Friday, August 11, 2017
After a few hours, the little caterpillar was spotted a whole room away climbing on the tile at the back of a counter by the kitchen table. Maybe he smelled the dill on the table and was headed for breakfast! We put him in a large glass vase with more dill where he was soon joined with a number of similar caterpillars. We watched as the first caterpillar ate and grew fat.
This made for many conversations about what Nora began calling her paterkillars. The clear container allowed all of us to watch the progress and anticipate changes that would come. We added some sticks so there was a spot for shedding skin, spinning a tiny thread out to hold a chrysalid. We watched as the chrysalis changed color and were all cheering when "our" butterfly emerged, hanging limply and slowly moving the beautiful wings to strengthen and dry. When it was time to release the butterfly, Nora and her mom took the jar outside and Nora's butterfly friend sat on her arm gently for a few seconds before flitting away to the flowers in our garden.
So far, this process has been repeated 8 times! Our swallowtail population is increasing! Joe and I enjoyed doing this with Nora's dad and his brothers, and love doing it again. The butterflies are beautiful, but the most beautiful of all is Nora's excitement and wonder!
Friday, February 24, 2017
This is my father, Oliver Parker. Daddy and his twin sister, Dora, were born 112 years ago today on February 17, 1905. All of my family loved and are so proud of this great man in our lives and we miss him very, very much. This is a picture of Daddy at about age 12 with a friend.
Note: My father-in-law, Oliver Parker, passed away before Joe and I were married, so I never met him. But he left a legacy of hard work, perserverance, faith, and love as communicated through the years to me by my husband and his brothers and sister. Now there is another Oliver Parker, his great grandson who bears his name - our baby grandson, Oliver Hilton Parker!
Friday, February 17, 2017
Friday, January 20, 2017
Today, January 20, 2017 is a day with a heart full of gratitude for me.
Forty-nine years ago, I almost died due to a massive postpartum hemorrhage. My newborn son was 1 week old. I was at home with him and my mother, who had come to help after his birth. My husband, Joe, was at work in San Antonio. As a registered nurse, I recognized the severity immediately. I called the weekend answering service for my doctor, and I called my husband to come home as soon as he could. I should have called an ambulance. There was a lack of accurate information understood by the on-call physician, who probably thought I was overreacting, and Joe had to drive through flooded streets to get home. By the time he got there and scooped me up into the back seat of our car, I was not able to talk anymore I remember praying - for me, for Joe, for our baby son. I was not aware of the fact that since the Nix Memorial Hospital building on the river in downtown San Antonio, had no wheel chair or stretcher where he was able to park, he carried me to the elevator and up to the floor where I was admitted. By the time I was evaluated, I could hear the nurses saying things like "blood pressure dropping" and "can't find a pulse" and could not speak to tell them not to give up. It is absolutely true that a person who cannot respond hears.
By that time my own doctor had received the emergency message and arrived. He personally helped to get blood started and pumped it in manually. I remember the cold rushing up my arm. As soon as I was stabilized, I was taken to the O.R. to do what was necessary to stop the hemorrhage. I was hospitalized for a week. I missed my baby. I worried about him and my sweet mom, suddenly thrust from the role of proud Nana holding her her first grandson to fill in full time for me. Joe tried to work and take care of all of us.
I do not tell the story often, but today, one week after Sean's 49th birthday, I am flooded with thanksgiving for those 49 years of his life, and for those 49 years God-given to me. Joe is by my side. We have two more sons. We have six precious grandchildren. I have been blessed with a full life, friends, and family. I look at the photo above, taken on the first evening of 2017, and can only say thank you.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Remarkable, since he and his wife delivered it to me in a taxi. Remarkable because I had no grandchildren at that time. Maybe I anticipated the sweet fact that I would eventually have 5 granddaughters.
This was never a house for grownups to have fun decorating. It was to play with, to imagine with, to wonder at. And the little girls growing up in our family plus a number of visiting children have done just that. I love that, and I was very fond of this doll house. I will remain so, since it was relocated to my oldest son and his wife's garage. Fitting, because many years after our family left the original house, it became a place for celebrations and they were married in the front parlor of the house we loved and lived in for a short time. In fact, the room where my son's bride dressed was his bedroom when he was 13! I hope that they will enjoy having it to help tell their story as someday they become grandparents themselves.
Another exercise in letting go and holding on! Another way to tell our story.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
I only have to watch the Monarchs in our back yard as they go through their cycles of caterpillar, chrysalis, and metamorphosis to be reminded that change is necessary for growth. Enjoy your wings, sweet girls!
Friday, January 8, 2016
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Monday, August 24, 2015
Maddie and Jordann had their first day of the 2015-2016 school year last week. Now in 4th grade and 2nd grade, they headed back to school in uniforms, with book bag and back pack. Skye started her 7th grade year today. And Lauren is back in her college classes next week. I love this time of year. In our part of Texas, the temperatures are still too hot to think that Fall is almost here, but there are cues beyond the heat and the calendar page. Change is in the air. Back to school means schedule changes for everyone. Our church Wednesday night suppers begin again. Family music time and youth gatherings and handbell rehearsals get back into a rhythm and time is more structured. I love the lazier days of summer, but there is something so satisfying about getting back into a familiar routine. There are new shoes, new clothes, new books, new projects, new teachers, and new friends. And even for those of us who don't start back to school, the beat changes. Think crisp mornings, leaves turning, pumpkins sprouting everywhere, caramel apples, and the fragrance of cinnamon.
When I was in the second grade, I was in a play called School Days. I had a red checked dress and our group sang "School days, school days, dear old Golden Rule Days. Reading and writing, and 'rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hick'ry stick." Hickory sticks are long gone, arithmetic an exercise in mathematics that is a puzzle to me, reading and writing may be done with computers and tablets. But school days are back and I am glad!
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
Joie de vivre is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.
" `It "can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life, a Weltanschauung. Robert's Dictionnaire says joie issentiment exaltant ressenti par toute la conscience, that is, involves one's whole being." ` Wikipedia
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Nora was only a few weeks old last Easter, but this year she proudly walked around for all to see her Easter outfit! Her Dad held her proudly as he brought her into our church's Easter breakfast wearing all the special clothes her Mommy had assembled for her. We were amazed how long the hat stayed on her dark haired head. Later, at home when her shoes and stockings were given up for sweet bare feet, her hat traded for bunny ears. I looked around at the gathering her parents had assembled - fond grandparents, aunts, uncles, and proud cousin, and remembered a sweet line from a Fernando Ortega song called "This Time Next Year."
"... hold her high, because we are lifted in her laughter!"
posted with gratitude to Ben and Kristen and Nora, and also to Nora's other grandmother, Desiree, who outdid herself cooking our Easter brunch.
Friday, April 3, 2015
I thought about Easters in the seventies when we decorated and hid eggs for our three little boys, dressed them up and took them to church and to visit grandparents. I thought about Easters in the past 15 years when I found just the right Easter dress to delight first one, then two, three, four, and now five sweet granddaughters! I smiled when I pictured the fun we have had with our little boys and these little girls decorating eggs, cookies, and cakes, and gathering our growing family around Grandma Terrell's dining table in our home. Which led me to think of that same table surrounded by my grandparents, parents, my sister and me, and sometimes others. Always my sister and I proudly wore Easter dresses sewed by Mother. Often we had a coat, hat, and purse to match! Those little girl Easters always included going to an outdoor Easter sunrise service in a rock ampitheater. Those red rocks made for hard, cold seating and shivering little girls in the early hours.
I thought about all the Easter baskets and Easter bunnies these memories represent, including this stern looking celluloid blue and white bunny that was mine in 1941, my very first Easter. I have no recollection of that Easter, of course, but the fact that this odd little rattle was something Mother kept and passed on to me is significant. She remembered.
Remembering is really what matters after all. In all the little signs and symbols of Easter there is one common thread, one reason for each: to help us remember. We remember that Christ came, that he lived to show us how to live, was crucified, laid in a grave, and that he rose on the third day. We sing the Easter songs and celebrate with joy because we remember.
We practice resurrection and redemption. Happy Easter!
Monday, March 16, 2015
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Friday, December 26, 2014
Sometimes, family story is as simple as looking at what has been kept and how it is used today. On Christmas Eve 2014, Nora finds joy in this stuffed Santa who wiggles his head while music tinkles "Santa Claus is Coming Town!" This Santa made her Daddy giggle when he was her age, and through the years perched on various bookshelves, stair steps, and kitchen counters in many different homes through our years of moving often. He is one of the beloved Christmas decorations we pull out of a bin when we happily begin dressing our home for Christmas every year.
An even older story comes from the wooden high chair where Nora and Santa are playing. It is also where she joined our family yesterday for her first Christmas dinner at Grandma and Papa Terrell's old oak table. The high chair, circa 1941, used by my sister in the mid 40's, all of our sons, including Nora's Daddy, and our granddaughters as they arrived and shared meals at our house. The worn spindled back, scuffed footrest, and dented tray hold stories of 4 generations (5 if you count my grandparents, who without doubt frequently joined Mother and Daddy for mealtime). That is a great deal of joy!
Friday, August 15, 2014
Opal was my mother, making her Nora's great grandmother. The butterfly quilt was made as a gift for Opal on her 17th birthday in 1931, a common pattern choice in those depression years that so needed the butterfly's symbolism of hope. The women who chose these colors and patterns and stitched every tiny, even stitch were Opal's mother and grandmother, making them Nora Opal's great-great grandmother and great-great-great grandmother. I stood as I watched Nora admire their handwork, thinking of their stories and hers. They could not have known that almost a century later, a beautiful little girl would so love what they made. But I am confident they know now. Opal herself did not know when she passed the quilt on to me how I would keep it and love it and give it again. But I know she joins Clyde and Earnestine in blessing Nora and returning the admiration. Hope is a wonderful gift to pass on.