Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fuss and Feathers; and Great-great Grandpa #T

Genealogy led me to this bit of family lore, which I have combined with a bit of historic information I have gleaned from various sources. My maternal grandmother's grandfather served in the USArmy under Winfield Scott during the Mexican campaign. It is said that Grandfather, Spencer Lawson, was with Scott during the incursion into Mexico. It is historic fact that Scott took Mexico City. What role Private Lawson played in this is unknown, other than the fact that he survived and returned to his native Hawkins County, Tennessee.

Prior to this war and on a visit to New Orleans in 1846, General Scott was defeated at chess by eight-year old Paul Morphy. Scott was not amused. Though Scott was a Virginian, he maintained his loyalty to the United States when the Civil War wracked the nation. He is credited with the "Anaconda" plan by which the South was eventually strangled into submission.

Meantime, when the War Between the States started, Grandpa Lawson said, as did his general during the previous war, "I will not take up arms against the flag I fought under." It is said that he joined the Union forces; but while home on leave, he was betrayed by a relative, captured by the South and imprisoned at Andersonville. I visited Andersonville twelve years ago and sought to verify this. While I found Lawsons from Hawkins County, there was no record of Spencer Lawson having been there. It is a known fact, however, that wherever he was held he was paroled due to illness and records of which I have obtained copies show that he died in military hospital in Annapolis in 1864. His widow was eventually able to draw a pension for his service in the Mexican War amounting to twenty dollars a month.

Scott was the Whig Party nominee for President in 1852. He was defeated by Democrat Franklin Pierce. He died in 1866.

[Sources: Morrell-Palmer Family Records, National Archives,Wikipedia]

Friday, January 30, 2009


We have just been to a '50s party, and look totally silly at seventy something years of age trying to recreate our teen days. But so do all the other old poops and poopettes.I even measured the jeans cuff--exactly four inches. If nothing else, my memory is good. Well, if you don't ask me what I did this morning.

Since I don't smoke, I had to substitute a card box for the thingie rolled in the white tee sleeve. BBBH looks good, though. But then she does.


The Kangaroos in Springfield have had their way, totally predictably, without evidence and with much rancor. Even jerks should be accorded justice.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Our January Home

Hidalgo County Texas is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, its population having increased by more than one-third during this decade. There are currently three-quarter million persons who live here. Not to mention thousands of Northerners who winter in the area. The largest city is McAllen and the countyseat is Edinburg where we are located. Over 88 per cent of the people are Hispanic or Latino.
I have earlier mentioned that agriculture is a major industry in this area; and obviously tourism rakes in a goodly sum of money.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

As Grass that Withers

We sang "Footsteps of Jesus" in church this morning. "I will follow the steps of Jesus where e'er they may go." The choir sang "Jesus is Lord of All."

Pastor Jose's sermon focused on the first twelve verses of Moses' Psalm 90. This Psalm focuses on the greatness of God and the weakness of man.

God is the God of history.

God is the God of eternity. He is the creator, the almighty.

God is Love. He protects and cares for his people. Romans 8:31, If God is for us, who can be against us? and Hebrews 13:6, The Lord is my help; I will not fear what men do to me.

The frailty of man is expressed by Moses using the metaphors of grass that flourishes briefly then withers; of sleep that lasts but briefly; of a sigh which is but a short exhalation of breath. James in chapter four, What is your life? It is even a vapor (or mist) which lasts a short time then vanishes.

Isaiah in chapter forty, verses 6 - 8 reiterates Moses' message of Psalm 90. So does Peter in the New Testament.

Psalm 90:12 Teach us how short our lives really are, so that we may be wise.

As Paul tells us in Ephesians, we must use our little bit of time for doing good.

See life in the light of eternity.

Make the most of our time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obaministration, Week One

dismantle (v.t) to render incapable of proper function by taking apart piece by piece.

stranglehold (n) condition under which the nation exists when all three branches of the government are held by the same party.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Meme for the Day

The requirement of this meme is

1) Go to your picture collection.

2) Go to sixth folder.

3) Select and post sixth picture with its story.

5) Tag 5 other bloggers.

In July 2006 we drove to Colorado Springs from Indiana. While there, we got to visit this great granddaughter, Mikayla, whom we hadn't seen since she was a babe in arms. We took her, with her Mom and Dad to ta-da! Wendy's where ggp snapped this picture of a rather messy little girl. Thankfully, we have visited with her more recently.

Consider yourself 'tagged' if you wish to participate.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


This little fella landed on the back of our lawn chair this afternoon. Stayed a while, cocked his eyes around to watch me as I focused the camera; and when he got bored with it all, he took off. I know he is an insect, not an arachnid because I can count to six.
One of you entomologists clue me in. Dr. Murt? Anyone?

Flea Shopping

Saturday we went with friends to the flea market at Donna, a few miles to the southeast. One never ceases to be amazed at the incalculable amount of junk that is offered for sale. Occasionally, it is true there is something that might be of use. Look! the two-inch bananas, for instance. Just two bites apiece and exactly right for a fruity snack. And BBBH bought a radish, beautiful snowy white and fully a foot long with a four-inch girth. Sweet and tasty, too. (The oranges, as well as grapefruit, we can reach out our window and pluck from the tree. Well, the grapefruit we have to walk to the rear of the RV to get them.) Fun afternoon with good company, and the walk provided much-needed exercise.

Park Church

Church this morning in the park. Attended along with about 180 others.
The responsive reading was from Romans, chapter 8. Nothing can separate us from God's love.
Park Pastor Jose spoke about Jesus as a model for our prayer.
The prayer life of Christ:
1. Jesus prayed for empowerment. Matthew 4. If Jesus asked the Father for empowerment, how much more should we pray in this manner?
2. Jesus prayed at beginning of each day. Mark 1:35 Should we not start our day even as Christ started His?
3. Jesus prayed before making decisions. Luke 6:13 Do you pray before making important decisions? Do we pray when we are in crisis?
4. Jesus prayed for others (intercessory prayer). John 17. Christ prayed for himself, for his disciples and for all believers. Should we not do the same?
To live a Christian life is to model our lives after Christ. He was a model for our prayer life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

January Home

How does this differ from sitting in the comfort of the Indiana home? BBBH sits across the table [as at home] and works the Scrabble magic [just as at home]. The temperature is the same as it is [at home]; though here it is provided by the weather [unlike home, where Vectren delivers the gas and we deliver the cash]. And they tell me that if one steps outside at home, the Arctic blast will chill you to the bone.
It has been suggested that I minimize the emphasis on the weather here, lest it seem like gloating; but we don't make the weather, we just go where we like it.
Edinburg is a thriving town of about 50,000 souls and is a center of agricultural enterprise, as the entire Rio Grande Valley is given to cropping, from truck produce to cotton to cane, melons to peaches, to whatever the farmer chooses to grow, more or less. Perhaps more cleverly, aragula to zucchini. Moreover, the entire Valley increases dramatically in population during the winter months, as the "Winter Texans" take up their temporary residence here. We are included.
The village was originally called Chapin after a Dennis Chapin. He, however, was involved in a homicide in a barroom in San Antonio in the early part of the twentieth century, and the residents of the town decided they needed a new name. It was named for the birthplace of one of the leading citizens, which was Edinburgh, Scotland. Don't know what happened to the aitch.
Edinburg is the seat of Hidalgo County and lies about 18 miles north of the river and probably forty miles west of Harlingen. (Based on memory of driving a couple of years ago. You check the map.)
Our park does not have cable TV, and we do not have a satellite dish, so it's "over the air." We receive nicely 27 channels. Fourteen of them are Spanish language.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Here's Where We Are

Following a 'net blackout for several days, we are connected again. We had two days and nights in San Antonio where of course we did the Alamo, the Riverwalk and had a fine time. Today we drove from SA to Beeville where we stopped to visit with our friend, Pastor Peter the Presbyterian. A visit to his office, where we met, to his home, and to a dandy little mom and pop Mexican restaurant were included. We then headed on down the road and arrived in Edinburg before dark. What next?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Where in the World Now--

--are Vanilla and BBBH? (And Cookie, too.)
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not Quite Texas

Away from Tipton at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Stayed the night on the banks of the Gasconade River in Pulaski County, Missouri. Up and on the road this a.m. about 8:30 and we arrived in Norman, Oklahoma about 5:30. Our camp is a dozen miles south of Norman on US 77. Certainly hope to be in Texas in the morning.

There is no snow, no freezing rain; but not much warmth, either. Temp about 34F. Goodnight.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Where in the World--

--are Vanilla and BBBH? It is quite cold this morning, but if the weather reports are accurate (insert laughter) there should be a window of opportunity opening Friday morning. If you are reading this, which I wrote Thursday and put on schedule to post Friday, we are somewhere on the road headed for warmer climes.

We'll let you know where the wheels roll.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Love Me Tender

January 8, 1935

The birth date of Elvis Aron Presley, of course. There is nothing I can say in tribute to his contribution that his fans don't already know better than I; and there is nothing I can say to persuade the naysayers of the error of their ways. So we would wish the King a happy 74th birthday had he not departed this life so prematurely.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Change is (not) Coming, or Politics as Usual

[Feel free to skip this]
Entertained ourselves much of this day by watching the fal-di-rol played out in the halls of the government's legislative branch. The only thing approaching the pomposity of the principals in the drama is the self-importance & self-aggandizement of the talking heads commenting upon the show. @3ll, I'M not so smart, either. But BBBH did comment that either of us would be a better congressperson than 99.4% of the clowns in the hall. Yet we'd doubtless come up 225 votes short, or shy one sec'y of state signature. And our names can't be found amongst the eastern elite.
Arithmetic: Suppose there are 300 million of us. What percentage of that number is 535? Oh, yeah. Representation.


Honor and Praise, gifts to the King of Kings. Give yourself to Him. He has given Himself for you.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Eve of Epiphany #T

Tomorrow will conclude the "Twelve Days of Christmas." The church calendar calls it "Epiphany" and it is celebrated in honor of the arrival of the Magi, bearing gifts to the newborn King. As it has evolved in Christian tradition, it has also come to be celebrated in recognition of the life of the boy Jesus, the only events to which the Gospels bear witness are the visits to the temple at age eight days and again at age twelve years, and the flight into Egypt. So this is a post about the night before Old Christmas. My mother's people were from the mountains of Appalachia and my parents lived there for several months when I was an infant. The Scots/Irish settlers in these hills bore with them the traditions of their earlier lives; and they kept many of those traditions alive. Mama told me these tidbits about what I later came to know as Epiphany, a term not frequently used in the church milieu in which I was raised. She said that on the eve of Old Christmas, if one were able to sneak quietly to the barn or to the field in which the animals were, he would hear, precisely at the midnight hour, the beasts "praying," which is to say there would be a cacophony of animal voices, mooing, braying and baaing, and that the animals would in fact kneel in recognition of Christ's birth. Mama also told me that no matter how hard the ground might be frozen, the elder bushes would put forth new shoots on this night! Or so, she said, the people said.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How Old is God?

Pastor Doug started his January series entitled "Life after Death" this morning with his sermon focusing on the question "How old is God?" The scriptures are Psalm 93:2 :Thou art from everlasting;" Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end; and 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Clearly, the sermon speaks to the question How Old is God, but also it really is about eternity and where we will be during that part of it that occurs after our physical death. Life is the :"dressing room" for eternity. Our decisions we make here determine our eternal destination. Life is fragile. There is no guarantee of the time we have on earth. There is more to life than the here and now. When we close our eyes in death, we will open them either in heaven or in hell.

I. God is eternal.
II. The human soul is eternal; a created beginning but with no end.
III. God's judgment is eternal.
They who live in Christ will hear "Well done, good and faithful servant." Those who put not their trust in Christ will hear "Depart from Me."
Christ has already suffered our death by taking our sins upon Himself.
Belief is a matter of the heart. With your mouth confess Jesus Christ as your savior and you shall have eternal life!

Second Sunday after Christmas

Whether you worship in a setting which refers to this day as "Second Sunday after Christmas" or as "Epiphany Sunday," it is right that we consider the day's scriptures.

The Old Testament reading is from the prophet Jeremiah 31:7-14.
The Psalm is 147:12-20.
Today's Epistle is Ephesians 1:3-14 and
The Gospel is John 1:10-18.
Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. Jer 31:10

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Eph. 1:7

Worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cookie!

This is Cookie. We are celebrating his seventeenth birthday today. The old boy is doing quite well. He has a few benign tumors, has lost a few teeth. He has some scars, badges of honor from his attempt to protect his mistress from a charging German shepherd. Nearly lost his butt over that one, in fact. He has also been rolled across the street by a car, guess the focus on the rabbit he was chasing clouded his wits. As usual. He can still give a rabbit a good run; and he still cannot catch it. He will dispatch such, though, that are stupid enough to get trapped inside the fence. Ditto ground squirrels. He has never caught a cat, but he has been chased by one. Only time I ever saw such a thing. Cookie was yelping, too, due to the claw scratch across the muzzle.

This dog is definitely a member of the family with all the perks that appertain thereto. If you enter our home wearing black or navy blue, be advised that you will leave with little white hairs attached to your attire. Notwithstanding the brushing, he shoots the little things around like a porcupine shooting quills. (Yes, I know they don't really do that, but you get the picture.)

Cookie's full name is Cookson the Third; and he's "Cookie" because "Tirdie" is totally inappropriate. Yes, it is.

He is a rat terrier and we are often asked if he's a Jack Russell (most folks don't know that that breed is now officially "Parson Russell"). The perkier ears and the somewhat longer legs distinguish him from the other breed, but otherwise they do look a lot alike. Cookie's eyebrows and cheeks used to be red but have now gone white. He has white eyelashes and a lot of white in the black on his head and muzzle. That is to say, he is showing his age.

I got the dog when I married BBBH, whose critter he is. When she first introduced me to him, I said, "Oh, you have a dogette." I had harbored goldens and large mutts for many years. But our little dog has as much spirit as any canine. He's a pet.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I've never been one much for New Year's resolutions. Why would one strive for self-improvement only at the beginning of the year? Why doesn't he try to do what's right year-round? Here. Walt Mason has said it quite well.

A New Year View

I don't go much on gilded vows, for I have made them in the past, and they are with the bow-wow-wows--they were too all-fired good to last. And so I'll make one vow today: I'll simply try to do my best; that vow should help me on my way, for it embraces all the rest. I'll take the middle of the road, and always do the best I can, and pack along my little load, and try to be a manly man. A man may end his journey hre too poor to buy a decent shroud, and planted be without a tear of mourning from the worldly crowd; but when he's in the judgment scale, he'll come triumphant from the test; no man has failed, no man can fail, who always, always does his best. And though my pathway be obscure, and void of honor and applause, and though the lean wolf of the moor to my cheap doorway nearer draws, I'll keep a stout heart in my breast, and follow up this simple plan: I'll always do my very best, and try to be a manly man.

Uncle Walt