Always Real, Faith, Memaw, Papa George

The Good Pilot

Years ago, back in the mid-70s I think it was, my beloved Godmother had a heart attack and flat lined on the table.  She miraculously pulled through and lived many more years.  She had always been a fragile sort, not much of a fighter, and had many health issues.  Without ever saying, I always supposed that John, my robust Godfather, a Lithuanian who could hoist the world upon his shoulders, would long outlive her. But if there is one thing I know for sure, and I for sure only know one thing, it is this:  God…

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Always Real, Faith, Memaw, Papa George

On Being Ruth

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the account of Naomi and Ruth, as found in the short Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Naomi is Ruth’s Jewish mother-in-law.  Ruth is a Moabite .  This complicates matters because Israel and Moab were long-standing enemies.  Mother-in-law relationships can be challenging in the best of circumstances, but given the cultural and national differences, there could have been a lot of tension in their relationship but none is noted. As the story goes, the two women, along with another daughter-in-law, Orpah, also a Moabite, find themselves…

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Memaw, Papa George, Reruns and Leftovers, Tuna

Therapy, Financial Advice and a Make Over. All In One Place

My mother and father-in-law have owned a cosmetics studio and clothing boutique in downtown Tuna for the past 30 years.  In addition to selling makeup and outfitting the local church ladies, they have provided a number of other services to the locals. Up until a few years ago, an older lady named Leona would come in every other week or so with her checkbook and hand it over to George.  Leona couldn’t read or write a lick so she brought her checkbook in and George would balance her statement and tell her how much money she…

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Family Stories, Papa George

Update – The Broker

You may or may not remember, but last year Papa George saved the local park in Tuna from a big faceless corporation who wanted to install a cell tower right in the middle of the park amongst oak trees that are hundreds of years old. A cell tower would have destroyed the visual beauty of the park and made it not that much of a park, really. Because Papa George is who he is, he was able to work out a deal for a small nearby church to rent a portion of their unused parking lot…

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Hospitality & Manners, Papa George, Snips And Snails

The Little Red Car

One of the problems of being an older parent of an only child — a child that is especially delightful and charming and works the strings of my heart like an angel strumming a harp — is not caving in and spoiling him rotten. It takes a lot of restraint. It takes a lot of that self-control stuff that I’m trying to teach him. Antique Daddy and I believe that over-indulging the desires of Sean’s heart would be to abuse him. We believe that it is good for Sean to not have everything he wants, to long…

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Papa George, Tuna

The Broker

My father-in-law George is a sweet and gentle man with a heart as big as the ocean. He never raises his voice. If he’s really really mad, he might say “damn”. That’s the only way you know he’s really mad because he doesn’t raise his voice. And let me add that in the eleven years I’ve known him, I’ve only heard him utter that word one time. Truly, he is a servant of God who looks after widows and orphans in their distress. But don’t mess with him. A while back George took his car to…

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Papa George, Tuna

Canned Peaches

At what point in life do you start keeping canned peaches in the bathroom? And what does it mean? a) Collecting canned goods is my hobby b) I spend way too much time at the grocery store c) Sometimes I crave peaches at the mostly unlikely of times d) All of the above. On a recent visit to Tuna, I opened the linen closet in my father-in-law’s bathroom expecting to find, oh I don’t know, a washcloth or a towel or maybe even a Q-Tip. But no. Out rolled a #10 can of peaches onto my…

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Papa George, Tuna

How To Be A Rock Star In Tuna

The fourth installment in a series that looks at life in a small town in Texas. If you ever find yourself in Texas, and you’re really hungry and you want good food and plenty of it, what you do is drive to the nearest small town, check the obituaries and then head to the church for the post funeral feeding. Wear an outdated and ill-fitting suit of clothes and look appropriately pitiful and you’ll blend right in. If you arouse any suspicion, you can always deflect it by complimenting the potato salad: “I’m sorry, but I…

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Papa George, Tuna

Banking in Greater Tuna

Although I really enjoy living in the metroplex, sometimes when we visit my in-laws who live in a small north Texas town, I realize there are certain aspects to small town living that I really appreciate. Like banking. Awhile back, when we were visiting Tuna I decided that I needed to cash a check to facilitate my Main Street antique shopping. I parked right in front of the building and walked right up to the teller whose name was Floydine. As I was fumbling around in my purse for three kinds of ID, I informed Floydine…

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Papa George

A Georgeism

I love my father-in-law George. I don’t think I could love him more if he were my own daddy. George has the heart of a servant. He loves to cook and feed people and he loves to take care of people. I can’t remember a Thanksgiving meal where I didn’t look up half way through to see George loading up his car with “leftovers” – if you consider half a ham and an entire pie left over – to take to a friend who wasn’t feeling well, or an elderly shut-in or just someone he came…

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