Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I have to say that watching the inauguration was truly awe inspiring. Even though I didn't vote for Obama, and I don't agree with many of his policies (Spread the wealth? Does he really think the lowest guy on the totem pole won't feel that one?) I was very proud to be an American. Well, until a few jerks started taunting Bush. Don't they have any sense of decorum?

I think it's amazing that one of the most powerful positions in the world can change hands without some sort of coup or infighting. Where else can two people with very different ideas about how things should be run exchange the reigns of power with such grace and dignity?

I do think that there needs to be an understanding that whether or not we like the standing or future president, there is something to be said about respecting the office. The military folks who were on hand know better than anyone the sacrifices made for Bush's policies, yet they were sad to see him go. However, they also welcomed President Obama with open arms. Why? Because he's their Commander in Chief.

I hope, through the discourse of events, a discussion comes to the forefront about proper behavior at such events. As Americans, we are pretty tolerant about allowing people their say. Mutual respect is not too much to ask.

Friday, January 16, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird

Even though our family has been busy with school and extra-curricular activities, I've been able to carve some time out for some reading for fun. Last semester our son, Timothy, had to read To Kill a Mockingbird and I decided to reread it. It has been far too long since I've read a classic novel, and this one is one of my favorites. So as I wait in line to pick up the kids from school, I pull out my little classic novel and read to pass the time.

One of the main reasons I like this novel is because of the way the characters were written. They are so genuine, especially the children. They do things like make up plays, spit on gate hinges to keep them from squeaking and get in playground fights. They also have wonderful names like Jem, Scout and Dill. They do and say impulsive things, just as kids would, and they reap the consequences, too. They hate school yet love learning, and realize the most important learning happens outside the school walls.

But the dialogues are just wonderful, and impart so much wisdom in their simplicities. There's Atticus who tells Scout, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb in his skin and walk around in it." Or when Atticus tells his kids, "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do." He lived that one out in front of their eyes, and the eyes of the town.

There's Scout's observation of Miss Maudie's Baptist faith as opposed to foot-washing Baptists. "True enough, Miss Maudie had an acid tongue in her head, and she didn't go around the neighborhood doing good, as did Miss Stephanie Crawford. But while no one with a grain of sense trusted Miss Stephanie, Jem and I had considerable faith in Miss Maudie. She was our friend."

Finally, though, there are wonderful little nuggets like, "They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

It's such a wonderful book.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

College Days

Facebook has turned out to be such a fun experience. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Well, most of it. I don't really get into the snowball fights (except with a few relatives) or throwing sheep and all, but the connections it has created has been amazing. Some people I've known since early childhood, some from our days in California. The California people are folks I never thought I would see or hear from again, but here we are, talking on Facebook. There are a couple of high school friends, but not as many as I would like.

Right now, though, I'm having a really good time connecting with people from my college days. We went to a small college in Springfield, Missouri, and after reminiscing over the past few weeks, I'm remembering how much mischief we dealt out, too. Those were fun days, and magical as well, because that's where I met Big Dad. (He actually put my name at the top of the big radio tower on campus. How romantic is that?)

Of course there's going to be mischief when you get a bunch of college age kids living together for a five month stretch. There's not enough homework in the world that can keep that from happening. Cars were moved (and put on walking poor little VW), TPing rooms, flying pumpkins, water fights in the cafeteria (with the Hobart hose) and truth or dare at the fancy Holiday Inn... all are memories I had forgotten until recently.

College life is wonderful. Living on campus was a great experience, and there are lifelong friends to show for it. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I think today, this is a quality that is fairly elusive to most of us. Americans are a discontented sort, and I think it's part of our character as Americans. Our discontentment becomes a catalyst for change. We become discontented in our education systems, and things change. Our politics + discontentment = change. We tend to be fickle and in many cases that's a good thing.

However, that discontentment has translated itself into our homes, and into our daily lives. It tends to make us impatient and ungrateful.

I've had the joy for the past few years of finding myself content. It's a strange feeling, especially when the world around is striving to succeed, is whirling past in fast motion. The world seems that way when you're in a contented place.

I had a good model for contentment. It was a standout quality in my mamaw. She didn't have a stress-free life by any means. She cared for her ailing mother, and then after a few short years her ailing husband. She had to still take care of their home, tend their garden, mow their three acres, all while caring for her loved ones. But she was content. She was happy exactly where she was. She didn't long for things she didn't have, and she was grateful for the things she had.

That's where I've found myself lately. Not longing for things I don't have, but extremely grateful for the things I have. It's a nice place to be. Maybe all of the money troubles here in the States will cause others to wake up to the same conclusion: they can live with less and be happy. In fact, it could be the thing that gets many of them out of their financial problems. You never know.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Reminiscing and Space

I'm back in touch with my roommate from college, via Facebook. We are having more fun catching up and talking about our times in college. You see, SHE was a tad mischievous, and I was along for the ride. *cough*

She went out on a date or two with Tim, my future husband. I didn't know that until after I moved in with her. But it was no big deal. She's the kind of friend that tells you everything, is up front and honest, and it was a lot of fun to live with her for three years. A real hoot, that one.

So tonight we were reminiscing on Facebook, talking about the troubles we had gotten in, the mischief, the laughs. When someone is part of your life, and in such a day to day way for that long, it's just fun to recall events. Any of the negative stuff, the stuff that may have gotten under our skin, doesn't come up. We just don't remember that part. All I remember was that we used to give each other space. If we'd been around each other too much, (which could easily happen since we lived together, worked together, went to church together) and we started getting irritated a bit too easily, we would look at each other and say, "Space?" and it was just understood. A few days of doing our own thing, and we were good to go.

But there are stories we share that are just too good, and I think we touched each other's lives in a way that we both know impacted our lives forever. So reminiscing with a friend like that, walking down memory lane, is a blast. It's great to see her successful and doing well in her life. I know she feels the same for us. No ill will, no jealousy or envy. Just wanting the best for each other.

Reminiscing is good for the soul.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Taking for Granted

Don't you hate hectic days?

Today was one of those for us. We hurried to get to the doctor's office on time, in an area unfamiliar to us. We got lost twice. In downtown Dallas. I really have no idea how we found our way back to the right road, and with minutes to spare. It was rush, rush, rush, then wait.

We were waiting at an eye doctor's office. I'm saying eye doctor because I really don't know how to spell that "Ophtha" word. It keeps coming up in my spell checker, so I've given up. We waited for quite awhile. Two hours, actually. But it wasn't the office's fault, it was the blasted transformer outside that decided to blow out the electricity of an entire city block. That's OK, though. Sometimes waiting is good. Sometimes it allows us to think.

It's easy to think about our eyesight when waiting in an eye doctor's office. All of those posters up about the eye structures, the complexity of it's a wonder we can see at all. The eye is so very complex, that if any one thing doesn't work properly, you just can't see. period.

A friend of mine and I had a discussion once about what we would rather lose: our sight or our hearing. For me, hands down it was hearing. For her, hands down it was sight. I didn't want to lose my independence, or the ability to see the faces of loved ones. She didn't want to lose the things about life that mattered to her, either. She loved the sound of her loved one's voices, music, the things that kept her plugged in to her surroundings.

Either way, It's hard to think about life without one of these things. We are lucky. Even though we know that our son has lost partial sight in one of his eyes, we're still lucky. He functions normally, and thanks to all of that waiting today, we know that he probably always will. No further damage. He can still play baseball, play with his beloved Legos, and we're thrilled with that. He's been doing it all for a long time, we just never knew.

But it's times like this that makes a parent, or person, stop and be grateful for the things we take for granted. Waiting isn't always a bad thing.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009

The Hughes Family wishes you a happy and blessed 2009. I'm happy to know you all, and for the influence you've had in my life! Blessings to you...