short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thinking Literally

Understanding things literally is something that Mr. Spock on Star Trek does. It is also something that my Mommy does. I do not know if it is because she is a detail-oblivious type or if there is another reason. Anyway, that's probably why she is gullible and why she drove the deuce-and-a-half.

Apparently, she has always taken things literally. At least, that's what my aunts and uncles tell me. I can give you an example of that, too.

When she was a little girl, according to my grown-up relatives, she was very active in a number of youth organizations. One of those was the Junior Grange. The Junior Grange is for kids up to age 16, when they can join the regular Grange. It is mostly found in small towns and rural areas.

When Mommy was ten, she was Master of the Junior Grange. That is the highest office there is. As Master, she had to lead the meetings.

That year, my Mommy's Junior Grange was voted as the best in the state. That meant, that all the officers had to go the state capitol to the New Hampshire State Grange meeting and put on the "degree," a special kind of meeting. Mommy and her friends did that. There were lots of really important people at the New Hampshire State Grange meeting.

At the end of the meeting, the matron—that is the adult person who acts as an advisor to the Junior Grange members—told Mommy that she should now have some of the bigwigs speak. Mommy did not understand what bigwigs were. Mommy had never been out of the Maine-New Hampshire area, but she did a lot of reading, and she knew that there were all kinds of different groups of people in the world. So, instead of thinking that the matron was speaking figuratively, she took her literally, figuring that there might be a special group of people called bigwigs.

"Would any bigwigs in the room like to speak?" asked Mommy. The matron looked very embarrassed, and no one stood up to speak. They said that the year Mommy presided over the degree was the only year that no one spoke at the joint New Hampshire State Grange-Junior Grange meeting.

Conclusion: Sometimes asking is better than thinking.

This story is excerpted from a collection of vignettes that I helped Doah, my severely mentally challenged youngest son, to write and publish several years ago (copyright 2003). It was my attempt to help him understand literacy and the purpose of writing and reading.

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About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.