Published by the Rains County Leader on April 10, 2018:
Friendship is not easily defined. The dictionary says a friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, but friendship is more than that. During the ten years when I was single again, I met Mary one night at choir practice. Before the night was over, we had discovered that we were both raised in small towns in west Texas, we were both single after twenty-three years of marriage, and we both had one child. We had so much in common that we sometimes wondered if I had been switched at birth with her twin sister. We were and still are fast friends. Friendships are often based on common grounds, but sometimes it takes some investigation to discover those grounds.
Ten years ago I read a book titled Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It’s not unusual for two friends to write a book together, but Ron was a millionaire art dealer, and Denver was a former victim of modern-day slavery who escaped only to end up living on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth. Their common ground was Deborah, Ron’s wife whose passion was helping the homeless, and their heart-warming story is well worth reading. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 28, 2017:
David and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Louisiana with his family. Kitty is much more socialized than she used to be, but we trust her more in familiar surroundings than in the homes of strangers. Consequently, she spent four days and nights at home alone.
She didn’t seem to mind too much, but she’s always curious when we pull out the luggage. She climbed into David’s suitcase, and when he ran her out, she lay down on the open lid of mine. Once all the cases were packed and zipped, she lost interest and went to take a nap. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 1, 2017:
I met a new friend this week. Becky owns a one-operator beauty salon outside of town, and she is very popular at the Senior Center for her Senior Thursday haircuts. She’s also very interesting to talk to.
While she was working on my unruly curls, she mentioned that her son might be going to college on a scholarship, that is, if he agreed to continue training pigs for the show ring. Training pigs? I knew that pot bellied pigs could be domesticated and even trained to use a litter box, but I had trouble imagining them jumping hurdles in an agility ring or responding to commands in an obedience ring. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 18, 2017:
After reading last week’s column about our exciting first day of dog sitting with Spike, one of my readers commented that she couldn’t wait to read the next chapter. There’s good news and bad news about that. The good news is that Spike and David both behaved themselves while I was away on a weekend retreat. The bad news is that good behavior doesn’t usually make very interesting reading.
Not that he was a complete angel. David didn’t mention any nighttime barking while I was gone, but he has a tendency to sleep more soundly than I do. Spike continued to wake me every night around 3:00 or 3:30 am for no apparent reason other than that he was awake and thought everyone else should be, too. Thankfully, he quieted down pretty quickly. One morning when he waited until 5:00 to make his voice heard, I lay down on the couch – more because I was too tired to walk back to the bedroom than out of compassion for the noisy dog – but most nights I scolded him into silence and went back to bed. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 4, 2016:
I first heard the phrase “cat TV” from Jackson Galaxy on his show, “My Cat from Hell.” He was referring to the practice of providing a window seat of some kind for indoor cats so they can watch the outside world in safety. Kitty would have been more accurately described as being from Purgatory rather than from Hell, but since at that point we were in the process of socializing her, we cleared some surfaces, made a few furniture adjustments, and gave her access to all the windows in the main living area except the one over the kitchen sink. She has spent many happy hours, perched on her Kitty condo or on various pieces of furniture, watching local wildlife and passing neighbors. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 19, 2016:
Yes, Kitty’s transition is complete. Two weeks ago I wrote about her increasing but still limited freedom. We had recently been testing the concept of leaving her loose to roam the living areas during the day when we were gone. Shortly after that column, due to her excellent behavior or her uncanny ability to climb on forbidden surfaces without disturbing anything or leaving incriminating paw prints, she earned her daytime freedom. However, she was still confined to the laundry room at night. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 12, 2016:
Around this time last year, I wrote a column about a Christian women’s retreat I had attended. I returned late this past Sunday evening from the 2nd Annual Retreat of a group of women who now call themselves The White Chapel Girls. My original intention was to write about my trip there and back with three women who have become close friends. However, the joy of silly jokes that made us laugh until we cried and the freedom of being with friends you can trust with your deepest feelings can’t be described in a few words. That’s why I decided to re-run last year’s column with a few differences noted.
I just returned from four days at the F & H Goat Ranch, so named because of the fat and happy goats that populate the front pasture of the five-acre spread about twenty miles north of Kerrville. The owner, Julee White, retired from the Dallas rat race and social scene fifteen years ago so she could move closer to family and devote herself, in part, to making the dreams of her two nephews come true. When those dreams included goats for an FFA project, Aunt Julee provided both the goats and living space for them. I don’t think the project was very successful, but the goats didn’t mind. They stayed on at the ranch, invited some friends, and became – well – fat and happy. (more…)