Category Archives: Etc.

Editorial and other miscellaneous items.

If You Only Knew How My Heart Breaks for You

Paw Print copy

They used to keep the back porch light on for you. For several months, you’ve been in the dark as soon as the setting sun darkens the sky. The days are growing shorter and now you’ll be in the dark longer.

There are mornings when I know you’ve made it through the night at about 8 a.m. Then there are the times when you let me know when I’m playing in the backyard with Azrael. Often a bubble will make it over the fence and I wonder if you see it.

When it got really cold after my trip in October, my heart broke for you because I knew you were cold. When it’s been raining I know you must not be dry but soaked to the bone.

I’ve often wondered if you have fresh water. I know you certainly don’t get feed even near the right way.

Your owners never go out in the backyard to see you, play with you, or even bring you into the house. Their kids are never in the backyard playing with you as kids should be.

The one time I saw you in person you slammed into my legs with so much puppy excitement, ran on into the garage, passed up sniffing the bison skulls I was restoring and immediately went to Azrael’s dog food. You were starving.

The time I saw one of your puppies it was so deformed from being kept in small confined space. It was the first time my stomach wretched due to the cruelty it had suffered in its short life. Another time two of your babies crawled out from under the fence into our backyard and I was able to grab one. Sadly, that puppy’s eyes instead of showing curiosity and love, only were vacant and scared.

The other night you barked for nearly an hour straight and then the coyotes started yipping and howling. I know most people would say I have no heart but you being attacked by coyotes would end your heartbreaking life.

You almost had a chance at a loving life. Almost. Then it was ripped from you because you were considered property. I didn’t let you down. My friends did not let you down. It was the law officials that let you down. It was the lawyers who let you down. I cannot do anything more to rescue you or else I might wind up in jail. It is because of those asshat officials that I’m constantly reminded that animal cruelty doesn’t mean a damn thing in Texas, especially small-town Texas. I’ve seen it before with hundreds of German Shepherds and Collies. All you are is a piece of property who is used to make a quick buck with your puppies.

Just know little babe my heart breaks a hundred times over when I see you’re in the dark at night. My heart breaks every time you bark because it tells me your still confined to a small pen or tied to a damn doghouse. All because of asshats and fucktards. I’d give anything to move far away from here, maybe even to Alaska, and take you with me. Because then you’d never have to know what the dark is like ever again.

 

Remarkable History of Two Historical Markers in a Small Texas Town

Holy Family Cemetery Historical Marker
Holy Family Cemetery Texas Historical Marker, Nazareth, Texas. 

 

Home Mercantile Historical Marker
Home Mercantile Texas Historical Marker, Nazareth, Texas. 

 

It’s hard to believe that it was four years ago when I was working on two Texas historical marker applications for the small Texas German town known as Nazareth. Time really does fly.

With any historical marker application, extensive research must be conducted to prove the history of the subject, the building, or the cemetery.  Both markers in Nazareth fell into the category of a subject marker and a cemetery marker.

Learning how the local mercantile store brought in oysters and had weekly boxing matches was quite revealing. Who would’ve thought in the middle of nowhere in the Texas Panhandle oysters were shipped in for the residents as a staple? Who would’ve thought that boxing matches held in the middle of the store gave the boys a much-needed outlet besides school and farming to vent their frustrations? Or that gingersnap cookies were sold from big barrels that you could grab them by the handfuls?

Back then it was not considered dangerous to store arsenic, mouse poison, calcium cyanide right across from bulk flour in the store. At least cyanide was in quart jars labeled as rat poison with skull and crossbones on the jars.

Researching the cemetery history revealed how the small German community did not escape TB, smallpox, typhoid fever, whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, or dysentery. Some men died in WWII. Some women died during childbirth. Remarkably, there were no deaths in 1918 in Nazareth even as the Spanish Flu swept through the community and later claimed one-half million lives in the U.S. I discovered that lightning caused four deaths.

I walked amongst the tombstones of that cemetery many times often with a great horned owl opening its eyes occasionally to see what I was up to. I came to see the names in a different light. Discovering how each person left this world gave me the understanding that no matter what – people endure and survive. Some of the tombstones gave me a little bit more – I had to learn some German.

I’m humbly proud of these two historical markers for the history they represent.  I’m eternally grateful for the getting to know Father Ken Keller (who passed earlier this year), Mary Helen Flores, and other people in this little community.  I think a little part of my heart will always be tied to Nazareth.

 

Photographs: ©Christena Stephens