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March 6, 2011

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OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

Goin' with the flow...
Not drivin’ means I never know where I might end up, as was the case this past Saturday, when Daughter #1 deposited me at my favorite local hardware store for their bag sale.
When it came time to collect me, she had Daughter #5 and my grandson, Josh, in tow. They were headed for an adventure and inquired as to whether I might want to tag along. Not botherin’ to ask where or why, I quickly replied, “Of course, you don’t have to ask, you know I always want to go!”
We traveled down some familiar countryside, endin’ up at another hardware store. This one in Royce City, where a quaint little shop The Primitiques (or The P, for short) adjoins the hardware store. The P is filled with the kind of stuff I like...older items, a little rusty and chippy, bearin’ the wear of time. Pieces remindin’ me of by-gone days and maybe a little of my own self, nowadays.
Mindy, the owner and keeper of The P, was puttin’ on, what she called a “tailgates and trunk sale,” which was originally scheduled for Super Bowl weekend, being delayed on account of snowy weather. Mindy invited some creative gals to join the show with their wares, one First Monday shoppers may be familiar with, “Girls Gone Junkin’,” and the other from a little further down the road, “Red Neck Chic,” who makes delightful purses from recycled items and such.
Now, these are gals’ “bloggy” computer names Daughter #5 is always tellin’ me about. She also tells me I’m famous in that “bloggy” computer world of hers. I guess I’ll have to take her word about all of that!
On the way home, we stopped in Quinlan to do some more shoppin’. The daughters found some “must have” treasurers and I found a couple of magazines and one more blue can never have too many of those, you know. Now, to get youngest son, Dwayne busy on another bottle tree!
As I was saying, since givin’ up drivin’ I never know where I’ll end up. But one thing I do know, the gas sure is cheaper!


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

Springtime blooming...
Isn’t it totally amazing how Mother Nature just brings us snow one week and sunshine the next, along with rocketing temperatures?
No wonder lots of people are so sick including myself. I have been battling bronchitis for a month. Sometimes I am pretty functional and other days I am like a car that has run out of fuel ... stopped, empty, and sitting on the side of the road.
Then the weather will take a turn for the beautiful and drape everything in winter white and take your breath away with the magnificence. It won’t be long before the sun will come out and it feels so good you just have to go outside and soak it up.
This is part of living in Texas. The weather is mostly changing all the time, but spring is nearly here and the signs of it are everywhere if we slow down to notice.
Bradford Pear trees are covered in so many white blooms that it looks like snowfall all around, but if you get really close, the buzzing of busy bees will get your attention. Of course all this pollination has allergy sufferers like me sniffing and sneezing.
But I would rather take an allergy pill than miss the show. Daffodils swaying in golden yellow among the left over fall and winter leaves, along with crocus and other bulbs are just too pretty to miss. They are the first and sometimes the presentation is beyond my simple words.
I can hardly wait for all the bluebonnets to jump out in waves of royal blue and lilac, and the tulips of other colors than a box of colors in a school girl’s paint box.
The beauty of spring lies in the promises it makes. They are simple, and Mother Nature never fails to surprise mankind. The force of nature can be quite brutal with spring storms, and we could do without them, but we know they are all part of living here.
Spring promises big gusty winds, gentle breezes, hopefully rain, and also tornadoes and bad thunder storms as part of the display. But the season of new beginnings also promises beauty with color and fragrance, butterflies and birds singing. Spring brings the trees back to life.
Then there is the adventure of the garden centers and the fruit/vegetable stands. To me this is all part of the springtime experience. Flowers, plants, vegetables, hanging baskets, trees and patio furnishings are all on display for meandering afternoons. There is nothing as relaxing as a soothing fountain splashing with flowers on a spring evening under the stars.
The feed stores and farm supply stores have chick days and bunny days. I try to make it to these festive spots just to enjoy the cute little chickens and the fuzzy baby rabbits. I may have to go to several.
So among the buzzing bees, mosquitoes, wasps, grasshoppers, and other insects, spring will soon spring to life, and there we will be if we are lucky enough. I will be there God willing armed with Claritin and Zyrtec, and bug spray, having a grand ol’ time.


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

The value of an education...
Should I be disappointed, sad, or have a sunken feeling. I taught school 34 years and after retirement did team teaching with my retired husband. We loved our jobs mostly and would not redo our lives another way. We were with our own children at some point in the day. Our youngest, as a senior in high school, asked if we’d be going to college with him. No.
I knew I was different as an English teacher, lover of Shakespearean sonnets, Browning sonnets, anything of John Donne, almost all poetry and even classics no one else liked, like Wuthering Heights, Return of the Native, The Scarlet Letter, Heart of Darkness, The Fountainhead, anything by John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, and rebellious writers like Ann Chopin, and of course many more, enough to make me wear bifocals.
But I love country music. Gary Morris came out with “Wind beneath my Wing” long before Bette Midler, then Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Alabama, Jason Aldean, Randy Travis, and the list goes on and on of those I admire. I wish the women in country music wore more clothes; the men are fully dressed so far, but most country-western songs, understood by the way, are about family members (grandpas, Mamas, sisters with cancer, lost loves, happy times, memories of high school), and I believe everyone below 20 should hear and see the video of Kenny Chesney’s “There Goes My Life.” It should be a required assignment in junior high and high school.
Then I enjoy watching many sports. The Rangers’ wonderful season wiped me out. I love high school sports when I know someone playing, like a son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter, playing much or just a little. Decades ago we would return from East Texas to West Texas, a seven-hour drive at that time and listen to a Cowboy game most of the way back. Dandy Don played then. I wish we had named a child Landry.
Now to my point: No child of ours made a teacher; one grandchild has thus far, and when she took British Literature, she called to discuss some poems for hours. I was in heaven. One daughter-in-law has teaching credentials and has taught but won’t go back until she is specialized. She was a whiz at teaching math in Midland and now rears her own children staying home.
Classics line my bookshelves. I have offered money to grandchildren to read one and discuss it with me. There’s no better time spent than conversing with a teen about a good book. No, video games, television programs, movies, texting, tweetering – all use up their brains. I want to cry and scream.
When the children were grown, we were traveling some more and came upon Leadville, Colorado. At the time, my husband had started reading Zane Grey, quite acceptable now, and the book of the time was about Leadville with its unusual streets, and we got out and walked them. What a moment. I didn’t dare say a teaching word or phrase.
Once when my oldest was a senior in high school, I took him to the library and showed him “Catcher in the Rye.” He read part and said he didn’t like all the cursing and other “stuff.”
Two granddaughters attend college. One grandson said he was going to college after graduation. Others are down the line, but I am aging and want to go to one more family graduation. Degrees aren’t end-alls but good in fall-back times. College never hurt anyone I know of.



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