Dance with me

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Did You Watch?

My dad was a very bigotted man from Georgia. He grew up on a farm where they grew peanuts and tobacco. He was in the Air Force. He didn't finish school but got his GED while in the Air Force. He worked construction all my life. Today I thought about my dad. I watched Barak Obama take the oath of office...the office of President of the United States of America. I really don't know what my dad would think about today's events. My dad passed away this summer. Yes, my dad was a racist but he was also a diehard Democrat, a union man, and I don't think he would've liked John McCain.
But my dad played a part in this story in history. My dad drilled the holes that place the inaugural stand in front of the Capitol Building. They are permanent holes that are covered when not in use. That inaugural stand attaches to the Capitol that was built mostly by slaves. Each person that worked on that building and that stand has a story. They are all connected by this one event. Those holes held the stand that supported Barak Obama as he took the oath of office. Dad, you helped hold him up. All of our lives are holding him up in some way. I believe that is what the poet at inauguration was saying. We are all a part.
Did you watch and where were while you were watching?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Miss Harris, Is Your Heart Happy?

Lucy had an out of this world kindergarten teacher. Her life was devoted to the children in her classroom. She was there from early in the morning until late in the evening...even in the summer. She was tall, thin, elegant, sweetly beautiful, soft spoken, African American and full of the Spirit. She called her class "her sweethearts". She read them the book Love You Forever and told them that just like the mom in the book she would always be there for them. That if they needed her when they were 10, when they were 15, when they were 30 or didn't matter...she would be there for them. She never raised her voice. She always knew where each child was academically...each day where they were and what needed to be worked on.

I often volunteered in the classroom and so many times her words to those kindergartners made me cry. She was teaching them all the basics they needed to start their journey into the world of education but she was also teaching them about life. They came out of her classroom with ideas about decency, kindness, thoughtfulness, gentleness and self control. She often asked the children if what was happening in the classroom would make Miss Harris's heart happy? The kids would answer honestly and if something needed to be corrected, they would correct it.

The week before Martin Luther King day I was volunteering in the classroom and Miss Harris read her kindergartners a book about Martin Luther King's life. She talked about what school would have been like if they had been born when MLK was a little boy. This was a classroom that was beautifully integrated and she looked around the room at all the white children and named each one of them and told them that she couldn't have been their teacher then. Then she looked at those children sitting close together whose backgrounds racially were not the same and named them and said that back then they couldn't have been friends. She looked directly at Lucy and her friend, Kiara, and said that they couldn't have been friends. Then she looked them all in the eye and asked that if Martin Luther King walked into this classroom today, would this make his heart happy? Would your friendships make his heart happy? Would he be happy that I was teaching all of you in this classroom? The children exploded with YES! Martin Luther King's heart would be happy! I had to turn away. Tears were running down my cheeks.

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day and we are preparing as a nation to inaugurate our first African American president. I am again feeling what I felt that day in Miss Harris's classroom. Pride, a fullness of heart, hope, and excitement about what the future holds.

Miss Harris, is your heart happy? Martin Luther King, is your heart happy?

I wish I had those children to answer again for me. I want to hear their explosive response. But I know I will get to hear that explosive response from the American people on Tuesday.

Oh, how i wish I could see the smile on Martin Luther King's face....I would also give anything to see the smile on Miss Harris's face.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sherry Burgess and Camp WaMaVa

I started looking at old videos on YouTube and memories started to pour over me. I was always shy about singing in front of people. My friends knew that but they would always convince me to sing with them after Banquet at camp. Sherry Burgess and I used to sit out on the hills around camp on a blanket with Sherry's guitar, possibly some gimp, some books and a Bible and we would spend the afternoon with campers coming and going. We would read, do some arts and crafts, read scripture to each other but most of the time we would sing. Sherry was a great harmonizer and I would sing the melody and anyone else who happened to be there would add whatever they could add or just listen. Great conversation would happen on that blanket. Friendships were sealed for life. If I close my eyes I am there. Greenest grass you have ever seen. Blue sky with clouds that the imagination can make into anything that you want them to be. Towering trees with birds singing along with our music. The faces of many children...all kinds...many different backgrounds. And that smell...unique to that area of the country...I can't even describe have to go there to know it. Actually, you probably have to live with it and have some memories wrapped around it in order to really smell it.
Sherry was one of the first friends to convince me to sing with her after Banquet. I remember singing these songs with Sherry. They may take you to another place also....or you may be too young...either way...they will speak to you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

25 Years with the Same Man

On December 23rd Tim and I celebrated our 25th anniversary. Well, I say celebrated but we really didn't do anything big...we went out to dinner and then tried to finish our Christmas shopping. We hope to do something fun later. But yes, on the 23rd we had been married for 25 years.
I am thankful that I married the man I married. He is kind, easygoing, gentle, mature...I don't mean age...although he is older than me, a good dad, a caring husband and a follower of Jesus. 25 years has not been hard with him. We have struggled at times....financially, or argued more than usual at times, trouble with children, church problems that leaked into our home, and yet, we have always loved each other. That part was easy.
We also know that the friends we made as a family have been a big part of our marriage...
Jim and Pixie McCall- we met them at camp and they became our lifelong friends. They have walked with us through everything.
Ann and Tim Evankovich-so many fun memories that involve both or one of them and their children. One great memory that involves their apartment, our anniversary and inviting us over but they left us.
Gary and Tammy Selby-we sort of grew up with Gary but then he married Tammy and that cemented our relationship. Reading to each other's children, talking until late at night, singing, and deep discussion.
And then there were those adults who became like parents to us....
Guy and Joanne Vanderpool
Sue and Dennis Evans
Graham and Esheron McKay
We know that we wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for all those people in our lives. We have had great examples and those examples started in our own homes. I know that my dad wasn't someone I wanted to pattern myself after but I did learn what I didn't want my husband to be like. My mom showed me that you can live through crazy stuff and still be cheerful and love your children. Tim's parents were strong and steady. Sometimes I wanted to see some more emotion from them but their faithfulness is huge. That is enough from our parents...we can't expect more. Just as what we are giving our children is not perfect but I know there is enough good stuff that they can take away from us.
Our brothers and Tim's one sister have always been there for us and shown us what family is all about. We love being with all of them and sometimes wish that we all lived closer together.
Thank you to all of you who have walked beside us.
At our wedding Ken asked the witnesses if they would help us along this journey. Some of those people there have done just that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leadership Summit 2009

I got to go again. I came home last Thursday. We are there for a week in Buena Vista, CO at at Young Life camp called Frontier Ranch. It is a beautiful place built into the sides of two mountains with a pool and hot tub that are fed by hot springs. I stayed in an amazing lodge where every morning I opened my curtains at 6 am so that I could watch the sunrise from my bed. Amazing!
I love my job because I love the students and this trip gives me an opportunity to be with them all week. I get to eat lunch and dinner with them and talk with them between sessions. I just love being with them.
I always come home so completely motivated to be more productive in every area of my life. I hope the students feel the same.
This You Tube video is from the talent show on the last night. I love this kid so much and he has so much talent. He is a musical theater major at ACU. You can see why.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas in Amarillo

We had so much fun being with family for Christmas. We did Christmas morning at home and then drove to Amarillo in time to eat Christmas dinner with family. The only regret I have about that visit is that Drew wasn't able to be with us. Well, yes, I wish that Corey, Brittney and Ava were there too but we knew that they weren't going to be there. Drew and Bryn decided that it was a better plan to just wait and leave with Bryn's family for Colorado instead of meeting them somewhere.
The food was delicious...all the decadent stuff that you only eat on holidays. Stacie and Katherine even made cupcakes with butterflies on fancy.
We played games....fax machine, Apples to Apples, Scrabble- I didn't play this one..too competitive, and Cranium. Lucy and I were a terrible team for Cranium. Don't know was kind of like how we shop together. Fax machine made us laugh so hard...American reindeer love McDonald's...inside had to be there but so funny.
So good to be with everyone: Darek-my mom's favorite, Stacie, Brady, Katherine, Lera, AJ, Janaye, Ken, Jeanette, Tim, Mary Kate and Lucy...but the real star of the show was baby Eliana. We all got to play with her, feed her, change diapers, give her a bath-well, there was a bath incident but I don't want to be censored, sing to her, and listen for her while she was sleeping. She really liked her great uncle Tim. That doesn't surprise me. Babies always like him.
We got to shop in a World Market and a Gap. Can you tell we live in Abilene?
Saturday morning when we woke up...we were staying in a hotel...too many people for one house....Tim opened the curtains and said that it was raining but it wasn't. It was snowing....hard....and fun.
I wish that we all lived closer. It would be fun to be a part of each other's everyday lives.
We also received great news on our way to Amarillo. Corey and Brittney are having another baby! We are so excited and it makes us only wish for more time with them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Okay, the Continuing Cat Saga

Mystic is now permanently an outside cat. She peed on the floor 3 times in the course of one day and I was done. She tried to hide from me by sitting on random shelves in rooms that she doesn't usually go in. She knew that she was in trouble. I opened the door so that Tim could pick her up and put her out but she went out on her own. I guess that she knew she had no choice. She hasn't even really begged to come back in. We put her bed in the garage and gave her food and water out there also.
Just for your information...there is a new rule in the Danley household...If you pee on the floor you have to stay outside. So, just remember that if you come to visit...if you pee in on the floor, you will be put outside. Thought that I should warn everyone.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Okay, I haven't been here for awhile but I have some ideas

I know that I haven't blogged in forever but I do have so many ideas for the next two, stay tuned.
My ideas:
my 25th anniversary
new happenings at work
some fun videos that take me back to the 70s, Camp Wamava and Sherry Burgess
Old friends and crazy connections
Leadership Summit in Colorado
Christmas in Amarillo...complete with snow
the continuing cat saga