Columns & Editorials

Love Everlasting
Love Everlasting

Love Everlasting

“You can’t pick out the pieces you like and leave the rest. Being part of the whole thing, that’s the blessing.” When I think of the movies I’ve watched with one or most or all of my kids over the years, no list is complete without Tuck Everlasting, hence the above quote. I know, it’s a book, too. The quote is from the book. I’m not even sure if they say that line in the movie, though I watched it with Chynna the tween at least a million times. I thought, quite a bit, in fact, about kids this weekend. Once you have children, they occupy your mind for the rest of your days. You worry about them in the early moments. Is that colic or something far worse? You worry about them as teens. Where are they when you think you know? You worry about them as adults. Are they drinking enough water? Are they making sound financial decisions? You grieve over them, God forbid, when they are lost to you. Children invade every cell of your being with the hold of a vice grip and the tenacity of an angry wasp. It never leaves you. One of my children has a mom. Weird, right? And, she’s an exemplary mom, the kind that goes out of her way to pray for the stepmother (that’s me), to make sure I get a Christmas gift, to send me the dates and times for all the stuff. We were together this weekend, we two moms. “Our” boy got his Aggie ring. This is the time I worry most about the boys, this odd limbo period between being a technical man, yet still so naïve to the world. I worry that they will place money over happiness. I worry that they will allow society to dictate their definition of success. I worry that the weight the world places on a young man’s shoulders will be so very heavy. But, the two moms stood and marveled at what we had created, one of us through the miracle of birth and the other through the miracle of providence. Sure, the kid was the one trying to down a pitcher of beer faster than all the others downed their pitchers of beer, careful not to swallow that incredibly expensive Aggie ring. But, the moms – we were the ones high fiving at what we had done. We got you here, buddy. We aren’t sure how we pulled this off, but we did it. Show me a mom with a kid in college and I’ll show you a mom who deserves the kudos. That high school research paper that accounted for half the semester grade, that was all mom magic. Remember that freshman oral essay you aced? A mom prayed it to fruition and paid for all the Tums you took to calm your stomach. That fraternity pledge you wanted so badly, that was all mom power. We offered up a decade of our own life in exchange for safe and gentle hazing. We are always there behind the scenes, hoping, willing, praying, calming, encouraging, and motivating. We know we get on your last nerve. We secretly like it that way. Your colic was nearly the death of us, after all. The least we can do is be a thorn in your newly adult side.

Spring for All

Spring for All

The beauty that is Spring lies in the promise of new growth seemingly occurring overnight; trees are leafing out, flowers are pushing up through the soil, bees and birds and butterflies are fluttering in the sunshine. And, even after the difficulties of this year, teachers and students are working hard to finish the school year in a strong fashion.

The Real “Bad Bob” (Part 2)

The Real “Bad Bob” (Part 2)

In the early 1890s Bob Barnett ordered lumber from a sawmill in Longview and had it sent to Lone Oak to build his house. It was probably sent by rail along the Texas and Pacific Railroad from Longview to Mineola then transferred to the newly built leg of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad that ran from Mineola to Greenville with a stop in the brand-new town of Lone Oak that was incorporated in 1890. Barnett chose a spot along Campbell Road (now FM 513) about two miles north of Lone Oak and a quarter mile north of his father’s majestic home. There is little left of the elder Barnett’s home except what is left of the kitchen which was attached to the home via a breezeway. There is also a root or storm cellar still visible. As far as anyone knows, Bob’s father was a decent man with little hint that he shared the inclination to violence and larceny that became hallmarks of his son’s life.

Three Rights

Three Rights Make a Left

In late December of 1972 I was a 16-year-old high school kid growing up in Floresville, Texas 30 miles south of San Antonio. A very rare thing happened at the NorthPark Theater on Loop 410 and IH 10 in North San Antonio. There was the world premiere of a movie. Not Hollywood, not New York, but there was an actual world movie premiere in San Antonio.

Three Rights

Three Rights Make a Left

On our little farm in Lone Oak, Texas, we have cattle, a horse, ten chickens and a little Aussie-Pom dog named Toby. I’m just going to say it: Toby is a chicken chaser. He acts a lot more like an Aussie than a Pomeranian. However, our chickens, as you can imagine, don’t much like being chased. Our chicken coop is against the barn a good 200 yards in back of our house, and in between is the cow pasture. Lori and I have invested a great deal of time attaching rabbit fencing to the cow panels that surround our back yard. We have put up 200 feet so far and every time it seems like Toby won’t get out…he does. We only need to put up about fifty more feet and the entire back yard should be completely puppy proof.

Do We Want To Go Back?

Do We Want To Go Back?

Two years into the pandemic and we have yet to find our footing. The call to “get back to normal” continues, but I think “normal” no longer exists nor will it ever exist again. But isn’t that a good thing? As we look back at “normal”, should we be eager to return to that place? Do we want to return to low expectations and low achievement? Let’s look at what “normal” was.

The Flame of Knowledge

The Flame of Knowledge

Watching a campfire flame flicker and dance can be mesmerizing or inspiring depending on the point of view of the watcher. Similarly, watching the actions of a teacher who is teaching a lesson to their class can also be mesmerizing and inspiring. The best teachers enthrall and enchant their students with the lesson being taught. Sometimes the material being covered doesn’t seem to invoke an enchanted response from the students in the class– just as often the most basic lesson catches a student so completely that the rest of the year goes easier for that student to the point that the learning becomes nearly effortless.

Don’t Be Surprised By

Don’t Be Surprised By Social Security Taxes

When you reach the appropriate age, it’s easy to apply for Social Security retirement benefits – just go to Social Security’s website and fill out the online form. But there’s another part of the application process that a surprising number of people ignore – the part that asks how much money, if any, you want withheld for federal taxes. And if you skip this section, you could face an unpleasant surprise when it’s tax-filing time.

An Aesop Fable in

An Aesop Fable in Inflationary Times

Aesop was a storyteller in ancient Greece who lived over 500 years before the birth of Christ. He was also a slave, but because of his ability to learn and tell stories we now know him two and a half millennia later because he was a storyteller. His fables lived on through oral tradition and weren’t even written down until a couple of centuries after his death. By then, a lot of stories have creeped into the volume of his work and were attributed to him. A lot of Aesop’s fables, most of us have never heard. However, many told during our childhood have become part of us, stories like: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Lion and the Mouse, The Fox and the Grapes.

Pages

Forney Messenger

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 936, Forney, TX 75126
Physical Address: 201 W. Broad St., Forney, TX 75126
Phone: 972-564-3121
Fax: 972-552-3599