Sunday, March 29, 2009


What a difference a day makes in Oklahoma. Today it is 65 degrees, calm and sunny. We were to have the worst snowstorm of the winter on Saturday night and Sunday. All predictions for Oklahoma City did not materialize. Everyone was planning ahead and grocery stores were packed with shoppers. I just knew I would not be able to get to the museum for my day of volunteering. We saw a dusting of snow and the temperature did get down close to freezing but luckily the ground was too warm for anything to freeze and stick to the roadways.

There were 35 visitors to the museum on Saturday, cold but enthusiastic. Mostly the visitors were from out of state and they were happy to see the museum was open. States represented were Nebraska, Arkansas, Indiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. Everyone that visits leaves with awe and appreciation of the many artifacts housed in the museum and of the equipment displayed on the outside. Last Saturday the visitor count was 298, but it was Spring break for many states. The weather was warm and beautiful and families were taking advantage of the first days of Spring. I am amazed that young boys are so knowledgeable about past wars and military equipment. They have gained their knowledge mostly by playing computer games. One family of a seven year old girl and a nine year old boy and their grandfather comes in every Saturday. It is the girl's favorite thing to do with her grandfather and she heads to the small chapel. The chapel is a consecrated chapel of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant faiths. At the back of the chapel is a stained glass window of a 45th Infantry soldier (Thunderbird insignia patch on his sleeve) on one knee, rifle in one hand and a bible in his other hand. That stained glass window is beautiful and represents all soldiers on the battlefield. There is a folding organ and altar for the Chaplain to conduct services with right out in the fighting zone. I am in awe just thinking of religious services of all faiths being conducted on the battlefield. That is one place where everyone must feel God's presence.

I enjoyed a visit from a friend from McAllen, TX on Monday. We had never met but had been corresponding via instant messaging and e-mails for several months. A friend had put us in touch with each other and we had been corresponding ever since. We had a very enjoyable lunch at a local restaurant. It was fun getting to know Tom. He was in Oklahoma City visiting his son and family. His visit was cut short because of the impending weather predictions. He did not want to get snowed in and unable to return to his home for several days. As it turned out, he did not have to leave so soon and it would have been nice to have visited with him once again before he left. I have received instant messages from him and he did make it back home safely. It is 700 miles from Oklahoma City to McAllen.

Friends and family met last night to celebrate my granddaughter's sixteenth birthday. Rayna seemed to enjoy the celebration and was embarrassed when the waiter staff came and sang to her. She received several nice gifts and I believe fun was had by all that were there. I think she expected the keys to a new car (ha). Watch out world she will soon be driving on the streets and highways. The food was delicious and her birthday cake (furnished by Kelly) was pretty, moist, and tasty.

My grandson returned back to college today after having spent a few days with all of us on his Spring break. He is returning back to a very deep snow. I believe he said they had 15 inches of snow and I can just imagine how deep the snowdrifts are. Ryan will be leaving to visit his friend, Jorge, in Honduras, the latter part of April. I am thrilled he will be able to have this experience. Jorge was on Ryan's college soccer team but graduated midterm and has already gone back to his home. He is to return the latter part of April to attend his graduation ceremonies. These two boys have made a lifelong friendship. Jorge hopes to continue playing soccer on a pro team in Honduras.

As the day is ending (6:20 pm) I am thankful for experiencing good health and surrounded by good friends and family. What a boring existence it would be without loved ones.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Rayna, when you were born sixteen years ago, I had no idea how much love I would feel for that little bundle of pink. When Grandma O, Grandpa George and I were at Baptist Hospital, awaiting your birth, never would I have believed that someone so little could capture my heart and soul as you did right from the first moment I laid eyes on you. I think you and I bonded from the moment I held you in my arms sixteen years ago on March 28th. I didn't know that a granddaughter could be so special, having never had a daughter of my own.

Everyone but me knew that the impending birth was to be a baby girl. As you know, I was hoping for you to be a boy. What joy I would have missed in life had you not been the one born on that day. It wasn't that I felt that I couldn't love a baby girl, but I had only had experiences with a big brother, two sons of my own and your big brother, Ryan (my grandson).

The name Rayna Monet fits you so well, Monet being the name of a famous French Impressionist artist. His paintings are beautiful and colorful and so are you. You are a creative and artistic individual. You certainly are colorful with the changes in hair coloring from red, pink, blue, black, and purple, just to name a few. Whatever the new color is to be in the future, I know it will look good even to your granny. I don't always appreciate or understand your individualism, but I know you are a sweet, wonderful young lady beneath all the exterior colorings.

I was a doting grandmother when you were a baby. I remember caring for you many days while your mom and dad worked. Some people even referred to you as being my shadow, since we were always together. At your Baptismal I stood in for your godmother and you were never more darling or cuter than that night dressed all in white for your baptism. Your mother and brother were also baptised that Easter Eve in Norman, OK.

You loved playing dress up and you were particularly fond of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I bought you a Dorothy's costume and it transformed you into Dorothy!!!!. One evening we took you to a stage play at a local high school that was performing the Wizard of Oz. You were dressed as Dorothy and when one of the actors of the play asked you your name, you replied with no hesitation "Dorothy." There were other characters that you dressed up as, such as, Cinderella, Snow White, Pocahontas, cheerleader, bride, gymnast, and many others. We had all the costumes and you became that character when you were dressed in that costume. We also loved seeing you in your Easter clothing, hat included (what a little doll).

When you were just a toddler, the Murrah Building here in Oklahoma City, was blown up by Timothy McVeigh, and your neighbor across the street, PJ Allen, was one of the toddlers in the day-care center that day. We were all saddened that horrific day. We have watched PJ mature into a handsome, young man and he is doing well. You were the same age as he was on that day and I am so thankful that you were not in that building and had to suffer as PJ did for several years after the bombing.

Another remembrance I have is when you baked in your Easy Bake Oven and you served your Grandpa and me cake and cookies that you felt so proud having baked them yourself. We had tea parties served in the little tea cups and saucers, really we know it was a soft drink and not tea.

You love all animals, especially your dog, Luke, and your horse, Bud. We were all extremely proud of you when you took horseback riding lessons and excelled enough to perform in the junior rodeo. Some of your first birthday parties were at Ponyland and you and your guests had so much fun riding the various horses.

You have become a very good volleyball player and seem to enjoy the game and being with your teammates very much. You played some soccer but never seemed to enjoy it as much as you do volleyball. I love to see your enthusiasm and enjoyment the second you get on the court.

What a beautiful young lady you have grown up to be. Today as you celebrate your "Sweet Sixteen" birthday, I want to tell you how very much I love you. Happy Birthday to one of the "Joys In My Life."

Monday, March 16, 2009


Howard Gene was my only brother. He was born a few years ahead of me to our parents, Alfred and Esther. I could not pronounce Gene and so as a young child, I called him "My Sheen". Somewhere along the way he became known as "Sonny" to everyone but me. Our sister, Janice, was born fifteen years after me, so Howard and I were the only siblings for many years. We had a very good brother/sister relationship and I looked up to my big brother for help in everything. We were both in high school at the same time and I will never forget his Model A Ford Coupe that he drove us to school in each day. Now don't jump to conclusions that we were that old --- we were not!!!! We were just lucky to have any vehicle at all. I wish I had that vehicle today. We had so much fun riding to school in it. It shimmed and shook but always got us to our destination. Howard was a member of the football team and was the envy of the football team with his Model A. All the team members wanted to ride in it, the car even had a rumble seat. The car was painted red and black, our school's colors. Each day our Dad gave us fifty cents for gasoline (those were the good ole days in many ways).

I remember my brother had many cute high school buddies that would come to our house. I was just a kid sister and fell for each of them, but none of the boys even looked my way and they gave me no attention at all. But I sure looked their way!!!!

Howard went onto marry Roberta (now deceased); they had two daughters, Debbie and Darlene. (Howard on the left with first born daughter, Debbie). His marriage to Roberta ended and Howard continued to raise the girls and see them through their small town high school. The girls are grown and have their own lives now and both are in loving marriages.

My brother loved to go fishing with his friends (he is the good looking fisherman on the left) and some of these same friends often got together to make music. I have a recording that they made. He also loved to play cards with friends, either in his home or theirs, and looked forward to the Saturday night card games.

Howard went to as many OU football games that he could, both at home and away. I guess his high school football playing days made him a football fan forever. George and I went with he and his first wife to the Texas-OU game. What fun we had that day at the Texas State Fair and the football game, but it was a long, silent drive home because Texas beat OU that day.

Howard married again and found happiness with Carol, two stepsons, and a step-granddaughter. He also had his dogs that he loved dearly. His untimely death occurred on May 12, 1997. Carol was home from work that day, but had left to run errands, and upon her return, found him in his recliner. He had a heart condition and possibly the early signs of dementia. It was very sad to hear of his death. Many friends and family attended the service in Shawnee and he was buried in a beautiful cemetery in Shawnee, OK.

Howard had worked many years in the trucking business and had retired a few years before his death. He was a respected employee and well-liked by his employer and fellow employees. I can't remember him ever not working, starting right out of high school. One of his purchases after obtaining a few paychecks, was a television. Our home was a gathering place for relatives and neighbors, since we were one of the first to have a TV. As I recall, the test pattern was the best thing to watch!!!!

We all know life goes on after the death of a loved one, and there will always be a void in our lives after their death, but our memories of that person stay with us forever. I remember Howard with such affection and love. My first son carries the middle name of Howard. Today, March 16th, would have been my big 6'3" brother's birthday, and as I sit here typing this posting to my blog, I am thinking of "My Sheen" and remembering.