Wednesday, November 22, 2017


As an American,  from an early age, I learned of the first Thanksgiving.  Today I will tell a story of the last Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but it is also a Casa de Esperanza holiday.  And, for many years, we have celebrated in a big way.  Preparations have always been an exciting part of the meal.  There was excitement as we  began, but it was bittersweet this year as we all knew this was our last Thanksgiving together.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we felt  we needed to do Thanksgiving early.  Nicole and I chose November 18.  It was both happy and sad as we also called it the despedida para todos (the going away part for everyone).

Friday afternoon I took the cheese, onions and celery up to the girls house.  Everyone wanted to grate cheese and chop celery.  Daniela graciously said she would do the onions.

The onions were strong.  It was not long before Daniela had a tear or two running down her cheeks.  There were tears sliding down my cheeks, too.  I kept saying those onions are strong, but it might not have been the onions that were causing my tears.  I wanted to break down and sob, but I was able to control that.

The cheese graters finished first and moved to celery.  Daniela continued to work alone.  I began doing dishes.  Soon the celery was finished and I did more dishes.  Some of the girls left.  Dani, Ana and I finished the onions.  Dani left when the onions were finished.  Ana and I finished cleaning up.  Then we hugged and hugged and hugged.  Those onions.  They got to me again.

Later, Haley and Emma showed up with pizza.  We had pizza and coke.   Then we began the pumpkin pies and cornbread.

Emma got to use the mixer this year.  She giggled and giggled and exclaimed, "this is so fun."  Haley made the second layer of the pumpkin pies.

Emma went to bed after the first of the cornbread was in the oven.  Haley stayed up and finished the cornbread.  I did dishes and some things and crashed around 11:30.  The alarm went off at 3:00 and I got the first turkey in the roaster.   I went back to bed, but it was not long until Emma was saying, "Grammy, are we going to start cooking soon?"   I groaned and said, "yes, Emma,  We are."  

It was a while before Haley rolled out of bed.  

Emma learned to saute the onions and celery while Haley crumbled the cornbread and biscuits.  They must be the best sauter and crumbler around.

The smells coming from my house were delicious.  Kids were running in and out of my house all day.  Nicole made banana pudding with the girls and cookies with the boys. The first turkey was perfect.  But, there was a heaviness in the air.  

Haley "painted" the second turkey and stirred the white sauce for the macaroni and cheese.  When Haley got tired I stirred two pots at once.

At last the meal was ready.  We all changed clothes.

Those onions were getting to me again.

Denis led us in prayer and then I said what I had to say.  Then Nicole talked.  We opened up to anyone that wanted to say anything.  Three or four of the employees chose to speak.  And Brayan, did too.  

Those onions had me into a big blubbering mess.  The onions were getting to some of the girls, too.

The line formed and we filled our plates and began to eat.  Music lightened the mood.

They even got me to dance.  That was the funniest part of the whole day.

It was a special day.  A special Thanksgiving.  A special despedida.  There were lots of hugs and tears.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Night Football

I grew up in Texas.  And, for those of you that do not know, football is king.  Every high school in the state that can field a team was playing tonight.  Some in huge stadiums, some in not so big stadiums.  In little towns, like Borger, most of the town goes.

I was little when I started going to watch the Borger Bulldogs play on Friday night.  My family went to every home game.  By the time I was in junior high and high school, it was a lot more fun to go with friends than family.

It has been a long time since I have been to a Friday night football game in Borger.  But, I went tonight with Janet and Rick.  I had fun.  The stadium.  The lights. The band. The fight song  The traditions.  The memories.

Many years ago, Tanya and I spent many Friday nights cheering our team.

Shauna came and sat with us, too.

In the section next to us, the class of '77 was having a reunion.  The class of  '74 had our own mini reunion.

Borger did not win tonight.  I think that has been the case many times this season.  I still had fun.

The first game in this stadium was played in 1952.  At the end of this season, 2 more home games, this stadium will be torn down and new stadium built. 

It is kind of sad to see this old stadium go.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Cried A Million Tears

Twenty  five years ago, the Tindalls moved to Antioch.  Antioch has never been the same.  We were never the same.

In our neighborhood, everyone was new.  The neighborhood was full of kids.  We made friends quickly.  Our church was full of warm, welcoming people.  Again we made friends quickly.  Those deep friendships that last a life time.

As in every place, I have lived there has been some bad things happen, but there are many  sweet memories that were made in Antioch.  Haunted houses.  The food pantry.  Neighborhood parties.  Many, many more.

I have been blessed to be in Antioch since Tuesday afternoon.  The changes and growth are unbelievable.  I rode around with my mouth open saying, "I can't believe this."

Antioch, you were good to me this week.  You have always been good to me.  I have seen one friend from my neighborhood and several from church.  I did not see everyone, but I saw several.

This morning in church, it felt like home.  Even after all these years.  Tonight in church, there was a song service and then ice cream fellowship.  The songs.  The friends.  The memories.  They overpowered me.  During one song, I had the whole row crying.  I thought I might do it again.  I didn't.

Yes, I have cried a million tears this week.  Good friends and good memories do that to me.

Until next time, Antioch.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

New From Casa de Esperanza

When I made my very first trip to Honduras in 2003, some people were starting blogs and sharing all kinds of things.  I proclaimed that I would never have a blog and share my thoughts with the world.  When we moved to Honduras in 2007, I changed my tune a bit.  I decided to write a blog.  But mostly for my mother.  I was very faithful to the blog, normally writing 15-20 times a month.  I knew my mother had copies of them and read and reread each blog.

I have always enjoyed writing and I enjoyed the blog.  It was a great stress releaser.  I found comfort and peace in sharing my thoughts with the world. 

My mom died 16 months ago and I have written very few blogs since then, only 11 about Casa de Esperanza.  It has been hard to organize my thoughts, much less get them on the blog.  I do miss my mom, but that is not the only reason that there has been so few updates and blogs. 

I have said it before that the children at Casa de Esperanza have come from lives of abuse and abandonment.  These are hard issues for children.  They are harder for adolescents.  Normal teenage problems are magnified many times over.  I have dealt with some really hard stuff.  On a monthly, weekly, daily, and sometimes an hourly basis.  These children are hurting.  When I finally get into my house, I am exhausted, both physically and emotionally.  The things the children and I are dealing with are painful.  It is too exhausting to try to recite in a blog.  I cry out to God each night for guidance and wisdom.  I fall into bed, sometimes not even eating supper, knowing everything was not resolved and it will be waiting in the morning. 

Some of the kids have messed up.  Badly.  Praise God for grace and second chances.  We all need that.  We are fighting for these kids' future, their living future and their eternal future.  This is hard guys and the kids and I need your prayers.  Daily.

Some of the things that I feel I can discuss: Fernando had an ultrasound on his jaw because the doctor thought there was a tumor there.  Fortunately, there was not, but tests are still being done to determine what it is.  Yair, too, is having tests.  Some of the kids are repeating grades this year.  There is some ADD problems.  There are some really serious emotional problems.  And, of course, the never ending battle to get enough money in to take care of these kids and their needs.  It is just overwhelming much of the time.

Even in the midst of the problems and the heartache, there are good things.  Funny things.  Tender endearing moments.  Fernando is in the band.  Katy and Daniela were selected for enrichment classes that include English and computer classes.  The girls are learning to sew and make tortillas and other useful things.  The boys have made some lamps and are taking on more of the yard work.  A couple of the girls have worked really hard in counseling and their attitudes, work ethic, self-esteem are improving.

I am grateful for the people that pray for us and support us.  I solicit your prayers.  If you wish to make a donation to Casa de Esperanza, donations can be mailed to:
Casa de Esperanza
P.O Box 9222
Columbus, MS 39705 

or you can go to to make an online donation.

Once again, I hope to be more regular with my blog.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sunday Was A Fun Day

The Oklahoma City group (or most of them were from Oklahoma City) was here last week.  They built two houses, had two clinics, fed in the dump and did a market buy and distributed that food.  In addition to all of that, they hosted a fun day for the kids at Casa de Esperanza.

There was a bounce house.

We had a great clown.

Tons of games.

Some facepainting.


Cotton candy.

A little dancing.

Lots of music and a few other shenanigans.

We have had cotton candy and popcorn before, but we had never had a bounce house and a clown.   The clown was very organized and kept things moving and exciting.  Everyone, the children and the group, had fun.  It was a great day.