Word Nerd Gets a Cabin Fever Fix: Adjusting to Life in My Hometown

(Following is my column, which appeared in the Tues., Aug. 6th edition of the Devils Lake Journal http://www.devilslakejournal.com/ where I sell ads and write stories.  For more info about my hometown of Devils Lake, North Dakota, visit http://www.devilslakend.com/)

My cabin fever I wrote about last week has been assuaged for now through a couple of trips to Grand Forks and a weekend at Little Wolf Lake near Bemidji with some college pals I hadn’t seen in 25 years. Assuage is a word you don’t hear very often. So when I was thinking about using it, I had to look it up in the dictionary. I am word nerd. I love words, and I thoroughly enjoy looking words up in the dictionary!

My love of words and books began at a young age. When I was a kid I loved all kinds of books, including the Dr. Seuss books – The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and the one about the Sneetches. I was a regular at the old Carnegie Library, starting out in the children’s area in the basement and eventually working my way to the second floor as I got older. I utilized the summer reading program, and I also remember walking home from the library in the late afternoon on crisp fall days, just itching to get home to crack open the books I had just checked out.

Although I miss the old Carnegie library, the new Lake Region Public Library is very spiffy, and when I first moved back to Devils Lake last spring, I utilized its zippy computers for job hunting. Being a word nerd, I’ve been a library user all of my life, and I always locate the local library when I move to a new locale. In fact, I worked at a library in Highlands Ranch, Colo., during which time I also worked at a Borders book store, fulfilling a lifelong dream of working at a book store.

So getting back to assuage. The dictionary says it means “make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense” or “satisfy.” So I think it’s the perfect word when describing my cabin fever being somewhat alleviated.

Speaking of words, my parents still own a set of 1962 World Book encyclopedias. Pops/Fast Eddie still references them on occasion, most recently to look up mongoose, which is the brand of my bike on which Fast Eddie recently replaced a tire. Page 604 of the M encyclopedia says mongoose, wedged between mongolism and Monica, Saint, is, among other things, “related to the civet and the ichneumon.” Huh?! The I encyclopedia says an ichneumon is “a small flesh eating animal that looks like a weasel” and apparently resides in Egypt. Of course considering these encyclopedias are 50 years old the ichneumon just might be extinct.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Devils Lake, north dakota and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s