Friday, July 3, 2015

The Chicken Chihuahua

The Chicken Chihuahua

Some chihuahuas may consider themselves housedogs or even lapdogs …but not Louie.  He lives with Gransie and Grandpa on the farm and rolls out of the barn everyday in the garden wagon beside the egg bucket, chicken scratch, and crumble.

As the wagon rolls up to the coop, Louie hops down and waits wide-eyed as Gransie unlocks the door.  He herds the hens and Easter chicks away from the feeders while Gransie fills them.  She then moves to the nests to check for eggs.  And, often,  Louie whines as Gransie approaches a nest with a hen still sitting in it. 

“Yep, Louie!  She’s hidin’ some surprises under her skirt this mornin’!” the woman sometimes says as she gently reaches in and pulls out 2 or 3 large eggs.  Gransie always pats Louie on the head and thanks him for finding those “hidden treasures.”

With the eggs safely tucked away,  they load up the water jugs, take them to the house to clean and fill, and Gransie sings, “Old MacDonald” as the Chihuahua howls along.  They deliver the morning refreshments to the hens, park the wagon for the next day, and head to the house where Louie always gets a treat for his hard work. 

You see, Gransie and Louie are a team.  They work together like clockwork.  They have it down to a science.  No worries.  No problems….…until one day in early June. 

They’d entered the coop and Gransie was about to lift the water jug when a curl on the top of her gray head snagged a hidden wasp nest.  Louie saw it happen, but what was a little Chihuahua to do?  He ducked for cover behind a hay bale and watched as Gransie moved faster than even he could say, “Aye, Chihuahua!”

The wasps flew like bombers straight down into Gransie’s  shirt and attacked her arms, legs, and everything in between from every direction.  She flew out of the coop screaming and running toward the house with clothes flying everywhere.

The coop was silent.  The door was tightly shut.  The hens were all huddled in a corner in terror.

Moments later, Louie stepped out from hiding and realized he was all alone in the middle of the pen.  There was no way out.  He was trying to come up with a plan when a giant shadow appeared all around him.  Gulping, he looked up to see old Red Rover, the barnyard rooster, glaring down at him with his one, good eye.

“Er-er-er-er-rrrrrrrrrrrrr!” he roared. “What ‘errrrr you doin’ in my coop?”

Now, Louie had heard about this bad boy and had seen him sitting around in the shadows.  He’d been known to cut down bigger animals than himself, and even Grandpa didn’t turn his back on him.   Louie had to be brave.  He had to think quickly.

He had to use…his…”Chi…hua…hua…POWER!”  He screamed it as he shot backwards under Rover’s belly and grabbed his long tail feathers in his teeth, jerking hard.  The old rooster was caught off guard as he bent over and looked at Louie upside down through his legs.  Louie jumped on his neck, rolling his head forward  and caught the rooster off balance, sending him into a forward somersault.  Red Rover was flat on the ground looking up when the door to the chicken coop swung open. 

“Louie!  There you are!  I was so scared when I couldn’t find you!”  Gransie squealed and scooped Louie up in her arms, holding him close.  Her eyes followed Red Rover as he stood and strutted over to a corner of the coop.   “Did that old Rooster try to hurt you?”

Louie growled quietly and barked as he looked over at the rooster. Then, he licked Gransie’s cheek, and they left the coop.  Only the chickens and old Red Rover understood what the pint-sized Chihuahua had said. 

“I’m no chicken!  I’m Chicken Chihuahua!”

And a legend was born that day, right there on Gransie and Grandpa's farm.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

First Born

There’s a very special place
in a corner of every mom’s heart
Where the love of her
          first born abides.

Nothing can steal or erase
          her joy, pride, and affection
For the precious child
          she’s carried inside.

We read parenting books
          on what to expect before October 6, 1983.
The afternoon arrived, we rearranged our lives,
          for now we were a family of three.

At 18 months, you scared me half to death,
          You were no where that I could see.
A giggle spun me around, and I saw you
          looking down from the top of the refrigerator at me.

Night times are hard for 3 year old boys
          to calm down and get ready for bed.
But when monsters came to play, we used the magic spray
          and swept them outside on their heads.

One day when you were five, we stayed home from school
         my tummy was feeling very wrong.
With a nod and a wink, you said it must be
   the baby you’d prayed for, for oh, so long.
   (We laughed.  How cute!  Oh, my, could it be?     ….Andy?)                                  

When you were 11, you called the superintendent,
to tell him the cafeteria meals weren’t up to par.
And that year the teachers sent you to leadership camp,
          for they knew you’d go very far!
          (and could end up being their bossJ)

Middle school was challenging.  High school was, too;
          But you made the grades and loved to play ball.
With friends at every school and a smile that lit every room,
         Everyone loved you,  and we loved you most of all.
You grew into a young man facing darkness and fear
          as you began your own journey in life.
But we never doubted and knew you’d find your way back
          home through the dark clouds, confusion, and strife.

Adam, you blessed us with angels we adore;
          Blaze and Addy are gifts from above.
You’re a wonderful father who loves his kids with all his heart,
          and a daddy who has built a home filled with love.

You fell in love with a princess we’d prayed for all your life.
         Lauren has joined our family.
Now, you’re blessing us with a new babe
          in the middle of next year.
        We can’t wait to know if it’s “he” or “she”.

Through the sunny days and clouds we have loved you more
          than even we can truly understand.
For you’re always hidden in the corner
          where the first born abides
         and in the palm of God’s almighty hand.

Everyday we give thanks
          for the sound of your voice
On the phone with Dad
          or sipping coffee visiting with me.

We thank God for watching over you
          and answering our prayers
To become the man
          you were destined to be.

You area man filled with love, hope,
          and laughter, integrity, respect,
A  gentle spirit
        with a zeal for life that never ends.

You are:  Son, Brother, Husband,
                   Uncle, Dad, Cousin,
           Grandson, Nephew, and Friend.

Adam Dwain Garrett, we celebrate YOU today and
every day!  God gave us an amazing gift 31 years ago.
He gave us YOU!  We love you more than more!
                                   Mom and Dad J    10/6/2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Gift for the World

                    A Gift for the World

On the day he was born,
            the family smiled and danced!
His heart beat so fast,
            and a new song played for the world.

When he was three, he made everyone laugh
            with his funny phrases
            and jokes he didn’t even understand.
He shared from his heart,
            and joy was released into the lives
            of all those around him.

He began school and failed to leave
            his creative spirit safely at home.
His heart and mind struggled to beat freely,
            so, his mom broke the chains,
            and the boy soared to the beat
            of his own heart.

In 6th grade, the boy fell in love with music.
            He sang and began to write down the songs
            that flowed so effortlessly from deep within.
            The world applauded.

During his high school years, many things changed.
            The boy became a man;
            the tenor, a bass;
            the young man, a gentleman.
His heart was drawn to the world of travel,
            seeking new friends and adventures
            in faraway lands.
He sang new songs, learned new languages, and
            made forever friends wherever he went,
            but his heart was still heavy.
The young man had always wondered why
he saw and felt things differently than others did.
He was troubled.
He’d never chosen to walk against the tides of life,
but he must find his own path and destiny.

So, he searched his heart
 and the lives and hearts of all he met.
He prayed for answers that didn’t quickly come.
He wrestled with emotions, fears,
            and all he’d learned at home, school, and at church.

What he found opened up a new, unique path for his life,
            of which he’d never dreamed,
            and the heaviness disappeared.
God revealed to him the gifts he had and must share:
            gifts of love, joy, compassion;
            songs of hope and freedom to create masterpieces;
            the brilliance to learn languages
           and love people of all races, creeds, and cultures,
            because God first loved him.
And the young man wrote:
            “All that I am is because of what God has made me.”

Andy Garrett, you are a very precious gift to the world.
You know who you are and what you believe.
Take your gifts and genius and make this world
a better place for having you in it!

                                              Love, MomJ

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Remembering Uncle Craig

Dear Grands,

Today was a very hard day for our family.  We said our goodbyes and celebrated the life of my first, best friend:  Uncle Craig.

Uncle Craiger was Pops’ baby brother.  He was 13 when I was born.  And there wasn’t anyone I’d rather play with at our house, at the lake, on the farm…anytime, anywhere, any place!  Craiger took me on his adventures, and he loved to make me laughJ

We moved to Lubbock for a couple of years when I was little, and Craig came to stay with us as often as he could.   My favorite spot was riding on top of his strong shoulders and wrestling in the living room floor until I couldn’t hold my head up.  Craiger never ran out of energy or got tired of playing with me!

Craiger went with us to the lake from the day I was born.  I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t there…skiing, swimming, fishing with Pops, or skimming stones across the muddy, red Ft. Phantom waves.  He taught me what it meant to love life and family.

Uncle Craig got older, and so did I!  He started dating a precious young lady named Fay.  When he brought her to meet us, he was so happy.  Love just sparked between those two, and I figured out real quickly that Kimmy and I were about to have a new member of our family.

Craig and Fay had their wedding in our backyard.  It was one of the highlights of my young life.  Fay walked into the garden dressed like a princess…she was the most beautiful bride I’d ever seen.  And Uncle Craig looked so handsome.  He surely was a prince.  It was just like a fairy tale come true…right there at our house!  Kim and I learned a lot about what true, everlasting love was from Uncle Craig and Aunt Fay.  Life was not always fun, fair, or kind to them, but they walked through time together…no matter what came their way.  And they always prayed together and sought God’s will for their lives and those of their family.

Uncle Craig and Aunt Fay adopted a precious baby boy named Cavin when Kim and I were in Middle school.  He was absolutely perfect!  Here I was playing with Craig’s baby just the way he had with meJ  When Cavin was 4 years old, Mom called us to come home from school, and we rushed to Hendricks Hospital.  Cavin had been in an accident and had been badly burned.  We arrived, and I’d never seen Uncle Craig so torn up.  He and Fay just couldn’t quit crying.  We prayed with them, and stayed with them until the doctors sent Cavin to a burn unit where he died soon after.  I remember getting so angry at God.  Why wasn’t he healing this precious baby that we prayed for so hard?  Uncle Craig and Aunt Fay showed me the answer to my question through the way they lived their lives.  They testified to the unconditional love and grace that Jesus gives everyone.  They never showed bitterness, and God used their testimony to bring so many lost souls to the Lord.  I truly believe that their testimony stabilized my view of eternal life.  Craig and Fay didn’t just say that they would be reunited with Cavin in heaven one day…they believed it and preached it!  They went on living …bringing others to God’s saving grace by their example.

They adopted two more babies, Robin (who was a baby when Cavin died) and Barry, who I’m proud to say are not only my precious cousins, but my dear friends.  My cousins are truly gifts from God!

Uncle Craig, Aunt Fay, Robin, and Barry may not have always lived near us, and we didn’t get to visit often, but when we did, our time was filled with joy, laughter, and the love of our family.  What a gift we all had…each other.

Two weeks ago, while he was recovering from brain surgery, Uncle Craig called me.  Of course, I was trying to get him to tell me how he was feeling, what type of treatment he was planning to have, etc…(.I always was the “chatty” oneJ). But Uncle Craig was himself…he didn’t call to talk about how he was.  No, he wanted to tell me how excited he was that Daddy (Pops) had moved to into assisted living.  He said that he couldn’t believe how well he was doing and the great changes he had seen in him.  He wanted me to know that we had done the right thing.  That’s my Uncle Craiger…always thinking of everyone else.

Now, Uncle Craiger has left us for a little while.  He’s with Cavin, MaMaw, PaPaw, Mother (Mumsie), and lots of other family members and friends.  He’s seated at the feet of His precious Savior, who he loved with all his heart and loved to tell others about.  We will grieve his absence and look forward to the day we will see him again.  But, as our family always has done, we’ll remember great stories, retell funny times, replay good days and the hard ones we thought we’d never get through…but we did!

And we’ll recall how Craiger helped us find the joy in it all, and held our hands so we wouldn’t stumble.  We’ll remind each other how he prayed for each and every person in our family even when we didn’t know or think we needed it, and how he served others in his church and community without anyone knowing it…
But Kim and I watched and saw a real man who loved the Lord and served Him.  He taught us what it meant to live for the Lord.

We also saw the way he loved our Aunt Fay from the very first moment we met her until he drew his last breath.  It was a love made in heaven.  Craig respected her, expressed that love, and taught us how we needed to be treated by a man.   Kim and I are both so thankful for those lessons we learned from their love story.

We watched him raise his children with love and through the way he lived. And, most importantly, he taught them to love the Lord with all their hearts!  What a legacy!

Grands, you’re going to always hear me tell stories about my Uncle Craig.  He has always been and will always be my precious uncle and my friend.  You’ll see me laugh and watch me cry as I remind you how much he meant to me.  I just hope that I can strive to love, live, and serve others as he did and that I can teach you just as he did me.

                                              I love you,

Uncle Craiger, dance and sing and praise the Lord!  You made a difference in so many lives in your years with us.  Thank you for being my first, best friend, and for loving me so unconditionally.  I’ll bet you’ll be the first to meet me when I walk through heaven’s golden gates!

I love you forever!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Torch is Passed

The Torch is Passed

My teacher, Mrs. Briles, came in crying,
          And we all cried, too.
We had no clue what had happened
          And were confused about what we should do.

Mom came early to get us that day,
          Her eyes red and filled with tears.
Not a word was spoken
          As the miles home fueled our fears.

The car pulled into the driveway
          And came to a sudden halt.
Mommy jumped out and ran through the front door.
          Did I do something?
          Was this my fault?

Kimmy and I tiptoed into the hall
          And heard a sad, gruff voice on the t.v. slowly say,
“Our president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy
          was assassinated at 12:30p.m. today.”

The television showed a line of cars
          Driving in a big parade.
It focused in on an open-topped car
            From which the President and Mrs. Kennedy smiled and waved.

Seconds later, shots rang out, screams were heard,
          And the cars with motorcycle escorts took off.
Mrs. Kennedy climbed over the back of the car
          As our president’s head dropped.

The next day Mommy took us to Faye Faye’s house,
          Because our school was closed to mourn.
Over and over we watched the movies play.
          The United States of America’s hearts were torn.

Why would a man take our president
          Who worked for equality?
What made him hate a man so much
          Who strove to make the world free?

Our family and most Americans
          Watched the President’s funeral on t.v.
Everything was black with a dirge and drums
          Playing a solemn beat.

The casket was draped with the American flag
          And transported in a wagon pulled by a horse.
As it rolled past Mrs. Kennedy and the children,
          Jon Jon saluted his daddy, of course.

President Kennedy was buried in Arlington Cemetery
          On a cold November day.
An eternal flame was lit on top of his grave,
          And I heard my Granddaddy say,
          “The torch is passed.”

***John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.  The news media filmed the procession of cars the President was riding in and captured the assassination on film.  The t.v. stations replayed the events for days on  end.  Children in the United States were  bombarded by the scenes of their President’s death and his funeral procession.  It was a very solemn time in our country’s history.  Young and old alike who lived through these dark times, can recall where they were or what they were doing when they heard the horrible news or saw it on television.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Who Let the Dogs Out???

Maddie & Louie, partners in                   Teddy, the elder
            crime                                                                                           Lucky, the Lookout  
                                                                                Merry, puppy-napper
Who Let the Dogs Out?

Gransie, Grandpa, and Blaze jumped in the truck and took off to find the school supplies.
While Lucky and Teddy stood guard near the porch. Maddie, Merry, & Louie napped inside.

Lucky’s ear shot up, and he peeked around the house.  Yep, they’d surely gone to town.
He woke Old Teddy up and scratched on the door.  It was time to go mess around.

Merry ran to the window Grandpa had opened for some air, and pushed it with all her might.  The three house dogs got out through the crack and soon they were out of sight.

The five had to make haste.  There was no time to waste.  The Garrett’s wouldn’t be
gone very long.  So they got on their gear, and all you could hear was the roar of the engine’s song.

With Maddie drivin’, Teddy holdin’ tight, they drove the 4-wheeler out in the sun.  And the other three strapped on with tie downs, you see…were ready for some fun!

Oh, what a sight!  It must have been a fright for the neighbors as they saw ‘em go by.  Five dogs zooming past as Maddie stepped on the gas….the others held on tight!

Jumping a ditch, they flew over the fence and landed on 2 wheels.  The horses and cows all cheered out loud as the pooches raced through the fields.

With ears and lips flappin’, those little doggies put on a mighty fine show.  But as they rounded the bend, they flew into a spin and threw a cloud of dirt over the road.

                              In the mean time…

 Gazin’ out the truck window, Blaze glimpsed something that made him rub his eyes and scream.  Grandpa slowed way down, looked at Blaze with a frown, but Blaze couldn’t even speak.

He just pointed toward the field and the cloud of dust that covered the truck and road.
Grandpa shook his head and finally said, “I guess Farmer Jim just mowed.”

But Gransie spied something zipping down the road, headed toward their place.  Shaking her head, she dismissed the notion, but a puzzled look stayed on her face.

The Garrett’s pulled up to the house, and Blaze ran into the barn.  Everything seemed to
be just right.  They opened the door, brought in the sacks, and the dogs were sound asleep inside. 

Out on the front porch, Teddie and Lucky were lying down chewing a stick.  Nothing seemed strange at all until Gransie whistled for the guys to come quick.

                        Who took off the window screen?   Burglars?  The wind?  The …..

Naw, they couldn’t have…they all turned to look at the dogs lying on the porch.

         Then, Lucky grinned at Gransie and winked.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

                                          The Chihuahua and the Cottontail    


Each morning as the sun peeks over the mesquites in Gransie’s Gardens, Merry dances down the steps and out the gate for her morning run.  With her graceful Chihuahua-esque moves, she herds three to five uninvited guests out of the yard and into the pasture beyond the barbed wire fence.

Who, you might ask, would dare to congregate on Merry’s turf?
Why, it’s a rather large family, in fact, several generations of cottontails.

At dusk, the “stars” step on stage once more and repeat the morning performance with precision.  The mockingbirds, dove, and hummingbirds cheer them on from their perches high above.

It’s a good life!
Predictable.  On schedule.  Lots of exercise. 
No one gets hurt.

They’re living each day just as the next—anticipating tomorrow will be just like the day before.

Then, one scorching summer day, things changed.  Merry pranced out of the yard to chase the intruders away, ran them under the fence, and turned to skip back for her breakfast treat.  But something caught her attention, and she turned to see one of the cottontails hopping after her.

What?  Who did this bunny think she was?

Merry pursued the rabbit again.  She hopped away and ducked into a large prickly pear patch.  Of course, this Chihuahua was feeling very proud of herself, and she dashed through the garden doing figure eights as Gransie clapped and cheered.

When Merry reached the steps, Gransie pointed and whispered, “Merry, I think you have a visitor.”

That rabbit had followed her and stood right at the open gate, wiggling her bunny nose and her soft white tail.

The little dog ran out after her, and the two went back and forth across the field with Merry in hot pursuit and the cottontail, Honey Bunch,
scurrying just ahead of her.

Gransie couldn’t believe her eyes!  This must be one bold rabbit.  Most of them ran away and hid, but this cottontail was fierce.  Honey Bunch, Gransie’s name for bunny, would wait until Merry was almost to her in a full run, then she’d jump straight up in the air.  The dog would pass right under and stop when she realized the bunny wasn’t in front of her.

Something strange was going on here!  Gransie decided to get to the bottom of it.  She began to look around the gardens and was surprised to find a hole in the middle of the yard.  With a stem from a daylily, Gransie carefully pushed back dirt, grass, and balls of hair.  There, deep inside, she found three baby bunnies, snug as bugs in a rug.

Gransie and Merry had to have a little talk!  These must be Honey Bunch’s babies.  She was trying to get the Chihuahua to run after her so she’d leave her baby bunnies alone.  Gransie shared the new found treasure with her little friend and told her the hole must not be disturbed.

Merry changed her morning and evening dances to include a little warm-up beside the rabbit hole.  Well, a little change is good for every one of God’s creatures!  She’d look inside, take two or three sniffs and circle the hole twice.

Oh, yes, Merry would make her usual passes to scatter the rabbits…all except for Honey Bunch, who always had surprise moves and secret trails to lead her away from the babies.

The saga of the Chihuahua and the cottontail went on for days and into weeks.  The babies were safe, and the performers were happy in their roles.   One day, however, Merry circled the hole and turned to Gransie with a questioning look.  Gransie checked inside and the baby bunnies were gone.

Merry ran out of the garden.  There was Honey Bunch awaiting their morning chase.  Merry quickly followed her to the fence.  She backed away and stood staring under the boughs of a cedar.  Gransie had followed and peeked beneath the tree to see what was happening.  Three baby bunnies were sitting underneath with their mama.  Merry wasn’t moving a muscle.

Had Honey Bunch finally introduced her to the triplets?

Oh, how Gransie wished she could hear what they were saying to each other through the old fence.

          Thank you for being kind to my babies.

          You know, we aren’t so different!

          We can all live together and be friends.

          Really…new adventures make life more fun.

Merry turned and trotted to the porch, and Gransie was sure that she saw a smile on the Chihuahua’s face.

Time went by, the rabbits grew up, and Merry still has her daily runs through the gardens to chase the cottontails.  But, there’s one special bunny who always comes to challenge her and keep her on her toes.

A family dog and a wild cottontail faced off as enemies and became friends.  And they taught Gransie some special lessons about life.