|As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney
This morning when I opened my eyes and looked out the window by my bed,
I saw the tree limbs swaying Ďround and Ďround.
Since my stomach was feeling kinda like that, I closed the curtains and went
back to bed. Iím sure many of you now about such things. So letís change the
Iím looking forward to seeing flowers blooming everywhere. Especially the
wild ones, like bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes. Thatís two of my
favorites. A few are around and I hope to see more.
Son #2 has planted morning glories everywhere, and a garden.
Thinking way back, brings memories of how much Mama liked canning the food
that was raised in the garden every year. And Daddy was busy raising cattle,
corn, cotton, hay and going fox hunting.
There were no wolves back then. And I donít have to tell you as I was raised
a country girl, and still am just a little.
As I was saying, I donít have to tell you more, but I will if I have a
View From Here
By Katherine Veno
In our hurried world it is sometimes difficult to find a place to rest,
reflect and renew. We live in a noisy world with crowded schedules and busy,
sometimes frantic activities. It seems non-stop.
It is up to us to say enough. I have learned some new lessons lately from my
neighbors. I call them my super garden angels. They have a way of taking
part dirt, part plant, part decorative item and creating a space of solace.
There is a fish pond with splashing water, and shiny finned slivers darting
here and there. Lush foliage surrounds it but it does not protect it from
the curious eyes of the cats who frequent the place. I see them staring
patiently into the reflecting pool waiting and watching in the silence of
One of my favorite spots has a fountain containing three huge pieces of
pottery. The surrounding pool that water splashes into is the perfect place
to toss a penny, watch it slowly sink to the bottom, and make a wish or say
a prayer. One large pitcher pours into another and then into another,
finally spilling into the sparkling pool and spreading out in the glimmers
Trellises sway under royal blue morning glories as squirrels scurry up the
oak trees to corn filled feeders. Cardinals dressed in fiery hues of red
trimmed in black, dart among royal feathered blue jays competing for fat
sunflower seeds swaying in colorful displays among the trees. Black Capped
Chickadees sing on the morning air as doves move softly along the ground by
the birdbath topped with a rain shower of sparkling water.
Stone walkways protect your feet from rocks as you make your way through the
colorful summer flowers spilling out of crockery as the sounds of wind
chimes play upon the breezes. It is a peaceful place, and a sign invites any
and all who are weary to sit in the swing or take a seat on a cool cement
meditation bench and reflect or rest.
The white ropes of a hammock beckon me to lie down and stare up through the
heavy green oak leaves, and the sweet smell of jasmine, honeysuckle mixes
with lilies and bougainvillea blossoms. Concrete angels painted with flowers
and vines, stand among shady places, while deer rest in the shade.
Slow moving ceiling fans move the air on covered porches surrounded by
greenery and soft rugs invite your sore feet to sit back in a wicker chair
or swing. Amber glass candle jars adorn a wicker table and whimsical
birdhouses sit on weathered railings. A special birdhouse of verdigris metal
and sparkling glass always catches the morning sun. One birdhouse painted in
primary colors and having three little colorful apartments with turreted
rooftops, is my special favorite. To gaze upon the multiple shades of
gleeful color always makes a smile curl the corners of my lips. If it were
my size, I would move right in and hang gossamer sheers at the windows. I am
grateful to have such talented, artistic friends who share their solace with
All of the gardens filled with babbling rock fountains, birdhouses, and
places of beauty, just run one into another in a labyrinth of serenity. If I
am experiencing a stressful hour, or do not feel so well, I can just walk
about and take it all into my sensory spiritual self and come away
strengthened with the knowledge that God created a masterpiece, and there
are those who are blessed with talents to make his work look even more
beautiful. For a writer and a dreamer such as myself, it is a gift most rare
So, even in spaces or places you do not always expect, look to others in
your immediate world who share a joy of living, loving, peaceful places, and
As summer heat encroaches upon us all, and spring is merely a memory, I say
thank goodness for women like them and the men who love them and toil in
heavy labor in the soil to make such beautiful places come to life. Everyone
should have neighbors like Judy, Darlene and Linda, and if we take the time
to look, we probably do.
|Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy
Last week a friend said one of her grown sons had asked her when she was
going to accept her age. Wow. I suppose I accept mine by how I feel. This
friend is somewhat younger but on her way. Perhaps the son meant actions,
behavior, but all I can control is my clothing. Anything else would have to
be staying at home behind closed doors, as by now Iím happy to have any
working parts. (This in no way applies to women who realized they would age
and took perfect care of themselves, still have waistlines, and weigh
ideally and are not in some form of denial.)
Few rules exist for how to dress past 70 years. We simply do the best we can
with what we have. But the universal rule is clothing that is not too tight
or has cutsies written on the back side of that wide or bumpy part or
Too many in my sisterhood know a rule we must follow: cover up. My uniform
is a sleeveless tank top with a sleeved item over it, unbuttoned to prevent
heat strokes. My health malady causes arms especially to have those purple
bruises from a dead give-away of blood-thinning medicine for problem
veins.And why did I mention that four-letter word beginning with a D. Hatred
of exercise and love of food doesnít help my condition in any way.
One expert has said that cleaveage in any woman over 70 is repulsive. But to
get a blouse or top to fit around the body means the neck will be lower and
dip, especially if a short neck sits above that.
I rejoiced the year I kicked off the hosiery which had taken so much of my
money needlessly in my working days. Then I could have shown my legs. Now
there are too many growths and spots of undetermined causes except normal
aging. Hose would help the appearance of these appendages we want to keep
walking on as long as possible. But I have a another health flaw, probably
connnected to hormones, also to excessive medicine, which makes hot weather,
heavy work or any type of activity, produce sweat that begins in my hair. I
wear longer skirts. They make me look plumper? Maturity calls for choices,
and Iíve never liked my makeup sliding down my face from being too warm.
Speaking of hair, what should the older woman do. Personally, I donít like
long hair past my shoulders. Permanents donít last, and as many other women
have, Iíve gone natural - straight, that is. Weíre all mostly watching our
hair have wider parts from loss locks. We are in a battle to wear a style to
accent what hair we have, curled or straight. I had a friend, now gone, who
wore a small hairpiece in the top of her head, and had it removed only at
her beauty shop apppointmens. She said she had surgery in it and slept in
Too, if we stick to a natural style our hair came with, those pictures in
the sixties and seventies, or other times, wonít embarrass us or make us
burst into hysterics. The family photo where my hairstyle resembles a
football helmet had to go into the oval file. Then I found a family photo,
made professionally, when the children were about 3, 5, and 7, and Dad sat
proudly with us. My hair style was almost bigger than all bodies in the
picture. Iíve heard Texas is synonymous with big hair. All I want now is for
my hair to look a bit larger than my face.
Shorts for me are a no-no. Nobody had to tell me not to wear them. None of
my stomachs show. If Iím wearing a knit shirt that accidentally goes up a
bit, family and non-family members run to cover me up as though vulgar
tatoos are in view. Donít you need smooth places for tattoes?
Finally, I never tuck in anything into jeans, slacks, or skirts. I remember
clearly that day twenty years ago when I awoke to a rib cage resting on hip
bones. Gone was my waist and a few inches in height.
My grandmothers wore dresses, aprons, and cotton stockings every day. Skirts
can be cooler, but they are not as much in style as pants or slacks. Older
women can look nice in slacks, too, as well as they would in a dress. I make
sure some shirt or blouse covers my mid-section. Then I can make myself feel
almost normal, even younger.
If ever I come upon a cover-up outfit that can be cool along with it, it
will probably be a see-through. Help.