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March 18, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Seasons...
Well, I’m looking forward for spring, but when I woke up this morning and opened the door to go feed the cats and give Son #2’s dog food, whose name is “Bounce a Little,” but it takes quite a lot to feed him. I have to watch, or the cats wouldn’t get a bite!
I enjoy fall and winter when Santa comes, but spring is my favorite.

The Last Word: I enjoy them all! – O.T.


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

Quiet please...
Everyday I am bombarded by noise. It is spring and here come the mowers, the blowers, the trimmers, the chain saws, and I am awakened by them daily. Preferring the sound of birds to the alarm of a gas engine, I began to think about how quiet helps me and how noise hurts me.
I don’t like complete silence. Quiet is not silent. I just want an absence of human generated noise. I want to hear the rain tapping against the leaves and on the tin roof. I want to hear the chirps and songs of the birds.
When I walk beside the water I want to hear the waves lap against the shore. In the shallow stream I want to be able to hear the gurgling of the small waterfalls as the water rushes past.
I am lucky to be able to hear the chatter of squirrels, the purr of a cat, the call of the hawk above. In the world of animals, quiet is essential to the hunt. The predators must be able to hear the prey. The songbirds need to be able to hear the other birds in order to find a mate and survive by building a family and reproducing.
The Rocky Mountain National Park this past December brought me a special gift of quiet. As I sat at a snow-covered picnic table and watched wildlife in the falling snow, I could hear the rustle of dried leaves, the sounds of birds and the wind. It was a break from man-made noise, but it was not completely silent.
Now I look for a few moments of quiet every single day. Peaceful thoughts nourish my soul and the quiet enriches my spirit.
The noisy world we inhabit becomes so commonplace that as a species we think nothing about it. But it raises our blood pressure, causes depression, nervousness, anxiety, stress, headaches, mood swings and hearing problems. It is important to seek out a place that is quiet for our general well being.
As a writer I know the value of a quiet environment. When my world is full of noise I can’t think of anything I want to say, much less write. From a young age, when I made a playhouse in the hedges where I could go hide in the shade on a busy summer day, I have sought solace in silence.
When things are quiet I can reflect upon my life and see where I might make some changes for the better. I can grab a needle and thread and mend a garment. I can pick up a book and read. There is bounty to be had in a quiet day. It is a time of rest and renewal.
I want my home to reflect my laid-back personality and be relaxed as well. As I continue to redesign and clear out what is no longer useful to me, I see that by doing so I am creating quiet. I have nobody to impress, I want comfort and a style that reflects me at this point in my life. I want a quiet place.
Experts advise that clutter in our space makes our minds cluttered and confused. Noise is clutter, so I am turning down the volume, seeking silence and listening to soft sounds that I may miss in the din of everyday living. I am letting go of things I never use, and things I don’t need. I am making my world a quieter space so I can grow and expand my mind.
Focus for me these days is on a healthier way to eat. I am learning some new things about myself. If the noise is so loud I cannot hear the song of a single sparrow, I have to do my part to seek out a way to calm my mind and refresh myself.
So, I will walk by the water, walk into the woods, stop for a while, listen to nothing, and see what I can really hear in a place of quiet.


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

The year that was...
Does anyone recall strongly the year 1971. It changed our life, made our life fuller, and we shall always remember the almost thirty-years of inhabitance and hope; our children always do, too.
We changed jobs in June, 1971, and headed from west to east, with trees, fishing waters, and best of all, closer to perfect grandparents who would be closer, living in a nearby community. In 1971, everyone was watching for the new lake, Cedar Creek, to fill. We wondered what changes would come?
What about a 300 percent increase in school children in three years.
I had been teaching in a community college in Big Spring, drew out my retirement with some relate company to TRS, and my husband became the first principal for the new junior school about to form.
We had a baby, not quite one, two other children, a truckload of furniture, and I drove a Buick Wildcat filled with flowers, ivies, my mom, and my 3-year old daughter. The air-conditioning went out, Mom held the youngest with his feet in cool water, and he cried all the way back, thus beginning a six-year habit that would take me under. Our plans were that I would be a stay-at-home mother.
First, there was no place to live. A school secretary had a farmhouse on Gun Barrel Lane for storage, and we found a furnished mobile home in town with no air conditioning to use, just floor fans. The children were outside all the time any way bothering the neighbors, making friends, and finding adventures.
Meanwhile, it seemed my husband’s numerous siblings were many miles from us, but one set of grandparents lived near Dixie Isle, below Eustace, managing land TP&L would one day buy. The lake and fishing streams were near. The males in my family would soon be in Paradise.
Granny and Pawpaw lived alone in a big farmhouse with a fireplace. The youngest son was in Vietnam. Another son and family were in Arabia with an American oil company. Someone was in Grand Prairie, two daughters and family were out west, another daughter was around Fort Worth. Another brother had gone with his family south, I think. I’m not too sure. But they all came in one week for the crisis.
Papaw had finally gone to a throat specialist about lumps in his neck. He would be undergoing cancer surgery. The last act he did before surgery was to go out on the balcony and whistle. That be the last time for whistling and other important acts like talking, but Pawpaw was one tough man. He had already survived a rough childhood, made himself quit drinking and attend church, come back from two bouts of TB plus one surgery and much more. He never had to worry about being overweight.
The surgery went well, and he came home to heal. Then he had to go back for more throat cutting, and this time nerves were severed, and he would not be able to talk even with a special box. He mouthed his words, and some learned to understand him. He could also stomp his foot!
It was spring, and most every afternoon possible, my husband and his boys climbed into the old Scout and went to Granny and Pawpaw’s with visiting and fishing on the mind. Of course, the boys liked running wild on rough land with dogs chasing them or they were chasing dogs. Each soon had a BB fun.
It was a long time before my husband told me about his frequent visits to his parents’ home. He figured his dad suffered some type of depression in a world where he had always been the big talker and story-teller. He was really worried his dad might take his life, a secret my husband kept to himself. He was really worried about his mother, living far out and not well-acquainted with the phone if one was available. He simply felt better with his little visits and knew he had been absent from the area for ten years at least. Home can be where the parents are, anywhere. Mine were in Trinidad and enjoyed having weekend visits with some of our kids, especially once we had four.
Papaw awoke one morning in another house his children had helped them get and furnish where needed. This house had a semi basement (high windows to see out) and was the last home for both parents, located in Kerens, almost home for all the family, in some part. Papaw woke up one morning, asked the time, and died. He was 80.
And that lake? It filled in beautifully. We at one time had a lot on Dixie Isle, 120 feet on the water, but it had to go. We got over it.
Our eventual home was on Market Street, purchased unseen. Had we known I would return to work, we might have tried to get something nice and quite economical then, but we had a motto: never buy a house you think you could lose.
We live in Trinidad now, on my paternal grandparents’ farmland as most of Granddaddy’s children sold out for the city – Houston seemed to call their name.
Our homeplace has been resold several times, bricked now, really made into a beauty. Location was a good asset for the house with pasture between the loop for Highway 175. I’ll always miss the older one with its history of being moved in and added to and all those clunkers parked around it. It looked as though some kind of party was always going on. Was it?


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