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Gentle Virtues


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10/01/2012 - Ever since my oldest son acquired a '71 VW Bug, I have been hooked

on these little cars. It doesn't matter if one is restored or ridden with rust; a

Bug turns my head. Their headlights, simple steering wheels, puttering

engines and the sound of their horns make me smile. But there is one thing I

do not like about it (or any car for that matter) and that is a stuck horn

blaring in the night. No matter how sweet a Bug can sound with a tap or

two, it is annoying if the horn ring gets stuck.

This happened recently. (Sorry, neighbors!) Luckily, I didn't have to

use my extremely limited mechanical know-how. My son knew what to do

and quickly restored our block to its peace and quiet.

Monotony is like a horn stuck in place. It's annoying and it can easily

override our peace and quiet. Why, it can drive us buggy! The word

monotony comes from two Greek words, one meaning "one" and the other

meaning "sound". Literally it means "one sound''

Noah Webster in the 1828 American Dictionary of the English

Language defines monotony as "sameness''. The definition, like monotony,

lacks excitement. No good time here.

Have you ever used the saying "Samo Samo"? If so, you used the

Gothic language to say, "the same sameness'' thus adequately expressing the

repetition of more repetition.

While monotony is annoying, it has a purpose. Like a blaring horn, it

can get our attention and remind us that our minds and lives need variety.

By making a few simple changes, we can forgo feeling stuck.

In my home, monotony sometimes shows up during meal times. My

family's weak smiles let me know that they have had too much spaghetti or

tacos lately. It's the kicker for me to recall other options such as fajitas,

manicotti, sweet and sour chicken, salmon patties, corned beef and turkey a l

la king. With that motivation, I also look for less familiar cheeses,

vegetables, fruits and grains to enjoy. My family (and my taste buds) thank


Be encouraged. Monotony can be silenced inexpensively. Our public

library can generously supply us with interesting books, CDs, videos,

magazines, programs and classes for us to enjoy individually and as a

family. Our many packs, big and small, noticeable and secluded, are

available for us to picnic, sled, exercise and just be.

Our lives don't have to be monotonous. We can be responsible and

still have fun. It doesn't take a lot of money -- just a creative approach.

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Chris Walsh

Creature Comforts

Toy Town

Ark Animal Hospital
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