Sweet 16

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Lillie Belle Wells age 16

I absolutely love this picture of my Grandma Lillie.  I love finding old pictures that show a side of the people I love, that I never knew.  I love her hair.  I love her “big” hat.  I love her slender figure, her feminine outfit, and her bracelet.

This is my Grandma at age 16.  When she was showing me this picture, Granddad said, “Sweet sixteen, and never been kissed!”  He smiled and winked at her, and she blushed.  I loved it.  They were probably in their eighties at the time.

But this is not the Grandma I knew.  When I knew Grandma, she was heavy-set and wore her hair in a bun.  She wore “old lady” dresses, and “old lady” shoes.  They were always black shoes that laced up to her ankles. I don’t ever remember her wearing any jewelry, other than a watch.  And I can’t even imagine her wearing a hat like in this picture!  I just love this!

Grandma was one of the sweetest, most loving and genuine ladies I have ever known.  She was a very hard worker and great cook.  She raised eight children, four boys, and four girls, one of which was my mother.  I love and miss you Grandma Lillie!






The first picture above is of me, and the second is of my sister “Patsy”, as she was known back then.

I love these pictures of us.  They filled me with such warm memories that they brought tears to my eyes.  We were kinda cute weren’t we?  Both dressed alike, our hair in curls, and both with big smiles.

I’ve been sitting here for a while just staring at these pictures trying to figure out why they moved me so.   I know now why.  It is because I can see and feel the love in them.  Maybe you can’t, but I can.

I know a small boy who is going through some very hard times right now.  He is from a broken home, and his current family situation is filled with more pain and stress than any child should have to endure.  He is not in any physical danger, but he is feeling alone, abandoned, and not loved the way a child should be.  It breaks my heart for him.

When I look at these photos of us, I see the unconditional love of parents who were always there for us.  I know how lucky and blessed we were.  I see my Dad holding us and making us giggle.  I see my Mom holding us and comforting us when we didn’t feel good.  I see them both taking us with them to rodeos, dances, shopping, and Sunday rides in the car.

Mom always loved to “dress up” her little girls.  We often were dressed in matching outfits.  I can remember little black patten- leather shoes, with socks that had turn down lacy cuffs and flowers on them.

She always took time to brush our hair with love.  We both had thick, curly hair; Pat’s much more curly than mine.  It tangled easy and wasn’t that easy to work with, but she was always gentle.  She made us feel special, like we were getting our hair done by a hair dresser.  Lots of times we were given braids, or pony tails, which were easier and quicker.  Even then she would add decorative pony-tail fasteners, barretts, or ribbons, that made us feel pretty.  Her favorite way to make us feel pretty was to give us ringlets.  That is what we have in these pictures.  You don’t see ringlets much on little girls these days.  Mom would separate our hair in pieces and brush them around her finger to form long curls.  Then she would usually use ribbons or barretts to pull them off our faces.

We had big smiles because we were happy children.  We were loved very much.  That is what I see when I look at those curls.  Those ringlets…..they represent my Momma’s love.


My Flag and Its Anthem


Old Glory!

As it turns out, I am not the only one that is deeply offended with the NFL players, coaches, and their owners.  What started out with one player disrespecting our flag and the National Anthem, has spread like a nasty virus through the whole NFL.

They say they are protesting for social justice in our country.  Well fine, protest!  I am also for social justice.  I know there are still problems with race in our country.  Nothing like it used to be, but there are still problems.

The problem with me is, I  believe this show of disrespect for our flag and our National Anthem has very little to do with wanting a change for good.  They are not protesting for social change, they are protesting for “political” change.  They don’t like the Republican President, and that is what I believe this is mostly about.

To prove that point, I am going to President Trump’s statement , that it would be nice if one of these owners would fire these……..when they take a knee and disrespect our flag and the National Anthem.   What did the NFL do?  They all decided to make a big “show of solidarity”  to show that divisiveness will not win.

They were offended by his statement.   They said so.  They were insulted.  That is why the big show… arms locked, almost all taking a knee, or not even coming out on to the field until after the Anthem.  It had nothing to do with bringing social change.  It was to make a point to the President.

They may not have liked his statement, but that is exactly the way a huge part of this country feels.  That is why there were so many “boos” heard across NFL stadiums on Sunday.   That is why Facebook is flooded with post after post of people furious with the NFL, from the head down to the players. That is why there is serious talk of football fans boycotting the NFL games.

Why?  Why do we feel that way?  Are we all racists?  No!  Our reaction has nothing to do with race or agreeing or not agreeing on the need for social change.

It is a standing tradition in our American sporting events, from elementary, to the National leagues, to display our American Flag, and play our National Anthem.  It is to forever show respect to and honor all those, of every color, that have ever fought, died, or to this day, are serving in our military to protect the freedoms that our flag stands for.

If the one post I read is correct, it is even in the NFL rules, that every player shall stand on the sidelines when the flag is displayed, and Anthem sung.  They are to have their helmets removed, and hand across their hearts.

Come on NFL, enforce your own rules!

You, the NFL, told Tim Tebow when he took a knee to honor God, to “keep his personal beliefs off the field.”  Why aren’t you telling these players the same thing?  Quit being hypocrites!

If your goal was to end division in our country by taking a knee, you have failed.  You have created a division.  You have offended and insulted everything our flag stands for.  You have offended every American who tears up when they hear The Star Spangled Banner, because they feel every word.

If you want to protest social injustice, by all means do so.  Don’t use your “protest” as an excuse to stir political differences.  Find a different platform.  Leave our American Flag and National Anthem alone!





Never Forget!

This day will always put that lump in my throat. I can NEVER forget those images!


Like most people, I can remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing when I first saw that first plane hit the first tower.

Disbelief, shock, fear, anger, helplessness, compassion… all those things that consumed my very being, overtake me every time I see those images again.  Fifteen years and those pictures still leave me feeling shattered.  I can not begin to imagine what they do to the survivors, and the loved ones of those who were murdered, and those who gave their lives for their fellow-men and women.

Our country is so divided right now.  I guess election year politics will always do that to some degree.  But I feel this is so much more than that.  It seems to me that tolerance, and political correctness, have taken the place of old-fashioned reason and common sense.

We are still in the middle of a war on terror.  Radical…

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My American Idol

My Dad and me

My husband and I like to watch American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The Voice.  We like to watch ordinary people being discovered for their talents, and have their life forever changed.

I have not been discovered on a big stage in front of millions of people.  Never the less, my life has been changed forever.  It didn’t change by my once in a life time performance, but by the lifetime of love and guidance of Daddy’s hands and heart.

My dad is a cowboy.  He loves the wide open range of yesterday’s life.  He loves the blue skies shining down on pastures dotted with cattle and horses.  If he was able, that is where he would be today.

He loved his vocation of a cattle rancher and horse trainer.  But Dad never put his work above his wife or children.  In fact, he blended us into it.  We went with him when he rode, moved cows, fed cows, or irrigated.  I would ride a horse beside him when he was training a new horse.  When he showed  horses, we were watching on the side lines.

Dad has given me so much advice and guidance over the years.  Most of it was not verbal.  Most of it was observed, watching the way he treated people; his family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. I learned from the way he treated, his pets, (who were also his friends, and working companions), and the cattle and horses under his care.

He taught me how to see the beauty in life, no matter where I was at.  He taught me how to appreciate the little things, and how to laugh at myself.

If I was hurt, he had sympathy for me, but wouldn’t let me feel self-pity.  He would say, and he still does, “It will grow back smarter!’

Dad also encouraged me to dream my own dreams.  It is funny how life turns out.  I did dream my own dreams, but they seem to have mirrored a lot of his.  I love the same kind of life he lived.  I think that is because he made my life growing up so full, I couldn’t imagine a better way to live.

I am lucky.  God blessed me when he put me in the strong, loving, and kind hands of my father.  He is indeed my American Idol.  I love you so much Jim Craig!

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Jim Craig

Nita & Granddad

Ed and Nita Craig

This has been a hard couple of weeks for me.  I lost two friends, and my Grandmother, Nita.

Too much death, too much sorrow; but so many memories, and so much hope.  That is pretty much the roller-coaster of emotions I have been on.

The death of a loved one is always hard.  When there are so many in such a short amount of time, it makes you realize how very short life is.  No one is promised tomorrow, or even the rest of today for that matter.  Don’t take any day for granted.  Live, love, laugh, give hope, give forgiveness.

All three of the people I recently lost, I believe were examples of that.

Nita married my grandfather, Ed after my grandmother, Odessa died.  She became a loving grandmother to me.  I loved her so very much.  She was always smiling, always gave me hugs, and little gifts.  Not big expensive gifts, but the kind that touched your heart.  They were crocheted Christmas ornaments, sea shells, poems or stories she found inspirational; those kind of gifts.

She loved my Granddad. She loved his family.  She loved me.  She loved people, and animals.  She loved the ocean.  She made my life better.

My Granddad died several years ago at 101 years old.  Nita continued to live independently until she lost most of her vision to Macular Degeneration.  She has lived the last couple of years in a nursing home.

Even though she didn’t like it there, she always tried to find the positive around her.  She would quote her sister and say  “We just have to look for the good around us, and take one day at a time.”

Nita’s vision was pretty well gone.  Because of that her mobility was very limited as well.  Most all of her family had passed away and she was lonely.  She talked of her death often the last year.  But it was not really in a negative tone.  Nita would tell me how much she missed my Granddad, her sister, and others who had passed before her.  She would tell me how she couldn’t wait to see them again, and Jesus.  She was ready to see Jesus!

Nita was 104.  She would laugh and say, “Can you believe that?”  Just before we would hang up the phone, she would ask me to pray a special prayer for her.  I told her I would.  Then she would say, “Sherry, I have lived a wonderful life.  I love you all so much, but I am tired.  Please pray Jesus will take me home soon.”

I told her I loved her too, and I would pray as she asked.

Jesus heard us.

I am sad for me, but very happy for her. Nita is with Granddad once again.  She is looking at loved ones through healed eyes.  She is no longer lonely.  Jesus is by her side.

And that is where my “hope” lies also.  I know and love Jesus as well, and I know I will see this sweet lady again!

Love you both, Granddad and Nita!