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Showing posts from 2016

Miss Furr Goes to Washington: Part the First

I have neglected to update this blog because… well let’s see.I’ve been so busy running around on Capitol Hill that I can’t keep my head on straight.Dad drove with me to Reston, Virginia which is right outside Washington D.C. in early September, and here I am three months in and it is now only two weeks until I get to go home to my beloved Texas.It was so hard saying goodbye to my Dad after a week of him being here. He helped me settle in and checked out the grocery store situation for me while I was at the MRC settling in to my semester as a cub reporter for CNS News. We were both pretty emotional when he left, but I had to buck up and come back to my little Airbnb room without him there to greet me.My month in Scotland earlier this year really prepared me for this journey. The book Brooklyn says in perfect phrasing what I wanted to express but just couldn’t seem to about the plague of homesickness. It comes to you and you think you want to die, but then it moves on to someone else. J…

Welcome to the 2016 Hunger Games

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If you watch the news at all (which I sincerely hope you do), I think you will have noticed all the craziness going on. Election year is always insane. Since the debut of the social media monster, it has become even more unpredictable than usual. For decades, the media has been the main source of our news, whether through the newspaper, television, or radio. It is only in recent years that our society and the world has seen this sudden shift to "new media," AKA our smartphones. Although there are countless media sources because of writers, reporters, and those not working for a major news network and who work for smaller outlets, that doesn't mean that the mainstream have lost their hold on our culture. The year before graduation, I took a class titled Media Bias. To be honest, I knew there was bias in the media but had never labeled it as such. I grew up listening to remarks from my parents about higher taxes, more government control, and Bill Clinton's White Hous…

In the Company of Heroes: Serving WWII Veterans

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Above is a photograph of sixty WWII veterans reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at a luncheon hosted by Birchman Baptist Church. When the kitchen staff was informed by a church member that the facilities where they had been conducting their meetings was closing due to unforeseen circumstances, they quickly offered their help. From now until November of 2017, the church will host a veteran luncheon on every last Friday of the month. As soon as word spread about the meeting, everyone was calling and asking how they could help. The kitchen staff decorated the entire gym and cooked a hearty meal in order to make these veterans feel loved and appreciated. It was an honor to host them, not to mention really fun to play big band music all day to help them reminisce. Although it rained and we thought the thunder would never stop, our American heroes made it to the luncheon we were so eagerly anticipating. I believe the youngest veteran who attended was eighty seven years young, the eldest bei…

Embracing Singleness: Five Things I Learned While Traveling Alone

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Greetings, my faithful readers! Please forgive my absence, for I have been readjusting to life in Texas after traipsing around England and Scotland for an entire month. It was truly a privilege to be a part of a culture that is part of my heritage and in my blood. The rolling hills, lochs, and lovely people are even dearer to my heart now than when I set foot on that magical island almost ten years ago. You've all been so good to follow my journey, and I am grateful. The first step onto the airplane that would take me far away into unfamiliar surroundings was something I thought I'd never do. Let me be honest: I was scared half to death. But after I settled into my seat and took a few big breaths, I knew it was possible. In case you were wondering, my medications (more specifically my Humira pens), endured the eight hour flight and came out on the other side with flying colors. I had visions of them bursting inside my carry-on bag in the overhead bins, but the moment I landed…

Biscuits with No Gravy: I Attend Church in Dunfermline

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The first week I arrived in Dunfermline, I attended Sunday morning services at Viewfield Baptist Church on the high street. The building itself was built almost one hundred and seventy five years ago, and the stone work outside is old and mossy colored from the weather. I walked to services that morning and enjoyed that very much. The act of walking almost helped to prepare me for worship with my brothers and sisters. It was something different to see the faces of people on the street who walked past me on my way there. I never realized until that moment that when I attend church at home, I get in my car and go straight there. I don't see or engage with anyone until I walk in the doors to rehearsal. If it was possible, I would walk to church and greet people on my way there every morning at home. It is something to seriously consider when I return home. The doors to the church sanctuary were shut, and I didn't realize they were meeting downstairs until I saw the sign that said…

Roadtrip and The Isle of Skye: We Meet the Little Folk

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It's amazing how hard it is to find time to write when traveling. Almost every night you're so exhausted that all you want to do is sleep, so please forgive my tardiness in posting. Last week we drove to Aviemore from Dunfermline. The drive was beautiful and it felt good to get out of the city for a while. The hills surrounding our wigwam were high, and speckled with a reddish purple, the heather that will begin blooming soon. Our wigwam was warm and cozy, and upon waking the next morning, the entire area around us was shrouded in a thick mist. The little stream flowing down from the mountains trickled all night as we slept, it's dark water a constant in a wilderness whose weather is unpredictable as each day, almost every hour, passes. We made our way to Pitlochry, a tourist infested area but one I enjoyed very much. The shops on the high street were quaint and kept well. We had tea (or lunch if you want to get technical) at a place called "Hettie's" where I…

Creaky Floors and Creaky Doors

Is there any felicity in the world superior to the day I've just had? I know I'm stealing Marianne Dashwood's impassioned speech ( I can't remember reading it in the novel but oh well ) but I truly did experience felicity today. This morning, Mr. Phil Howe picked me up and took me on a morning tour of Jane Austen's neighborhood. The lovely countryside spanned far and wide as we drove down tiny streets and muddy drives to reach the old houses she danced and laughed in. There are many very dramatic stories she tells in her letters pertaining to village life at the time. One instance was when Jane recounted to her sister Cassandra about the "fewer than ten minutes" she spent alone in a dining room with the owner of a mansion who had a reputation with the ladies. Mr. Howe told it much better than I can, but Jane did tell Cassandra that she thought about ringing for the housekeeper, and kept her hand firmly on the door knob in case she needed a quick escape. T…

Getting To Know Me: My Walk with Jane

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Well. It's been about ten years in the making, saving, scrimping, losing and starting all over again, but I've finally done it. I am sitting on my bed in a low roofed cottage opposite Jane Austen's house in beautiful Hampshire, England. Tomorrow I will tour the other places she frequented, and also the places where her novels came to life in her wonderfully witty imagination. I've walked up and down the tiny village streets where she spent the most prolific years of her adult life, writing the novels that would inspire millions of readers for years to come. Getting on a plane to travel here, alone, was one of the hardest and most challenging things I have ever done. Since my mother and I were here almost ten years ago, a lot of things have changed in our lives. But through loss, a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, college graduation, and a host of other challenges, my dream of returning to England and my beloved Scotland never faded. I took strength from Jane herself …