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Texas, United States


Texas Hail Storm

Since we had such a mild South Texas winter I was able to plant my annuals early and had the whole deck garden done by the middle of March. I left for Austin the middle of April to spend the week helping my daughter finish up her taxes. The night I left our neighborhood had golf ball to baseball size hail and I returned to this dismal scene below.

14 of my flower pots were totally shattered and some of the others damaged as were a lot of the plants. Only the row along side of the house where the red petunias look happy survived the deluge. I was amazed at the damage hail that size could cause in a very short period of time. Two of our family cars were totaled and the other damaged but worth repairing. We were lucky we only had a couple windows broken, our neighbor had ten. Our two skylights shattered and the roof will have to be replaced. Below are some close ups of how much force that ice came down with that shredded six of our window screens.
I was so pleased with how well my patio tomatoes were doing. I've already replaced these and the poor pepper plants.

...and the Marigolds and pot.

I think this purple plant will survive...the pot not.
I think I'll buy a red pot to replant the miniature Christmas tree in that escaped much damage. That should cheer me up.

The stone that hit this one had to have been big because the hole is very deep in the dirt as were a few others. 

I was sad for awhile but these are all material things and can be replaced. My grandson was very sad about his beloved high performance turbo charged muscle car he kept polished like a mirror was totaled, but fate was kind to him. He works at a car dealership, between his college courses, and as luck would have it, right after he started a state wide search for a replacement, a nice dentist traded in one where he works exactly like my grandson was looking for that has been kept clean as a whistle also, with no dings, and grandson seems even prouder of the new silver one than the demolished black one he cherished. It has even more bells and whistles he likes. Seeing him that happy took all my sadness away in a hurry.

I am very grateful no one in the storm area was injured, though every roof in our huge neighborhood has to be replaced...and a lot of windows and car windshields....
and I'm certain flower pots.


An Essay On Family Values

One of my grandsons in college recently asked me to help him with an assignment. He needed to get someone who knew him to write him a letter saying how you knew him, where your family values came from, and how others reacted to them. He received a 100 on the assignment so I thought, hum, I think I'll post a few old family photos and whatever the professor's reason for that good "grade" on my blog was since I didn't have anything else ready.
Grandma in 1954

Dear Will,
I am your maternal Grandmother and I have loved you since the day you were born. I remember the day after when we brought you home, your Dad sat you in your car seat on the dining room table in the middle of vases of flowers from friends. They left you with me to go to the drug store and I noticed you were gazing at the flowers. I knew right then you were going to be very alert, intelligent, and laid-back, and I was right. I also noticed you had darker skin than your older brother and knew my Dad would have been very proud of that. He was one fourth Apache and also had darker hair and skin like you and was a legend in his own time. He worked 42 years for a Sulfur company and only missed one sick day in all those years. They had to send him home that day with the flu. He wasn’t happy about that, he intended to retire with a perfect record. 

Dad also raised cattle and baled hay in his “spare” time and made more money doing that than he did at the company. Without much education he eventually rose to become the Plant Supervisor, he was a very smart and honorable man I am very proud of. My Mom was also a wonderful parent, she raised huge gardens and kept laying hens, milk cows, and frying chickens, and with Dad’s beef and her vegetables we probably ate the best food in town. She was also a great seamstress and I wore mostly homemade clothes I was very proud of.
My Parents 

I was blessed to be born to wonderful parents who were never bigots or racists at a time in this country a lot of folks were…well before integration. My Great Grandparents were all Polish immigrants, except for the one Great Grandmother who was Native American. One Grandmother came over with her parents when she was eight years old and her family were Indentured Servants who had to work hard in the fields for seven years to pay off their passage. 

All of my Grandparents became cotton farmers, one family was able to buy their own farm, the other two could never afford to and share-cropped for over sixty years giving the land owner half of everything they earned. Fortunately, their four sons were all able to find good jobs in industry during and after the Great Depression when cotton became almost worthless, and were the first generation of our family of immigrants who were able to lift themselves out of poverty into the prosperous Middle Class…with the help of President Franklin D. Roosevelt before, during, and after WWII. Some of my uncles went to work on his road gangs helping build needed infrastructure. Six of my uncles also served in "The Great War" in the Army and the Navy.
My Maternal Grandparents

My Paternal Grandparents

The virtues I pride most my family taught me were a good work ethic and compassion and empathy for all regardless of race, religion, and status. In the late 1960’s I was helping my three sons practice on a Little League field to get ready for tryouts when a young Mexican and Black boy rode up on bikes and asked if they could join us. I said sure and we were having fun when the groundskeeper came over and told me “those” two kids were not allowed on the “all-white” field, to tell them to leave. I asked who his boss was, loaded my five and “those two” children in my station wagon, and drove to the bank where the “boss” worked in a rather riled mood. 

By the time Little League try-outs rolled around I had made certain boys of all color were allowed to try out. I knew the Little League had issued an order that all sanctioned Little League fields were to be integrated two years prior but no one in that small town had bothered to follow that rule. After I notified the boss I was notifying Little League Headquarters, it was no longer an option after Little League informed the “boss.” There were a lot of folks in that town who later thanked me for resolving that painful issue that should never have been one.


My five kids at Hemisphere in San Antonio in 1968. Three baseball players and two princess's.