Monday, April 28, 2008

Wild Hogs

I live with a motorcycle gang.

That's my daughter and one of her BFFs, Jenn.

That's the two of them and hubby, ready for a road trip.

And there they are, riding off into the sunset. Easy Riders. Well, two of them have no clue what that even means. It's all good.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Home for Christmas

Trevin told me he was bored and that it's time to get off my butt and write a blog post. Okay, he was not that rude about it, but I get the point. I still have a couple of stories from the cruise, but I had one other thing that I wanted to get on here, because it's something that is very near and dear to my heart.

I have been on the Board of Directors of Youth and Family Services for several years. Our agency provides counseling for children and families, parenting classes, anger management, to name a few. We also provide a shelter for children who literally have nowhere else to go. Our shelter is about 35 years old, so you can imagine it's not in the best shape. Several years ago, just before the holidays, the children were playing games in the living room, and the Christmas tree suddenly fell through the floor. Several areas of the kitchen are unusable because they violate one code or another.

We spent two years on a capital campaign, during which we raised 1.3 million dollars. Our ground breaking ceremony was way last fall, and then nothing happened for months. Finally, construction started, and we saw progress being made. The past few weeks have seen a new roof, brick exterior, and carpet, flooring and tile samples. Yesterday, after our Board meeting, several of us donned hard hats and toured the construction site.

It was so exciting to see our dream taking shape, to imagine a beautiful place that will shelter children and heal families. And the best part is that it will be done before Christmas. Right up there, in front of that window, we are going to put a Christmas tree. There will be another one in the living room, which will have a concrete floor, covered with carpeting, and will be surrounded by gifts and safe, warm children.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In Memory

On Easter, Enid lost one of its own sons in Baghdad, when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. The effect on our community has been profound. Sgt. Chris Hake's body arrived in Enid on Monday, met by his family, an honor guard from Ft. Sill, and an entire town whose citizens lined the streets from the airport to the funeral home.

His funeral was held this afternoon at the private school he attended. He will be buried Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetary. We, his fellow Oklahomans, want his parents, siblings, and his wife, to know how deeply we appreciate his sacrifice. We want baby Gage to one day understand how much that means to all of us. So you can imagine our dismay when we learned that a certain Kansas 'church' planned a protest. These are the people who like to show up at the funerals of fallen soldiers spewing their vile, repugnant ideas like so much sewage.

I drove with my daughter and her friend to the site of the protest. I drove past parking lots filled with people carrying flags. Past a nursing home with twenty-five to thirty residents, some in robes and slippers, many in wheelchairs, curbside, with American flags. And, past a hearse, followed by 100+ Patriot Guard Riders. Citizens had organized a peaceful counter protest, actually, a demonstration of love and respect. We held signs, we sang patriotic songs and hymns.

Five people showed up from Kansas. They were apparently across the street from us, behind the state troopers. They were outnumbered 25 to 1. They stayed until we sang "Oklahoma" at the top of our lungs. Then, they got in their vehicle and left. We stayed.

Yes, we have the right to free speech. We have the right to peaceful protest. But some things are just plain wrong. Disrespecting, dishonoring, degrading and defiling the memory of a fallen hero, who died so that you have the right to stand in the path of his funeral procession and cause more grief to a family who has already had more than they can bear.

Not in our town.