inspiring. This time of year the air is crisp, the sky is so black (no summer haze making it dim) and the stars look like I could just reach out and touch them.

I have always been a morning person and don’t mind getting up and starting my day when the rest of the world is still asleep. But on mornings when the sky if flooded with stars, I feel sorry for everyone still sound asleep. I haven’t yet shouted with joy and woken everyone up so they can appreciate the night sky with me but given a few years (like when I’m old and don’t care), it may just happen!

Thankfulness: Day 8

I am thankful my 1999 Ford Windstar minivan is still running. It seems to keep chugging along despite the numerous things wrong with it. I am grateful that it gets me to where I am going in a mostly reliable manner.

Before I was let go from my job in March of 2011, I thought that my minivan was on it’s last legs. So I applied for and received pre-approval for a car loan. I was in the process of finding the right vehicle (since I tend to hang on to them for years), when I lost my job. Thank God I didn’t take on that debt!

So I am still driving the vehicle I thought would have died a couple of years ago. It has over 190,000 miles on it. But it is going and going and going. Very loudly, I might add, since the exhaust has developed a hole in it.

And the “check engine” light just popped back on again today. Not that I am too worried about that. In a vehicle this old, my mechanic said it would be unusual for the “check engine” light not to be on. It did go off the last time I had my oil changed (not related, I’m sure) and it stayed off until today. Oh well. It is like an old friend. I missed seeing that little engine shaped light on my dashboard.

I am very grateful that the old minivan is going still after all these years. I am hoping and praying that someday I acquire a new vehicle. But, until then, I have this old faithful Ford.