Happy Birthday to all of my August birthday people! I always look forward to August for we had birthdays to celebrate and one time my niece celebrated them all at once at her house and we had water gun battles in the back yard! It was more fun than enough! Big, little, old and young! We were all into it and it lasted a good hour or so. Then we celebrated with a cook-out with ice cream and cake to finish it off. We went home tired but happy children!
At home we did not start school until after Labor Day, so that was one more month that the cousins had to visit! We always had cousins who lived in towns and they always spent at least a week, and sometimes two or even a month! We had them from both sides of the family and Mother and Dad were just as happy as we were about the visits, so we had loads of fun with people to play with and to work with! The girls helped our girls with their chores and the boys with theirs, and then it was time to play!
When Jo was at home she had more ideas for fun than anyone and no matter what we came up with as amusement, our parents approved and we just had good times, so here at August we are at the wind-up. School would be beginning and the long winter would set in. Hardly anyone would visit after Thanksgiving and so we made the most of the month of August! We packed fun into all the spare hours and in my memoirs I tell the story of one of those adventures called, Cookout Under the Stars. That really was a story and you can read it in that book on page 117! However, I am going to treat you with the conclusion:
“Therefore, when we recollect such childhood memories we reflect on the emotions that they evoke. Thus we keep in touch with the inner child—a pathway that God provides out of the wilderness of adult cynicism into the Garden of God’s Paradise of Children—otherwise, we face an eternity of being “lost in the woods.” I was ninety-four when I wrote that, and I am now ninety-seven and a half. I read those words with a great deal of joy as I consider that the Lord has been so wonderfully kind to me and has extended the life and allowed me to just finish the book that I started writing when that one was out of the nest.
Now here He is on a Sunday afternoon and I am much older, but still able to think and to write. This is a great blessing! You really need to stop and wonder about the blessing we enjoy in the ability to think and to write our thoughts. The marvelous gift of language is a never-failing source of delight to me, as I simply fell in love with words when I was a young child and the romance has never faded. To me it is the most astounding of all blessings that there are words to express “feelings,” and you realize that feelings are intangible! However, God gave us the English language which is, of all, the most universal language, for it began in the garden with Adam and Eve and has continued on down through the present time, so here in America we have the English, and we have it American English and of course, the dictionaries will give after each word the original source of the word! You find there, all the languages which have been adopted and brought into the English as a word. We like to give it our pronunciation, and we connote to it the meaning that it expresses in our tongue.
It’s something I love to pursue, for when I am reading I might find words that I have not seen before. Rather than pass over them, for they are easy to understand by the context, it is more fun to me in looking them up and seeing how to pronounce them, what the various connotations for that word are shown and I decide if I like that word rather than the one I have been using in expressing that thought. I might decide to write it down and begin using it. My elementary school teacher always sent one of us to the big unabridged dictionary to get a definition and then he would say, “Now you can use that word to think with.” I never forgot that, for the more words you understand, the more thinking you can do! One amazing thing is this—all the disciplines have their own vocabulary, and that is what I found to be a great challenge when I started trying to read in the different ones and ran into a problem with comprehension. They are all different and it is still the English language!
Nevertheless, the very idea of having an alphabet and words that make up a language of a people is quite a wonder and something that I treasure in every way. As a child I was always searching around the house for something that I could read and once I called out to my mother, “What does ashamed spell?” She answered, “What does it sound like to you?” I looked at it again and said, “I see “as” and I see “ham” so it must be as-hamed.” She said, “No, it is “ashamed.” She pronounced it correctly. When she said that, I said, “Oh, I know that word.” She said, “Now you know how to spell it.” She put it on my spelling list and I remember the fun that it was to know how to spell that word. My mother dreamed a beautiful poem one time, and when she was awake she remembered it and wrote it down! My sister, Josephine also dreamed a poem and remembered it. I have never dreamed a poem, but I have dreamed of reciting familiar poetry. When you wake up and that is what you are doing, you wonder then about how that is possible in a dream state!
This will be enough words for the month of August! If you liked the thoughts on words, please comment on the site! Words carry meaning and power! They are the product of something beyond our five senses, and that’s why they are fascinating.