If you wood …

The “plank,” known in lumber yards and yoga classes alike. (Photo provided — Adobe stock image)

It’s wood season in the Adirondacks. Chopping it, splitting it, burning it … it gets more attention than many spouses.

I never realized how much trees and, more specifically, wood, was a part of our lives until I was living in Adirondack Park. The word “Adirondack” itself translates from the Mohawk tribe’s language to mean “they who eat trees.”

Whether it’s twig decorations, log cabins or rustic McMansions, so much is built from trees and wood up here.

That includes the good old English language.

Yep. When you think about it, (as only idea-starved writers do), you’ll be amazed … okay, maybe not amazed, perhaps slightly amused, at how many of the words we use each day are plucked from trees and wood, providing more than oxygen and souvenir salt and pepper shakers. They’ve created a lexicon all their own. Check it out:

When a performer’s act is over, what do they do? He or she leaves the stage.

And when I get a new Duluth Trading catalogue in the mail I might leaf through it.

Take any yoga class and one of the first things you’ll be instructed to do is something called a plank.

Big banks like Bank of America can’t have headquarters in every city under the sun, so they have branches.

It’s absolutely astonishing what orthopedic medicine is doing with prosthetic limbs these days.

My grandson told me elephants like to travel because they have trunks. I told him, no, that’s what they go swimming in!

My dogs bark … at anything.

One of my neighbors, Cal, has a bum leg, so instead of walking, he lumbers.

His wife, Evelyn, is a huge Facebook fan. I find her on there whenever I log on.

After a long hike, you can almost sit and watch my calves knot up in front of your eyes.

My cousin, Peter, once did one of those DNA tests to investigate our roots.

He told me confidentially that he found a lot of crazies in our family tree.

My sister-in-law will believe anything. She’s such a sap.

I love to needle her about that.

The only Christmas music I can stand to listen to is sung by burl Ives.

Sometimes I’m humbled to think that, with this column, the fruits of my labor might end up lining the bottom of a bird cage.

My cousin, Owen, and his wife, Melody, make an odd sort of couple. He’s kind of a stump of a guy and she’s such a twig.

They’re huge New York Jets fans, and pine for a winning season.

A few years back, the Jets held one in the palms of their hands and blew it.

Once in a while, I have the tendency to take a simple concept like this and beat it to a pulp.

Okay, okay … you get the idea. And there are more words that emerge from those dense providers of shade, baseball bats and end tables. Feel free to think of others …it’s fun!

Now many folks might read this column and think that I took the easy way out. That a column about words doesn’t constitute a real column of words. They might say I didn’t give this week’s submission much thought … just slapped it together and ran.

Such accusations go against my grain and attack the very fiber of my being.

— — —

Jack Cardone is a resident of Piercefield. He’s retired after working as a creative director at a major New York City advertising agency for over 40 years. Have feedback on this column? Email us at news@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.


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