I love words. I love learning new words, and I especially love learning how they came to be. In honor of my love of words, I’m going to attempt to be very disciplined and post a Word of the Week. Since today is Monday, and since I’m holed up here on the couch with some post-holiday illness, here is this week’s word:
\ dih-SKRY \ , transitive verb;
1. To catch sight of, especially something distant or obscure; to discern.
2. To discover by observation; to detect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 03 Jan. 2011. <Dictionary.comhttp://dictionary.reference.com/browse/descry>.
I thought it might be helpful to illustrate the meaning of this word. So, please indulge me while I tell you a little story.
We have cats. We did not choose to have cats, nor do these cats actually belong to us. Who knows where the first one came from. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that there was a first one, and clearly, somewhere along the way, there was a second one, too. Because in the past several years, there has been an explosion of cats. I’ve counted upwards of eight cats lounging on the deck of the house across the street, which is where these cats originated. I’m guessing that since we are the only house within a 1/2-mile radius without a dog in the yard, our back deck has become a welcome oasis when the cats are out doing what cats do.
It all began a couple of years ago on New Year’s Eve. One of those cats decided to go exploring. Whether or not that cat was encouraged into our yard by one of the neighboring dogs is inconsequential. The fact of the matter is that she found her way into our yard and onto our back deck. That this happened during our annual New Year’s Eve party served her very well. She showed up when I was at my weakest. My children spied her, fed her, and now I have about a thousand pictures of kittens in an album in iPhoto …
Some wonderful friends ultimately adopted all four kittens. My children would have loved to keep lovely Luna (the mom), and she was a most wonderful housecat; however, all members of a household must want a cat in order for the household to remain at peace. Therefore, lovely Luna had to find a new home. Long story shortened: I found a wonderful cat rescuer who took her in, fell in love with her and is now keeping her as a permanent resident. Luna is living a luxurious life, and I guess she knew what she was doing when she showed up on our back deck that New Year’s Eve.
Back to the Word of the Week.
We have more cats. Apparently, Luna has been corresponding with the cats across the street, because a number of them (six at last count) have been regularly visiting our back deck. My children, thinking we’ve started a new tradition, set up a cozy little box for them.
What does this have to do with the word “descry?” Well, the Cats on the Deck have made it their personal mission to always know where I am in the house. But if I’m sneaky, I can catch a glimpse of them without them noticing. You might even say that if I cleverly peer through the rail of the deck, I might descry the cats without being detected!
Then again, if the floor should happen to creak, or if I should accidentally knock into the window while trying to adjust the tripod …
… this happens.
Through the glare of the window, and the murky depths of the kitchen, I have been descried.
Then again, perhaps it wasn’t me they were looking for. It could be that as they press their little noses up to the window, they detect movement in the shadows. Perhaps it is this they descry …
… a tasty morsel, should they have their way. Another reason why lovely Luna had to move on.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the Word of the Week. Check back next Monday to see if I’ve managed to stick to my plan. In the meantime, here’s a little extra cuteness to hold you over: