I thought it a good night to just offer you some calming images. At least they are for me. In the midst of chaos and fear, we need serenity. The body of water is the San Gabriel River. The sunset happened a couple nights later, only yards from where the river photo was made. Something calm.
There’s this old red barn passed many times over the years, but I’ve never had a photograph that seemed to suit its character. A couple nights ago, on a drizzly and misty Blackland Prairie evening, it looked about right. It helps that there was a new field of crops in the distance.
COVID-19 dominates our lives, but common humanity needs to remain intact. In Georgetown, Texas, the city’s public school system has for years offered breakfast and lunch meals to underserved children. Then this dreadful virus comes along and Georgetown I.S.D., like most systems around the country, has halted classes. It’s the right thing to do. Feeding children is right, too. That’s why I was glad to be at Annie Purl Elementary School, where kids were being served hot breakfasts and lunches via drive-through or walk-up. The school’s principal, Denisse Baldwin (the lady in the yellow t-shirt) was joined by a large group of helpers from within the school system. Not only were they providing food, but also learning resources (think books) for kids and parents to study while at home. The helpers had to first have their temperatures taken by a school nurse before being allowed to assist. Today, Purl served 217 breakfasts and 465 lunches. They’ll do this every weekday until classes resume. Two other district schools are doing the same. With Ms. Baldwin’s permission, note that she has faced cancer two times. The mask and gloves protect her immune system. All school districts need this kind of compassion. When Baldwin reached out to touch the window to communicate with one of her kids, I knew she had the right job. That’s heart, folks.
One of the new phrases we hear a lot lately is “sheltering in place.” For these horses seen during last night’s rain, it’s an apt description.
One victim of the current crisis is Georgetown’s annual Red Poppy Festival, an event attracting thousands to the town square each April. The festival is now on hold until next fall. The poppies, however, know nothing about a coronavirus. They are blooming now. Or at least they were a few days ago when these photos were taken. Growing up, many of us school kids were tasked with memorizing “In Flanders Fields, by Canadian poet, soldier and physician John McCrae, written while he served in World War I. It begins: “In Flanders field, the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row.” It was written after the battlefield death of a close friend. As to how the City of Georgetown, Texas embraced poppies, that is easily found on the Web. Look it up. The flower’s history aside, I just find them remarkably-beautiful.
An international story, the coronavirus pandemic affects us at the local level, too. This morning, I joined Larry, a Meals on Wheels volunteer for 10 years, as he delivered meals to homebound residents in Georgetown, Texas. This would be the last time Larry would provide meals for recipients for at least a few weeks. As he made his deliveries, he explained why he wouldn’t be there for a while. Some, like Josefa, in the opening photo, were quite sad. There are repercussions, friends. All stories, even ones with international news pegs, are local, too. Community journalism matters.
Spring is officially here. I didn’t realize it until hearing about it on the radio this afternoon. So at day’s end, I’ll pay homage to our state flower with this image from tonight.
This photo of a pitcher and catcher having a pitcher’s mound confab in 1975 Shreveport, Louisiana, taken while working at the Shreveport Journal, is one of my favorite people photos. I posted it a few years ago, but in these days of “social distancing” I thought it might be worth sharing again. Sporting events have come to a grinding halt as we deal with the coronavirus. Be safe out there, friends.
It’s not uncommon here on the Blackland Prairie to experience a sudden rain shower, often coming, and leaving, without fanfare. That was the case last evening as I happened by two horses a little north of Granger, Texas. The entire burst lasted maybe three minutes. These beauties seemed to enjoy a dash of cool on an otherwise warm night.
When leaving Georgetown’s Berry Springs Park & Preserve on a recent evening, I stopped to admire the agave and other flowering plants lovingly cared for by Williamson County Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. Agave is an interesting plant, anyway, but add a Northern Mockingbird (our state bird) and a Bluebonnet (our state flower) and it’s even better. That mockingbird and I had a stare-down with each other for almost 30 minutes. While it made sense she (he?) would leave, she stayed around to mock me! It seemed only right that she perched over the state flag for a while. This is mostly about the bird and agave, but there’s one state flower included, too. More of that to come in a later post.