Saturday, April 27, 2013

Voices Never Change

I was visiting my nine-ty one year old mom this weekend.  We listened to Friday night shows on TV as she read the daily newspaper.  She has her crossword puzzle by her side as she does the daily word search.  It has been her constant buddy to keep her mind sharp and alert.

"Do you want to listen to Grandma Douglass tell her stories? Your brother made them into casset tapes so we can listen.  He recorded her when she was 87." she explained

"Sure I use to love to hear her stories of growing up." i answered

I felt Grandma Douglass was in the room as we heard her voice.  I remember the Oklahoma twange in her dialect.  Stories link us to the past and give us a foundation to the present.  She loved sitting in her rocking chair as we listened.  I imagined her next to us as we heard about coming to Oklahoma to visit her brother and father at the tender age of seventeen.  She had been separated from them since her mother divorced her father and raised a second family in Arkansas.  She described the farm she lived on with Grandpa MacPherson where your vegetables came fresh from the garden.  She developed a love for raising potatoes, broccoli  and yellow squash.

Her brother Oscar became her best friend in her new home of Oklahoma.  They ended up having adjoing farms where they raised their families.

As we listened to her tell of Arkansas on Moon Hill I thought voices never change.  Just like my mom's voice stays sweet and reassuring. I heard the the wheels turn on her walker late at night.  She came into my bed and gave me a squeeze.  
 I love you Sandra.   You are a good person.  The words felt so sweet and loving.  As if someone wanted to tell my soul you are alright. .    

Monday, April 22, 2013

Texas Bluebonnets In Their Glory On Earth Day

It was a glorious Sunday in April as I traveled the winding roads to capture the perfect photo and breath in the sweet smell of bluebonnets blowing in the wind.  What a great way to celebrate Earth Day.   I've been exploring the trails for over twenty years.  I remember taking Alex and Michael for their bluebonnet picture each spring.  Texans love to capture the perfect photo of loved ones amid the sea of blue.

Even the bulls kick up their heels in delight as they sample the moist tender plants.  Each corner of the trail was an adventure.  The town of Ennis is always so kind to give out maps of the best areas and show you with a highlighter how to navigate Texas Hills.  It's also a fun place to stop and shop for local crafts at their annual festival.   Country music is softly playing in the background of smoked brisket or frito pie.  It you want to taste the flavor of small town life Ennis is the place to go.  The entire community joins together to throw Texas hospitality.

Fences of orange and white edged with barbed wire bring angles of infinity.  Roads accent the never ending lines of beauty.  They section off farms and ranches holding cows grazing the delicious prairie grasses of the plains.

Texas adds its own flavor with majestic horses and humble donkeys grazing in fields.  Farms open their gates so onlookers can enjoy the bluebonnets with friends and family.  New England might have their leaves each October but Texas has their bluebonnets in April for the world to savor.  

Even old wooden houses look beautiful with a carpet of blue in their front yard.  Each home has a story to tell.  Some families may have purchased their land when Texas was a new state.

Sugar Ridge is the most popular destination to plop down in the flowers and take a great photo.

It's a little piece of heaven in Texas each April near Ennis.  It's just a 45 minute drive south of Dallas.  Come and enjoy the bluebonnets too.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mallard Ducklings Gathering Under Mother For Protection

Momma Duck chose her location wisely as her babies got ready for bed.  She sat by the blue perennial next to the edge of our spa.  If one duckling fell in the water at night the pool spa ledge is just the right length for a little hop.  Mallard Ducks are fascinating creatures.  They pick a partner and stay with them for life.  Momma Duck cares for her ducklings and wants them to be safe from the number one urban predator, the cat.  She stays glued to her babies as they sleep in the night.  The ducklings know it is safe under Momma and they gather together each dusk.

Watch the youtube video to see.  click link below

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Prayers Answered Pakistani Schoolgirl Malala Strong and Helping Others

Prayers have been answered. The Pakistani school girl Malala who was shot in the head by the Taliban for wanting to go to school has not been silenced.   Her voice is being heard all over the world, education is important for all girls.

She has set up a fund so 40 girls in Pakistan can go to school.  The 45,000 grant will provide a place for education in the Taliban stronghold of Swat Valley, the place where Malaya is from.
A video was played at the Women in the World summit in New York City to get her message out.

"We are going to educate 40 girls, and I invite all of you  to support the Malala Fund." she said.

"Let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls."

U.N special envoy Angelina Jolie was moved by Malala's steadfastness in the mist of turmoil.

"They shot her at  point-blank range in the head and  made her stronger." Angelina said   "She doesn't want to be at the center of attention, her goal is progress, not notoriety. She is powerful, but she is also a sweet, creative, loving little girl who wants to help others."

Malala's message is spreading.  Education is a way of promoting peace and happiness in this world.  She is working with the U.N. to tell the countries how important education is.  Angelina wants to help the cause by donating $200,000 to the Malala Fund which was set up to support girls in Pakistan.

It is nothing short of a miracle that Malala is alive and suffered no major brain or nerve damage.  Good does overcome evil.  She went from an intensive care unit in Pakistan where she was in critical condition to reading  a book at the Queen Elizabeth's hosptal in Birmingham, England where she was being treated.

She is now 15 and attending school in Birmingham.  Her gift for writing has spread the cause for education.
Her voice was not silenced but is spreading to communities and families of girls who need to get their daughters in school.