Smoother Spelling

Good morning everyone,

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word is SMOOTH — an excellent, versatile word.

My dictionary claims this comes from the Old English smōth. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems English is the only language with a unique TH sound. And yet more, we’re blessed with two. Consider the SMOOTH TOOTH, for example. Do you have ny idea how much anguish these two sounds give ESL students?

It may have been much handier for learners — and certainly for spellers — had the ancients decided on separate spellings. FTH or THF for the one blown out and TH for the other — as in “this, that and the other” — which would make ‘tooth’ spelled toofth. Youngsters and people with missing teeth are apt to say “toof” anyway, and “fink” instead of think.

Back to things that are SMOOTH:
Once upon a time I took up the hobby of painting on rocks. Just bugs and such, as I don’t have access to the huge, smooth stones such as people by the ocean can find. With less than perfect stones you can use putty to fill in the dips and bumps, but rocks need to be tumbled in water for years, maybe even centuries, to polish them to a smooth roundness.

Beech & stone.Wokandapix
Art by Wokandapix  —  Pixabay

Along the Saskatchewan River, not so very far from us, there are rocks embedded in the soil on the hillsides, but the ones I see are chunky. Right here where we live the soil is classed as dune sand, a once-upon-a-time flood plain. You can dig down ten meters and rarely find a stone of any size. All this sand is great for purifying the rain-water that soaks in.

The water table is high, only about two metres down; the original settlers in this area dug their wells with a shovel. Now one enterprising young man has a high pressure water “drill” and drills holes for posts by washing out the sand and dirt mix. Talk about a smooth operation.

Freestyle

Good morning everyone! The sun is shining bright, the temp was -20 C first thing this morning and it did indeed feel cold! However, it’s expected to rise to -6 C by this afternoon, which means spring-like snow-melting in the sunshine. 🙂

Our Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is FREESTYLE.

Not a word I’m very acquainted with, though I have heard of freestyle skating. According to Merriam Webster, FREESTYLE is used in connection with some sports competition where more than usual liberty of movement is allowed at such events.

When I Google “freestyle verse” I see that this indicates some types of music (rap?) and I wonder if “freestyle verse” isn’t also used to describe the flowing, un-rhymed type of poetry so common now?

Oxford English Dictionary claims it can be used as a verb, too, meaning:
To dance, perform, or compete in an improvised or unrestricted fashion.

My Word of the day, which I’ve just posted over at Word Buds, is VICARIOUS. I can say that I derive a vicarious thrill out of watching young and energetic sorts participating in active sports, but I am happy to cheer from the sidelines. Today I shall expend my energy sitting at the sewing machine, piecing together a blanket top. I’ll see how fast and how well I can do it — with no freestyle inserting of odd patches here and there. 🙂

Back on Track

We have a beautiful spring-like afternoon here in Saskatchewan. Our temperatures have risen above 0 C and the cats are loitering outside in the sunshine. A sweet promise of days to come.

After December’s side-track, I’m again working at my ATCUSS* goal. This week I’ve been doing more cleaning/tossing out in my sewing room, as well as some minor mending. (*ATCUSS: A Total Clean-Up of my Sewing Space.)
We live in a mobile home and there’s just not much room to store things — never mind half-finished things. Ungrateful soul that I am, some days I look around and think:
Stuff, stuff, stuff!
Where to save it?
Where to store it?
No, stuff it. Stuff it!
Blessing from Heaven:
those green garbage bags!

The Envelope

Seagulls walk on days like this, I thought as the wind hustled me down the city sidewalk. I kept my mouth shut against the blender of dust, last year’s leaves, bird poo and bug bits swirling around me. I’d be glad to head home to supper and a warm shower.

A piece of paper — no, an envelope — twirled past me, tick-ticking as bounced off the concrete. I glanced over my shoulder to see if anyone was pursuing it, but it appeared to be unaccompanied on its outing.

At one point it flopped on the sidewalk, exhausted, but when I caught up with it the wind sent it sailing again, sweeping it over the traffic and into the next block. It didn’t have to wait for the WALK light like I did.

A queue had formed at the bus stop; there I noticed the envelope had landed again. A teen boy stepped on it, oblivious, working his thumbs on his cell phone. I heard the beep, beep of an electronic game. He looked up only long enough to board the bus and flash his pass.

I snatched up the envelope before anyone else could step on it, then looked around to see if anyone was running after it. Nada. I boarded, waved my bus pass at the driver and found a seat. As the bus pulled away I examined the envelope. No stamp, so it wasn’t mailed. But it was sealed and there was obviously a letter inside.

The insignia at the top left said “Delorme & Pederson, Attorneys at Law.” Hmm… Across the front, written in a neat script, was the name, Mrs. Amy Allen. That’s it.

I sighed a prayer. Lord, how can I get this back to Amy Allen? Would she be listed in the phone book directory? What if the phone’s under her husband’s name? Why couldn’t it be Kathy Klompenhaus or Gloria Ganucci?

Oh, well. Best return it to the lawyers — impressively stamped by a teen’s sneaker — and let them deal with it.

At home I set the envelope on the counter to drop off in the morning and set about making supper. My husband Kelly would be home in half an hour and needed a quick meal before his meeting this evening. And I’d promised myself a shower to wash off all this street dust.

I don’t spend much time on Kijiji; occasionally I skim through the Hobbies & Crafts column to see if someone’s selling scrap-booking supplies á la cheap. Alone this evening, I felt an urge to go online and see if there’d be any interesting offers.

I scrolled through the first page of ads and was on the second when an ad piqued my interest. For sale: six rubber stamps. Hmm… I clicked on the ad and read it through, then my jaw dropped as I read: Contact Amy Allen, 304-3622.

It can’t be the same one. I grabbed the phone and punched in the number.

“Hello?”

My words tumbled out. “Hi. I saw your ad for rubber stamps and I’m interested. But I also need to know…are you that Amy…? I mean…did you lose a letter in the wind today?”

“A letter? You found my letter?” She sounded shocked.

“I found one, sent from Delorme & Pederson, addressed to Amy Allen.”

“Oh, thank goodness! I was hoping and praying it would turn up somehow,” she exclaimed. “I picked it up at my lawyer’s office today, but it blew out of my hand and I had no idea how I’d ever find it again! I’m being called as witness in a lawsuit.”

“I didn’t know how I’d locate you, either, until I saw your ad on Kijij. Are you home this evening? I’ll bring the letter over.”

“Thank you so much,” she said. “I’ll put on some coffee, if you’d like some.”

“That would be great. Do you do a lot of scrap-booking?”

“Not so much lately. And you can have these stamps if you want them. They can be my payment for a SPECIAL DELIVERY letter. Thank you so much for grabbing it!”