Tonight, a landmark decision came down in Texas that made me very unhappy. So much so, that I found myself remembering other Texas stories, starting with my grandmother watching her college-educated mother go to the polls for the first time in 1919—the year Texas women got the vote. Read on, Reader!
For two days, I have been looking for a dress to wear to my grandmother’s out-of-town funeral— a dress I cannot find. Is it really about the dress? Or is there something else, something greater I am looking for? Read on, Reader!
At every hospital stay, I have read to my grandmother from every book she loved and every book I thought she’d love. Last night, I ran out of words. Why? Read on, Reader!
One of the vivid pictures of my youth, and one I see often, still, is my mother’s back disappearing through a crowd of people in a theater. Where is she going? She’s leaving the theater. Oh! Read on, Reader!
My mother married an enthusiastic man. Lucky, lucky us! Read on, Reader!
My grandmother believed deeply in the possibility of things and people. Sometimes her sense of the possible made for a wonderful world. And sometimes things just caught fire. Read on, Reader!
There was once a professor who became famous not for his scholarship, nor for his personality, but for his ability to mangle the English language.
His name was Dr. Spooner and his unfortunate specialty was the transposition of letters in a phrase. Many apocryphal stories abound at New College, Oxford lauding his prowess in this area because letter transposition makes for an excellent anecdote. But, the one verified account goes something like this:
Dr. Spooner was asked to give the morning address. Oxford College is a public university, but, being located in England, this means the students received a certain amount of religious instruction from the Church of England.
Here’s where my imagination takes over. I picture a cold chapel filled with sleepy students in traditional academic dress of a knee-length black gown, rumpled from excessive wear and early class schedules. I picture grumpy dons in longer gowns, wiping the sleep-sand discreetly from their eyes.
Dr. Spooner stands, walks slowly and with great dignity to the front of the assembly, and stops behind the lectern. He clears his throat and begins reciting a familiar prayer:
My Lord is a shoving leopard…
And, I guess you can imagine what happened from there. I think it started with amazed now quite-awake looks, followed by snickers and guffaws into the unwashed sleeves of those black, dusty gowns. And I believe that Dr. Spooner probably did not catch his own error until someone discreetly pointed it out to him later. Or not.
Why do I feel so certain of these details? Why do I presume to further furnish an already overstuffed …. Read on, Reader!
I am confused by wax fruit. It haunts me, late at night, when I cannot sleep. Read on, Reader!
This time of year, the South Texas heat fades back like a song tapering off after going on for far too long. The first cold snap is like a new tune— jittery, unexpected, and always exciting. Read on, Reader!
I was a dreamy child; this was my mother’s gift to me. Read on, Reader!