70 thoughts on “Monuments and Signs”

      1. Why, thank you! I was surprised to achieve it at all. I thought someone would have beat me. I was reading something else on my tablet when the email popped up and had to finish that first. Good thing I had finished Harry Potter (yes, I’m little late to the game reading them) otherwise I wouldn’t have been first.

        1. Because of fundy mentality I was late in reading the series too – and never read it to my kids (born 1990’s), which I consider to be a sin greater than most I have done. They have since read it, but we missed the midnight release of books and all the excitement of seeing the movies in the theater. I finished Deathly Hallows three months ago – so awesome.

        2. I just started in on HP and I’m 27. And I can’t share my excitement about this series because I’m still surrounded by fundies. Sigh…

        3. Worse than HP, my biggest regret was never getting to read The Hobbit or LOTR growing up. And I missed all the LOTR movies in theaters.

          I remember when I saw the first trailer for the hobbit movie I cried, not just out of excitement of a new Tolkien movie, but that I’d get to experience it on the big screen. I went to the midnight premier of Hobbit:AUJ and that is still one of my most treasured memories.

        4. I’ve still Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows to read. I’ve been borrowing them from the library and they’re still popular because I’m having to put a hold on a copy. I love the fact that our public library is part of the county library system so you can request books from any library in the county if my library is out. I’d read Chamber of Secrets back in college (Fall of 2001) but couldn’t remember much of it. It’s insteresting to read them now, especially since all the movies have been made.

          I’m not sure I want to watch the movies but have seen bits on Youtube. Fred and George Weasley are my favorite characters which is funny because if I had gone to school with pranksters like them, I would have hated them. Now I find them very funny and laugh out loud at their antics.

        5. You aren’t the only one late to Mr Potter. I have the last book left. One of my daughters read the series, the other never did, but after seeing the movies probably will. They are in their mid 20s. They didn’t read them younger, mostly because they were reading so much else they just didn’t get around to them.

        6. I fear a cage – so sorry! But you’ll make it up in other ways. Hobbit:BFA comes out on DVD tomorrow!! – able to get it?

        7. Dwelling in Imladris – I caught all the Hobbit movies in Theaters and that was great fun. I’m hoping they’ll bring LOTR out again in theaters one day

          I’m waiting for the extended edition BoFA DVD this Fall. (Hoping the EE will clear up some of the disappointment for some of the things that did & did not happen in the final installment. )

        8. My 6th grade English teacher read one or two of the early HP books to the class, and I really didn’t care for them. Probably a mix of poor listening skills and all the anti-HP propaganda. After reading so many positive comments from SFLers, I suppose I have no excuse now.

        9. Pacbox- While “reading” Goblet of Fire on audiobook while commuting, I realized the download had glitched and I lost half a chapter. Of course it was a key plot twist. My next off day I went upstairs to the kids section of the library, found a copy, and sat at one of the small tables reading Harry Potter.
          I wondered what I looked like to other people. 52, graying, with a mustache that dropped below my chin.

          Not that I really care.

        10. I was late to the game reading HP, but my children are not. My oldest two children have read all of the books multiple times. It is at the point that my middle child has become a book snob and refuses to read any other books. I am currently reading book four with my youngest and they all three are planning an dressing up as wizards for Halloween.

        11. Dear I fear a cage:

          Since I’ve not seen your moniker until today, welcome to Stuff Fundies Like!

          Congrats on expanding your literary horizons!

          Nothing good can come from reading the likes of Rowling because she is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Then again, it has been said that if she approached them at their pub table, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein would pull out a chair for her and invite her to join them for beer. That’s high praise in my book.

          Christian Socialist

        12. Christian Socialist, I assume the drinking party you mention is hypothetical.
          C.S. Lewis: Died 1963.
          J.R.R. Tolkien: Died 1973.
          J.K. Rowling: Born 1965.

      2. I had first read LOTR in Jr High. I had already read the Narnia books. I introduced them to my kids young, and they all enjoyed them.
        When the anti Harry Potter silliness was going on, I would have people at work ask me about it. I’d tell them I hadn’t read them, but they probably weren’t much different from other things my kids read. At church when people would start discussing it, I would ask if they had read them, then ask why if they were bad because of the witches would they allow their children to watch Disney movies. Most of those old classics involved witches and magic.

        Good old Fundy cognitive dissonance.

        1. I bucked the system when it came to books and my kids. Growing up I read everything I could get my hands on. Mostly it was pretty dry stuff but that didn’t bother me. At school I was only allowed one book a week from the library but when I hit high school I spent as much spare time as I could in the library, devouring books indiscriminately. I read fantasy, sci fi, history, even romance, lol. It was heavenly. I couldn’t take them home but I could keep them in my locker and get in a page or two between classes. I vowed never to starve my kids like that.

        2. My folks are both avid readers, and I grew up going to the library. I would read anything that looked remotely interesting. I didn’t check out as much from the school library, since we went to the public library so often. I still do. I was there yesterday. Our library has a wall of books for sale. Some donated, some old from the stacks. I got there as the guy was refilling it. Three more books on the stack to read. When I finish my book on the history of Chess or T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, I’ll start the Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe or Palmer’s book on the rules of golf.
          Actual books.
          I’ll admit to cheating according to some purists, but I consider it reading. I go through quit a few books as audio books. With a 6o mile each way work commute, I usually “read” fiction on my drive. I just, through the library, downloaded Deathly Hallows. I’m finishing another series also. I ‘m open to new series ideas. ideas.

        3. I’m an unrepentant Bookworm. My younger brother said I’d read wallpaper if I had nothing else.

        4. My Grampa’s bathroom wallpaper was black and white reproduction advertisements for tempting, “All fuch as be well affected to further their fame”, to sail for the new world. I did read the wallpaper

        5. Oh, yes, MiriamD, as a kid I used to devour books too, Some were better with lots of sauce.

        6. Paul, my mom used to tease us about reading anything, including all of the words on the cereal boxes. To this day, in my 50s, I find myself doing that. If there is anything with writing lying about, I’m liable to read it. My kids are just as bad, and somehow I find I’m to blame for their addiction.

          That could be one reason we do so well on trivia nights, and most of us (there are 7 of us brothers) are “go-to” answer guys when our work mates are stumped for obscure facts and answers. Well, that and we seem to have a knack for remembering the more interesting but useless information. If I could only remember the things I need to know at work as easily.

        1. I like Frost, and remember this one from high school. Just recently I quoted it in Children’s Church to show how cool poetry can be. I was explaining how the Psalmists use poetry to convey messages, and the beauty of a well written poem.
          I’m not the normal teacher (in more ways than one) but the regular was sick and the back-up out of town. I learned I was teaching 10 minutes into the service, so I just kind of winged it. We used Psalm 19:1, because I knew it had come up in a puppet show the kids had seen earlier, so I expanded on the beautiful creation God has given us.

  1. I read the poem first, then posted. Now that I have read the hover text, I don’t believe you owe an apology. Two reasons I have for that are, one it’s your blog and the second is poetry is often a good way to make a point.

    1. “…itโ€™s your blog and the second is poetry is often a good way to make a point”

      Was going to say roughly the same thing. Post whatever you want, Darrell – it’s your blog.

      1. To misquote the Isley brothers:

        It’s your blog, do what you want to do.
        I can’t tell you, who to sock it to.

        1. I keep telling you’re saying it wrong. It’s pronounced, HOW ‘BOUT THEM DAWGS!

          That was a privilege of being a Townie. Oldies station preset on the truck radio, with no one spying on me regularly.

        2. Uncle W. Always envied you townies but then you never felt the adrenalin rush while operating under the cover of darkness…Roll Tide!!

        3. Confession time:

          One night while at BJU circa ’93ish, me & another aviation guy rolled out on our motorcyc les. Why? Well, Petra was playing at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, that’s why. Sweet liberty. Had to duck our heads by the entrance though because yet ano ther aviation student was there–protesting the eeeevil Christian rock. Who knows? Maybe that was his excuse to go on “extension” and duck into the concert later.

          Some obscure band called “Newsboys” was opening for Petra that night.

          Fun times.

          Yeah, always want ed to be a truly liberated townie though.

  2. Hey, nice job! Really well written with a rhyme scheme that does not feel overly labored. It was a nice change of pass to read your poem.

  3. The more I read it, the more I see flashes from my past. Not so much my upbringing, but others very close in the family.
    Darrell, you have given much reason to sit back and reflect. I refuse to have regrets, but if I had it to do over again with the insights I have as an empty-nester, I would do some things differently. And that’s with A LOT fewer rules for my kids than I had during my middle years at home, or some of their peers had.

    I wish I had been quicker to listen and slower to punish. I’ve spoken separately to each of the kids about this, and asked their forgiveness, even though they insist it isn’t necessary. They say it wasn’t too bad, and they still like me. We see each other as often as possible. that Skype thing helps, too.

    1. My family is more than a bit nutty and we definitely have our problems. But one of the things that I think saved us is that my parents have admitted to some mistakes and apologised for them. All parents make mistakes, and I find it sad that some try and take the whole authority nonsense so far that they will never admit it to their kids. You sound like an awesome bloke.

  4. Darrell , I took the liberty of posting this on my FaceBook page. I hope you don’t mind.

  5. There once was a man named Fred,
    Who bumped his head on a bed;
    He went out of town,
    Then fell on the ground,
    And that was the end of poor Fred.

    Mrs. Fowler’s 5th grade class, circa 1975

    In retrospect, I could tweak this to be more applicable to just about any fundy Fred out there, particular the Freds we here are more familiar with.

    However, since I am a purist when it comes to poetry, I’ll have to retain the highbrow quality of this limerick.

    1. Paul Best,

      You may post this on your Facebook page as well. You have my permission. And I don’t blame you for wanting to do so.


      1. A psychiatrist fellow from Rye
        Went to visit a colleague, close by,
        Who said with a grin,
        As he welcomed him in,
        “Hello, Smith! You’re all right. How am I?”
        (Not to blame)

  6. It seems like a good poem to me & very communicative. Very appropriately evocative of Ozymandias, given the delusions of grandeur suffered among the fundies!

  7. I found powerful the theme of endlessly doing and striving, trying to prove something, and never being satisfied when love would have been the answer.

    How we all need compassion. And how hard it can be in the daily grind of life to remember to look past the idiosyncracies and annoyances of the people around us and to care about them.

  8. Darrell, I just realized the garments in your new avatar are a copy of my attire in mine. Glad to influence you.
    I assume you tied the tie. All of mine are real. I wear them regularly for church, and often add a vest.

      1. I have a pamphlet that belonged to my great grandfather, or possibly his father, bemoaning the fact that men were coming to the (PB’s) assembly in clothing that was not properly sober and further more they tip-tapped their way in with their silver tipped canes and distracted the eye and mind with their glittering ornaments. For shame.

        1. Miriam, that says more about the distractibility of the mind and heart, and the priorities of the writer than the “sins” of the transgressor. I have always found that pamphlets like that *always* say more about the writer than the target.

        2. Very true, Paul. I suspect that if the men were dressed in unrelieved black the same people would have found something to complain about. In fundyism, the lines are never in pleasant places.

      2. My wife won’t let me have a top hat. I stick to fedoras (older style, not these sissy small brim current ones) or a Greek fisherman’s cap among others.

  9. That made me a bit teary. I can’t tell you how often throughout my life I’ve just wanted someone to hug me. Fortunately, my SO loves hugging me, so I get a lot of those now. But there were some pretty lonely years… Fundyism is filled, I’m pretty sure, with sad, lonely people who are to afraid to let anybody get close enough to fill that need for human companionship. It’s a lonely, isolating place to be.

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