Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rooting for the Cause for All of Us

You pick your battles. You fight your wars.

State Senator Wendy Davis from Fort Worth has picked her war. All I could do was call her state office and give my support.

She is fighting the most restrictive abortion policy in the country. It is inches from being approved, and she is filibustering. 13 hours. She cannot pee, drink or eat for the 13 hours she is on the floor.

The law would make every abortion clinic in the state meet daytime surgery restrictions. The cost would be exorbitant. It is not necessary medically. It would leave 5 of 42 clinics standing. Most of you have no idea how big Texas is. Think : five clinics for at least the entire Northeast and Carolinas. Sorry. Texas really is that big. You want to see this happen?

I don't.  And the only deterrant is a slender Texas woman who has to survive till midnight without food, water,or a bathroom.

For so many women, I hope she makes it. If she doesn't, she is still another Texas hero.


And she did with the help of two other women in the legislature.  All three fought hard for Texas women.  Now we are waiting to see if, with a very tight state budget, Gov. Rick Perry will call another emergency session to pass this bill.  If he does so, it is an egregious move.

He called the session. This man wants to win at any price.  What a travesty.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

An Exuberance of Crepe Myrtles

Crepe myrtles always are nice plants. Well behaved, they don't spread where not wanted, they bloom on schedule, they even turn color  in the foliage in the fall. Lovely bushes that can range from four fee to 12 feet, depending on the plant.

This year in North Texas, they are fabulous.

The blooms are so heavy, I can see very little of the foliage. All over  town  the streets, gardens, public buildings, the crepe myrtles are startling in their beauty. Splashes of vivid pink, red, and purple all over the place.


The plants are rooted deep, so they can't dance around. This year, though, with massive bloom they are celebrating the rain, the long cool spring and the pleasant days. They are glowing with life, making us humans around them smile. Those that notice, at least. It literally puzzles me that so many don't look, don't see, don't care.  All of us are different. That's a wonderful thing.

All I have to do is look and listen. Beauty is around me all the time. I still remember a patch of clover one morning years ago  when I was so sad I thought I might die from it. The sun came out and here was a patch of clover with dew drops glistening in the sun, better than diamonds. And I stopped and just loved  that patch. I said thank you.

The rest of my day went better. I still hurt back then. The beauty of the clover and dew drops carried me through. That may not work for you. Something else does,   My suspicion is it has to be something using the five senses, because humans are hardwired for environment. Running, yoga, gardening, swimming, boating, shooting, hiking. Something physical. Something  that takes you into your surroundings while focusing on--something special.

 I have a friend who is so allergic to most growing things she cannot share my joy in flowers.  She's a wonderful cook and we both exult over wonderful vegetables. She doesn't know what she is missing.  I have monocular vision. I don't know what I miss either. My depth perception often sucks. Both of us celebrate what we can see, feel, experience.

For me the exuberance of the flowers this year is a reason for celebration.

Hope you notice something in your own life today, this week, this month, that makes your own life a celebration.  Look for it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

When I was 7 or 8 years old, I met my Aunt Sophie-- really, great-aunt....who was 92. She gave me an embroidered quilt she had finished in 1837. She said she made one for each of us nieces.

She told me my great-uncle Ed, as a child, had hidden from Quantrell's Raiders in the corn fields.

MY family always was free. My family is white. My family came into this country to go to  the Dakotas, Minnisota. The Civil War did not involve them.

I keep  thinking about that. On the radio, I heard a woman say slavery ended 100 years ago, and black people should just get over it. If, in 1952, my relatives were still remembering  events from the Civil War, were influenced by it, how could black  persons not also be affected.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Past, Present Future, Always good, Present is Best.

Where are you in the ability to sympathize?

I am not trying to downgrade anyone. In our ability to support, we need to know what we can do.

We need to value, always, our ability to empathize or sympathize. If we can do either, we know other people who can hurt are around us. Some of us know this, but cannot feel it. That's sad. Because usually, it's not fixable.

If you feel it,if you know it, aw, maybe you can grow. And do something.

Then  some have been blessed with little loss, others with much more. Is losing a longtime dog friend equal to losing a human friend? I have lost both, and the human hurt so much more. I haven't lost a cat. Lost a horse once.

As we live, we lose, and we gain.

I miss people, animals I have lost, but they are part of how I love people, animals, in my future caretaking.

And present. Animals, people around me, Grass that needs to be cut, Herbs abundant, tomatoes making, grass to chop out and the world tomorrow to look forward to.

Today I am dealing with loss, with future, with present, with hopes,  with losses, with future anyway, with a present that is rich, laced with the richness of past friendships, gone, the hope of friendships, future, and their richness. The joy  of what I have. What buries the past and enriches the future.

The present is a joy of its own.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Remembering a dad who knew the important things

For the first time in  forty or more years, I am posting about my dad on Father's Day.. I am almost 70. He died when I was 19. He was a good father. For so much of my life he has seemed the distant past.

He was rational in his conversations to me in my teens. His own parents thought fairy tales were silly so he loved reading them to me when I was small because he didn't know how the stories came out, either. And since they were read for his only surviving child of three, he hoped with all his heart they had a happy ending.

He couldn't help himself, thank God. He taught me a little about banking and finance. In many ways, he was a feminist. But. He still expected some man to take care of me.

He had no siblings. My mother had an unmarried brother. No big congregations in our house of family, any time.

I do have cousins, both sides, which for some reason my parents seldom saw and I saw infrequently enough that I am unclear exactly who they were. My granddaughters have a lot of family through their mother. Their paternal grandfather has a lot of family. My own personal family is discrete. Two sons, daughter-in-law and granddaughters.

They are well loved.

Because my dad made sure that was one of the skills he taught me.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I was so lucky.

By the time I was 12, I pretty much knew what I wanted to do

Well, I got sidetracked. That turned out to be a good thing.

In high school, journalism was my thing. I worked on the hometown paper two summers. I started volunteering stories about high school activities when I was 17, a senior.

I didn't live in a Metroplex. The high school was all we had in many miles in many directions. I was paid $1 an hour. My dad was irritated because the federal minimum wage by then was $1.10. I begged him to leave it alone, and he did. It didn't improve his languishing friendship with the editor.

I was naïve in spades. I was gullible. But somehow, I also was curious, intelligent and a good writer. So the paper kept me, taught me, let me write. Looking back, probably more because of my dad than me. But we did get new readers from what I wrote. Eh.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When the River Isn't Smooth

Maybe one reason I love to sing is the harmony we create. I love it.

Today I had conversation and bit my tongue again and again, and still contributed to noise. Not so loud, but unpleasant. And I was the dissonance. And I could shut up, but I couldn't come back into harmony.

I was not a good luncheon guest today.

I knew what I should do, but didn't. At the time, it seemed I couldn't.

Ever have a day like that?

No, I'm not giving myself an "everyone does it" pass.

For one, not everyone is disagreeable as I have been today. And if they were, not everyone cared they were doing it. I do and did care, and I'm sorry.

I just think I have much company in conversations many of us wish had gone differently with a friend, someone we loved. But it didn't. Because of us and what we said or didn't.

The good news is, tomorrow is another day, and we get to start over.

I have already apologized to the two friends I felt I shorted. They ended up appreciating the calls, much as they both tried to say at the outset they hadn't noticed.

Civilization is a wonderful thing, when joined with the heart.

Monday, June 10, 2013

When life is easy for all of us, and we SMILE!


I am such a softie.

One granddaughter is with her other grandmother for a week and will come back with new recipes I will benefit from.

The other is on her five-day mission trip.

My eldest son and wife have arduous work schedules, but may actually have time to talk this week....

My plants are growing, I have friends to see and books to read.

It's summertime, and the living is

When I started college as a freshman, I had lived in one place all my life. I had never been anywhere else. But I hS MWR PWOPLW XOMINF IN DEOM ll ovcr the world.

So I wasn't too scared when I set off to college at least a day's drive away, knowing only one other person, and she, briefly.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Honor, Love and Pass the Tortillas. Doughnut? oh, yeah.

For the last several years, until this spring, I weekly visited an old woman that was active in our church. Her mind hadn't given out, but her knees had, and she was in a nursing facility.

She was always upbeat. Took her a while to accept that why-ever the hell I was visiting every week, I was going to keep coming and she might as well get to know me. So she did. We had a lot of mutual interests. A stroke years ago had robbed her of much talk, but what she did say, mattered.

The town we both have lived in was really tiny 56 years ago, when she and her two sidekicks decided to hold the first graduating senior breakfast in what was then an aging church. There were three graduates. One was her daughter. And after the daughter graduated, the three women decided it was a good tradition, so they kept doing it. The graduating classes grew in size, but for a long time, slowly.

Don't know what the early menu included other than scrambles, I think sausage, fruit and some kind of bread, coffee cake or doughnuts. For a while, I understand, it went to a continental breakfast. Naw, we've been back to the good stuff for awhile.

Lawanda died at 89 this spring, happy that we have continued her tradition.

Today for the 56th time, members of this church served the senior breakfast, this time for 115 kids. One hundred came. We used 24 dozen free-range chicken eggs donated by members with home-grown chickens. Served warm flour tortillas, sausage, salsa, jalapenos, shredded cheese and sour cream, 8 dozen glazed doughnuts (half were donated),Subway cookies, fresh fruit salad, and coffee, orange juice or water.

Merchants donated some good stuff, everything from restaurant coupons and oil changes to hard cash. The kids were really pleased. Many dressed up. It's kind of a hassle, but we use linen tablecloths and the food is good, and they preview the senior video. We had a one-minute blessing and no more than a 10-minute inspirational message. Hey. We ARE a church. Just not a very pushy one.

Many of these kids live in this community not only with their parents, but their grandparents, all who have remembered coming to this church for breakfast just before graduation. It's a community tradition. It doesn't take long, and the food is good.

I woke up at 5 am--some woke at 4am-- others came last night for hours, and we got the meal ready. All volunteers, any one of us could have caved.

But the tradition is so sweet.

This is a little Texas town where long ago, parents decided to honor their children, of whom they were most proud. Through all the years, the reason, the love, the sentiments, haven't changed.

It's a nice celebration.

I hope, through the years, many may remember this and smile. It was, after all, all about them today.