Eleanor’s Faith

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Both President Trump and Texas Governor Gregg Abbott have declared September 3, 2017 as a Day of Prayer following the destruction of the Texas Gulf Coast and Houston area after Hurricane Harvey last week.  There has been much praying already for these areas and I am hopeful that this Day of Prayer will remind people how important it is to pray.

Eleanor Roosevelt was not only the First Lady during a difficult time for our nation, but she was also a powerful humanitarian and lobbied for human rights until the time of her death. She and President Roosevelt believed in doing everything they could to help others who were less fortunate. She was also a woman of faith. In his book Eleanor and Franklin Joseph P. Lash writes the following about her:

Fundamentally Eleanor was neither stateswoman, politician, nor feminist.  She was a woman with a deep sense of spiritual mission.  Like Saint Theresa, she not only “had a powerful intellect of the practical order” but was a woman of extravagant tenderness and piety.  There was always some prayer in her purse to recall her to her Christian vocation.  Christ’s story was a drama that re-enacted itself repeatedly in her thoughts and feelings.  Amid the worldliness, the pomp, and the power of Washington she managed to hold vivid and intimate communion with Christ with a child’s innocence and simplicity.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b NIV

Clear water

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Last week I took a day trip to the Texas coast. I’ve been wanting to go forever and this was the time.  As it turned out it was the perfect time as the temperature was moderate, wind was gentle, the water was very warm and crystal clear.  It’s been over 30 years since I’ve seen the coast like this.  I wished that I had packed food in the cooler with the drinks and spent the day on the beach – under the umbrella. Mild disappointment that the restaurant I wanted to eat at was closed for several days, but the beach made up for that very quickly.

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What is it about the beach that is so soothing? And, why does the ocean fascinate me? I’m not an in-the-water person. Maybe it’s because the ocean reminds me of eternity with the way it appears to stretch forever. I don’t know and I won’t question it! It is the way it is.

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The handwriting issue

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Rotunda dome, Texas State Capitol, Austin Texas

The handwriting debate (cursive vs printing and legible vs illegible) is nothing new.  It’s been going on since the caveman started drawing on walls.  Mothers have moaned over children’s handwriting and complained about the new methods for a long time!

So, on a recent visit to the Texas State Capitol I had to laugh as I was reading a display about the Secretary of State’s office in the Capitol and the duties of the Secretary of State which include overseeing state elections. A timeline entry for 1946-47 states:

The Secretary of  State’s annual report noted that elections are “recorded in longhand, which is a tedious job, and few are qualified to write so that it can be read”.

Before and After

I love before and after pictures; I can spend hours looking at them and analyzing the differences. Today I had my own experience with before and after.  Due to recent rains the underground aquifer that San Antonio relies on for water has risen above the very low levels that have plagued it for many years.  I knew the aquifer was up, but didn’t realize how much until I saw a news item that the Blue Hole had water in it.  Time to grab the camera and head out!

In case you’re wondering the Blue Hole  is where the headwaters of the San Antonio River originally bubbled up from the earth. Drilling of artesian wells in the late 1800’s diminished the spring’s flow until it eventually stopped.  Now it only flows when the aquifer reaches a higher level. The San Antonio River is a human controlled body of water ensuring an even flow of water into the downtown area and, more importantly, as a means of flood control.

Here’s the before:

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2013

And the after:

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2016

The once dry river bed is now a noisy rush of water, too.

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2013
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2016

I didn’t think I would ever see water in the Blue Hole, but today I did.  Pure, clean water right out of the aquifer.

Patti Welder Middle School

After we finished with a dog show in Victoria, Texas a few weeks ago Bentley and I headed out to do some exploring.  I honestly think he knows the word “explore” because after we got in the car to leave the show I looked at him and said, “let’s go exploring” he perked up and looked at me with a “let’s go” look!  He loves to explore and will follow along with me very happily, plus he doesn’t mind stopping to look at something.

So what did we find? Many things worth sharing here!  Go to Doorway Into the Past to read about Patti Welder Middle School.

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Southern Traction Company

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The Southern Traction Company provided interurban transportation between Corsicana and Dallas from 1912 to 1941. Its sister company, the Texas Traction Company, provided service between Dallas, Denton, and Waco; in 1917 they would merge to form the Texas Electric Railway. The interurban trains would stop to pick up passengers when flagged down and offered affordable and more frequent service than the steam rail lines.

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Car number 305 was one of 22 passenger cars that ran on this line. Travelers were offered a choice of a smoking or non-smoking section, one toilet, and a water fountain.  After 1932 there was no conductor and cars were configured for pay-as-you-go commuters. Just to note that there were 2 seats on either side of the narrow aisle where travelers were squeezed together much like passengers on an airplane today!

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The Visitor Center didn’t open until later in the morning on the day I was visiting, but I looked through the windows and they had a nice display of memorabilia and informational resources.  I’ll stop in on my next visit.

Between 2 buildings

IMG_0612_edited-1.jpgDowntown Pocket Park sits quietly between 2 buildings in historic downtown Corsicana. I noticed this space from across the street, but didn’t realize what it was until I was closer.  It wasn’t just an empty space between 2 buildings, it was a little park!

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Corsicana’s Art in Public Places committee selected this space to be its first project.  What a delightful space they created.  A bubbling fountain and ample seating spaces make it the perfect place to step into and sit peacefully for a few minutes.

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I’m not sure what was originally in this space.  From the street there was a tile entrance that advertised “Virginia Dare For those who care”. Virginia Dare is a long-time producer of vanilla extracts and other flavorings, so it is hard to determine what kind of business was here.  Perhaps a soda fountain?

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Downtown Pocket Park is available to rent for private functions and has public restrooms.