Only the memories. . .

Today I signed the final papers to sell my Katy home.  Terry and I bought this house in 1994, right before Zachary was to start kindergarten.  At the time, there were lots of kids to play with in the cul-de-sac.   This was to be our started house, until we could afford something bigger.  We spent the last 11 years of our marriage in this home.

munsey front yard

This is the place that Zac and Gracie learned to ride their bikes.  This is the place where Zachary lost his tooth when he crashed his scooter while trying to show off for the neighbors.  This is the yard that Zachary planted his very own Hibiscus plant and watched it flourish.  This is the neighborhood where both Gracie and Zachary learned to drive.

The house is empty now.  But, the memories still echo in my mind.  I raised my children in this house.  I learned to survive after being widowed in this house.  Lassie, Aislyn, Maynard, PuP, Bulldozer, Crystal, Tiger & Charlie as well as numerous fish, hamsters & hermit crabs were loved and lived in this house with us.

We played. We laughed. We loved. We cried. We fought. And we loved some more in this house.  This is no longer our home.  It’s the house that we made into a home.

munsey back

I will always have the memories to cherish.  Thank you Munsey house.


I had a plan for today. But, the neighbors decided to have a yard sale, so mowing and edging and that unattractive sweaty stuff would have to wait. Instead, I got my coffee and breakfast and drove to a local park. I sat under the trees and listened to the birds sing. Memories flashed through my mind of my kids on this very play area. This was a favorite place for our family.

I watched a squirrel searching the ground. I wished for my binoculars while trying to identify a little black and white bird. I hardly noticed when the tears started to roll. Tears for the great memories made here. Tears for the unknown that is yet to come. Tears for friends that are hurting right now, for the hurts that cannot be removed.

Some days feel impossible, overwhelming. Plans are disrupted. Life is changed for now and forever. How do you keep going? Sometimes, it takes a moment in the park. Just remembering, taking the time to dream and trying to see hope in the distance.


A moment

All it takes is the mention of your name and I drift away from the moment.
My mind turns to my memories of you: your smile, your laugh, your touch, the scent of your cologne.
Reality fades into a dream world as the memories of you move to the fore-front of my mind.
In the midst of the swirl of activity, I go to that place and I’m still safe and protected with you.
You are always there and my heart beats a little faster at the thought of seeing you again.
Sadly, reality refuses be shoved to the side for very long and as quickly as the memories come, you are gone.
But for a moment, a precious moment, you were there, a reminder of how blessed I was to have you in my life.
I will be back. For your name is never far from my lips. I’ll be there to snatch another memory, another moment with you.
For it’s in my memories where love still lives.


My mind floats back to days when life just seemed simpler:
Playing chase or hide-and-seek with the neighbors.
Hours of pretending the cellar door was a mountain that had to be conquered and then rolling down the gentle hill to start over again.
Taking turns being the “mother duck” and letting the real ducks follow us all over the yard.
Sitting in the back seat with my brother and cousin while our mothers would look for birds and being told to “Be quiet”. A lot.
Staying up late and then rushing to turn the TV off before the National Anthem was played and the test screen signaled the end of another day.
Climbing the antenna tower that held the TV antenna that provided all three television stations.
Trying to crawl under the house, only to chicken out because is was dark and spooky and just thinking about it made it hard to breath.
Walking along the creek and gathering cattails and wild flowers or running through the deep gully’s that were cut into the red dirt.
Gathering eggs in the evening with my grandmother or watching her scoop the cream off the top of the bucket of milk that Grandpa brought in after milking the cows.
Watching Grandpa “saucer” his coffee in the morning while eating hot biscuits with fresh churned butter.
Going to the lumber yard with Daddy to get a new jump ropes: one long enough to use with friends at school and one just long enough to jump alone.
Learning to jump rope and hula-hoop and climb the monkey bars and play kick-ball and twirl a baton with my friends at school.
Complaining about the pins when I had to try on new clothes my Mom was making for me.
Taking my sister to the swimming pool in the front basket on my bicycle.
The excitement of a birthday party.
Sitting on Granny’s front porch eating watermelon or Easter eggs or home-made ice cream.
Hours spent selecting and then playing with paper dolls cut out of the Sears, Montgomery Ward and Penney’s catalogues with my aunt.
Taking a cold drink on a hot day to my dad while he plowed the wheat fields and then getting to ride the tractor with him.
Early morning swimming lessons with Mr. Erwin in the COLD water of the City Pool.

I was always so eager to be older and to be an adult. Adulthood has its good points, but it also comes with LOTS of responsibilities. Enjoy today. You will never get it back.


Valentine’s Day

Some have known great love in life. This day is bittersweet. A time of cherished memories.

Some enjoy great love now. This day is a day to celebrate that blessing.

Some look forward to a great love. This is a day for joy and anticipation.

Let us all take the opportunity to show love to those God places into our paths on this day.

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
(1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT)


Tomorrow night it happens. The moment she’s been working toward since kindergarten. My daughter graduates from Sam Houston State University with a degree in Math Education. I am so very proud of her. And I find it hard to believe that she’s really graduating and will be teaching after the holidays.

It was just yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital. I can still picture the 2-year-old red-head that cried when I dropped her off at the daycare. As a first grader, she reminded her teacher of a smurf with her long red hair and bright blue dress. I remember the excitement when she was selected for the Katy ISD Children’s Honor Choir in elementary school and her first band concert in junior high. Her Dad would ooh and ah over how well she played the marimba during the fall marching season her freshman year. She was all girl and had her daddy wrapped around her little finger. The vision of the young woman who refused to cry at her Daddy’s funeral because she wanted to be strong for me is forever etched in my memories.

Gracie has never shied away from anything. She was a percussionist in the Gold medal drum line, a volley ball player, a basketball player, a state ranked wrestler and a singer. She’s stubborn, determined, bossy, organized, funny, beautiful and a blessing in my life. I am excited about her future and where she will go with her life.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate Gracie and her accomplishments. For the second time, I will stand alone and watch her walk across the stage to accept a diploma and wish that her dad was standing with me. I’ll smile and laugh and probably cry a little. Tomorrow, Gracie Graduates.



I’m getting old. The signs are all there. I wear bifocals and hear better when I can see your mouth moving. My joints make noise when I stand up or sit down or just move around. I’m grateful when I get carded. A late night for me is staying up past the 10:00pm news.

I remember the original hip-huggers, bell bottoms, tie-dye shirts and VW Beetle. I grew up with Sunday dresses in a time when the older ladies still wore hats to church. I remember The Tonight Show before Jay Leno, when Johnny Carson was king and all three tv stations signed off at midnight with the national anthem.

I know where I was when Kennedy & Reagan were shot. I watched the Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I listened to the Apollo 13 reentry BEFORE it was a movie. I watched the Watergate hearings that preempted EVERYTHING for weeks and I saw Richard Nixon’s resignation speech.

I know what it takes to be a true cowboy and wore western boots for years before Urban Cowboy made it popular. I talked on CB radios to take care of farm business before they become popular and then useless. My dad took us to HAM-fests where he and other local HAM radio operators practiced emergency drills “just in case” their skills were needed in a disaster situation. I remember party lines and rotary phones and asking the operator to connect a long distance call.

And I remember when promises were kept, vows were sacred and integrity was important. I witnessed my grandparents and my parents celebrate their Golden wedding anniversaries. They worked hard in life and in their marriages. There was an order to life: marriage and then children. Families were important, cherished and protected. The notion of abandoning family for some fleeting moment of excitement or happiness was not accepted.

Maybe it was a simpler time. Or maybe, we’ve allowed the profane to take hold and destroy our families just because it seems easier or more fun. Maybe it’s time to take a stand for integrity and morals. Maybe I’m not too old to do that!