The Levees

I originally posted this 10 years ago tomorrow. What a 10 years it’s been for New Orleans. I’m so glad to have been able to visit there before Katrina came and the levees broke and I’m delighted to have been able to visit several times since to see the new and improved New Orleans..

Go down to the levee, I said to the levee,
And join that shuffling throng
Hear that music and song!
It’s simply great, mate, waiting on the levee
Waiting for the Robert E. Lee!
~”Waiting for the Robert E. Lee” as written by L. Wolfe Gilbert and Lewis F. Muir

Who thought the levees would give?

Friday Flashback: Sit on It!

What a difference a year makes. My child and her family are back in the US and even living with us temporarily. I changed demographics for this same student last week and the dad and I recognized each other. No comments made about last year by either of us.

When I was in the 10th grade a new sitcom hit ABC’s lineup. Happy Days became an instant success and spun off several other sitcoms over the next decade. The ultimate put down among the teens in the fictional Milwaukee neighborhood was “sit on it!”.

Those who know me even just a little bit know my face leaks at inopportune times and that I try to be polite and helpful at all times.

A parent who doesn’t know me now knows the above as well.

Kristie called me today. At school. From 8200 miles away in Al Ain. The fussing mom – who was being helped as I was notarizing things for her and could clearly see I was doing it – made several cracks about not being a priority since I had answered my cell phone. I put down the phone once as she was fussing. Picked it up again and she started again. I hung up on Kristie. And then realized I’d hung up on my child who I hadn’t spoken to in over a week and hadn’t seen in 2 weeks and might not see for at least 2 years. I started to cry.

And by cry I mean, I lost it. I couldn’t stop crying. I mean I would stop, start to say something and I would start to cry again. Frankly, I am still teary-eyed about it.

Bless the sweet male office aide who went to the bathroom and brought me toilet paper to cry into. When I could talk I explained to the dad just why I was crying. For the 30 minutes or so they continued to be there I cried off and on.

Mom left first. Dad left but called me to apologize. I cried again. Mom called later to sort of apologize. I cried again.

Between our child, her husband, and their child moving to the other side of the planet, the stress of a new office and different duties, new software which isn’t really working, the “no staying late” mantra from most of those around me (which isn’t true, it’s a misunderstanding of the new rules), paras district wide up in arms over some changes that I/UEA are battling, Aunt Vana dying without my getting to her hospital to say good-bye, and a crazier than usual first week of school I guess I am a bit stressed and it came to a head when I hung up on Kristie today. What I should have done was tell that rude mom to go “sit on it”, like Fonzie would have done. Then I should stood up and left them standing there while I talked to Kristie.

Life would be so much easier if
1) My face didn’t leak so easily.
2) I hadn’t been brought up by the Polite Police and things like “Sit on It, Grumpy Biscuits. I’ll be with you when I finish here,” came more naturally to me.

This Boy is 7!

Happy Birthday, Colton D! We are blessed to be your Mutti and Daideo.


Colton canvas pic






First day of school



Indy Race

First Hunting Trip

First Day of Kinder






20150726_155300920_iOS (1) (1)



My Aunt Lavana died a year ago today. Her daughter, my cousin Becky, wrote this tribute to her parents after her mom’s funeral. I asked Becky if I could reprint it and was granted permission but I don’t know that either of us expected it to take me a year to share it here on the blog. Becky’s sister, my “best cousin”, my dad’s favorite niece, Karen wrote a short thank you after the funeral and I have included it as well.


Lavana by Becky


These two sweethearts met at Bryan College and married when Mom graduated in 1950. She earned two more degrees, a PHT from Bryan in 1952 & a PHT from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1956. She was in ministry with my dad in Young Life for many years. They were the first college graduates in their families and passed that tradition along to their children and grandchildren. When the baby grand graduated from DBU in 2010, Dad looked at me and said, all of my grandchildren have graduated from college as well as the ones who have married into our family. They were both very proud!
I am overwhelmed this week by the kindness of strangers. My mom was admitted to Baylor Hospital on Friday and yesterday afternoon around 4:00, she went to be with her Lord. So many people worked so hard to help her but her body simply wore out after 86 years of a wonderful life. Her hospital bed became our family meeting place full of storytelling and reminiscing but yesterday morning, she made her wishes clear that she wanted to go see Jesus, her mother and daddy, and Joe….her twin, Vena was a given. When I reminded her that she would see Gibson before me, she got excited about finally getting to rock that boy!

We are sad. My dad lost his roommate of 64 years. But, Saturday, we will celebrate her life at a graveside service in the Mount Calm Cemetery at 11:00 followed by lunch in the barn on our family land. All are welcome!

Thankful for friends and family who gathered today in the August heat to celebrate the life of my mom. Our husbands, kids, and grands, wrote poems, told stories, and wrote a song, as well as leading us in Grandma’s favorite hymns. Over 100 people drove over 2 hours to spend time with us on our family land, bringing food for lunch, flowers to enjoy, and expressing their deepest sympathies. Seventeen of my first cousins were there to share my grief and be with a favorite uncle today. Did I mention it’s August and we were outside in TEXAS? The Snow-on-the-Prairie flowers were thick today in Mount Calm. What a site! Forgot to mention the plague of grasshoppers who were uninvited guests who ate the daisies on all the tables but who also entertained our grandkids all afternoon!



We can’t thank everyone enough for coming long distance to honor mom today. It was so wonderful to share with so many friends and family. Now even city folk understand what a graveside service in the August, Texas heat is all about. Who would ever have thought that over 100 would come and most would come eat at the barn! I know we were surprised. Thank you to all who helped prepare, serve, clean up, and take care of us today. We loved seeing you and sharing with you about mom! Thank you to Mike Wade of Wade Funeral Home. So glad someone from the family helped us through this time.

Kathy again: I know my twin aunts and dad had quite the reunion a year ago today. It’s comforting to know we’ll see them all again when we get to Heaven. Getting to spend Eternity with Christ and family, what more could one want or need? I hope you have that assurance like I do because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.


And all that Jazz

Ten years this weekend. Ten years. Where did the time go?

The time went to rebuilding a new and improved levee system and rebuilding New Orleans. By God’s grace Jackson’s Square and the French Quarter survived Katrina and the things Katrina took away the people of New Orleans have, in many cases, repaired, replaced, or removed. It’s sad to see some of the ghosts of structures still standing but seeing history is not a bad thing.

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it each night and day
I know I’m not wrong… this feeling’s gettin’ stronger
The longer, I stay away
Miss them moss covered vines…the tall sugar pines
Where mockin’ birds used to sing
And I’d like to see that lazy Mississippi…hurryin’ into spring

The moonlight on the bayou…….a Creole tune…. that fills the air
I dream… about Magnolias in bloom……and I’m wishin’ I was there

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that’s where you left your heart
And there’s one thing more…I miss the one I care for
More than I miss New Orleans

The moonlight on the bayou…….a Creole tune…. that fills the air
I dream… about Magnolias in bloom……and I’m wishin’ I was there

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that’s where you left your heart
And there’s one thing more…I miss the one I care for
More…..more than I miss…….New Orleans

I had such a bad feeling on Sunday about this storm.
The Super Dome worried me, in particular.
I am so thankful that we have wonderful memories
and pictures of our trip to New Orleans.

It will never be the same again.

When I was 11, I thought Camille was the worst
hurricane ever.
At 47, I know Katrina is much worse.

Prayers and Tears is all I know to say.


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