Barefoot Cowboys

I’m a born and raised Texan.  I was born in the 50s on New Years Day in a small west Texas town.

I grew up on the border of Juarez and El Paso.  Flash forward a few years, and I worked for some wealthy people in downtown Dallas.  I handled numerous amounts of money, but it was just a bunch of numbers to me. I worked for a prominent attorney who had a nervous breakdown and was rushed to Timberlawn in the middle of the day.  Later, I worked for a Foundation that handled a bunch of donor money.  Some of the people even ended up havin’ their name put on a hospital building. I’m sure it was exciting to them.  I was just glad that I spelled their name right on the legal document and kept my job.

It’s been a few years since I saw Lucy Pappillion (see Walker Railey of First United Methodist) walk down the hallway.  My boss opened the door, and they talked.  Didn’t get to see any legal documents on that, but I bet they would have been interesting.

I talked to Lance Rentzel once.  He called another boss of mine.  It was in the 1980s, so I knew his name, but my boss had pounded into my head, “ALWAYS ask the person on the phone to spell their last name.”  I asked Lance to spell his.  A few minutes later, my boss came out and said Lance wasn’t happy about that.  I shrugged my shoulders.  There were a lot of people who were not happy about Lance.  I wasn’t too bothered that I asked him to spell his last name.  I could have asked some other questions.

So now, I’m retired and livin’ in East Texas.  Love the tall trees and most of the people.  I’ve never seen so many white people with bad teeth.  When I went to the local Social Security office, there were some people that looked like they had fallen on hard times.  I can kinda relate.  I’ve had some hard times, too.

Today, I went to a garage sale down the street.  As I was leaving, a middle aged cowboy with no shoes on his feet asked me if I had $20 so that he could buy some “drawers” (that’s Texan for underwear).  “Sorry, I don’t have $20, but you look like you need some shoes!”

“Makes my feet tough,” he said as he turned and walked away. I noticed that not only did he have bare feet, but he did indeed have a hole in his drawers!

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The Emergency Room

I spent today in the emergency room with a man I have loved over 20 years. We were once married. Unfortunately, I took many things for granted during those 20 years, including him, so when he called me this morning to let me know he was having some pain and felt he needed to go to the hospital, I dropped everything to run to him.  Although his father was a physician, he tends to not see any physician on a regular basis. Hence, a call in to work because my love was past due for an ekg and all of the other tests they did today. Heart problems were ruled out, thankfully, and a prescription or two was written for some much needed medicine.

I loved being with him today. I loved to remember trips we’ve made together. It was time well spent, especially since he was able to go home afterwards.

We are peculiar people, he and I. Marriage and divorce can be very slippery slopes to maneuver, but I had today with him. We held hands, talked about the children (our dogs) and listened to each other.  Some couples never know the closeness that he and I felt today……I guess as Isobel from Downton Abbey expresses (see my previous posts), we are some of the “Lucky Ones”.  At least, now I know that and hope to never take it for granted again.

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Running Toward Others

I’ve had the pleasure of working at a call center for almost a year. Most of the people who sit in my circle do not look like me. They are younger and their skin is much darker than mine. I’ve learned a lot about them. I’ve learned that they laugh when they make a mistake. They get frustrated with themselves if they make a mistake, and they expect to come in each day to do better and try harder.

They laugh. They sing, and they care about each other. They do not wallow in the past. One of the young black women in my circle said recently, “When I was younger, I wanted to go into acting.” She is funny, talented, and I could definitely see her in that role, so I asked her, “Why didn’t you try that out? I think you’d be good at it.” She said, “There was a white girl in my high school group who told me that they didn’t need a black girl in the Acting Club.”

May we never be that cruel to anyone – no matter what color their skin is.

Run toward others today – no matter their skin color.  It might just make you happy.

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Dogs and Smiles

There is a wonderful pet adoption program that I’ve been able to be a part of.  It’s called appropriately, “Love on Wheels”.

It turns out that there are some places in the northern states of the U.S. that have a shortage of pets.  In Texas, we have plenty!! Someone, I think it was Stacy, came up with the idea of saving the rescues in Texas and sending them to deserving folks in New York.

I had the pleasure of fostering two of the dogs in the early stages of the program. They are such a delight. Usually the first couple of days, the dogs seem very sad, but by the third day, they begin to perk up. By the time they make it to New York, their tails are wagging.  You can see a big smile at the 1:37 and also, the 1:54 mark of the youtube video below. That was one of my fosters, Smokey. She was the cutest dog and made me so happy in such a short amount of time.  I cried when she left, but, as you can see, she is in good hands and that makes me even happier!

I smile every time I see the new group headed to New York.  Happy tales to all of you precious puppies.

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Giving and the role it plays in happiness

It was a joy recently to attend an anniversary party for two people I met about 30 years ago.

The setting was a large room at a beautiful country club.  The room was filled with people who were smiling and enjoying the moment.

When I was in my twenties, I was engaged to a young man. I watched my engagement ring dance in the church lights as Jim and I sat together.  He introduced me to Gilda and Hollis.  Jim’s friendship did not last, but my friendship with the young couple has lasted for decades.

Their youngest son and two daughters provided the entertainment for the evening, as did their numerous grandchildren. Their friends shared stories about the couple.  (Some can even be repeated.)

I’m not a person that enjoys crowds, so I try to steer away from large gatherings. This night was different. I knew the people we were celebrating. I knew part of their secret to joy and happiness.  Not only do they laugh a lot, but they have also given to others.  They’ve given their time, their talents and their money.

Thank you, Gilda and Hollis, for showing me what happiness looks like, and for allowing me to see the impact of two unselfish people who share their love for God, for each other and their friends and family.

At this point in my life, I think I’m enjoying anniversary parties more than I do weddings. I prefer watching old friends dance under the lights.

If you would like to share your talents or your money, there are several websites that might be of help.

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The Lucky Ones

I love so many of the Downton Abbey characters, but I believe I would most like to be Isobel. Not only is her wit with Lady Grantham, a joy to behold but her outlook on life and love is beautiful.

In the clip below, Isobel, Mary and Tom reminisce about their deceased loves.

Isobel sums it up by saying,  “Well, aren’t we the lucky ones?”

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Getting Past It

In life, there is death. This world that is filled with beautiful flowers in April, comes from the tulip bulbs planted months before.

In order to get past one’s grief, one must embrace the grief for a while.

The longer you live, the more you will experience death. Cry, dear Reader, cry over the death of a relationship or the death of a child, and then get on with things. It is the only way.

Choose life.

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