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Sunday, September 16, 2018

August Night

This is a guest post. My 12 year old granddaughter Maddie wrote the poem and composed the photograph when I was visiting in Reno a month ago. On the night before I left we sat outside talking while we watched moonrise and starshine. I will be sure to keep these memories, too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


My granddaughters are growing up! The most recent family birthday starred Jordann, celebrating her tenth with an ice cream cake. When she and her sister and Dad went camping this summer, she started a rock collection which she plans to polish in the rock tumbler she got for her birthday. When I visited them in Reno recently, she was getting off to a good start in fifth grade. She is beautiful, inside and out!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Reading to my children, and now, to my grandchildren is one of my greatest pleasures for several reasons. I love that this can be a time to snuggle up and get lost in a story together. The opportunity for interaction and conversation is another benefit. And I know that reading together contributes to lifelong pleasure in reading for them. But one of the most fun book times through the years has been watching Joe read the book pictured here to first our little ones, and more recently, our 5 granddaughters. Joe recently lost a great deal of vision, but I know that he knows this book by heart so today I am going to find our copy and watch our grandson  Oliver and Joe enjoy it together. Grover is an old friend, just like so many of the children's books waiting on our bookshelves.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

High Flight

There are some well advised warnings lately that concern heavy use of technology and its consequences. I am in agreement with using our laptops, tablets, and cellular phones responsibly. I cringe when I see a whole family at a restaurant meal with phones up instead of talking to each other. But I am so thankful for the technology that lets me easily stay in touch with my son and granddaughters who live too far away to visit often. I talk and text with them - not as good as face to face, but truly a good thing. This week I texted photos of some clothes I was planning to get for the girls and was able to get an opinion - most likely more quickly than I would have if we had been out shopping here in Texas.  Jeremy is a pilot who travels all over the world. I am thankful for our phone visits!  

Maddie, Jeremy, Jordann

Jeremy Teal Parker

I read this poem a long time ago, and found it again this week. It reminded me of the way Jeremy describes flying.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
John McGee, Jr. age 19 - a young Canadian pilot who wrote this in WWII

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I see that it has been exactly 2 months since my last post for this blog. I confess I have wondered if it is time for me to hang up my blogs. But writing is healing for me, and stories still need to be told even when they are painful! I believe we model for our sons and grandchildren ways that we handle difficulty. After all, it is not about the heaviness of the load, but the way that you bear it!  Joe's vision is improved but still fluctuating after laser surgery; he is still unable to drive and vision related  pursuits he enjoys like reading and watching television are unsatisfactory.    A month ago I spent a week in the hospital due to pneumonia secondary to flu. Since then we have made and kept over 20 medical appointments! Friends and family have called, prayed, shared food and flowers. God is with us every moment. We have learned in new ways the blessing of asking for help, and allowing it!  

The week after I was released from the hospital, we had a surprise impromptu Parker family reunion!  Twenty three people, most of whom we have not seen in several years, gathered to not only bring a meal but clean up every single thing after we had visited all afternoon. There is great joy in keeping family connections. I love looking at photos and seeing all the smiles and shining eyes!  I stood near my kitchen table where 5 girl cousins and Ben were laughing and trading stories. 2 of these "girls" were flower girls in our wedding!  Sean and his family had just left to go home, and Jeremy (in Nevada) received a phone call from them. As they put the phone on speaker and continued their laughter, I thought this was a dear moment I could never have dreamed when we planned that  Christmas wedding 3 days after Christmas in 1963!  

Three of Joe's brothers (here with other groomsmen) have passed from earthly life. His brother Pasco (3rd from Joe in the photo) and his wife, Iris, my sister in law Judy, nieces, a grand nephew, and Iris' sister and her husband plus our sons and their families who live near us made the group that Saturday. 

Monday, April 23, 2018


I miss the storytelling when I go weeks without working on this blog. There have been very few times that has happened. The reasons are almost always the same: family circumstance and illness.

This time is no exception. In addition to problems occurring during travel with our son and granddaughters, 2 weeks ago Joe woke up unable to see anything at all. Since he only has one eye, when that eye is affected, the result is grim. We have excellent medical resources here and he is being treated by a retina specialist. He has 2 kinds of glaucoma which has resulted in dangerously high intraocular pressure and severe pain plus vision loss.  Last week he had laser surgery on the eye. There is some improvement but his vision is still very poor. Our hopes and prayers are that there will be continued healing and improved vision. We are no strangers to eye disease. Our youngest son was diagnosed with Cone Rod Dystrophy when he was  10, resulting in severe vision loss. His experience and spirit have been important to Joe as he deals with this latest issue of his own. I had cornea transplants. The first one was 12 years ago next month. The other eye received a transplant 2 months later. None of these issues appear related. Although none of them have been something we would have chosen, I realize that our combined experiences have given us a strength and connections with medical experts that is a phenomenal resource as we wait for the results for Joe.

Enough for today. It is not always true that one picture is worth a thousand words.

Friday, March 23, 2018


Every year in late winter, trail riders make their way on horseback and in wagons through outlying areas of Houston to gather for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. As the dates approach, western hats and gear appear everywhere, even if those wearing them are not on the way to the rodeo. Nora has her boots and vest and hat, but it is not easy to find gear for a tiny baby boy who has not been walking very long, so I decided to I would make Oliver a vest, complete with a badge for the newest sheriff in town.  When I was helping him try it on, I thought about all the stitches that sewing machine and I have made together. I bought it around 1961, when I was still a student at Oklahoma Baptist University. In 1963 I used that machine to make my wedding gown!

I don't spend as much time sewing these days, but my faithful stitcher is ready to work when I am. It has been my helper in mending, making most of my own clothes at one time, sewing baby boy overalls when our sons were little, making shirts and curtains, pillows, and table linens. I have a picture of me on the morning we left to go to the hospital in downtown San Antonio. That cold January morning, I was wearing a gray knit coat with a paisley lining that I made. I remember that one well, because my bulging belly would not allow the lapels of the coat to meet and button!

Nora brings me everything that needs "fixing" and asks me to sew it up for her. I am glad the Singer and I continue to be stitchworthy. It has proved worth far more than I paid for it. And I was shocked when I saw that on Ebay, it is now worth more than that original $150, which at the time seemed such an extravagance. I think it was a good buy!

I am thankful for my Grandmother and for my Mother, who sewed for me and showed me the value in that creative skill.