Once upon a time, there was a brown eyed third grader who realized that the security of the farm rested on her shoulders.. Yet how could she protect those she loved without a BB Gun? So she petitioned to the higher court and after much discussion- an agreement was reached.. IF she could get 6 100% on her spelling tests, the BB Gun was hers, and the safety of Paradise Lane was maintained.. The journey began- such diligent studying.. Impressive.. Five 100% later, she was on a roll- that BB Gun almost had a new owner.. And then- I don’t remember which word it was (probably “sincerely” which I still am known to drop an “e” from upon occasion) I handed in my spelling test, nervously, and one of my well meaning classmates came up,immediately and said ” I saw you spelled a word wrong..” A 95% has never looked so glaringly ugly-ever.. I could have cried.. Fortunately my parents ruled on effort instead of ability and the gun found a new home. *that gun was really useful for target practice, but never amounted to much in the way of varmint control.. Except the time Mother shot a cat.. Which is quite another story..
Spelling and Vocabulary has long been a thorn in my flesh.. My Mom just shakes her head with yet another ” How do you spell..?” She has the title of spelling bee queen of Dayton Elementary (perhaps I take after my dad.. 🙂 ) So she sighs and says ” Kendra, please! Use the dictionary!” But I wonder what good a dictionary is when the word is not spelled like it sounds.. Where do you even start to look for the spelling of faux pas? or chivalry? or logistics? We never say “suRprise” So that first “r” isn’t that important, right? And who is from the ShenaNdoah Valley? I thought for years it was “Shenadoah”.. Ok so after misspelling both those words 100s of times.. I think I may learn eventually..:)
My Great Grandpap Rhodes supposedly was out wandering thru Ohio as a young man, and happened upon a schoolhouse. He entered and discovered a spelling bee in process.. So he joined and proceeded to win..
Another story goes (*sorry, I just have stories from Mother’s side of the house.. Pretty sure the Horst’s would have their share of brag stories.. But I haven’t discovered them.. Mother assures me that Father’s spelling is a lot more accomplished than his eldest daughter’s..) that winter nights, on Mole Hill, would find the Good family gathered around the lamplight eagerly searching the dictionary, calling out words to stump “Pop” (my great grandad) and he, with his elementary education, would nail every one.. I would have enjoyed listening to them talk.. His wife’s poetry is full of descriptive words:
There’s never enough to gratify, These human hearts of ours..
Always an innate desire for more-More honor, more prestige, more powers
Never enough for the scholar; There’s a higher degree to gain.
Never enough of tangible things, More wealth we would obtain
There’s never enough to satisfy, The longings of the soul,
Always a striving to attain, A higher, nobler goal.
More excellence for the Christian, Thus always their soul’s aspire,
To grow in their Master’s graces, Each day ascending higher..
If I have one regret from high school, it would be-how often I would rush into Mr. Wilson’s Vocabulary classes, realize that “Today is the quiz!” And just wing it.. UGH.. All that opportunity for knowledge down the drain..
Yet my quest for words continues.. There are some incredibly wordy people in my life.. ( Ok, so that has a double meaning- some of us just talk a lot, and there are others, that sound educated when they do..) I love that- keep the “out of the box” words coming! Several years ago we learned a word off of a chopping customer.. She mailed the check to Effervescent Eldon.. Behold the vocab list expands..:)
Our Veterinarian is hilarious.. the words he throws around.. Mother accredits the fact that his mom was an English teacher.. Several months ago, Julia was giving him a rough time about a call he had made on a cow.. And after he checked her, he wrote “Vindication” the whole way down the cow’s flank in orange chalk.. Those of you who have ever attempted to chalk a cow know what a feat that was..:)
So what can be learned here? Persistence? If you come see me in a nursing home in 70 years, maybe we can play some sort of a vocab game.. Scrabble? Maybe that’s what I need to enlarge my usage.. Patience? Definitely for those around me- Who have to learn to roll their eyes and say “Oh, that’s just KH..” Humility.. It’s embarrassing to have this hang up.. To love words and yet always be misspelling, or mispronouncing, or misusing.. Silence? Ah, that’s it.. And my dear, patient mom, just smiles and thinks ” Yes, Kendra, talk less.. Listen more.. How many years have I been trying to get that thru to you..” 🙂
May the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord.. My Strength and my Redeemer.. Ps 19:14
Deborah joined the ranks of those who successfully hiked Old Rag.. A 5 hr intense hike..:) Judging from her pics- must be beautiful!
My smartphone savvy sisters are all enamored with “snapchatting” -where you can send your friends pictures of whatever and they can view for a few seconds and then it is forever gone.. UNLESS you screenshot.. which isn’t supposed to happen- but is rather out of your control, I suppose.. So thanks to Deb for sharing the screenshot of Em’s snapchat of Detroit.. (Is it just me, or is this getting a little confusing:))
Ahh Kendra I loved this blog. Brings back memories. Our son Kevin is a terrrible speller but he is a business man and an all around great guy–Mama’s bragging :). Our daughter Juanita spells good but she makes up words–if she wants to say something and can’t think of the right word she just makes up one. She now also speaks spanish as her husband’s first language is spanish and we are told she also makes up words in that language. Sometimes it drives their grammer and English language proper Dad a little crazy but I think they get this from me so he’s gotta love us all anyway 🙂
I was just thinking you must be related to our boys. I remember spending hours reviewing spelling words with them. I had to laugh at the name for Eldon — quite descriptive.
wait, that was me, not Twyla’s mom!
whatever kendra, I say suRprise. You know, us canadians talk proper!! lol.
And what about visiting you in 70 years? I thought you said your life expectancy IS only 75 yrs!!:)