perceptible by the senses or intellect
Other than those substitutions, and the syncopated thump-thump-boom of remixed gospel songs, the only thing
discernibly Christian about Tandy’s workouts were the warm-up and cool-down meditations, wherein she would use the Word to motivate us toward our fitness goals.
an inclination to do something
The worst thing about the sticky hands was their
propensity for collecting tiny fibers and hairs, dust, muck, and the difficulty of properly cleaning them after that happened.
suggestive of an elf in strangeness and otherworldliness
I had determined, after the first few sessions, that even with my dead parents, Steve’s textbook lisp and unyielding
fey ways, and Mark’s preacher dad, we three couldn’t really compete with Dane and Helen...
call forth, as an emotion, feeling, or response
Usually she’d then ask some sort of question intended to
elicit a lengthy response, but that day, with Mark waiting patiently, his giant Bible on his lap with literally hundreds of page markers and slips of paper protruding from it like feathers, she said, “Is there something specific you’d like to focus on this week, Mark?”
wild and menacing
His face just looked, in that moment,
praise, glorify, or honor
“And lest I should be
exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be
exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”
strike, beat repeatedly
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to
buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”
ask for or request earnestly
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I
besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”
the state of being weak in health or body
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
a mild rebuke or criticism
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in
reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
When Adam walked into the dining hall alone, there were obvious glances and whispers from the
cliques in the food line and those already pulled up to a table, starting in on their mac ’n’ cheese with cut-up hot dogs and a side of green beans and canned pears.
force with the thumb
I kept seeing these flashes of Mark with all of these Biblical kinds of tortures applied to him, his eyes
gouged out or his hands impaled, and not knowing wasn’t making it easier: “Did he do it in front of you?”
having great mass and weight and unwieldiness
I already knew why they hadn’t: It was much faster just to drive him than to wait for one to get all the way out to Promise, but I was just trying to think of things to say because I didn’t know what else to do and I didn’t want to sit there in silence with Rick looking one of his
ponderous looks at me.
having both male and female characteristics
Rick didn’t call me Cam, nobody was supposed to at Promise, because it was, according to Lydia, an even more masculine adaptation of my already
not concerned with or devoted to religion
It was one of like three
secular films in the Promise video library, but I couldn’t lose myself to it with so many red- and puffy-eyed disciples in there watching together and breathing and shifting around on the couches, the floor.
an inoffensive expression substituted for an offensive one
“Comprehensive plan? Are we building a deck or escaping? Let’s just go. I’ll steal the van keys—seriously. Right now we do it. We could be in Canada by morning, all-you-can eat Canadian bacon. Now there’s a
euphemism for you.”
feeling or showing profound respect or veneration
“I can't believe I don’t have my camera,” Jane said again, her voice almost
found in the ordinary course of events
He started with a series of
mundane questions: How often do you eat meals?
giving careful attention to detail
Maybe I picked him because I thought he would have to take me seriously, whatever I said, he seemed so
fastidious and by the book, and he also seemed, precisely because of his position and that fastidiousness, a little nonjudgmental, I guess.
become of; happen to
She didn’t write anything about possibly doubting the treatment I was receiving, or blaming it, or worrying that a similar fate might
characteristic of country life
I know all the reasons why people say stuff like that, the good-natured kidding about a state you’re actually completely in love with; the
folksy way of articulating the suffocating qualities of a seemingly endless Montana winter and the dry heat and annoyances of the summer that so soon follows; the way a saying like that encapsulates just how present the natural world is in Montana, and how aware of it you are—the sky, the land, the weather, all of it.
a comedy characterized by broad satire
“It’s such a
farce. Did I ever tell you that Lydia did her studying at Cambridge? And she looks the other way while they have us apply to the University of Christ on a Cross.”
a manifestation of God's foresightful care for his creatures
“Actually, I think it’s
providence,” Jane said fast.
dangerous to health
But they pulled a small one off her thigh (she's had them there before, you remember) and that one was
malignant (the bad kind), so they have to give her some radiation to kill the cancer cells there.
knowledge gained through tradition or anecdote
Just picking that as my subject made me feel sort of close to my mom and her work at the museum, but then I decided to research Quake Lake as my specific topic, to really find out all the history of its formation and how the facts might differ from family
lore, and so Bethany’s find was very, very timely.
troubled persistently, especially with petty annoyances
harried men in untucked shirts hoisting stretchers with bandaged people on them; crowds of onlookers come to view the damage, their big-finned cars lining the sides of the nonruined highways...
quiet, timid, and ineffectual
mousy mother carrying a kitten, the eldest daughter with her arms folded across her chest, refusing to look at the camera but smiling a shy smile off to the side...
a firm rebuke
But the thing was that her near-constant
admonitions actually made me like her more.
having or displaying great dignity or nobility
Her voice was sort of
lofty and speechified, as though she was talking into a handheld tape recorder for all of posterity and not to the person sitting across a picnic table from her, the person about whom the claims were being made.
all future generations
Her voice was sort of lofty and speechified, as though she was talking into a handheld tape recorder for all of
posterity and not to the person sitting across a picnic table from her, the person about whom the claims were being made.
without any attempt at concealment; completely obvious
Choosing to hide the cottage-cheese containers when you knew that they would be easily found was one thing, but then continuing to hide them even after you had decoration privileges and they were no longer contraband was a
blatant cry for help.
spread or diffuse through
You chose to try to
imbue them with significance by hiding them.
liable to sudden unpredictable change
We lay in that strangeness for minutes and minutes, the furnace kicking on, turning off, kicking on, the way it does in the spring when the temperature is
the act of postponing or remitting punishment
...she was granting her a weekend
reprieve to celebrate the completion of her finals and the progress she’d been making in her one-on-ones.
shabby and untidy
Sometimes it wasn’t a hotel at all, but instead a
seedy motel sandwiched between a truck stop and an all-night diner...
old and twisted and covered in lines
Still they rose up out of the water, like
gnarled walking sticks left behind by a race of giants.
an expert able to appreciate a field
Adam stooped over the ground, hunting for smooth stones, skipping stones, I could tell, the way he
connoisseured what he plucked: flat rocks, most about palm size.
“Is it okay to skip this? I don’t want to
trivialize the situation or whatever.”
obvious to the eye or mind
Not wanting to look
conspicuous as we’d headed off on our hike, we’d each brought only one school-size backpack of belongings and supplies.
make off with belongings of others
For a moment he put his hand on my bare shoulder, and then he walked past me back into the forest to gather sticks. Jane set out our
pilfered food supplies, both of them busy with their little jobs.