Monday, March 25, 2019

A restaurant with a history in Lewisville

Last week, one of our former Coppell neighbors, Susan, and I met for dinner at a local restaurant in Lewisville, Tierney's Cafe and Tavern. The information on the menu told us that the building had been built as the home of a local medical doctor in 1885 (that's pretty old for Texas!), and that legend says that Dr. Kennedy would sometimes provide medical care for Bonnie and Clyde (after being blindfolded and kidnapped to be taken to the hideout). It was a neat local restaurant - always fun to find this kind of place!



Sunday, March 24, 2019

When is the "h" pronounced?

I have recently become better acquainted with a lady at church for whom English is not her first language. She mentioned the difficulty in knowing whether to pronounce the "h" in English words - sometimes it is silent. I had not even thought about this before (I would have thought it may have come up in ESL, but I don't remember it).

Read through these, is the "h" sounded or is it not?
  • honor
  • humility
  • have
  • hope
  • hover
  • hand
  • hour
  • how
  • hospital
There are other examples when the "h" is not the first letter: ghost, rhythm, exhausted.
And one of the websites mentioned that there are words where the "h" is pronounced when the word is emphasized, but not when it is unemphasized, like "his" - "It isn't mine, it is *his* book." versus "We are going to read from his book." (saying it casually rather than emphasizing)

As a native English speaker, we just "know" how a word is pronounced, and we know how to spell it even if the "h" is not sounded... it does not appear that there is a good rule to follow with regard to this!

Some websites for further study:
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/words-with-silent-h/
https://theaccentsway.com/the-h/
https://jakubmarian.com/list-of-words-with-a-silent-h-in-english/

I think I'm glad I learned English as my first language, though I really wish I was fluent in some other languages as well!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Christian Women's Job Corps

Peggy, Dwayne's step-mom, invited me to join with her Sunday School class today to hear from the director of the Dallas Christian Women's Job Corps about what they do and how they do it. I had never heard of this ministry, so I found it to be very interesting.
https://dallascwjc.org/

Christian Women's Job Corps has locations across the US (and Mexico and South Africa). There is also a Christian Men's Job Corps. The parent organization is Women's Missionary Union. From their website (http://www.wmu.com/?q=simple-page/christian-job-corps): "Christian Women’s Job Corps and Christian Men’s Job Corps equip women and men, in a Christian context, for life and employment." The Dallas group offers 3 8-week training sessions per year, helping with job readiness and life skills. Their students may come out of addiction, probation, or even loss of a spouse forcing them into the work force for the first time or for the first time in a long time. The classes are also approved by CPS for mothers who are attempting to regain parental rights for their children.

I enjoyed hearing from Vanessa about their ministry - and thought that some of my readers might be interested too. You can contribute via their website, and they also make and sell candles that provide funds for their programs too (http://www.prospercandles.com/).

Monday, February 18, 2019

Willow Grove Park

I made the remainder of the drive through Dallas and to Lake Dallas to Willow Grove Park. I was able to get the Jeep unhooked and get backed into the site without too much trouble. The site has a great view of Lake Lewisville - Dwayne would have liked this view, though it is much colder than he would have appreciated, and tomorrow is supposed to be cold and rainy, and he certainly would not have liked that!
View out the front window of Miss Doozie... I can see from this view that I need to get the Jeep to a car wash! The tree in the campground in Houston did a number on the Jeep!


Sunday, February 17, 2019

On the move

If you are also following our CaringBridge site, then you know that the hiatus in updates on this blog are due to the final illness and death of my sweet Dwayne. Dwayne passed away on Thursday, his 73rd birthday, now the date of his entry into the reality of heaven. I know that he is in heaven, and that one day I will join him... but it is honestly difficult to feel like continuing on. For now, I plan to continue living in the RV and traveling.

I am making my way from Houston towards Dallas. I was planning to make the whole trip on Monday, but decided it might be better to get out of Houston and a little ways up the road on Sunday.

Folks from Texas might recognize where I stopped to get fuel...

It is Buc-ees!
I thought this was a cute sign alongside the driveway in the dog walk area...
I asked in the store if I could park in their lot overnight - they don't allow it, but I had already checked with the Walmart in Madisonville, so I've driven there and am parked for the night.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Perspectives on aging

I'm not sure why I'm posting "aging" information... but I saw this recently and thought it was funny and the points are on target!


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A funny story - NOT about me!

I saw this story on a friend's Facebook - I don't think it is their story... and probably not anyone's real story, but funny nonetheless!
"$5.37!"
That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me.

I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher.

Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid, with the Elmo hairdo, said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, "It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."

I turned to see who he was talking to, and I then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me.

"Only $4.68" he said cheerfully.

I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child !   Senior citizen ? Noooooooooo way !

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo.  Was he blind ? 

As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil.  
Old?    Me ?

I'll show him, I thought.   I opened the door and headed back inside. 

I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile. Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted by some trinket!

What am I now?    A toddler?

"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?"

I stared with utter disdain at the keys.

I began to rationalize in my mind ! 

"Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly!
It could happen to anyone!"

I turned and headed back to the truck.

I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn.

What now?!

I checked my keys and tried another.
Still nothing.

That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus:

The car seat in the back seat.

Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard.

A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. 

That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach:  hunger!

My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. 

There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All  I could think was, "What is the world coming to?"

All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here"? 

At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue. 

I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. 

He was holding up a drink and a bag.

His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake."

I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words:

"It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 mph zone.

Yessss,... I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius.

And no, I told the officer, I'm *not* too old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall.

I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket.
I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.

The good news was that I had successfully found my way home.

Did you chuckle? Do you know any other "seniors" who would enjoy this story?