Columns

Wed
27
Oct

Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs

Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs

I didn’t watch the soldiers exiting the plane. I kept my eyes on my new hero. I scrutinized her face as she searched for son. There was no doubt when she spotted her soldier; the look of pure joy gave it all away. She gasped, then started to shake and cry. I couldn’t take my eyes off this woman; I was mirroring her feelings in my soul. I also started to cry as the jumble of emotions rushed through me. I felt bonded with my fellow mother as we shared the same emotions. I felt the relief and joy that he was home, and the pride for that soldier in uniform who was really just a little boy back in his mother’s embrace. I felt gratitude for my hero who had also sacrificed while her soldier was serving our country.

I stepped back to allow mother and child their time together, but my memory of that day has been profound. I wonder how their story progressed; how many times had she visited that airport to welcome home her hero?

Wed
20
Oct

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The history of DeSoto Parish is intimately connected to the men and women of the past years. Yes, they made DeSoto with their dedication and hard work. Several men and women have been written about in this column most of whom this writer knew and felt should be remembered. Of course, there have been hundreds of people who should be remembered but you understand all cannot be written about – only a representative group.

Wed
20
Oct

The Farm Wife

The Farm Wife

It may sound old-fashioned, but learning how to actually write a letter is a dying art. We are so dependent on email, texts, and phones, that many of us never write more than a reminder on a sticky note.

There are times, though, when a personal note takes on more value than an email. You would never send a condolence card through email. Instead, you pick up your pen and write a message from the heart.

It is a given that a hand-written note is more appreciated by the recipient. But it can also be a chore for the writer. As with most chores, it helps to find simple ways to make it more enjoyable.

Albeit a bit old fashioned, one of the first things you need is a selection of stationery. This can be as elaborate as personalized paper and cards, or as simple as a lovely, but still generic variety.

Wed
20
Oct

Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs

Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs
Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs

Fifteen years ago my boys and I were standing in a terminal at Dallas Fort Worth Airport waiting on an airplane. The passengers were strangers to us, but they were also heroes. We made the trek to the airport to participate in the program Welcome Home A Hero. For those who don’t recognize this program, it allows people to stand in a row at a commercial airport as military personnel exit from their flight. If I asked my boys what they remember from that trip to the airport, they would probably shake their heads. But that day is a memory I have revisited more times than I can possibly count. But let’s start at the beginning.

The boys dressed in their Cub Scout uniforms and dutifully carried their poster boards to the car and we headed to the airport. None of us were certain what to expect but I described the sacrifice these heroes had made to be away from their families and serve our country. I am sure the boys at 8 and 5 could not imagine leaving their family.

Thu
14
Oct

Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs

Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs
Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs

I visited my new doctor in Shreveport and made an interesting discovery: not only does he do Family Practice but he also is a Geriatric Specialist. So I was the youngest person in the waiting room, which certainly made me happy.

I love senior citizens! They have so many interesting stories and can really put things into perspective. That day I met a wonderful couple: Henry and Jeanette. Jeanette informed me upon introduction that the doctor says she no longer has to give the receptionist the year she was born as part of her birthdate when she checks in. I find that a definite plus to growing old.

Jeanette entered the doctor’s area for her appointment-she had gone into great detail as to why she was there, but frankly I just don’t remember any of it. I do remember it was for the results of a lab test, but beyond that I couldn’t recall.

Thu
14
Oct

On The Bright Side

On The Bright Side

“Would you be interested in signing up for this committee?”

“There’s a get-together at so-and-so’s house tonight. Want to come?”

These are scenarios that make me want to bolt for the hills.

“Oh Allison,” people have said to me, “I’ve heard you talk in front of groups and you seem so comfortable around people! Surely you’re not an introvert.”

“Well,” I explain, “I can do extroverted things for a short time, but it’s really draining.”

In fact, according to a personality test that my son gave me, I’m an “INFJ-A.”

“What in the world is that?” I asked him, “Sounds like a serious diagnosis!”

Well, apparently, INFJ-A stands for “Introversion-Intuition-Feeling-Judgment-Advocate” and is the rarest of 16 official personality types. Only 1 to 3 percent of the U.S. population has it.

Thu
14
Oct

Did You Know?

Did You Know?
Did You Know?

Caddo has always cast an integral influence on DeSoto Parish from 1843 starting when the northern half of DeSoto was taken from Caddo. Many important families of DeSoto have migrated and become important citizens of Shreveport. But nothing is more important to the economy than the movement of oil drilling southward after the first oil and gas wells were drilled in 1870 on Cross Bayou intended to be a water well for an ice factory. The first oil well known to have been drilled was by Edwin Drake in 1859 near Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Thu
07
Oct

Hey, Let’s Talk!

Hey, Let’s Talk!

Murmurations

In this month’s National Geographic there is a good article by Diana Marques on the defensive flight formations that Blackbirds and Starlings make when a predator attacks. These are called “Murmurations” for the murmuring sound that their thousands of wings make as the flock changes directions. I’ve witnessed this same phenomenon when I lived over on Louisiana St. several years ago. Next door was a huge old Pin Oak Tree and across the street was a big patch of cane at the Calhoun Center. Every year in early Spring a huge flock of Blackbirds would migrate through DeSoto Parish and gather in that tree before roosting in the canes each night for about a week. It was highly entertaining because it took them about an hour or two to settle down before crashing for the night. One evening I saw the culprit causing all the unrest – a Cooper’s Hawk cruising around the neighborhood!

Thu
07
Oct

Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs

Bright Lights to Lightning Bugs

We had spent two nights and one day in our new home and I must say I was enjoying being in the country. Kind of like a vacation (except for the ridiculous amount of boxes still to be unpacked.) But I’m not too cool with the skunk I saw in the backyard. And the coyotes howling at sunset seemed charming on the surface, but it all reminded me of those Grade B scary movies from my childhood.

The family moves to the country to recapture whatever it is they think they’ve lost-their time, their togetherness, and their sanity. Then little things start happening that makes them question what they’ve done. Like going to the grocery store and not finding any Kool Aid. Being able to buy hominy but not couscous. Meeting people that think it’s perfectly natural to drive twenty miles to see a movie in a theatre.

Wed
29
Sep

On The Bright Side

On The Bright Side

As far as I’m concerned, the only dog breed is the miniature schnauzer.

My husband says our two schnauzers — a boy, Kaiser, and a girl, Bailey — are “needy” for me.

I tell him, “They’re not needy! They’re just … loving.”

My husband Marshall tells me that when I go into a room and close the door, Kaiser and Bailey stand as still as a statue with their noses against the door until I return.

Marshall will send me pictures on my phone with the caption: “Needy.”

When I sit down on the couch with my cup of coffee early in the mornings, Kaiser and Bailey sit as close to me as white on rice.

If I get up to go into the kitchen for more coffee, they follow.

Marshall tells me that when I leave the house, Kaiser paces the floor. He finally gets tired and retires to his perch on the back of the couch, but every little noise causes him to stare at the door.

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