Do Overs

Do not judge me by my successes. Judge me by the number of times I have fallen and continue to get back up…Nelson Mandela

I call those times of falling down and getting back up “do overs.” I bet you know that getting back up sometimes takes all you have got.  Getting back up takes energy, a sense of pride, and good old fashioned gumption.

At a recent family gathering, cousins were talking about all the crazy things we did as kids on our grandparents’ farm. We wondered how on earth we hadn’t been chopped up by the windmill blades, drown in the creek, got bitten by snakes or chased by the beavers when we tore up the beaver dam.  None of us wanted “do overs” on all those cherished childhood memories.

That conversation moved into the crazy things some of us had done in our adult lives. There were some tears, some defeated statements, and lots of encouragement from those blood relatives who share pieces of each other hearts.  The “do over” one cousin wished for seemed very insignificant to some of the cousin group, but to the one cousin, the “do over” was an earnest desire to have a different outcome.  I hope this cousin gets that “do over” and has the desired outcome.  There is that one line in the chorus of a country and western song that says, “….and if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

Do plan to stop in at Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation (WFACF), 2405 Kell Suite 100, Wichita Falls, TX and share your story about falling and getting back up for that “do over.” The generous donors with funds at WFACF recommend grants to countless organizations that are involved in assisting “do overs” on a daily basis with the clients served.

Get back up…dust yourself off…and enjoy your “do over.” It could be that chance to know yet another part of your amazing self.

#doover   #fallandgetbackup   #wfacf    940-766-0829   wfacf@wfacf.org


Pictures

Do any of you remember the commercial a few years back that showed a youngster jumping mid-air off a diving board? I think it was a commercial for a phone or computer company to advertise about “printing/saving pictures” in your phone.  I remember the voice over in the commercial saying something like this, “Please don’t keep me up in the air and stuck in this phone forever.”

I was back in my hometown recently for a family funeral. There was a very cool picture board made for the service and so many who came to call spent a lot of time looking at those pictures.  Nieces and nephews also spent many hours pouring over pictures that were in albums, still in the Kodak envelopes, and some just stuck in a shoebox.  A conversation started about how pictures would be captured when some of those youngsters (20’s and 30’s) had their funerals.   One visitor heard that conversation and said her phone had recently fallen in water and all her pictures on the camera were lost.

We all have a story and pictures, whether in your phone/computer/hard copies in a shoebox, are so very important. Pictures can capture special moments and make lasting memories—memories that can be passed on to other generations.  I hope your pictures are safe and that your story can be told for years to come.


The Eyes Have It

Last week I had the occasion to be on a crowded campus and had to walk several blocks to my destination. It was a beautiful “warm” winter day so no coat, feeling more like spring, I had a spring in my steps.

I must have passed 30-35 people on my walking path to and from my car that day. As is my norm, I looked at passerbys to say “Hello.” No engagement on this day. ALL passerbys had heads down, hands clicking on the keys of handheld device, and/or talking on the device.

So here is my “thinking on Thursday,” if limited eye contact is on the decline, how can true contact be made? This is just not youth on a college campus, but business contacts, families at dinner with all on a device, holiday gatherings with an assortment of phones going off?

The eyes are the window to the soul and to the beginning of a connection. Look up. Walk briskly. Look for attentive eyes and say HELLO.

All eyes will be on you when you stop in to our new location in Parker Square, 2405 Kell Suite 100, Wichita Falls, TX to say HELLO. We’d love to show you our office, tell you about all the offerings at Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation (WFACF), and see your eyes fill with excitement. We are also the office for the Burkburnett Legacy Foundation, an area fund under WFACF.

#theeyeshaveit #lookup #stopinWFACF @wfacf www.wfacf.org 940-766-0829


The Kitchen Drawers

We moved to a new house three years ago and the kitchen is blessed with ample storage. There is a set of four drawers to the side of the kitchen in a built in hutch/buffet type cabinet. One drawer holds an assortment of writing apparatuses/note pads and MY tools; one drawer has graph paper, mechanical pencils, and project books where husband’s hobby of handyman/woodworker lives; grandson has a drawer; and oldest granddaughter has a drawer.

When the grandchildren came to the house for the first time after we moved, I introduced them to their kitchen drawers. I told them there would be surprises in these drawers and each time they came to the house, it would be a good idea to check their kitchen drawer. Grandson was excited at first but his mood changed quickly when he checked the other two drawers and they already held many items. He asked, “Where is little cousin’s drawer?” (Little cousin is 6 years younger than he and 10 years younger than his older sister.) I was very touched that he was thinking of someone else. I quickly pointed out a lower shelf at the end of the kitchen island that held chalk, crayons, paper, old greeting cards, and a turtle chalkboard for Little cousin’s enjoyment. He smiled and quickly turned back to his drawer.

Grandson’s delight when he comes over is to quickly go to the drawer and the first thing he does is open his “mail.” We have a small account for the grandchildren and the statements come to our address so the statements go in the “drawers” unopened. As the grandchildren watch the accounts grow, we sometimes talk about the importance of saving and being responsible with money.

Teaching children and passing on a cherished legacy about money/saving/charitable giving is important. I hope our kitchen drawer lessons roll on for generations to come.

#Wichitafallsareacommunityfoundation #wfacf   www.wfacf.org  940-766-0829


Winter in Texoma

Crazy days in January—70 one day and 27 the next. Thank goodness most of us have the right clothing to stay warm, or cool, or dry. I so remember the days when I’d send children to school in shorts and warm weather clothing only for them to be chilled to the bone when they got home that afternoon. Didn’t take us long to have them take a jacket no matter the forecast.

Last week at the office we had some folks come move furniture from one room to another. One gentleman didn’t have on a coat and it was COLD COLD. When the mom in me asked him where his coat was, he joked that he didn’t get paid enough to buy a coat—ha ha—with his boss standing right there. We all laughed. For some people that joke could be covering up the fact that they really don’t have a heavy coat, something many of us take for granted.

In this time of roller coaster weather temps, please take time to go through your closets and DONATE jackets, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, good socks, sweatshirts, and rain coats. Those items could be really lonely in your possession because of lack of use and when donated, will be happy they are keeping many someones warm, dry, comfortable, and perhaps just a little bit more loved!

Where to donate in Burkburnett and Wichita Falls, TX? First Step Resale Shop, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Faith Mission/Refuge, North Texas State Hospital in Wichita Falls; Grace Ministries in Burkburnett. If you are reading this and live somewhere else, please find someplace to take your items.   Thank you all.

#warmcoats #warmhearts   #dryfeet   @wfacf   www.wfacf.org 940-766-0829


Calendars

I was a laggard. You know, that’s a marketing term for those who lag behind in adopting a current trend. Where did I lag….adopting the Outlook Calendar on my phone that was also synced to work. I started using this in earnest in 2016 and have been quite diligent in keeping all the happenings in my life on the calendar. There is no more keeping the personal calendar and work calendar.

I have to admit, it was quite different for me. It just seemed more pleasing to me to be able to lay my paper calendar flat with the whole month before my eyes where I could write, white out (still a laggard there), and make notes. I knew I could do all that on the phone and computer and just didn’t.

At home I still have a very pretty calendar hanging at the end of my cabinet out of sight from visiting eyes and it has pockets. March holds the paper flight schedule that awaits my purse when we head out the door for the airport on our way to California. Those pockets also hold birthday cards, stamps, football schedules/tickets, and more flight schedules and/or tickets for an upcoming girl trip to NYC.

I like to think my laggardness as OK for me. I use the new and use some old and it keeps me balanced and organized. I think there are laggard ways that I am holding onto—forever…..nose to nose and toes to toes visits (facetime OK—hugs better), handwritten notes and letters, no texting/social media when with family, clients (unless checking the calendar), at restaurants with friends, you get the idea.

Happy New Year to all and here’s to calendars and technology that are here to stay—or not. Always excited to see what else is coming along in my lifetime.


Time for Charity—all year

After our family’s Thanksgiving dinner we were all going around the table one by one saying what we were thankful for. My first share was that once again Papa and I had given to a charity and it was honoring all of them. The beginning rounds of thankful comments were heartfelt and long.  Everyone was having such a good time and wanted to keep going so we started “speed thankfulness” and could only use one word.  These were still heartfelt and got to the core of everyday life—air, water, food, job, car, house, shoes, guitar, music, school, books, oil, philanthropists, hospitals, doctors, surgeons.

Isn’t that the basis for a fulfilled life—being thankful for each day and what it brings?

There are many different people who are thankful all year long because of the care and concern offered them by Faith Mission/Refuge, Salvation Army, Interfaith Ministries, and Grace Ministries. Times Charities helps all four of these nonprofits by providing additional funding needed to meet unusual or one-time expenses being sought by folks here in Texoma. Times Charities is a charitable endeavor championed by the Times Record News and serves unmet needs throughout the year for Faith Mission/Refuge, Interfaith, Grace Ministries and Salvation Army.  The Times Charities fund resides at the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation, There is still time to donate this year—all donations of $150 or more are being matched dollar for dollar by a very generous Times Charities benefactor.  Here’s

Online www.wfacf.org/donate    

Mail:   2405 Kell, #100 Wichita Falls, TX  76308

Phone: 940-766-0829   (we’ll take the credit card information over the phone)

Merry Christmas to all of you. Here’s to 2017—a year filled with gratefulness for each day we are granted.


Make Christmas Merry

Ten Ways to Celebrate and Say “Merry Christmas”

Would you please take a look at this top 10 list of suggestions and perhaps one or two of them will speak to you as the holiday season goes into overdrive:

  1. Clean out those drawers, closets, storage units and DONATE now to any of the thrift stores in our area, i.e. Burkburnett Boys and Girls Club, First Step, Faith Mission/Refuge, to name a few.
  2. Help your children clean out their toys. Have them pick good used toys and take them with you when the donation is made to the church nursery, a resale shop, a woman’s shelter, a homeless shelter.  Purchase new toys and take your children with you when you deliver them.
  3. Make your gifts to charitable causes in honor of those on your gift giving list. The charities/nonprofits send you an acknowledgement and also your gift honorees will receive cards telling of your lovely holiday remembrance.
  4. If there’s not much money for gifts this year, how about looking in your cupboards and having kids or grandkids help you take canned goods to your church food pantry or to Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, Grace Ministries, or Interfaith?
  5. Have your kids and/or grandkids go with you to buy big bags of dog food and cat food and then head over to an animal shelter and make the donation.
  6. Take some time to contemplate what really matters in this life—things vs. people. A heartfelt note and a visit to a widow, widower, or shut-in is far more precious than a material item.
  7. Seek out a single parent, a neighbor without close family, a military person and “adopt” them for not only the holiday, but for many holidays.
  8. Spoil the children still at home, in college, and of course, the grandchildren. But, help them learn too.  Instead of filling those stockings, use the amount you usually spend on all the items in the stockings and replace it with a card that tells them what donation you made in their name and for what purpose.  It gives a different feel to the whole evening/morning when their honor is revealed and you talk about blessing an organization that gives tirelessly year in and year out.
  9. There are “Angel Trees” in the vast majority of communities. Take those angels off that tree and become an angel to a child you’ll never know.  Teenage angels are usually the last to go—please consider taking those first.
  10. Don’t forget that Times Charities begins each Thanksgiving and runs through Christmas. This is a charitable endeavor championed by the Times Record News and serves unmet needs through the year for Faith Mission/Refuge, Interfaith, Grace Ministries and Salvation Army.  The Times Charities fund resides at the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation and you can give all year long.

This year when asked “What do you want for Christmas” a teaching, touching reply could be, “Please donate to one of my favorite charities.”


Time Talent Treasure

Have you ever been in the right place at just the right time?

I have a story of a dad who was in the right place at the right time and he saved a tiny baby’s life. Dad and his wife were dropping off their children at Nana’s to babysit because they were going to  OU/Texas game.  As they pulled into Nana’s drive, a neighbor came running out asking if anyone knew the Heimlich.  The dad responded affirmatively and the neighbor put an unresponsive baby in his arms.  Happy ending for the neighbor, nana, dad, his wife and their children all involved in sharing time and talent to save the treasure of that tiny life.

Not much else to say in this blog today except this–I hope you are always willing to share your time, talent, and treasure wherever you find yourself.

tpontiuscaves@wfacf.org   or 940-766-0829  Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation


Precious Gifts

It’s that time of year again when the gift seekers and gatherers start talking about “Christmas shopping.” In a conversation last week with other moms in my age range—Medicare kicks in on 12/1/16—we talked about the sweet gifts from long ago when we had school age children.

Here are few of my favorites. From my daughter, I received an animal coin purse and little books that held special meanings…wise beyond her young years.  From middle son it was nail clippers shaped like a guitar and a necklace holding a key charm with a “diamond” on the end.  His words as I opened the gift that Christmas morning, “Don’t worry, mama, I didn’t spend all my money on that diamond.”  From oldest son it was a gold ring with a BIG green pasty gem in it.  He told me he knew green was my favorite color and another time (Mother’s Day) a big chunk of old fashioned pipe that was rust color on outside and pretty green on the inside.  I still have these precious gifts in my jewelry chest in their very own drawer.

Precious gifts come in objects and some can come by being present and being witness to great acts of compassion and love. I was given that gift this week when two nonprofits came together. A monetary gift that was solely for one nonprofit’s use was shared with another nonprofit in the true spirit of charitable missions aligning for the good of those in need. What a precious gift for all involved.

It is my hope that you have received and savored many precious gifts.

tpontiuscaves@wfacf.org  or 940-766-0829 Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation