And the race is on…

I’ve heard some strong opinions from some of you about the current poll. You take your superheroes seriously! Glad to hear it. =) One comment offered was that The Tick, the revered hero of all things blue, was woefully excluded from the choices. This was an oversight–The Tick is near and dear to my heart–but perhaps it’s for the best. He would’ve whooped the competition unfairly, methinks.

Let’s shift gears and start the week with a game, shall we? No, not Texas Hold ‘Em, 42, or even the Bathroom Tile Game (that’s for another post). Have you ever played Balderdash? It’s a great board game that uses real words that almost no one has heard of. Players are given the word without knowing the real definition. Each player then makes up a definition. Then all of the “definitions” are read–with the real definition slipped in somewhere–and players vote to guess the real one. It’s almost always worth a chuckle or even a chortle. Other ways to play include guessing the plot to an obscure movie, based on the title only.

For example, if given the word “pettifogger,” I might say that it is “a specialized tool to rid petticoats of bowl weevils.” The real answer is that it is “a petty, unscrupulous lawyer; also, who quibbles over trivia.”

We’ll play the movie version soon, but let’s warm up with the words. Come on, take a chance and play a nerdy thinking game! Ready? Good. I’ll give a couple of words. If you play you can make up definitions for one or both; post them in the comments section. In a couple of days I’ll give the real meaning. Yeeessss, I realize you can look them up, but where’s your sense of fun?

Here we go: Word #1: farrago
Word #2: piebald

Deep thoughts, I imagine

The sprightly young squirrel paused, sitting upright and still by the curb as he flicked his bushy tail. “Hmmm,” he pondered after awhile. “I thought I heard a possum nearby. …Must’ve been my imagination.” He resumed his task of hunting broken pecans. “If there had been a possum,” he wondered, amusing himself as he worked, “what would he be doing in this neighborhood? Visiting possum cousins? Taking a stroll? Hiding out in a garage in order to scare some poor, unsuspecting human?”

He stopped to sample a meaty piece of pecan then scurried on his way.

I’m feeling very weird and quirky writing this post, so hang on! Whaddya think of my little squirrel story? I spent hours working on it. (And if you’ll buy that…) But what if it really happened? What if the squirrel used his imagination?

To put it bluntly, I don’t think so. But it was fun imagining the story.

I’ve been thinking this week about the miracle of imagination. Have you ever wondered about that? I believe we’re the only creation that God endowed with imagination. For example, somehow I doubt that javelinas sit around spinning yarns.

And don’t you think that is part of how we’re created in His image? He has the ultimate imagination–He created the universe, for goodness’ sake–and imagination is part of His amazing fingerprint on each of us, I believe.

I like to think that He loves it when we use our wonderings as He intended. We had such great imaginations as kids, didn’t we? Too bad our time now is often too crowded with errands, e-mail, and other day-fillers to see the invisible.

I’ll try to remind myself of that the next time I see a twitchy-tailed squirrel on my curb.

Crucial Information

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’re all kicking off the weekend in a fun and relaxing way if possible. David and I are painting the town red. …Wellll, part of our living room is painted red. Does that count? We turned down multiple social engagement offers in our metropolis to be present for the season premiere of Stargate Atlantis.

Whilst awaiting the big moment (I said that with a British accent), I’m taking inspiration from a great blog, Altered Ambitions. Christi was challenged to share seven random things about herself. So I thought to myself, “Why not mooch off of this idea?” (also said with a British accent)

So for your weekend reading pleasure (or pain), here are seven random things about me…

1. My left thumb is double jointed.
2. I think Worcestershire sauce on mashed potatoes is quite tasty.
3, When I was born I had black hair and blue eyes. (very different now – no comments!)
4. Despite a fear of heights, I’d love to try parasailing and the trapeze.
5. I’ve been on Texas’ death row. Don’t ask me how I escaped.
6. I think it’s fascinating how owls can turn their heads so far around.
7. I have never understood the appeal of the Three Stooges.

…There you have it. Now, what about you?

The Narcoleptic Aviator

It can be really interesting at times to live in this world of ours. Don’t you love it when something a little odd or amazing captures your attention?

“Like what?” you ask. Thought you’d never ask. Like when I was leaving the post office yesterday and noticed a well-written flyer by the door. It explained the help this certain group offers and listed how a person with this need can get in touch with them. Great–except that the well-written information was intended for illiterate people; it was a literacy group. …I knew you’d catch the irony.

And each day brings new promise of the unusual! Just this morning before the sun made its daily debut, I was reading about something from World War II. A unique group called the British Air Transport Auxiliary had the mission of ferrying aircraft to and from military installations around Britain and “the continent.” The Auxiliary members’ service freed up combat pilots for just that. It was a pretty remarkable group; for example, it was the first instance of women (many of them American) piloting military aircraft.

But that’s not what caught my eye and imagination this morning. Here’s the quote from the web site:

As the ferrying demands grew, the ATA actively recruited pilots to handle the workload, and limitations that might bar a pilot from service in peacetime were no barrier when every capable aviator was sorely needed. Most of the men who flew were in their thirties, forties and fifties. Many physically challenged pilots also found employment with the ATA. There were a few men who were color-blind, and one who suffered from narcolepsy, who but for the unfortunate tendency to nod off at the most inappropriate times was quite a good pilot. (On his ferrying trips he would take along an “assistant” to shake him awake if he happened to fall asleep at the controls.) There were several one-armed pilots, and a one-armed, one-eyed pilot, Stuart Keith-Jopp, who was one of the first 30 men to join the ATA at its inception. He was also over 50 years old, a veteran of World War I, and an extraordinarily skilled and capable pilot who flew with the ATA until the war’s end. Click here if you want to read more about the ATA.

Wow. I can’t help but chuckle and be amazed. What brave people! (Especially the “assistant.”) I’m so grateful for their service. In this case the British knew how to put people to good use. …And aren’t you glad that God’s the same way? He uses all of us, despite our flaws and foibles–seen or invisible. There are no excuses for laziness because He can use us all for extraordinary purposes, despite ourselves.

Now, on my next flight somewhere, if I hear on the intercom, “This is Captain Turner, and we’ll be depart– ZZzzzz…” then I just might volunteer to be the “assistant.”

Falling for Fall

Ahhhh, this is a great time of year.

Some people plan months in advance for Christmas decorating; I practically salivate over fall. Come September as other people are squeezing out the last remnants of summer at Labor Day cookouts, I’m giddily pulling down my plastic bin stuffed with autumn leaf garlands and pumpkin-laden decorations. I’m oblivious to the fact that it’s still 95 degrees outside. In our house, it’s already autumn. I love the vibrant colored leaves, the chilly evenings, the sunlight that is a little softer, and the energy and excitement that the season brings.

It wasn’t always this way with me. In fact, until about the last ten years or so I reveled in summer’s heat and dreaded “sweater weather.” Do you see changes in your life–big or small–and wonder when the tide turned? In this case, I have no idea what changed me. …Perhaps it was a mission trip years ago to crisp, fragrant, appropriately-named Pine, Arizona. Perhaps it was marrying a man who adores fall. Perhaps it was discovering the joys of flavored cappuccinos. Or maybe it was realizing that 105-degree summer days really aren’t fun. Oh, well–it doesn’t matter if I figure it out. I’ll just concentrate on enjoying these wonderful, fleeting days of fall.

So…what is your favorite season?