Honoring Life’s Sweetest Moments

What a warm greeting I received every time I walked into the Memory Connections program at Hope Lutheran Church to write with a collection of wonderful individuals—Bobby, Dolores, Elizabeth, Helen, Jim, Joyce, Larry, Marge, Nick, Pat, Rebecca, Ron, and Suzette.

Such laughter and camaraderie filled the room, which was always decorated for the season—Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, or Valentine’s Day.

We connected with each other through the history of our names, favorite seasons, and the sharing of special keepsakes. My famous chocolate chip cookies prompted stories about the writers’ favorite foods. I was touched to see these writers supported one other and embrace me. What an honor to spend time with these Memory Connections writers!

Terri Schexnayder
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

Things That Make Me Smile

Laughing with friends, old and new.
Window shopping on Anderson Lane,
looking at beautiful furniture in Louis Shanks,
at Karavel for shoes on sale,
looking in Terra Toys at the Steiff animals
behind the locked cabinets.

Finding something I like and going back
a few days later to buy it (if it’s still there!).
I could spend all day just looking at things
and not having to buy anything.
Talking to the clerks at familiar stores,
looking at James Avery jewelry, especially the new items.

Running into friends from the past at Terra Toys or James Avery.
Most of the clerks know me from many years past.

Helen Altobello

Candy Kisses

My favorite treat was always chocolate. To be specific, candy kisses. Fast forward to when I was married, and my husband and I would leave a candy kiss for the other to say, “I love you.”

Years later, when Jenna was finally home from the hospital, she had a feeding tube for the longest time. We wanted to wean her off it, so, we first tried ice cream.

“Cold, scary,” she would say. We then tried a candy kiss to melt in her mouth. Remember, she didn’t understand chewing, since she always had the feeding tube.

The candy kisses were a hit! She would confiscate them from the big jar where we hid them. She would look around to see if she would get caught, and then stuff the chocolates into her Oshkosh overalls. Jenna would also hide them throughout the house for snacks later. Many years later, we would find the candy kisses stuck in the bookcase or in a jar. (Okay, I wasn’t the best housekeeper!)

Joyce Beversdorff

Daddy’s Tractor

This scene reminds me of my Daddy’s tractor. There are even pictures of me in diapers with my hands on the steering wheel as if I were driving it. I had eye surgery and was wearing an eye patch. I remember thinking I was sneaking this patch off and sticking it on my dad’s arm (like he wouldn’t know I had taken it off!)

I remember how hard the winters were on our crops. Summertime was our busy time on the farm. We farmed watermelons and all kinds of crops. My dad would work all day from early in the morning until almost night tilling the land. Such good memories of my dad before he got sicker and had to do just odd jobs. He was barrel-chested and had big muscled arms. I just always felt safe.

I remember once I got into a bunch of my mom’s sewing pins and had them in my mouth. My mom freaked out and ran into the field where my dad was on the tractor. He patiently picked them all out. Crisis averted!

I wish we had lived in such an area as pictured here.

Joyce Beversdorff

Life Preserver

I notice the life preserver that says, “Welcome Aboard” over the cross and under the netting, which encompasses a starfish. Jesus is my life preserver and He welcomed me back here after some time away from the Memory Connections program. A small thing, but it was nice to be welcomed aboard. May many people notice those words when they come into this room.

Suzette Dziuk

My Favorite Things

I like a fireplace with a fire roaring in it.
I like a baby to hold and cuddle and talk to.
I like books that make me feel involved.
I like God, who shares His presence with me
and makes me feel loved.

I like my children who are my family.
I like a piano that I can play and enjoy.
I like food when I am hungry—hot, nourishing food.
I like hot coffee when I get up in the morning.
I like friends to sit and talk with.

Suzette Dziuk


When I see bluebonnets growing in a field among rocks and other blooming plants, I see early Texas. I wonder what it was like years ago when the Indians lived upon the ground and my forbearers had not yet arrived.

I have studied history and know people think history is learned from books, but sometimes I can see Texas and feel an empathy with the Indians—whatever men, women, and children lived here decades or centurie, ago.

In this picture, bluebonnets are seen thriving among rocks and soil, and presumably creatures and earlier human beings. I see Texas before my family on my father’s side came to Texas after losing the Civil War, and, on my mother’s side, being taken on the ship and brought to the Texas shores.

Elizabeth C. Flynn

Miss Bessie

I spent a lot of time with my grandmother—Miss Bessie, they called her. My family was distressed when I was very young because of suicide, a heart attack, so I loved going up the street by myself to Miss Bessie’s fine house. I realize now that she had a place for everything. It was easy for a child to know what to get into and whatnotto touch.

There was a small flowered china bowl with a lid on it where I could always find gum, or sometimes hard candy. My grandmother and I would go outside and watch the sky, the sunset, the stars, which meant it was time to go. Now, I recall: “Star Light, Star Bright. I wish, I wish, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight.”

Elizabeth C. Flynn

My Name

I was given the name Lawrence Sherman Graham in memory of my grandfather, Lawrence Yates Sherman. But I adapted it to Larry Graham to simplify and distinguish it from my grandfather’s, and from my father, Marion Webster Graham, and my mother, Mary Virginia Sherman. Throughout my life, I have preferred making it simply Larry Graham.

Larry Graham

Cornmeal Pancakes

My mother-in-law from Georgia made delicious homemade cornmeal pancakes. I liked them because they were more substantive, with a texture true to old Southern cooking. You could also add blueberries and other fruits to the pancakes. Served for breakfast in our small down of Daytona, Florida, and then in Texas where we now live. The pancakes made me happy!

But life changed when Caroline, my twelve-year-old granddaughter, passed away. Her family did everything possible, but her cancer was out of control. Caroline was a very creative child, dreaming up things all the time. Her parents eventually divorced after her death, and my daughter Lauren is now doing well. Our family stuck together—we have a lot of “get up and go.” Throughout the years, pancakes provided good ‘ol home-cooking stability.

Larry Graham

Fifteen-Minute Haiku

Red-orange tulips on
the bookmark remind me of
flowers seen in youth.

James Hadden

Favorite Foods

I have a constellation of favorite foods. Some of them come from early childhood, like the devil’s food cake, which is my father’s prescription with fourlayers! Christmas means donuts mixed and made the night before, deep-fried and covered with confectioner’s sugar or a cinnamon-and-sugar mixture.

I recall that I didn’t like fried oysters at first, despite my family’s move to a place on a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay when I was nine. I distinctly remember my youngest brother, at age three or so, saying, “Aunt Ada, I was oyster ‘weg.’” (Weg means leg, and they wereas big and fried as a chicken leg!)

James Hadden

Traveling Alone

I’m taking a wonderful trip in the snow,
and I am celebrating the incredible view I have.
Who would’ve thought I would travel
this far away on my own!
I’ve got enough food on my back
to let me travel for a week.
I can take big pictures of the park
or I can get real close up to a flower or a leaf.

But what I want the most—
to be brave or not scared,
to travel alone with just my company.

Pat Keen

Old Blue Jeans with Holes and Well-Worn Pockets

Old blue jeans with holes and well-worn pockets.
My jeans are done for, but
I will not give them up.
They are mine and I love their softness.

Why can’t I be happy
that I have all this wonderful stuff?
All the clothes, books, CDs—
why can’t I be happy?

So, I feel real sad about
being very old and alone?
I feel real sad and have lost
the ability to be old and productive.

I want to leave.
Why can’t I be happy and productive?

Pat Keen

Along the Coastlands

On the way to the coast, we drive through the lowlands with deep green and vibrant grasses growing straight and thick in the bluest of blue waters. Maybe this is a marshland, flat and stretching to small woods in the background. The sky is as blue as the water, but lighter near the horizon, bordered by the deep green trees in the distance.

As is common in the coastlands, there are heavy clouds in the sky, some white and puffy, and others puffy and gray. It looks like it could rain soon, as some of the clouds are dark at the flat bottoms. I imagine a shower could start at any moment and send us to shelter. We park under the Spanish Oaks. Then we run and laugh as the rain begins to fall in heavy drops and soaks our clothes.

Rebecca Lowe

My Favorite Foods

Her cakes were legendary. I guess I took all those morsels of sweet for granted as my mother’s sweet tooth led her to bake delicious desserts very often. Maybe it was because I could have regular exposure to those goodies that I became a big fan of savory foods—a pot roast and its lovely carrots, potatoes and onions baked to perfection, soft with crispy edges. I craved tuna sandwiches made with kosher dills. I was a lucky and well-fed child.

Now, my favorite savory food is much easier to come by without having to spend the day in a hot kitchen. My food of choice is a Banh Mi sandwich. It probably became known in the U.S. by soldiers returning home from the Viet Nam War. It is a product of the French presence in that country—

French bread, pickled carrots and onions, sliced jalapenos, and a special mayonnaise. That, plus sliced meat or tofu, make a lovely explosion (think fireworks) of flavors.

I was in heaven when we discovered a French fusion place in Austin, Le Bleu, which serves a wonderful Banh Mi. For my birthday, we had sixteen people at the restaurant with us, all delighted by Banh Mi.

Rebecca Lowe

Life’s Path

I was a Catholic priest for a number of years—years as a parish priest, several as a student in graduate school. I eventually earned my doctorate in psychology, and worked as a priest psychologist. After some years, I decided to leave the active ministry and began to practice as a psychologist in the community. My decision to leave the priesthood was a major one—one that would affect my life in a major way.

After leaving the priesthood and practicing psychology in the community, I met a woman who I eventually married. We had one child. Later, I began to develop memory problems, and I attend this program, Memory Connections.

Ron McDermott


It is a tradition. It makes you okay because it is always satisfying! I know when I have my pasta, whether it is five times a week or once a month, that it is the food of the family. It’s no different whether it is Sunday or Wednesday—it is tradition, a way of life. We are satisfied with our tradition no matter how or when pasta is served.

It may be a small amount because we have other items on the table, or pasta may be the main course. It is tradition, a family get-together, or a last-minute meal since you were out all day. Yes, I love roast beef, chicken, ice cream, leftovers, but I can always count on pasta to be my favorite food, another day for pasta. I can count on pasta! I might have potatoes, baked beans, or cake, but pasta delivers, no matter what other foods are on the table!

Nick Muto

Favorite Season

Early summer—brown, yellow, blue, pale green.
My favorite season is late summer, still hot,
but not scorching hot.
Its colors are brown and light brown.
I feel well, friendly, and looking forward to it.

Marge Philbrook


This picture reminds me of spring. The most beautiful part of this scene to me is the bird. It looks like it’s not too far off the ground and is closer to the ground, so it can eat something. I really enjoy watching birds, but, it can be hard sometimes because they fly away.

This bird looks like a mother, and I can imagine that her baby birds are somewhere nearby. This picture also reminds me of God’s power and how He made all the trees and birds on Earth.

Bobby Pruitt

My Dad

My dad, Robert Alan Pruitt, who recently passed, was a great Christian man, always laughing around with my mother, who is still alive. They had three kids—me and two daughters. If there was ever a person around who needed help, Christian or not, my dad was there for them. At his funeral, I sang “How Great God Is” with a friend.

Robert Alan Pruitt worked at a high school as an academic administrator for twenty-five years. From there, he traveled to China with my mom, who was also a teacher all those years. My dad had a great sense of humor. We loved to go fishing in the Gulf. The trees hung over our boat, and one time, a large eight-foot snake dropped into our boat and scared us! I shared many other stories about him at his service, such as when my dad helped me get my first job. Without him, I would have never achieved my electrical contractor’s career and the many successes that came with it, such as attending conferences across the country.

So many people showed up for Dad’s funeral services to show their respect. Remembering his grandkids around him is very special to me.

Bobby Pruitt

A Nature Scene

Straight trees
Lots of greenery
Big trees, fallen,
leaning against each other.
Big movement of water.
Cold—big time!

Water here and here,
warmer in the wooded area.
Wood and algae on the rocks.
I’ve lived in Austin, and,
there are lots of good trees.
The thing is—they are
also very beautiful.

The funky tree over here.
The water, the woods—
you don’t have to imagine.
It’s all here!

Dolores Rumpf

Favorite Food

When asked, “What is my favorite food?”
I reply, “My favorite food makes me feel good!”
“My favorite food makes me feel good!”

Dolores Rumpf


Life, Love, and Paradise

The pieces published below were written by participants in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections Program, which aims to enhance the mental and physical health and overall quality of life of people affected by early-stage dementia. The Badgerdog writing workshops provided for these groups were made possible by the generous support of St. David’s Community Foundation’s Health’s Angels.

Dear Reader,

Imagine for a moment being invited to a family picnic where everyone, quite magically, gets along. Imagine witnessing people offering easy hugs and gentle back-pats and listening to each other’s life updates, both good and bad. Imagine being greeted by friendly faces and feeling welcomed immediately. This only partly describes the wonderful community of writers I spent an hour with each week at Hope Lutheran Church. I can’t help but think it was their strong bonds that fostered a setting for magnificent writing and poetry-making to occur. Below you will discover just what a recipe of innate talent and close friendships can create—pure, sumptuous delight.

Julie Poole
Badgerdog Teaching Artist



There was an old man
from Nantucket
who kept his money
in a bucket.

His daughter, Nan,
ran away with a man,
and as for the bucket…

Elizabeth F.



Who needs to wait until something occurs to make you feel that “it’s good to be alive?”

According to recent research, 100% of research groups studied agreed unanimously that being alive beats the heck out of being dead! Every day is a new day, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to live it however I want. Keeping your expectations low is critical to happiness.  I just say, “Hey, at least I’m alive. It’s better than being dead.” I have never heard a dead person say, “Man, I’m glad I’m finally dead.” Life is good, and death, well, who knows? I’ll stick with what I know: Life!

Rick Guilbeau



– This poem is not endorsed by the Republican Party.

Do I or
do I not
in this debate?
Should I?
Or should I not?
I’m smart enough, but
not that much.

Hate to be a stupid chump.
Why in the
heck did I vote for
Donald Trump?

Rick Guilbeau


World’s Longest Fishing Pier: Port Lavaca,
A Refuge For Young Lovers

Always windy
Dead Bait / Live Bait
Dead Fish / Live Fish
Both adding a rugged scent
To salt air
Dark unlit places at night
Sparkling stars above
Also a sparkling reflection
Waving reflections—the salt—the air—
We are along 1 1/2 miles out on the bay
We hold
It’s getting
Even in
The wet
And wind
Kiss and
Hope it

Rick Guilbeau



Our grandchildren live on an island off the coast of Washington State. When we visit them, we also go to the beach! Their beach is unusually windy and cold, but the last time, in August, it was mild enough to explore the tide pools—small pools of water and tiny creatures and plants that are left behind when the tides go out. The experience was delicious for me—there were tiny creatures that I cannot name, even now, and never knew existed. I felt like I was in a magical world with some of my favorite people. In other words, Heaven.

Rebecca Lowe



Writing on snowy paper,
inspired by others’ words,
is easy
and intimidating
and solid.

Rebecca Lowe


Old Cabin

Prickly cedar among white powdery rocks
bordering winding trails.
Reptiles are seen sometimes, both friendly and not.
An old cabin is sinking into the tall grasses
bordered by a thinly running creek.
Wood stoves and cold winters,
wildflowers in spring, summers of heat.
Old graves of beloved dogs,
friendly faces, good hearts.
Doors open, still.

Rebecca Lowe



Everyday life seems to be accelerating
with time as we age.
We seem to notice details of life with
much more appreciation now than in earlier
periods of our lives.
We see children as much more
involved, advanced, active in everyday life
than when we were growing up. Science and
technology were not as advanced as they are today.
There seems to be recognition of the
acceleration that is occurring in science and
technology and how much more needs to be
learned, practiced, and controlled.

Manny Chavez


Appreciation of Life

It seems to me that life is just the way it has been described before, as being “miraculous.” I have much more appreciation for life now (at age seventy-three) than I did before. Just being “alive” is miraculous. To think that I am now in a much later stage in my life is scary and daunting, yet is is also very rewarding and appreciated. I feel very blessed to have had a good family, a good education, a good career, and good health. As I face an older age and have indication of neuro-degenerative impacts, I am still not scared of getting older. I still feel very honored to have been born and to live in the U.S.A. Recent occurrences have been good for all of us. New challenges are good for the U.S.A.

Manny Chavez



Why am I here?
What do I want to do
with my life?
Who am I—who is this
woman Pat?
Will Pat ever do any more
art? Will she be strong
enough to work alone? And make art?
Would taking a pill make it more
easy and likely to work/make art?

Pat Keen



This morning, I walked my dog Mo around 7 am and the sun was not yet up, but it was sending up orange and blue lights across the sky… and then in another viewing direction, the sky was a very deep yellow mixed with that same intense blue.

How wonderful that I remember it, and I can see it in my brain! Because I have some form of Alzheimer’s, so sometimes my brain is not available.

Pat Keen



The peace and tranquility that
comes with friendship,
sharing moments precious
to each other

Enjoying the unity
and bonding in
feeling refreshed
by each other’s
views and ideas
and loving,
having friends
to share
your journey!

Audrey Krier


What Makes Life Worthwhile

Being married, having kids,
seeing them go through school, and friends
and adventures, successes, and feeling
you did something worthwhile in your
life. Seeing grandchildren grow and
being proud of their successes
and getting to know their talents
and what they give to the world.
It gives one something that makes
life worthwhile and fulfills one’s
dreams. Now, hopefully, this
world will benefit from
their successes. That’s
a legacy worth
passing on!

Audrey Krier


Bridge City, Texas on the Louisiana and Texas State Line

in the marshes with the snakes, crabs, alligators,
mosquitoes, and crawfish that live here.
Jet boats riding on top of marshes to see alligators
in dark, salty water.
And hot boudin cold couscous. Come on, push-push-push,
and eating rainbow crawfish.

Bobby Pruitt



With my family and grandchildren,
lots of laughter
in the outdoors,
in the mountains,
in the fresh air
that our God gave to us to enjoy.
My God is an awesome
God who reigns above.

Bobby Pruitt



Many years ago, I was put in charge of training a new salesman for Singer Sewing Machine Co. I let him drive the company van, and on the way back from the sale he was driving so fast that I thought, “I’m never driving with this guy again.”

We were headed down the freeway and about to turn onto the off-ramp when another truck happened to turn in our direction in front of us. He slammed on the brakes, and we rolled three or four times. There were no seat belts at the time, so our heads bumped the ceiling and we bumped into each other as we rolled in the air.

When we landed, the van was on its side and all the windows were smashed. He said, “You Okay?”

I said yes. I asked him if he was okay, and he said yes. We climbed out of the broken window and dusted ourselves off, both surprised to be alive, not a scratch on either one of us.

Lee Roy S.


On living in Casablanca, Morocco

The life I had was rich and happy,
good family and good friends,
the life that I’d love to
give to my children and to
have again. Living was rich.

Sarita Mais


Reading My Book

I am reading my book.
He is clearing the table and sweeping the
I am reading my book.
He is cutting the grass and sweeping the
I am reading my book.
He is running the vacuum and dusting.
I am reading my book.
He fixes a quick dinner and brings
me my portion in the living room.
I am reading my book.
He looks at me and slowly heads up the
I wait a moment or two, put my book down
& head up the stairs behind him.
Ain’t love great!

Jeanne Roden



When my son was four or five years old, we were living in Arizona on the Navajo reservation off and on, and the school would hold outdoor activities for us. I always attended them with my son Jon. At one event, there was a swimming race for all the kids ages ten and under. They had to enter the adult pool and swim its length. Jon took off and was flashing down the lane. Soon, he was out front! I was cheering for him and leaning against the guy next to me. He kept murmuring, “He’ll never make it. He’ll never make it…” But Jon persevered and came in first—far ahead of the others. I was so proud, I actually squealed!

Jeanne Roden

Health and Well-being

The pieces published below were written by participants in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections Program, which aims to enhance the mental and physical health and overall quality of life of people affected by early-stage dementia. The Badgerdog writing workshops provided for these groups were made possible by the generous support of St. David’s Community Foundation’s Health’s Angels.

Dear Reader,

If you happened into Meeting Room A at the North Austin YMCA, you’d see a friendly group of folks with coffee mugs and bright, warm sunlight illuminating the room. You’d hear the intermittent sounds of weights dropping on the ceiling above. You’d be privy to amazing stories and poems and plenty of laughter. If you’re a single lady in her mid-thirties, like me, you might even receive some encouraging dating advice. Most of all, though, you’d feel this writing group’s infectious positivity and easy generosity. What better place to be reminded of the importance of health and well-being than at the YMCA in a room full of some of the most kind-hearted people you could possibly meet. I’ve found their words to be as revitalizing as a daily dose of vitamin C.

Get ready to feel rejuvenated.

Julie Poole
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


Sunny Day

Happy to see the sun shine
This morning the clouds were gray
But the sun was bright and warm
A good morning for
Nice to hear
The sounds of morning
That seem to increase with the sunlight
That I listen to and hear the
Noises the household makes

Bob Russell


Falling Pen

– an erasure of a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

I rose while books
Tempted my pen falling

My life

A gypsy     circle

Bob Russell



There are emotions that at times are
rekindled—reminding us of what was,
what brought forth joy, what is
savored—those feelings that move
us forward—or, cherished as they are
or were, are stored in the keepsake
box of our heart.

Love is probably the most dominant—
It is the emotion that creates, consolidates,
and holds us together. This can be said
of friendship, short term or years in length,
one that shares the ups and downs of everyday.
Every day there is the echo of my grandchildren
as they prep for school, return home, tackle homework,
and joyously share their day—ups and downs,
all arounds. What more can I ask for.

Helen Haynes


Where the Wind Blows

an erasure of a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

Follow your genius
White sands—pleasant sunshine—
Free wind blows—

Helen Haynes



It is good to be alive because there are
so many things to see. I see the sun rising
in the morning, I see stars in the sky.
What more could you want to see?
I would like to see a jet fly in the sky
on a sunny day. I would like to see
clouds float by after
a summer storm. There are wonderful
things to see. If I would stop long
enough to see.

Ed Stephens


The Pond

– an erasure of a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

At least I rose enough to see
white sands from the pond.

Ed Stephens


Turtles Sunning

I live along Brushy Creek in Round Rock, Texas. It’s a place I have become quite fond of. I like to walk along the creek enjoying the tree-lined banks, walking upstream to the Round Rock and continuing further upstream to a place I call “Turtle Cove.” It’s a name I gave to the area where turtles like to gather and sun themselves on the banks of the creek. I always count the number of turtles on the bank.  Yesterday, I counted forty-five turtles sunning themselves on the bank. It was a good number, better than I had seen for some time. It made me happy to see them again.

Alan T. Sagen



On Saturday, I saw the
hordes of woman and even
children descending on
Washington, D.C., in celebration
of the Women’s March for

Marian Fleming


On Living in Downs, Kansas

Downs is a small town in Northern Kansas
just off of Highway 24. The town has one movie theater.
Many local farmers come to Downs on Saturday
nights to go to the one movie theater and drugstore.

Bruce Fink


View of Life Near Nature

 – an erasure of a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

A gypsy’s pack,
where free wind blows, a three-legged table where
blackberry vines run around its legs.

Bruce Fink



It’s good to be alive to hear
the birds sing, to be with my
children and grandchildren, to
be able to do fun things with
them, to watch them grow
and live their lives,
for them to be happy.

Heather De Loyo

American Values

The pieces published below were written by participants in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections Program, which aims to enhance the mental and physical health and overall quality of life of people affected by early-stage dementia. The Badgerdog writing workshops provided for these groups were made possible by the generous support of St. David’s Community Foundation’s Health’s Angels.

For many, the act of reading is the process of making connections with the past and with one’s memories. For this group of writers, writing is an essential element in that process. Through a series of four workshops, these writers shared their stories and memories, and made connections to the world beyond our classroom space. I hope you will experience similar connections as you read the following pieces. They are a gift to us all.

Katelin Kelly
Badgerdog Teaching Artist



America never was a truly
integrated government to me!
Rather, it was separated and corrosive to many
People of Color and those considered
“foreigners,” although all persons
came from other countries at one
time. Native Americans are the true
Americans, run over by those “foreigners”
from other countries: immigrants.



An Ocean Postcard

The waves are indicative of life’s ebb and flow.
The crashing waves are life’s difficulties and road blocks,
plus the termination of one’s life against the rocks.
Water returns to the ocean to start the
life process over.
The ocean is the provider of life.




To me, America will be home of the free.
I was born in a country
far away.
India was the
We won our freedom
from the British
after two hundred years
of servitude.
It is a country with
mountains, hills, and plains,
and peoples of different
languages and religions.



Let America Be What It Was Proposed to Be

But it’s never been that yet.
There was a military faction from the beginning.
There is still such a faction.
With weapons being used against each other,
With proposals of a wall going up to separate us,
With marching and slogans coming out,
Against our proposed freedom.
Can we not talk together, together to
Be friends, to love each other?
We do love each other, but we must all
Know what love is. Let us smile and
Be friends, forever, together.




I taste their beauty.
They have been make the right way,

by my grandmother,

with her flour,
with her butter,

with her hands,
with her soul.




America has always been America.
I can never believe America will ever change.

Farms and ranchers, homes—I always think
about the wonderful life we all have
shared living in America!

I pray for everyone who comes to
America—regardless of race or any other factor!
America has given memories to many people,
memories people may not have in other countries.



My Name

My first name is Michael. My middle name is Theodore. I had two older brothers, a sister, and one younger brother. My family is Hispanic, from northern New Mexico. All of my cousins are named after grandparents or uncles and aunts. My parents had five kids—none named for relatives (heaven forbid).


Healing Waters and Woods

The pieces published below were written by participants in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections Program, which aims to enhance the mental and physical health and overall quality of life of people affected by early-stage dementia. The Badgerdog writing workshops provided for these groups were made possible by the generous support of St. David’s Community Foundation’s Health’s Angels.

When I first began working with the Memory Connections group at Westlake Presbyterian Church, many of them tried to convince me that they were by no means writers, and I felt like it would be my job to convince them otherwise over the next four weeks. By the end of that first class, they had convinced me that the creative spirit lived in all of them, as demonstrated by their purity of insight and beautiful construction of our language into something uniquely theirs. Then my role became helping them to draw out that creativity, to tap those wells, and to act as a medium for those who found it difficult to transcribe the vastness of their thoughts onto the page. They rose to every challenge presented to them with good humor, passion, and unflagging support of one another. These folks overcame physical and mental boundaries to produce work that humbled and inspired me each week. Walls were broken down, tears were shed, and powerful stories and poems emerged, works that felt like they’d been hiding inside these writers for years, just waiting to come out.

Julie Howd
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


Reflective Forest

I am walking through the woods of Arkansas. It is early in the morning, and there is a soft breeze and light fog. I have explored these woods on many occasions, and on each exploration I always find something new or exciting.

As I sit quietly, I hear the snapping of a branch and then slowly, a beautiful doe steps into the meadow. Her brown eyes dart back and forth, and her nose sniffs for any unusual odor. Once satisfied, she bends to eat the soft green grass.

Two blue birds sweep by, settle on a branch, and begin clacking and speaking to each other. They snap up insects as they fly by. Suddenly, a large owl settles onto a branch, and the other birds quickly fly away. All is quiet again, except for the buzzing of insects.

I think of the times I have walked through these same woods with my father, wife, and children. Each memory is etched with emotion and wonder.

At times like this, you remember the times you have been harsh and immediately regret your transgressions. I think of the love I have received from my mother, father, and grandparents.

I walk back home as afternoon fades, and I remind myself to try to return the love that I have received from my family and friends. I also give a short prayer of appreciation for the Marines I treated in Vietnam. At times, the only thing I could do was to hold their hands as life slowly slipped away. As the tears slip down my cheeks, I realize how lucky I was to have loved ones I could relate to.

As the deer walk out of the woods, I slowly walk back to the camp where the Marines are currently entrenched and look to the time when I can be home again with my wife and family.

Charles W.



Playing basketball with my brothers
We’d hide out from my parents
The smell, sound, and taste of BBQ
Throwing balls to the dog
Riding bikes
Walking with Stephanie

Keith P.


Find Your Way Home

The wild geese, heading home again,
Soar in the clear blue sky.
Listen to their calls.
Follow the sound as long as your ears allow,
Knowing the world is in your heart,
And your heart fits perfectly into the universe.
You and the geese love what you love,
And will find home soon.

Carol Y.


Dock Time

Penguins jump in and out of the water.
They glide in and out of the sea.
I sit on the dock and watch as the kite
flies over the ocean, and the breeze is cool and green.
When the sun comes out, I put on my hat
and go have a beer.

Bill B.



Green is the color that says there is life!
Leaves in the spring ripple with green stripes.

All the green in the leaves provides rich nutrients
that bring more green and life to all.

Green provides food for all and beautiful growth.
Green makes me think of color to soon arrive.

Susan W.


Cerulean Sea

The aqua blue sea calmly washed ashore over the smooth, sandy beach in this bay, while around the point, it was crashing wildly like a drunken sailor. Looking out through the waves, there was unlimited space under massive thunderclouds. Nothing else to see or do today but enjoy the coolness of the aqua colors surrounding me as I stood there in the buff.

Logan M.


An Ode to an Orange

You begin as green but end as an
orange orange.

Art U.


Ah! Purple

Royalty seeks it, all others too.
As for desire and reproduction, PURPLE stimulates too!
Blue is desire and forward-looking, drawing purple.
Its love for humanity outweighs its care of self: a handsome one.
Other emotions—yellow, say—flow to it, emit from it.
Fit for personal use, an irresistible flow
of ebbing brightness.

Royalty adapts it to its position.
LOVE! Ah, sweet love,
filled with passion is chosen and warm,
carried and cared for, romantically calling
emotion, defining akin to a love.
All love should share
in this purple… this love.

Ed M.



Gently in water
Dive deeply, quietly, alone—
Model elegance.

John A.


Red, White, and Blue!

The flag and patriotism.
Red is hot. The feeling of anger.
White is neutral. The feeling of purity.
Blue is feeling. The feeling of sadness.
Red, white, and blue signifies gratitude
for country. The U.S.A.!

Carl M.


Back Deck of Our Cottage: Glen Arbor, Michigan

Relaxing in my favorite chair on the back deck of our cottage in Michigan, I can often watch and hear the squirrels running along the top runner of our fence and chipmunks racing across our deck. Our heart-shaped flower garden contains beautiful flowers with a border of stones from the local quarry. The clear blue sky and breezes from Lake Michigan relax me. It is the perfect place to read, contemplate, and appreciate our good fortune and the beauty of nature.

Boyd S.


Kerry Green

Dear Mike,

I am writing from Muckross House in County Kerry, Ireland today—September 3, 2011. The house is yellow brick and quite large and sits on a lake. It is a beautiful estate with a vast green lawn and many trees starting to turn fall colors. There are people near the lake taking a horse and buggy ride. There are others playing croquet on the lawn.

It is a beautiful sunny day. The air is fresh and full of the happy sounds of people and animals. I love hearing the lilt of the Irish brogue and the smiles of locals as they go about their daily tasks. The tour guide is speaking of the family obtaining their wealth from shipping things to and from the continent. They have a lovely greenhouse that grows vegetables and plants for the estate.

It takes twenty-five workers to run this vast estate. Only ten live on the grounds. The others commute from nearby. The estate also has a large barn of race horses that are worked and trained on the grounds for the upcoming race deep in Kerry. Everyone is proud of what they contribute to the estate’s successful running.

We will have tea in the back garden since it is such a nice day. They will serve bread and cheese and small sweets to the guests. I am happy, wanting to sing a ditty. This trip has been relaxing and restful. Hope all is well at home. I will see you next week.

Love and God Bless,

Patsy K.

So Proud

The pieces published below were written by participants in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections Program, which aims to enhance the mental and physical health and overall quality of life of people affected by early-stage dementia. The Badgerdog writing workshops provided for these groups were made possible by the generous support of St. David’s Community Foundation’s Health’s Angels.

Delightful WellMed writers
imagining wistful creatures of the sea
and afternoons with woodsy critters
hunting food for the family dinner.

So proud of their heritage, their freedom,
their ability to write special stories
and share their precious memories.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives
and your wonderful poetic works.

Terri Schexnayder
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


Inspiring Objects

This colorful crab was given to me as a gift from a friend who had recently visited the beach. Looking at all the amazing colors made my day brighter. Even though it’s a wooden crab, it still made me smile. I think it was the eyes.

I had my best vacations at the beach. I loved to sit on the sand and watch the waves roll in. People-watching was also fun! I always loved the sun and just had to have a tan. Then it was a relief to get into the water and cool off. Thank you, Mr. Crab, for some fond memories.

Jane Baran


Inspiring Objects

I am a doll made of wood,
with a dress of cream, red, and blue,
and hair black as coal.
I came from Mexico or Spain.

A surprise awaits you when you open me up—
tiny replicas of little people,
not from China, but Spain.

Mala Bhattacharyt


Colors of the Season

A scene of trees, vacant piece of property,
vacancies of smooth water in the cool evening.
Summer is over, but the cold hasn’t quite arrived.
The grey clouds cover the sleeping scene
as the sun tries to peek through a few places.

The sun wants to come through—
it’s trying, but it may not.

Jennifer Martinec


The Bobcat

I see a wild animal in the fall season, looking out for danger. There is a nice background of trees. The Bobcat in the foreground is looking for friends—perhaps a lady friend, who promised to stop by. The setting might be around Hutto, Texas, with its brushy creeks. There, I never saw a bobcat, but plenty of squirrels.

I was a young boy of eleven, just old enough to shoot a rifle with my father. He dropped me off and then headed to the beer joint. Until dark, I hunted squirrel for dinner. I felt excited and trusted by my father and was proud to help feed my mother and four sisters.

Jay Westmoreland


The Flag

Red, white, blue.
The American flag—
Liberty, freedom, unity.
Freedom and honor.

Michael Serna

Rich with Experience

The pieces published below were written by participants in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections Program, which aims to enhance the mental and physical health and overall quality of life of people affected by early-stage dementia. The Badgerdog writing workshops provided for these groups were made possible by the generous support of St. David’s Community Foundation’s Health’s Angels.

There’s no doubt the writers in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections program at Hope Lutheran have great stories to tell. This group of writers is as diverse as they are lively, having lived all over the world, from Tokyo to Texas. In their writing, you can feel their rich experiences culminate in the beauty of a simple line about the smell of autumn. The power of their struggle with memory loss is always present, just below the surface, as these writers bravely delve into their pasts to bring forth these poems. There is never a dull moment in this poetry, as it expresses the Hope Lutheran group’s bright attitude toward life and adventurous spirit, something that is truly inspiring to encounter. Their writing is lively, comical, tender, and honest. It is starkly sad and bubbling over with joy all at once. It rhymes, meanders, repeats itself. It goes into the RV to watch the Aggies game. It talks to nature, and to God. These poems are a pure expression of both the simplicity of life and its magnificent vastness, of which we are forever in awe.

Claire Bowman
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


Fall Is Wonderful

Brown, brown, brown…
Showing up on our trees!
Yellow, yellow, yellow bushes,
those bright flowers on very green,
very tall bushes, waving in the wind’s arms.

Again, I go to the color yellow
found on the ears of corn sitting
on the kitchen counter.
Their taste, their crunchiness,
their bright and beautiful color
all make me happy.

I know corn comes in other
colors: white, red, or brown.
But don’t we all love yellow the most?

Pat Keen


From April, May to June

The sun, everything is blooming.
Flowers are blooming,
The weather is beautiful.
Not too hot, not too cold,
Nice and cool and fresh.
You can enjoy walking in the evening,
Sitting in sidewalk cafés,
Enjoying the people-watching
And the fresh air of the evening.

I’m sitting in the sidewalk café
Where they make grilled shish-kabobs.
I’m drinking red wine with my vegetable salad —
Not too much, just enough
To enjoy everything there.
It makes me feel at home.

Sarita Mais


Catching Trout in My Hometown Waters

I see a babbling stream of water
In my state of Wisconsin.
I hear the sound of the water rushing over
The rocks in the stream. Frogs croaking
And birds singing.
I feel a cool breeze.
I think to myself — how to plan
Catching a big trout under the water
Near the pine trees?
I wonder how many trout are available
Today. Should I cast closer to the shore?
I wait for a response from my cast.
Did I see one near my bait?
Try again and again until I get my catch.
Reel him in.

John Zimmerman


Snow-Capped Mountains

I see wonderful shadows in the water
And blended colors that magnify
The beauty of colored images in the water.
I feel magnificent colored images defining
The images in the water.
I think to myself, “I want
To take in all of the images,
Including those in the water,”
And I wonder if the quiet beauty
Can be maintained with time.

Bill Hoisington



The sun is shining! Every day is an adventure. Should we go swimming? The joy of jumping into the cold water, knowing we shall go back out into the warmth and beauty of the sun. What a sensation and awakening to the joy of nature. The flowers bloom everywhere, sheltered in part by the glorious trees surrounding them. Life is good! Going home to dinner or eating a picnic on the beach, swimming and making sandcastles. Having an ice cream cone on the way home, licking it succulently, enjoying its cool flavour. Tired and satisfied, we go to bed thinking of the days to come!

We go out the next day to play with our friends, telling them about our journey, about visiting the fish-and-chip shop for lunch, a treat for all, including Mom, who didn’t have to cook. We meet friends on the beach and promise to see them tomorrow. Into bed, mother telling us a bedtime story or a poem she wrote several herself, which ushered us to sweet dreams of tomorrow, swimsuits and towels hung up on the clothesline to dry. Happiness and contentment abound. Everyone got up early the next day in anticipation of going again to the beach, a beach ball in one arm and towels in the other.

Audrey Krier



The crisp, cool air
The reds, the yellows
When walking on the leaves
The crunch, the burning
Of leaves, the fun of rolling
Through dry leaves, playing in the streets
The crisp, cool air, the leaves
Falling off the trees, the kiss
Of Autumn cool
The taste of waning
The laughter of adults
Do not attempt to change
The feel of Autumn.

Lyle Erickson


Texas Longhorns

I see Bevo.
I hear thousands of people yelling at the UT Stadium.
I feel the UT band playing, my daughter Mary,
Who played in the Longhorn band for four years.
I think to myself of those wonderful days
Of football at UT, and I wonder
what it will be like in the years to come.

Lee Roy S.


My Deer Love

A startled deer,
Fat and tender.
My little deer will soon surrender.
I hear only silence and stillness,
Quiet and peace—
Yes, a great big piece of juicy, tender meat!
In awe of the beauty, elegance,
And size of this creature—
I hope this bullet will go far enough to reach her.
I think to myself… I’m hungry.
I can’t miss.
This buck is toast!
And I’m sure this dinner
Is going to be a winner!
I wonder how long it will take
To dress her, and cook a little venison for dinner!

Rick Guilbeau


The Winter’s Elk 

I see a HUGE elk standing so very still
In the white snow.
He is observing me, hopefully,
With great interest.
I smile widely, but don’t move.

I hear him give a snort.
Vapor comes form his nose.
I see him pawing with one great hoof,
As if sending a message to me.

I feel he’s as curious about my existence
As I am about his.
And I think to myself, “What if
I smile broadly, tilt my head,
And wink…”

I wonder what he will tell his family when
He gets home.
I know what I’m telling mine!

Jeanne Roden


Winter Creation

I see a beautiful snapshot of Nature,
The cold water near the cushions
Of winter snow, and the tall stone-ledge
Mountains, now holding tiers of ice
And snow.

I hear in the still, quiet beauty — no
Sound, only beauty seen above and
Upon the surface, a Revelation
Of the cold, quiet lake.

I feel a still nothingness that holds me
As I gaze upon reflections of
The beauty and majesty that surrounds me.

I think to myself… This is a precious moment.
I must stop and be in this picture of Earth,
Of Creation.

I wonder if I will ever lose the wonder of this moment.
I think not.
It is a moment in eternity.

Elizabeth E. Flynn


Autumn Mornings 

Crisp, cool sunrises
Coming over the mountain.

Orange, yellow, green, brown
Colors being blown around
In the fresh breeze.

Children high on the rocks
As the sun starts to lower in the evening.

We go into our RV to watch
The Texas Aggies game.

We enjoy the outdoors,
The coyotes howling in the mountains.
Now, let’s go to bed.

Bobby Pruitt


Autumn (By Far!) 

Hot, humid summer is gone.
With less sweating, we can run!

Even in Texas, we have colors,
And it costs so few dollars!

Now that temperatures are lower,
We use much less of the mower!

Autumn has so much more food,
And everything tastes so good!

That we really enjoy life,
And again, again, I love my wife!

Manny Chavez

We, Not Me

The pieces published below were written by participants in AGE of Central Texas’s Memory Connections Program, which aims to enhance the mental and physical health and overall quality of life of people affected by early-stage dementia. The Badgerdog writing workshops provided for these groups were made possible by the generous support of St. David’s Community Foundation’s Health’s Angels.

I used to think writing was one of the lonelier activities one could endeavor to undertake. Not so. Even at this moment as I write alone in a small windowless office, I hear the voices of the workshop participants I shared Mondays with at the North Austin YMCA. I am reminded that writing is a means for regaining a sense of connectedness.

One memory in particular sticks out. I’d asked participants to come up with a short list of words of wisdom they’d either given or received at some point in their lives. To be honest, as one who falls (unwilling) under the umbrella of “millennial,” my own list included phrases such as follow your dreams, never give up, and do what you love. I was thrown for a loop when one participant, Eva, shared what were her most valuable words of wisdom:

  • Help those in need in any way you can.
  • Learn about the challenges of others and find ways to help.

I think my jaw fell open. I realized then that I’d become so entrenched in the daily to-dos of my life, that I was so focused on the “me,” I’d completely forgotten about the “we.”

While not everyone in our workshop was able to use the tools of writing (pens and paper) — the physical act of writing either too painful or too frustrating — everyone was able to enjoy and participate in a communal atmosphere of language, or “creative discussion,” as we called it. Words floating in the air are just as valuable as words pinned to a page. Living in the moment is just as important as recording it. Listening to each other’s stories is just as significant as telling stories of our own. And like water washing over stone, everything that we do changes us a little. I was changed. And I believe storytelling always gives back to the community, the “we” that is so essential to all of us.

Julie Poole
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


Out My Window, I Remember

Mother red cardinal, dark red. I saw her bring stray leaves and sticks to make her nest. She’d been found nesting in another nest in my backyard, and her last family stayed nearby. When it came time to nest with a new generation of eggs, she made a new one in a tall shrub near my door. At the time, I was in the hospital after open heart surgery number two. I came by to pick up something to wear besides PJs. They were teaching the babies to fly. I don’t wear perfume, so they didn’t sense me nearby. I covered my mouth with a soft pillow and watched the parents teach the young cardinals to take flight.

On vacation, touring nine states to see state parks and watch the acid spring water blow from its geyser, I was awoken and saw the most beautiful view I have ever seen. The sky was so beautiful, with so many colors, in fact, that I momentarily questioned if the world was coming to an end. And God would be next.

Emmaline Jones


Rabbit Ring

The object that means the world to me and is particular in its value of longevity is the ring I wear on the middle finger of my right hand. It is made out of unpolished silver and depicts a four-footed beast with two long ears, a tail, and four long feet, a rabbit given to me by a former boyfriend, who told me to always keep my eye on the rabbit, a reference to greyhound racing.

Marian Fleming


My Desk

My hand-carved oriental desk, which belonged to my mother’s mother, Da, as we grandchildren called her. Mom and I were with her on our first trip to Hawaii in 1949. We visited a distant cousin of hers living in Honolulu. Aboard the plane, Da became ill, was given a blood transfusion — wrong type — so after the hospital stay, we lived in a typical neighborhood. There was a Dutch refugee family with a little girl who had several deformities due to the lack of protein in WWII; a Hawaiian family on the opposite side with several children; and, us, in the middle — a league of nations! Children just played, using simple toys we either shared or created — language was no barrier — children just play!

When I sit at this desk, corresponding with family and friends back in California, I have a space of my own, an area to touch back in time, an area to create in, an area that is all mine.

Helen G. Haynes


Character Sketch

My lifelong friend, Kathryn Ruth, a.k.a. Kathy, has been in my life since third grade — this is equivalent to sixty-five years. In forth grade, we said goodbye. Why, you ask? Each family was leaving Ojai, California. How our mothers kept their secret was amazing, for we (young friends) were devastated by our loss. After our new home was ready to move in to, I found out that Kathy was merely four houses down the block from me.

Over the course of these past sixty-plus years, we’ve shared weddings, the births of our children, high school, and college graduations. Then came the children’s weddings — some in Ventura, California, one on the Big Island of Hawaii. And now we celebrate our grandchildren’s birthdays — all seven of them. My eldest, Sean, twenty-three, U.S. army, down to Paige and Andrew, nine; hers Ava, eleven; Elsie, nine; Vianne, eight; and Shepard, six.

Helen G. Haynes


Out My Window, I Remember

Long ago, I lived on a farm in Ireland surrounded by many trees of different kinds, meadows with sheep and rabbits crawling around, an orchard with many kinds of apples, pears, and plums, and an avenue surrounded by moss weeds.

Eva Church


My Husband

One object that means a lot to me is the photo of my husband. He gave it to me, and I love it a lot. In the photo, he’s twenty-six.

Heather H. de Loyo



My objects are useful… scissors for snipping fabric samples and a tape measure for knowing how much to cut out for sewing.

I don’t sew clothing for myself anymore. My shape has shifted!

But I now sew pig pillows, the first choice of hospital patients, requested by chaplains and Ouch Buddies for children at the Ronald McDonald House — squeezable when getting a shot. And pillows for those same children in bright colors.

Ruth Crowson


Words of Wisdom 

Wait. Wait for beauty, for buds blooming out
of season. For secondhand gloves full of memories.
For music by piano and music by flute.
For looms weaving our loves. Beauty
in love, and love in beauty. Love in
music, and music in love.

Ruth Crowson

Memories of Nature

Art and language go together like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, shoes and socks. (Okay, maybe not shoes and socks.) But words can help us locate the images contained in our experience and memory. At the same time, visual art can inspire new turns of phrase, new insights, new ways of seeing. It makes sense, then, that we’ve developed a fruitful partnership with Mobile Art Project, which provides art workshops in nursing homes and elder care facilities. In our latest joint effort, we coupled our programs to work with a group of folks experiencing early memory loss. Our Badgerdog teaching artist Claire Campbell used nature poems to inspire memories of the outdoors. These written works became the basis for art activities led by Theresa Zelazny and her Mobile Art volunteers. We are excited to share these combinations of art and language with you. And we are especially grateful to AGE of Central Texas for inviting us to serve their clients. And to Mobile Art for the great work they do, and the work we do together.

Cecily Sailer
Library Foundation Programs Manager

Acrylic on canvas by Ed McQuillan
Acrylic on canvas by Ed McQuillan


Peter was… oops… is my friend. We share a love for the outdoors. We are both hunters and came to be friends through the women in our lives. He came to me through his sister, Sis. Me through my wife, Jean. The wives were friends and school classmates. Pete’s a big and husky redhead. Me? Not much can be said about a five-foot frame on a mature male. Pete and his sister, Sis, vacationed in Northeast Pennsylvania near the town of Milford on the Delaware River.

Ed McQuillan

Acrylic on canvas by Boyd Spencer
Acrylic on canvas by Boyd Spencer

Empire Bluff

The overlook of Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes are about four miles outside the village of Empire, Michigan. To reach the overlook, one must hike about a mile on a nature trail. Different types of trees can be seen at different levels of the walk. Birch trees are my favorite.

Boyd Spencer

Acrylic on canvas by Keith Peco
Acrylic on canvas by Keith Peco

She (Stephanie)

She is like a field of bluebonnets.
She is like a waterfall.
She is a diamond.
She is strong.
She is a winner.
She is my everything.

Keith Peco

Acrylic on wood by Kelly
Acrylic on wood by Kelly

Colorado River

A green stream flowing through a myriad
of physical conditions—some rushing, some calm.
It affords exciting fishing experiences,
from trout, carp, catfish, and bass.
All fun to catch and a tasty repast.
It is usually cold to our touch, but tasty to our mouths.
Rapidly flowing, it permits little stagnation or visible algae.

Kelly Meyer

Collage on mat board by Gary
Collage on mat board by Gary

My Garden

In my backyard, I have a swing with two seats. We sit together and watch the clouds blown by the wind. We look forward to rain filling the creek down the hill from our house. The rain runs down the stream that wanders about half a mile to Lake Travis, which is a dammed-up segment of a river that flows through Austin.

I grow individual flowers in pots that are arranged and rearranged monthly and watered daily. As they bloom, I can fill a dozen vases and carry them into our house.

Outside, along the creek, are tall trees that wave their limbs in the drifty winds.

Gary Cobb

Acrylic on canvas by Frank
Acrylic on canvas by Frank

My Dog

My dog is in our backyard. He likes living in the yard because he always runs around very excitedly. My dog is in the yard. He likes being in the yard because he always runs around and likes to roll in the grass and dirt. He flows about me, getting dirty; like me, too!

Frank Leggio

Place Where I Enjoyed Nature

I grew up on a small farm east of Austin, near Manor. There were lots of pecan and oak trees. Beautiful smells, clean air, lots of vegetation, and cornfields. The sound of the open space, wild animals, quiet evenings. We had animals—horses, cows, etc.

Art Cunningham

Watercolor on paper by Karen Smith
Watercolor on paper by Karen Smith

Scene from a Calendar

Moss hanging from tree
Laying under the tree
Rolling in the dirt

Karen Smith

Watercolor on paper by Art Ulbrich
Watercolor on paper by Art Ulbrich

Black-Throated Green Warbler

Skinny legs
Yellow head
Black breast
The legs are so thin
How does it support itself?

Art Ulbrich

Acrylic on canvas by Bob
Acrylic on canvas by Bob


Soft petals in yellow
She loves me, she loves me not
As the petals are plucked

Bob Liebl

Acrylic on canvas by Fred
Acrylic on canvas by Fred Lucas

Beauty Undecided

A model “A” comes forth in a vision of strength.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Strength for evaluation.

Fred Lucas

Acrylic on canvas by Charles
Acrylic on canvas by Charles Walker

My First Snow

Whenever I see lightning, my mind drifts back to St. Louis. Snowflakes drifted outside my window. I was six years old and hadn’t seen snow before. The snow was drifting down, and I was so excited. When I awoke the next morning, the snow was still coming down. The drifts were so deep that I could burrow into the drifts and be completely covered.

The next day, the snow stopped coming down. As soon as I could go outside, I started leaping into the drifts. Unfortunately, the drifts also covered up the obstacles you could not see.

Charles Walker