“And, then the Pilgrims invited the Indigenous Americans to partake in the fruits of their harvest and they lived in peace from that moment on. The End. Wasn’t that lovely, children?” That’s the way I remember learning about Thanksgiving, way back in 1973. I believe headdresses made from construction paper feathers and misshapen cornucopias were involved. Yet, here we are, in a decidedly different America. No longer can we rely on textbooks and antiquated ideas. We’re woke now. 2020 did what all the others years have tried to do since we became a nation. Curtain pulled back. Wall down. Dirty secrets unearthed. Turns out, it’s time to purge our national soul. Turns out, it’s not all roses here in the USA. Don’t stop reading. I’m not here to sully your patriotism. I’m here to tell you that it’s always darkest before the dawn. I’m here to remind you that broken pieces are good. That is how the light gets in. I’m here to implore you to remember that true healing is never possible until you hit rock bottom. But first, about ‘dem Pilgrims.
Columns & Editorials
Dogs. We just don’t deserve them. No matter how many times they’re ignored, as our aching feet in high heels or our multiple bags of heavy groceries are far more important that a cursory pat on the head in the evening, they still smile that tongue hanging toothy smile at us. When we long to sleep in on rainy Saturday mornings, they’re still up at 6am, just wanting an extra snuggle, too. They love us in spite of our tempers over the UGG slippers we left in the living room floor with a tag that practically said, “Please chew me.” They still want hugs, even as we raise our voices in anger over the accident on the new rug, though it wasn’t their fault that we waited an extra 15 minutes for that walk. They still adore us when we run out of patience. They long for us while in an unfamiliar cage in a boarding kennel, never imagining that we’re kicking up our heels at the beach, without them. There is nothing more important to a dog than his person. We are their one true love.
The results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) measures the long-term academic performances of America’s fourth grade, eighth grade, and high school seniors. The NAEP is considered the “gold standard” of assessments because of its “high technical quality.”
“It costs more to revenge injuries than to bear them,” wrote Thomas Wilson.
Is the blood of Jesus Christ enough to pay for all my sins? If it is, why do I beat myself over the head all the time? If my understanding is correct all the sins of the world are covered and those who will admit their sins and repent will have their sins removed and never be remembered any more. GOD said He would cast our sins away as far as the east is from the west. Since the east and west never meet, our sins will never be charged against us.
Dear Aunt B,
I’ve been thinking of something to say about our post (or current, depending on your stance) election state of affairs, but there are neither good ideas to say nor do I think anything I pen would help. Authors, novelists and the lot, can write the words that upend lives, change trajectories, or haunt you forever. If you doubt me, you haven’t read Wally Lamb’s “I Know This Much Is True.” But, we columnists have a small space for our grand ideas. We operate on a “first do no harm” mantra. At least, I do. It’s important to leave you with a decent taste in your mouth. But, my brain is only full of murk and gunk today. I’m not sure where we stand, any of us. The division is real. It is deep. It is an open wound that gaped overnight and can no longer be stitched back together, I fear. I don’t talk politics because that topic fell into the basket clearly marked with a NO label, for me, at least. Besides, armchair politics are best discussed on social media, where everyone is an expert, eh? So, we are a bit of nowhere, it seems. I was thinking about other divisions and other times in our lives today, while trying to get a topcoat on an end table I’ve been refinishing for weeks now. You know, those one day DIY projects that last months? I flipped on the television, hoping to catch a Hallmark Christmas movie, only to see a marathon of one of my favorite shows, The Waltons. Don’t roll your eyes. I love the Waltons. It checks all my warm and fuzzy boxes: set in the 40s, showcases a lovely old farmhouse, always shows multiple aprons (apron fanatic, at your service), and features a grown up version of a main character narrating each episode from his memories. Gotta love John Boy. Anyway, this episode was the one where WWII was in full swing. The US hadn’t yet declared our involvement, though, so the country was glued to the radio for info on the Allies in Europe and the encroaching Nazi regime. The Baldwin Sisters decided they needed to offer up some asset to help the cause, so they wanted to donate their slightly ramshackle house at the seashore to our military, who were running drills for their impending war involvement. John Walton offered to do the needed repairs and the whole family went along. As the news of German attacks in France darkened the mood, Grandpa Walton shared tragic stories from the First World War. The children listened to every word. Their fear was palpable. But, this was an era when soldiers were heroes. Churchill’s speeches brought men to tears. War was noble. I started thinking about that attitude in juxtaposition with The Vietnam Conflict, where our soldiers returned to a world that did not hold them in high esteem. I thought about recent conflicts in The Gulf War, how they lasted far longer than the spans of the World Wars. Like anything else in our lives, war has changed. We no longer gather around radios to hear a one time, never to be repeated broadcast of news. We get the information as it happens, sometimes in live video format. And, yet, we seem to be fighting 2 wars now.
For many families, spending special moments with loved ones feels more important than ever this year. Whether you're spending the holidays with family or inviting them for a virtual call from afar, you can plan ahead to enjoy the same dishes even without being at the same table.
The last few days I have done something that I haven’t done in years. I have stopped watching the news. Lately it has been a constant source of frustration for me, and I have found that just turning it off is so much more peaceful than watching it. Last night I decided that I would watch a classic 1960 film instead: “The Magnificent Seven” with Steve McQueen, Yul Brenner, Charles Bronson, and Lee Marvin. It was a move I loved as a kid and you know what? Now that I’m 64, I found that I remembered almost nothing about the movie. It was wonderful. It is about small Mexican town that is sacked every year by a band of evil bandits, its leader played by Eli Wallach. The town gathers up all of its meager wealth and hires seven gun fighters to protect their little village.
Nine area sewing students received award ribbons at the recent State Fair of Texas Creative Arts Competition. Despite regular fair festivities being canceled for the year, the Creative Arts Competition was one of a few events to still take place.
Even with a family history of service in the Armed Forces, Ryan Schippert discovered he was his family’s very first Marine. When he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2006, it was somewhat of a natural progression for him. Ryan had watched numerous family members serve while he was growing up, and 9/11 was the event that really pushed him toward the military. For the next eight years after enlisting, Schippert was based out of North Carolina twice, deployed to Iraq twice, and also spent time based in Hawaii.
With the first sightings of iconic, endangered whooping cranes along the Texas coast, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is reminding Texans to be on the lookout for these impressive birds as they move through the state.
Eustace Texas- I’ve always said, long term friendships can be created faster in the outdoors when like minded folks get together than any other way I’m aware of. Through the years, I have made a great many friends while on story assignments. When I stop and give some thought to the reasons why, it’s pretty obvious. The people I find myself writing about and I have one thing in common that bonds us: A lifelong love of the outdoors!
The road goes on forever they say. And if you have the right companion along, the many miles seem short compared to the distance to the destination. The road a graduate in Forney ISD travels is as different for each student as their own personalities.
Sitting in line at McDonald’s in my low-slung Chevy Cruze, where I was preparing to order my standard Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper with extra ice and senior coffee (black), I looked up to see a “giant pick-up truck” pulling in to the other ordering station. In the style “older” Forney High School buddy, Don Morrison, loved to quip, “I said to myself, ‘Self, those giantsized vehicles are why I am scared to drive out on the Interstate!’”