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January 15, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Spring is coming...
I can hardly believe we just had a visit from Santa Claus, and then he left for a year.
The birds and squirrels seem to be having a good time in and out under the tall trees outside.
All the leaves will soon come back for spring and they will be green and the birds will return too, but they wonít be green.
I see one of the cats washing itself with its tongue. Iím sure glad I donít use mine for that, even if some folks do say I use it for talking too much.
So, I decided not to talk and do more writing.
Iím looking out the window and the ground is covered with birds eatiní acorns.
Iím always happy when spring comes and I can sit outside and wave at folks. And, maybe, some will have time to stop and stay a while.
The Last Word: Iím always happy when spring gets here. Ė O.T.


honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

The quiet of a rainy day...
I had almost forgotten how nice the sound of rain on the roof are on a cloud-filled day. Being a person who loves a rainy day when I can stay indoors by the fireplace, or sit outdoors on a covered porch, the rainstorms that moved through our area were happy ones.
Rain not only refreshes the air, but also gives my spirit a time to settle down a bit. A rainy day with nothing to do is absolute perfection if you have a good book, or there is a warm place to nap. In this way I am most certainly ďcat-like.Ē
Watching water droplets run down my window pane at home is so much nicer than on the windshield of my vehicle. I am not much of a rainy day driver if I can avoid it, and am glad to be retired so I donít have to fight the traffic in bad weather.
Thinking seems quieter and less scattered on a rainy day. Getting my thoughts together is more attainable when the big, bright, sunny day is not calling me outside to garden or go somewhere. Rainy days are reflective days.
Nights filled with a gentle rain are magical for sleeping. If I am having difficulty falling asleep, the sound of rain can calm me down. When I get up in the morning after a rain, all the plants are lush with water and the ground holds silvery puddles as the sun comes up and makes them sparkle.
Fields parched by the drought turn into rivulets of water, and the trees soak up the bounty. Texas has lost so many of our old trees this past year, and it saddens me. The trees are so much a part of the great beauty of East Texas.
When I was a young girl I would look out my bedroom window at the rain and wish it would stop so I could go outside and play. As a young woman, the rain made the flowers grow in my garden, and the tomatoes spring to life, so I was much more tolerant of a day some would call wasted. But I was working and had to travel, so it could be treacherous, as well. In middle age, I still moved too quickly to fully appreciate the wonderful free gifts of a rainstorm.
I would be overly concerned about wind damage or getting my hair wet, or ruining my shoes. Now in the winter of life I am so totally aware of the great beauty of water falling from the sky, and I can hardly bear the unending scorching days of summer without relief. I worry about the trees and animals dying, and there is no hay for the cattle and horses on the hillside. So, the negative side of this coin is I have more time to fret about lack of rain, but the positive is that I can celebrate it when it falls.
There is nothing in life like rain to renew, cleanse, and make things grow. It is amazing to sprinkle a few seeds on soil and add a rainy day. The perfect recipe is not too much or not too little on the water please.
Rain all by itself is a perfect storm. It is when nature mixes rain with other things such as snow, or dirt that things can get difficult. But without it, life will cease to exist, so I better get that leak fixed just in case.
There is something to be said for the quiet of a long, perfect, rainy day. It really sets my imagination on fire. Then the rain can put it out as I curl up on the sofa under a quilt. Later, I will put on my rubber boots and splash through the puddles and the mud. I will do this for the young girl who still lives inside of me, and the woman I am today.


EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

Resolving to lose...
Last night some television announcer said the average womanís weight has gone from 140 pounds in 1980 to 160 pounds in 2012. Iíll take either weight gratefully. And if anyone wants to know, I have enrolled in a pay- now program using powerful machinery to whip me into shape one way or another.
In 1991, I ďpaid my duesĒ with back surgery for a three-type rupture on the bottom of my spine. I thought I had given enough at the office of the Bones. Then in 2011-12, the old ladyís back finds me with vengeance on the mind and this is one ailment people doubt the most of anyone having, unless structure of the body almost meets the ground or magnetic items stick to the back of oneís garment because the spine has a metal pipe in it to let the back sufferer stand.
I should not tell this secret of the hefty and harmless, but Iím talking and canít shut up. Most of us at the head of the scale class are professional rationalizers, able to lie (no tall tale) to ourselves about how we can rest on the couch with a sack full of pretzels beside us or two over-sized peanut brittle patties which run a close, close second to pralines and actually convince ourselves we do no harm unless a normal person happens to see or catch us pigging out.
Then the shame and guilt are overwhelming. I usually drink a gallon of water afterward somehow to appease my nutrition madness. Once I ate an entire frozen Mrs. Fieldsí pecan pie. I halved it, not placing the entire concoction in front of me at one time. I made the walk to the kitchen to get the second half. In my bloated reasoning, perhaps I thought the little trip to the room of goodies and surprises might help. No, I did not get ill and probably enjoyed the evening meal. Help. Age and internal wearing of digestive power have slowed me. Thankfully.
But as I was putting on pounds, so was my spouse. Both skinny Minnie and Moe in our twenties, we had found stress, fast-food places, owned a microwave, about the healthiest food item going down us was milk. My two sons could chug a lug to clinch thirst. Everyone in the family liked milk which came only in full percent then (that I knew about). And these children around our table were skinny. Therefore, mashed potatoes with butter sat on the table once a day along with a variety of others things to make healthy kids. Why Dad and I could wipe away our excess at any time. Everybody knows a man looks better with weight, anyway.
My husbandís mother enjoyed making preserves and jellies in the summer. There was a favorite, her peach preserves.
My husband would say, ďPlease donít give us this jar. Your daughter-in-law will have the entire jar secretly eaten by the time we get home.Ē The loving woman would give us two jars.
Secretly, so far back in my mind, I remembered a few aunts who lost poundage as they aged. Maybe if I were lucky, this could happen to me. My parents were always the right weight, but Dad still weighed less as he approached his 70th birthday. One day my middle daughter brought up this weight-loss factor to me, her mother. How would I know why it was not happening to me? Possible answers: I never really grew up. Some who do lose older donít want to. Some are passed up and get bigger. Sickness can take it right off. Did my daughter wish that on me?
Iím not saying it aloud, but I think our three natural borns are going to take after me and have to fight the weight problem. One already leaves no doubt.
In closing (hoping this fits) I read that diet drinks had something in them dangerous to our internal organs.
I called a friend to whine. ďIíve been on diet-drinks for more years than I can count,Ē I said, ďone a day, and they are said to be dangerous for us.Ē
ďFriend,Ē my advisor said, ďYou are well into that geezer grouping. Youíve been drinking these colas since you turned against the taste of another one. Shut up already.Ē (Iíve heard itís ridiculous when adults try to use slang; is it our fault itís out of date when we finally realize what it means and how to use it?Ē)
If you see me walking by the side of a road with my dog club, please donít tempt me by asking if I need a lift. Besides, the lifts I need have to be done in a medical environment.



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