Friday, August 28, 2009

On A Quest For...A Way With Words

I admire people who always speak clearly and effectively. You know those people who have a way with words. I do not have this special gift and forever seem to stumble and stammer when certain occasions arise. Like talking to people. I believe that is why I enjoy writing because I am able to think then do in a more expanded time sequence. I must confess I keep my (well worn) New American Roget's College Thesaurus by my side to look up those word(s) that fail to come easily to me, but I also realize that this useful book cannot help me all the time.

I have often been taught that words are very powerful, so much that they are able to lift one up or bring one down and should never be taken lightly. For instance, the other day, Donna Bragg, NWArkansas 40/29 TV News Anchor, rescinding a statement (quite eloquently I might add) concerning a report in which she had said that a child had "suffered from Down Syndrome." A multitude of viewers were quick to inform Bragg that her word choice of suffer was incorrect and that these children are very happy and indeed do not suffer in any way. I was glad to learn this via Bragg's blunder, and as I researched information for this blog post, I was also inspired to find out that Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who died this week, was a relentless advocate for the National Down Syndrome Society

Anyway, among this discord I am reminded that knowing or finding the best choice of words continues to be an important thing to strive for and easier said than done. And I also know that there will probably always be someone there to help me with this difficult task. That's ok...because I really would love for my words to lift up rather than bring down and I'm always game for learning!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Patrick Henry Hays Senior Citizen Center

Recently, I was able to visit my hometown of North Little Rock, Arkansas. I enjoyed cruising through the expanded infrastructure and stopped often to reminisce at some familiar Levy sightings. Many of my old stomping grounds were long gone, but a few old stand bys (and an impressive new structure) were still there, and I might add, certainly thriving!

For instance, The Spot, a cherished old dairy bar and a place I went on my first date, was now a used car lot. Can't remember much about the date, but I do recall enjoying that coney dog! On the contrary, just down Old Conway Highway, Andy's Dairy Bar was still alive and flourishing with customers scattered all over their parking area. Rudy's Oyster Bar and Cafe was also bustling with business as the longtime favorite Levy watering hole. Hummm...wonder if Rudy still serves 50 cent beer on Wednesdays. Don't ask me how I know this. However, Cancun, the Mexican restaurant and lounge on the corner of Pike and Conway Highway, was nowhere to be found. On around the bend, US Pizza Co., after all these years, as usual was enjoying their cherished prime real estate right in the heart of Levy. I remember when they opened in the 70s and served their famous Salad Supreme with House Dressing in a small pizza pan. But I am curious why Shakey's Pizza Parlor and their amazing pizza did not last through the 80s. One does reflect why some survive and others do not. Anyway, I was really impressed with a new structure built in 2003 named after the mayor of NLR, the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Citizen Center and especially excited about what it had to offer the 13,000 plus members it boasts of having.

The facility looked like a large hospital with its sweeping circular driveway which gave members easy access as they arrived for their various activities. Whether members came for swimming, working out, or socializing the front desk was full of eager volunteers to help or answer any questions. A friendly lady directed me straight to the artist's display for the month of July which just so happened to be my mother, Eloise Montgomery. Mother had worked extremely hard for a good while to get her oil paintings assembled, and the final display was really nice to see. I've posted a few photos of her paintings and I hope you enjoy them as I'm sure plenty of other people did. My brother in law, Kenny Robinette is the artist of the month for August. If you hurry, you might be able to catch some of his amazing photos like the elk in Ponca or the Old Mill, another NLR treasure.

It's nice to see the elderly, as well as the baby boomers taking advantage of this more than ample facility that Mayor Hays has helped to build. Go to his website and check out other great things he has accomplished in NLR. Yes, it's a nice place to live and a nice place to visit and after all these years, I am still able to say"I'm a Levy rat and proud of it!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

On A Quest For...A Few Honorable People

#3 has been particularly stressed the last few days because of some in house shenanigans at his place of employment. Seems that someone at work got his personal trailer stolen by another someone at work who implicated another someone who works there as a party to the whole dilemma. Got it? The entire event appears to have been caught on tape.

Yes, it is all a bit of befuddling uproar until the police, who have been called in, decipher the whole thing and come to terms with the parties involved. I see possible arrests, lawyers, lawsuits, lost jobs and income in the near future for some people. In the meantime, the trailer has been returned to the wronged party, the so called 'thief' has not returned to work, and the implicated third party keeps denying everything.

How do we get ourselves into anarchy such as this? If these people are guilty, what were they thinking?It's easy to screw up a good part of your life in just a few careless minutes and OMG it's those consequences we must deal with for such a long time thereafter!

I found this YouTube link you might like featuring a really honorable guy, Roger Bannister as he broke the 4 minute mile in 1954. Every time I watch this link, I cry, because I realize it's not what we do or who we are, rather what really counts is striving to do the right thing and do our very best at what we do, and when we do this, the outcome really doesn't matter. Got it?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On a Quest For...A Joyful Hallelujah!

I've lived in the NWArkanasas area for approximately seven years now, and #3 and me, by choice, do not have a local church. It's not that we didn't make an attempt. Actually, when we first arrived in this far away land (I do miss Little Rock), we joined a huge church in downtown Fayetteville (approx 3000 members), but after about one year and a small misunderstanding with the pastor's wife, we withdrew our membership.

The problem arose when, one Sunday, the brotherhood had advertised in a church pamphlet for volunteers to facilitate small group studies. I eagerly filled out the necessary form and put it in the donation plate along with our customary tithe. We really were good church people...honestly! I was so excited because I had done this type of work for my previous churches in the central Arkansas area. Then the call came...from the associate pastor...with instructions from the pastor's wife...who was in charge of these small groups. He apologetically explained that I could not facilitate a small class and couldn't give a reason when I asked him for details. In fact, he was very apologetic and embarrassed about the whole ordeal. I supposed that the other 25 years of church membership in the central Arkansas area did not count at this church and besides, I was just not from around this area. I had never been treated this way before. It really hurt...

But, there is a joyful ending to this story... I'm glad we chose not to belong to this church or other churches in the area, because I've found other ways to express my desire for giving back to the community. For instance, helping with the local Alzheimer's Association has been a great experience because the delightful people within this organization are very grateful for anxious and worthy volunteers! Ah...appreciation and love...WOW! Join us on September 12, 2009 when we have the annual Alzheimer's Memory Walk at the Arvest Ballpark on I540 and see for yourself. Check out the following website for all the details.
Oh, and I'm not really 'church bashing'...just choose what is right for you...that's what we did.