Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

October 18, 2013

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:27 am

 

We all go through circumstances that cause us to worry.  Every day of our lives brings happenings which either bring joy or distress to us.

 

I recently heard a message by my pastor Jerry Masters, who encouraged us to try to stop worrying so much.  He told the audience that worry was the opposite of having faith.  When we worry, it shows that we have a bit of distress. God our Heavenly Father, knows everything that is going to happen to us from the day we are born until the day we die.  We need to have faith and trust His will for us.  The Bible says “Fret not and fear not”.  When we spend our time worrying about the future, we not only have emotional distress, we also can do damage to our heath.  Some symptoms which could be caused from worry are difficulty swallowing, dizziness, fast heart rate, fatigue, headaches, irritability, and nausea. 

 

Worrying is feeling uneasy or being overly concerned about a situation or problem  With excessive worrying, your mind and body go into overdrive as  you  constantly focus on ”what might happen”.

 

Some people who worry excessively are like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

 

Worry passes the time but doesn’t get us anywhere.  We need to put more trust in God to give us a life on the bright side.

October 10, 2013

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:13 am

 

The love of music has played an important role in the lives of the Howell family although Dad could not recognize any songs or “carry a tune in a bucket”.  Mother taught Jane and Clara and me to love music.  As long as we can remember we had an organ or piano in our home.

 

Jane and Clara learned to play the piano when they were about five years old.  They remember their first teacher, Miss Arville Petersen, in Plainview before our parents moved to East Texas.  Mother and Daddy moved a pump organ given to them by a lady in Kress Baptist Church where Dad was pastor.

 

I was born after my family moved.  I remember as a little child that I crawled up to the pump organ and pushed the pedals up and down while Mother played.  By the time we acquired a piano (that probably weighed 1000 lbs) Jane, Clara and I played the old piano by the hour.  I even learned to play with my two to three working fingers and took piano lessons from Frances Sewell.

 

I recently uncovered my first recital dress which brought back lots of memories of my piano days.  Jane, Clara and I loved to hear Mother’s rendition of the Black Hawk Waltz.  We thought Mother could play that piece so beautifully.  Jane and Clara remember that they would invite their friends over to hear Mother play the Black Hawk Waltz.

 

Jane and Clara have both played for their respective churches for more than fifty years.  Clara teaches piano lessons to children and adults.

 

After my parents and I returned to make our home in Hemphill, I purchased my first piece of furniture which was a Hammond organ.  Playing my organ was my pride and joy.  I would come home after a long hard day at the Reporter office and sit down at my organ and play all my favorite hymns.  That was a way to relieve all the stress of the day as well as being my way to praise the Lord for all God’s blessings.

 

About a year late, Mother purchased a Baldwin Acrosonic piano since we left the old clunker piano in Boling.  Mom’s new piano was the fulfillment of a long time dream for her.  She loved to sit at the piano and play her favorite hymns and often play her Black Hawk Waltz.

 

The piano seemed to lie silent after Mother’s death except when Jane and Clara came home to play it for me.   Sometimes they would play and I would play my organ along with them.

 

After I became disabled, I could no longer play my organ.  This broke my heart.  When my friends happen to ask me what I miss doing the most after I became a quadriplegic, I say “I miss playing my organ”.  My answer surprised some people.  Then I would explain that someone could dress me, someone could feed me and do all the little things that I needed but no one could play my organ for me.  After twenty-six years that continues to be my biggest heartbreak.

 

Mom’s Baldwin piano stayed in our home until about three months ago.  I wanted to give it to someone who would love it as much as our family did but that did not happen.   The recipient of my piano gift never acknowledged the gift with a thank you. That was a heart break to me and my family.

 

I recently heard a sermon about giving thanks to our Heavenly Father, family and friends for all they do to make life on the bright side for us.  Let us remember that gratitude is not gratitude until it is expressed.

October 5, 2013

On The Bright Side -Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:38 am

 

Every day I hear people sneezing which reminds me of an article that I read in a nationally published magazine about 40 years ago.

 

The sneezing article got my attention and the facts were confirmed by a research on the Internet.  Everybody sneezes.  Some of us do it louder and more frequently than others.  Sneezing usually leaves a pleasing smile to those who see a friend sneeze.

 

I remember when I was in college when I saw one of my professors walking across the campus that walked straight as an arrow and was very precise in his speech.  My friend and I happened to see the tall lanky professor sneeze.  We got so tickled because it looked like his head was going to hit the sidewalk.

 

When we sneeze, a quick rush of air clears our nasal passageway of its irritations.  Sneezing can be caused by bright sunshine or after exercise.  We might be surprised to hear that sneezes can occur at a speed of 100 mph. 

 

However, I remember another sneezing episode that took me to the emergency room.  I was visiting my grandmother who had broken her hip and was hospitalized.  I was standing outside beside my aunt’s car when all of a sudden, I sneezed and my head fell forward against the side of the car.  My head and eyes swelled up so I ended up going to see my grandmother’s doctor that hot sunshiny day.  The incident taught me to be careful to see what was in front of me before I sneezed.

 

Contrary to what some people believe, our hearts do not stop when we sneeze.  The rhythm may change but the heart keeps beating. Some people sneeze so loudly that it echoes through out the building and others may sneeze as quietly as a rabbit.  We may be surprised to know that the loudest sneeze of the animals is the iguana.

 

Loud sneezing runs in the Howell family and believe it or not, it may be inherited from our parents and grandparents.

 

The week before my college graduation, my Dad had surgery and was hospitalized until the day before I was to receive my diploma.  I had been afraid that my Dad would miss the big moment when I walked across the stage.  Just a few minutes before I did that, I head my Dad sneeze in a crowd of 1500 people.  I knew for sure without a doubt that my Dad was there.

 

According to Dr. Neil Kao, sneezing is an important part of the immune system helping to keep us healthy and sniffle-free.  Sneezes protect the body by clearing the nose of bacteria and viruses.

 

Since the flu season will be here soon, let us remember that sneezing is a good thing and can give us healthy days on the bright side.

September 25, 2013

On the Bright Side Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:27 am

 

            The residents of Hemphill Care Center are looking forward to the coming of Fall which will bring cooler temperatures and fall foliage.

Labor Day was celebrated with refreshments served to the residents. We say thank you to all our employees for fulfilling their respective duties every day of the year.

Since our last Care Center update four of our friends have passed away. We express our love and sympathy to the families of Herbert Ezernack, Lucille Melde, Max Goodart, and Virginia Broussard.

The Resident Council gave recognition to Linnie White and Vicky Tubbeville as Employees of the Month, Molly Marshall was named Resident of the Month, and our September Volunteer of the Month was C J Michael the One Man Band.  

September worship services and gospel singing were provided by the following: Hemphill First Baptist Church, Fairdale Baptist Church, Bethel Chapel Baptist Church, Hemphill Church of Christ, Community Fellowship Church, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Parkway Baptist Church, Bethany Baptist Church, and the Harvest Assembly of God Church.

We say thank you to all who came to play bingo with us. They are Hemphill Church of Christ, Kelli from East Texas Home Health, Parkway Baptist Church, Carletta from Consolidated Healthcare Services, and Blair from Texas Home Health.

We are happy to welcome our Hemphill Garden Club friends back for another year of activities. The ladies always surprise us with their creativity.

The Pineywood Pick’rs entertained us with lively pickin’ n grinnin’ music last Wednesday afternoon.

We look forward to the September birthday party honoring Margaret Beadle, Mildred Conn, Sarah Sullivan, Estelle Granger, Mary Smith, Ruby Williams, Eva Powell, Joyce Butler, Bill Ener, and Florence McClelland. The Thursday afternoon party will be hosted by Harbor Hospice.

May God bless all that make their home at Hemphill Care Center and all the friends who help our days to be on the bright side.

 

September 25, 2013

September 18, 2013

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:15 am

 

 

God often gives me opportunity to speak a word of comfort and encouragement to those who need to see life on the bright side.

 

Friends come to ask me difficult questions such as “Why do bad things happen to good people?’ and “Why does God keep testing me?’  I assure them that God is still God and that He loves us regardless of where we are in life.  Bad things happen to good people every day.  The devil works rampantly to destroy everything that God has in store for us.  The devil wants to keep us from being happy.

 

God always wants us to be happy.  He gave his son Jesus, to die upon the cross so that we who believe in Him can have victory and blessings every day.

 

When my friends share their problems with me, they know that I care and will pray for them.  I remind them when He brings us to a problem, He will take us through it.

 

I am reminded of the Bible story about Daniel in the lion’s den.  God allowed him to be put in the den with hungry lions, but God brought him out of the den without even a tooth mark from the lions.

 

When my friends seem to lose faith in God, I remind them of the story of Job in the Bible.  Job lost all of his earthly possessions and his family but Job’s faith remained steadfast.  His friends tried to get him to curse God but Job was a just man and remained true to God.

 

When friends come and share that they have friends and family who are critically ill and facing probable death, I do my best to let them know that God loves them and that He is a wonderful source of comfort.

 

It is my prayer that God will bless each one who reads this column and will some way find comfort and strength to live life on the bright side.

 

September 18, 2013

September 12, 2013

On The Bright Side

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:40 am

The Surprising Short Story of the Singer-sewn Summer Short Sets

Mary’s Notes:  My niece, Kay Murphy Fatheree, wrote this article in honor of Leta Howell’s birthday September 12, 1909.

by Kay Murphy Fatheree

It was in the summer of 1963. I was three years old and my birthday, June 12th, was fast approaching.

We lived in Houston, Texas, but I was visiting my grandparents, Clarence and Leta Howell in Hemphill.

It was way too hot to play outside, and I was stuck inside, probably “reading” some Little Golden Books, or playing Chinese Checkers or dress-up with my Aunt Mary.

Granny was busy at her sewing machine, where she spent a good amount of her time. I can still remember the relaxing hum of her Singer sewing machine. Granny possessed an amazing knack for sewing, a talent that skipped me entirely.

The gentle humming stopped briefly as I inquired of Granny as to what she was sewing.

“I’m making some summer clothes for a little girl whose parents can’t afford to buy her any.”

“Oh,” I replied as I left the room to get back to my many playtime activities at the Howell house.

A few days later, Granny called me to her sewing station and asked for my help. She had never asked for my help before, especially regarding anything having to do with sewing. Her project was complete except for adding some ornamentation to her creations. I observed three adorable short sets, one sky blue, one yellow and one red. Granny explained that the little recipient of these sets was about my age and size and she thought it would be fun for me to help her “design” the layout of the ribbon, buttons and lace she was going to add to the tops.

We placed green buttons and lace to the yellow top, red rickrack to the blue top and, I think, blue and white buttons to the red top. I felt important following that first design session.

Finally, my birthday arrived and I was presented with three beautifully wrapped packages from Granny, Granddaddy and Mary.

To my surprise, the three summer short sets that Granny had supposedly sewn for another girl about my size and age were actually my birthday gifts! She knew that she couldn’t hide her project from me, but still wanted me to be surprised, so she concocted the story to throw me off. Granddaddy and Mary were in on it too! Her cleverly-designed plan had worked. I was never so surprised in my short life, and it still remains the biggest surprise I have ever received in all my 54 years!

Recently, my Aunt Mary, my mom, Clara Murphy, and a good family friend, Karen Underwood, were visiting the old Howell house in Hemphill, and I walked past Granny’s sewing cabinet. It had sat dormant and quiet since Granny’s death in 1984.

I paused and sat down on the tiny bench and lifted the top of the sewing cabinet. The same old Singer was still nestled snuggly inside. I opened up the side drawers and rummaged through a vast array of multi-colored thread, buttons, lace, needles, bobbins, scissors, patterns and swatches of cloth.

Suddenly, one item seemed to jump out at me. I sat frozen as my eyes focused on an old package of red rickrack. Most of it was missing, but a tiny remnant remained. Instantly, my mind envisioned the blue shorts set that Granny and I had adorned with the red accessory and I wondered if it was the same actual package she had used just for that top. Granny never got rid of anything, especially when it came to sewing.

My little girl eyes flashed back to the yellow top with the green accessories. The details of the design of the red outfit were not so clear in my mind, but the events of those days are still vivid in my memory.

As I sat there, on the same bench in which Granny had sat on, in front of the same sewing machine she had used, handling the same rickrack touched by my grandmother, my mind overflowed with many other memories of her, way more than I have room to recall on this page.

Granny would have celebrated her birthday September 12. This story is a tribute to her, a grandmother who doted on all her grandkids, a godly woman with a somewhat mischievous grin, an encourager, a musician, a teacher and pastor’s wife . . . a woman who always lived life on the bright side, a woman who, at this moment is awaiting for my arrival on the other side.

I am envisioning her with that smile, dressed in a lovely long flowing white gown adorned with gold lace and wings. I am wondering how she is envisioning my arrival: I like to think she will see her little granddaughter entering the gates of Heaven wearing a cute hand sewn blue shorts set with red rickrack.

September 4, 2013

On the Bright Side Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:01 am

 

The month of September brings the ringing of school bells into focus in Sabine County with  children going back to the classroom to continue a year of their education.  Thoughts turn to school activities such as football games.

 

Boys and girls work hard to make the grade so that they can make the team.

 

September only has one legal holiday which is Labor Day which is celebrated on the first Monday of the month.

 

Many historical events have occurred during September’s thirty days.

 

The first American newspaper, Publick Occurrences, appeared in Boston in September, 1690.

 

The First Continental Congress was assembled in Philadelphia, September 5, 1774. 

 

The Russians launched the first rocket to the moon on September 12, 1959.

 

Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner during an attack on Fort McHenry on September 14, 1817.

 

Mary Ann Fischer of Aberdeen, SD gave birth to four girls and one boy who made them the first surviving quintuplets in the United States on September 14, 1963.

 

President George Washington laid the cornerstone for the Capitol on September 18, 1793.

 

The United States Department of Treasury was constituted on September 2, 1789.

 

The first permanent white settlement was founded on what is now America in St. Augustine, Florida on September 8, 1565.

 

 

 

Elias Howe patented the sewing machine on September 10, 1846.

 

Pilgrims sailed from England on the Mayflower on September 16, 1620.

 

Famous people who were born during September were: Walter Reed, American Surgeon born on September 13, 1851. William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States was born on September 15, 1857.  Queen Elizabeth I of England was born on September 7, 1533.  Antonin Dvorak, Czech composer, was born in September.  Senator Robert A. Taft, of Ohio was born on September 8, 1887.

 

In my own family, September was an important month because I had a dear Mother who was born on September 12, 1909.  She was the center of our home.  Jane, Clara and I had a wonderful upbringing and she taught us how to live our lives on the bright side.

 

September 4, 2013

August 29, 2013

On the Bright Side by Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:05 am

 

The residents of Hemphill Care Center wish to express our appreciation to Pat Bradberry and her employees for all they do to make life happy for us who are at home at the Care Center.

We say thank you to those who cook our meals, do our laundry, keep our rooms clean, drive the van, and make repairs to our home.

We say thank you to our nurses, the nursing aids and physical therapists too who take care of our health needs.

We also thank our office personnel who file our records and keep everything going correctly.

We give recognition to our employees of the month CNA Amber Gottschald and Activity Director Melissa Williams.

The Resident Council selected Frances Cutright as our Resident of the Month. She faithfully distributes the bibs for us every meal of the day.

Quincy Martindale was named Volunteer of the Month. He often comes to play the piano and sing for us.

Several of our dear friends have passed away since my last Care Center update. We give our love and sympathy to the families of Julia Boothe, Jim Olive, King Davidson, Patsy Hardy, Eva Winn, and Mary Jones.

The churches providing worship services and gospel singing during August were Community Fellowship Church, First Baptist Church, Hemphill Church of Christ, Fairdale Baptist Church, Bethel Chapel Baptist Church, Parkway Baptist Church, Antioch Baptist Church, Harvest Assembly of God Church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-day Saints.

August Bingo sponsors include Kelli from East Texas Home Health, Church of Christ, Carletta from Consolidated Healthcare Services, American Legion Post #197, Parkway Baptist Church, and Blair from Texas Home Health.

We say thank you to the Lakes Area Hospice Clowns for their Monday afternoon sing-a-long.

Last Wednesday we enjoyed a concert by the Pineywood Pick’rs. It’s always a pleasure to watch them play their string instruments. We appreciate the cookies and punch they provide for us.

The August birthday party was sponsored by Brandi from Harbor Hospice and honored Ricky Page, Dorothy Butler, Estella Tibbs, Virginia Broussard, Herbert Ezernack, and Lucille Melde.

We enjoyed our visit with the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post # 10351.

Today we will honor our med-aids with a party.

The staff of Hemphill Care Center certainly abides with the motto “Compassionate About Residents Every Day” to give us a life on the bright side.

August 28, 2013

On the Bright Side by Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:08 am

On the Bright Side

by Mary Howell

 

                The residents of Hemphill Care Center wish to express our appreciation to Pat Bradberry and her employees for all they do to make life happy for us who are at home at the Care Center.

                We say thank you to those who cook our meals, do our laundry, keep our rooms clean, drive the van, and make repairs to our home.

                We say thank you to our nurses, the nursing aids and physical therapists too who take care of our health needs.

                We also thank our office personnel who file our records and keep everything going correctly.

                We give recognition to our employees of the month CNA Amber Gottschald and Activity Director Melissa Williams.

                The Resident Council selected Frances Cutright as our Resident of the Month. She faithfully distributes the bibs for us every meal of the day.

                Quincy Martindale was named Volunteer of the Month. He often comes to play the piano and sing for us. 

                Several of our dear friends have passed away since my last Care Center update. We give our love and sympathy to the families of Julia Boothe, Jim Olive, King Davidson, Patsy Hardy, Eva Winn, and Mary Jones.

                The churches providing worship services and gospel singing during August were Community Fellowship Church, First Baptist Church, Hemphill Church of Christ, Fairdale Baptist Church, Bethel Chapel Baptist Church, Parkway Baptist Church, Antioch Baptist Church, Harvest Assembly of God Church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-day Saints.

                August Bingo sponsors include Kelli from East Texas Home Health, Church of Christ, Carletta from Consolidated Healthcare Services, American Legion Post #197, Parkway Baptist Church, and Blair from Texas Home Health.

                We say thank you to the Lakes Area Hospice Clowns for their Monday afternoon sing-a-long.

                Last Wednesday we enjoyed a concert by the Pineywood Pick’rs. It’s always a pleasure to watch them play their string instruments. We appreciate the cookies and punch they provide for us.

                The August birthday party was sponsored by Brandi from Harbor Hospice and honored Ricky Page, Dorothy Butler, Estella Tibbs, Virginia Broussard, Herbert Ezernack, and Lucille Melde.

                We enjoyed our visit with the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post # 10351.

                Today we will honor our med-aids with a party.

                The staff of Hemphill Care Center certainly abides with the motto “Compassionate About Residents Every Day” to give us a life on the bright side.

 

August 28, 2013

August 27, 2013

On The Bright Side Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:00 am

 

This week’s On The Bright Side is dedicated to the loving memory of my dear cousin, Ray Fargason, who passed away on July 11, 2013. 

 

A beautiful memorial service celebrated the life of Ray on July 16, 2013 at Second Baptist Church in Lubbock.  The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra , the Lubbock Chorale and the Shinn/Henry Dixieland Band gave a musical tribute.  The orchestra and chorale were directed by his brother, Eddie Fargason  who is the orchestra director at First Baptist Church, Dallas in a special presentation of When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.  Other musical selections were Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desring and When The Saints Go Marching In.

 

Ray was the son of Claude and Bertinia Howell Fargason.  Ray grew up on a cotton farm in the Halfway community and was a graduate of Plainview High School.

 

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas and was awarded his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the UT School of Law.  He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.  He was the senior partner in the law firm of Fargason, Booth, St. Clair, Richards and Wilkins, LP.

 

Ray was very involved in numerous organizations such as the American Cancer Society and other cancer related organizations.  He enjoyed serving as a judge for the Miss Lubbock USA pageants.  Although he was a UT graduate, he was an avid fan of the Texas Tech University.  Through Ray’s leadership roles in the music and worship ministries at Second Baptist Church, his deep commitment in the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and his joyful participation as pianist for the jazz band Ad Hoc, his musical giftedness permeated every facet of his life.

 

Ray is survived by his wife Gail, brother Eddie Fargason, sons Patrick, Ted, Trent, daughter Lisa, and 11 grandchildren. 

 

On a personal note, Ray was a one-of-a-kind guy and a fabulous cousin.  Since our immediate families lived 600 miles apart, the visits to our Howell grandparent’s home in Plainview were special.  We looked forward to spending time with Ray and Eddie and their parents.

 

My sisters remember the happy times with our Howell cousins before our parents moved to East Texas before I was born.  Clara remembers that Ray would have to stop playing games to practice his piano. Ray would have much rather been outside playing cowboys and Indians and would come in with his toy guns in his holster and practice the piano. All his practice paid off because he was a fabulous pianist. 

 

 

 

Ray and I spent happy hours playing our favorite hymns together on the piano and organ although he was an expert pianist, he never made me feel inadequate because I only played with 3-4 fingers.

 

It is hard to put into words, all the things Ray meant to me.  He was cousin, friend, attorney, mentor, musician, comedian and great story teller.  He could make those around him laugh.  Ray laughed and made us feel happy and he had a knack for sharing love and happiness with all those who knew him.  Ray was a humanitarian who was ready to help those in need.   In fact,  the day before he died, he gave away his blood platelets to another patient since he knew his death was imminent.

 

Ray’s courageous battle with Multiple Myeloma over the past 7 years has served as a model of endurance, faith, perseverance, strength and resolute hope for all those who knew him.  Through his humor, love and generous spirit, Ray’s joy in life has been to nurture and enrich the lives of his family, friends and community.

      

Ray lived life to the fullest.  He taught us how to live and how to die.  His faith in God never wavered.  He knew after his death that he would be with his Lord and have a life in Heaven on the brighter side.

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