Published in the Rains County Leader on April 18, 2017:
Shortly after David and I moved to Emory in February of 2011, we were told that, even though Rains is one of the smallest counties in Texas, it contains approximately twenty churches.
“That means one of two things,” quipped our guide. “Either there are a lot of religious people in Rains County or they can’t along.” (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on March 28, 2017:
There was a time in the history of this country when people knew their neighbors and were involved in their lives. Unfortunately, that time is long gone, at least in the city.
My family wasn’t very neighborly when I was growing up. My parents were very reserved, private people, and my brother was so busy with various jobs and social engagements that he didn’t have time for the neighbors. That left me, and since I wasn’t allowed to go visiting when everyone else was at work, I watched a lot of “I Love Lucy” reruns. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on March 14, 2017:
Spring doesn’t officially arrive for another few days, but the East Texas vegetation doesn’t seem to care. The daffodils came and went several weeks ago, and although I haven’t seen any yet, I’ve heard that the bluebonnets are in bloom. Blooms are popping out on a lot of the trees, and many of the others are taking on that pale yellowish, green color of fresh, new leaves. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 21, 2017:
After six years of living in Emory, I am closing in on a place where I can consider myself a country girl. Once in a while, though, something like calving season happens to remind me that I’m still a city girl.
A Facebook friend, a real country girl, posted that she had placed an ad on a cattle page looking for a bottle calf for her daughter to raise for 4H. She went on to explain the 4H rules for a calf-raising project. Then, she shared a comment someone had posted in response to her ad, challenging her wording and revealing how little they really knew about the process. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 14, 2016:
One of the attractions of country life is the peace and quiet – being able to sit out in the yard and see only an occasional neighbor driving by or to sleep with the windows open on a cool spring night and smell the fresh air instead of pollution. Another thing I really enjoy on our little country homestead is the wildlife. We’ve sat at our dining table and watched the squirrels, rabbits, and all kinds of birds play and forage for food. One season an owl joined us for dinner every evening, and for two seasons, a pair of hawks were frequent visitors. Before we cleared the back part of the lot, we saw lots of deer grazing among the honey suckle and poison ivy, and even now a doe and her fawns will wander across occasionally. On special occasions, we’ve seen two foxes, an armadillo, a skunk, and more buzzards than people of our age need to see. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on May 3, 2016:
The last couple of weeks have been a time of counting blessings at the Brendle house. Nothing really big, but like dynamite, blessings often come in small packages. I’d like to tell you about three of ours.
The first was poke salad. Until we moved to Emory, all I knew about poke salad was that it was the subject of an Elvis song from the late sixties. Then, two years ago, someone brought some poke salad to the Senior Center. David and I checked it out and realized we had lots of it growing around our back yard. I had heard a lot of stories about the dangers of the green, so I did some on-line research and harvested some. Both of us enjoyed it, and neither of us suffered any ill effects, so I added it to my list of menu items. (more…)
While I was raising my son, I often said that kids and pets will eventually make a liar out of you. For example, as soon as you tell the hostess he won’t eat pot roast, he eats his and yours and asks for more. Later, when you tell Grandma he has learned his multiplication tables through the tens, he can’t manage to count to three. And when you write a column bragging on Kitty’s tree-climbing skills, your husband has to climb on the roof four days in a row to rescue her. (more…)