Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

March 15, 2012

On The Bright Side – 3/14/12 – Mary Howell


Did you ever stop to wonder what life was like before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone?  Well, much to my dismay, I got a sneak peek into what it was like not to have a telephone! 


A few weeks ago, my handset phone disappeared.  My sister and friends turned my room upside down in search of my phone. No phone could be found.


We punched the “search” button to listen for a beep but no sound could be heard.  My friends and family tried calling the phone but all that I would hear was their message on the answer machine.  My sister, Clara, who calls me every morning at 7:30 a.m. missed talking to me for two weeks.  I could hear her sweet voice every morning as she said “Good Morning, Mary! How are you today? I love you.  Bye bye.”  Her messages always brighten my day even though I couldn’t respond.


The staff and residents at Hemphill Care Center joined in the search. They carefully looked in every possible place that they could think of. They searched through the laundry but no phone there.   Finally after two weeks, we gave up the search and decided that my phone somehow had ended up in the garbage dumpster.


After two Fridays, Clara could not stand it anymore. So she went to ALCO and purchased a AT&T phone for me. That’s when the fun began! Ha  Clara is no engineer by any means. She even had trouble getting the box open and taking the pieces out that would not fit.  After trying to find plugs, she finally found them. At first she tried to plug the old cords into the new phone. That did not work. Then she searched to the bottom of the box and found the instruction booklet, which looked like a Sears catalog!  There were two handsets and she had handset # 2 hooked into base # 1.  Installing the batteries in the handsets was a big challenge for Clara but she finally get it connected up. She worked until she got the battery in the right place and got the cover back on.


We finally called the Care Center’s Mr. Fix-it, Perry, to help.  He discovered the phone line was not pushed in tight enough. This gave Clara and me a big laugh!  With Perry’s help, Clara was able to record a new message on my answering machine.


So now I am O.K. again.  I can talk to my friends and family once again.  I am back in the life on the bright side again.


 March 14, 2012


Biography for Mary Howell

Mary Howell is a cerebral palsied quadriplegic who has resided at Hemphill Care Center in Hemphill, Texas since November, 2009.  She lived with her parents until their deaths and then lived in her home with 24/7 caregivers.  Mary has spent her life turning defeat into victory.  Her determination and strong faith in God have been an inspiration to all who know her.

Mary attended Hemphill High School, Wharton Junior College and served as the Editor of the Sabine County Reporter.  She has received numerous awards from the Texas Press Women and the Texas Press Association. for her writing.  Mary wrote and published her autobiography in 2007, Life On The Bright Side.

She has received various awards for her services in the community. She was named as an outstanding citizen, communicator of achievement, and Texas Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1986.  She was among the “Nine Who Make A Difference” selected by KTRE-TV in 1986..

Mary’s love for God makes the difference in her life, enabling her to turn sadness into happiness and apparent defeat into victory.

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