As we embrace April, a month that seems to personify spring to many of us, the whirling blender of life seems to have been turned on a higher speed, once again.
And again, I marvel at the many opportunities that my chosen field provides on any given day.
Recently I did an interview at Waldo Way dairy on the robot milking system that has been installed and is said to be the only one in the state of Texas. What a rich experience it was, with owner, teacher and hostess Narissa Waldo offering me a goblet of golden-colored milk that morning. I am a fairly adventurous soul when it comes to tasting foods, and also happen to be a milk lover, but the golden color of the liquid caused me to pause. I found it delicious, although in a completely different price range from grocery store milk – but for a good reason. As her son, Trenton, led me out in the pasture to see and photograph firsthand their relaxed Guernsey cows, playful dogs frolicked around us on that sunny spring morning as I minded my step through the pasture. I’m working on a story about their incredible robot investment for a future edition.
Then there was the high school baseball game. I am not a sports editor, or a writer. I am a mom of a former player who was usually too excited by the game to keep a good scorebook. Last week’s game was a treat because our opposing team happened to be coached by my son’s former high school coach, Hayland Hardy. One of the most fun things, besides the fact the Jackets won, was seeing a few elder folks being pushed in their wheelchairs to spots behind the fence behind home plate. I noticed Superintendent Kim Tunnell greeting them. As the light fell and I’d photographed what I could on the ballfield, I spoke with them and found out this was the first of what is hoped to be other field trips for sports fans from the local nursing home.
The week included a circus complete with a petting zoo with hospitable little goats and llamas. One of the llamas got put in time-out, however. One of the few things I know is said about these whimsical (to me) creatures is they have a tendency to spit in peoples’ faces. Fortunately I haven’t found that out first hand, but evidently one zoo guest did. Under the big top, circus fans of all ages watched performers put on a tremendous show with great gusto, right here in Mineola on the grounds of our civic center. Speaking of those grounds, I believe some local gardens are even going to a bit richer due to the circus’ visit.
And there was the Mineola Junior Livestock Show Saturday – another place it’s good to mind your step as you try not to walk too close to the back side of the wrong animal while looking for local folks to photograph and talk to. The hogs at the time I was there were being a bit feisty and seemed to be testing their handlers, especially the smaller girls. They weren’t quite so stubborn with the Texas-size fellows who were dealing with them.
One of the Mineola entrants I happened to run into was a pretty young lady showing a dairy cow. It just so happens, she is the niece of the woman who owns Waldo Way. An Ohio transplant, I had been thinking how you don’t see so many dairy cows at those shows. And low and behold, in addition to her, up walked another young lady from Yantis with a brown Swiss heifer.
Saturday brings the Mineola High School prom being held in Mineola again for the first time in decades. It was arranged and planned by what I think are visionary young people and adults. Unfortunately, I’ve heard a few young folks aren’t a fan. Such a shame, I’m afraid they will miss a once-in-a-lifetime special night in a charming, historic town that happens to be their own. (Besides, my youngest son couldn’t even remember the places in Tyler where his proms, during one of which he was crowned king, were held.)
And Friday brings the Special Olympics at the Quitman High School track that were rained out last month. Many years ago those took place in Mineola and what a treat they are to watch.
These aren’t just chances for a newspaper person to see what makes up the fabric of our community, but also in some cases opportunities for the public (with the exception of the prom)to attend and to enjoy school, church and community events in our town and county. There’s no excuse for being bored or living an empty life – unless that’s just what you choose to do.