I grew up in a large family, and my favorite time was Sunday dinner after church, sitting around the table eating fried chicken and talking. Everyone discussed the previous week’s events and spoke about their plans for the following week. In those talks around the table, I learned so much about my family; the areas where they were struggling, where they were succeeding, what their hopes were for the future and their plans for making those dreams come true. It was precious time. … It is as true now as it was then; the table sets the stage for some of the most meaningful conversations.
A famous philosopher once said, “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” This statement stirs something inside the heart of even the most dedicated wallflower. Whether for fun or romance, in worship or in performance, there’s just something about dancing that takes stress and worry and sets them aside for a brief moment and replaces them with joy.
Ready or Not … A few weeks ago, one of those quizzes that pop up on Facebook came across my feed. … It was a word search with directions advising that the first three words you saw would define your 2021. If you looked closely, you could find words like “hope,” “friends,” “job” and “marriage.” More humorous prospects like “wine,” “sex” and “pot” were there too. My friend David’s comment resonated with me most. The first words he saw were “QAATH,” “VBTEQC” and “FEHLLP.” … Amen, brother!
This month’s issue of Texarkana Monthly is a sentimental look into the history of Texarkana. These twin cities have been deeply enriched by so many people with fascinating stories, traditions, and resources. We are taking the opportunity this holiday season to reflect on where we came from, who we are, and where we are going. So much of our incredible past is completely unknown to most of the community, but it’s a history that is worth knowing and passing on to the next generation of Texarkana residents.
In the 1890s the U.S. Congress made the mailing of “penny” post cards legal. Their use became an instant success—specifically among business and vacation travelers on railroads all over the nation. These postcards were very slow, but they were an economical means of communicating. Basically, it was a penny for the card and a penny for the stamp. In a week or two, the kinfolks in Chicago could get word on their family traveling to Waco, or the Texarkana businessman could send a note to a client in St.
Grace… The New Normal … Friends, we have made it to December. It is the final month of this crazy year of COVID-19. Hallelujah! For so many of us, 2020 has brought fear, uncertainty, loss, anxiety, and memories we want to leave behind a locked door. Through the chaos, I have been able to find a few experiences I hope to carry with me into 2021 and beyond. … The Brothers, our twin boys, were born in January 2019. We had been a comfortable family of three for almost four years, and I knew growing to a family of five would force me to let go of some things and lighten up a little.
Many times an idea is birthed from a casual conversation. Such is the case with the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra. Remica Gray and Mary Scott Smith, two friends dedicated to promoting music in the Texarkana area, talked about offering live orchestral music locally. … Unsure if there was an interest, they inquired about the amount of funding needed for such a venture and formed a committee. The duo asked area music patrons to be founding members by donating a thousand dollars each.
When we think about a Renaissance man, most of us think of those great men of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, whose brilliant plays and poetry we’ve studied in books and whose breathtaking works of art we’ve seen on chapel ceilings. Centuries later though, right here in the year 2020, you still occasionally run across those rare individuals who seem to become an expert at every task they set their hands to.
Thanksgiving, Traditions, and the Like … NOVEMBER. A thirty-day month full of gratitude, joy and, for some, appropriately timed Christmas shopping. For me and my family, this month marks the beginning of a fairly complete transition to cooler weather, celebrating a wedding anniversary with my stud of a husband, continuing to watch PG and A&M football, being able to wear my UGGS in public with less self-awareness and my favorite American celebration: THANKSGIVING! … Thanksgiving has become our favorite holiday spent with the whole family, and we are all refreshed once it is over.
On June 11, 2010, my world came crashing down. … The unexpected happened to my family, along with several other families in the surrounding area. I had always heard of horrible things happening to others, but I never imagined that my family would be a part of such a story. On that day, we lost Gayble, our seven-year-old spunky, fun, loving daughter, in an unexpected, horrific flood at Camp Albert Pike. … The first year after this devastating event occurred was nothing but a blur for me. I recall just trying to survive one day at a time.