How Do You Say Goodbye to Love? / Movie: The Monuments Men

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One of the last photos of Rosie, as she relaxed in her special place in my office.

How do you say goodbye to love after all the years, through all the joy and all the tears?

After nineteen years, nearly to the day, I find my little friend Rosie teaching me one last lesson – that you can never say goodbye to love.

Rosie was one of the dearest friends I have ever known. She was also among the greatest of teachers. Yes, she taught me so many important lessons about life and about love and about living. From Rosie, I came to appreciate the beauty found in every living thing.

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A beautiful chapter                in the book of Love.

In caring for such an endearing heart, I found love for every other heart, however small. Her adoring eyes guided my thoughts in so very many moments, to the true need there is in this world for loving everything and everyone. She shared, in her affection for me, the true meaning of this existence, that caring for each other has far more value than anything else. That the time we spend together in loving and sharing, is what is truly treasured and remembered, when all is done.

I discovered that there is one love a child always keeps in his heart, even children all grown up. Puppy love is always love to enjoy and play with and to keep. Buried in the heart, and very, very deep, is what we find in such joy, when our very own puppy dog is ours to keep. For such a joyous gift gives love back a thousand kisses deep.

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Yes, this is what a             Blessing looks like.

When we found this tiny puppy on the center stripe of White Settlement Road, she was extremely close to death. Traffic was heavy on both sides of the street and she lay, very small and nearly unnoticed, exactly in the middle of the road.

My family was en route to the funeral of our very dear friend, John Hammons, who died in a traffic accident. John was a master carpenter and was retired from the United States Air Force, when he heard about the Anderson family struggling to build a school for gifted children. He volunteered his time, over a period of four long years, and gave of his tremendous skill and talent, under very trying circumstance, to restructure and remodel the old Oak Grove Baptist Church Sunday school building, that we had moved to this location.

Annie Anderson and John Hammons

Annie Anderson and John Hammons

John would never accept payment and donated not only his time and hard labor but much in the way of materials. And, after every offer to pay him, he would simply say, “No, it’s for children”, and then he would quietly walk away. John died shortly after the school opened.

We were on our way to John’s funeral when this tiny little puppy, in such immanent danger, came our way. We stopped because we had to. The traffic was heavy and she would not have survived trying to finish her journey across the road. I privately thought, “What in the world in she doing in the middle of the road? How did she survive to get there? Well, as a result of her rescue, no small measure of joy was ours on this tragically sad day. It was truly uplifting to find her at this moment in our lives.

I gave the puppy to our son, Alex, with the comment that it was, probably, a last gift from John. Alex named her, “Rosie”. And I often wondered how he came up with that name. Perhaps, I thought, it was the “thorny” personality the puppy possessed. She was pretty snotty when she was young and would snap at (I called it: schooling) anyone she was displeased with.

I remember how we could not get this little emaciated puppy (her first name was weenie, she was so thin) to eat anything. I took her to our favorite veterinarian. He examined her and explained that she would not eat because she was full of crickets and grasshoppers. That had been her diet and her means of survival. So he provided a formula to give her. Later, for over a year, I would notice her stalking the grasshoppers when she was outside on the lawn. She was good at catching them, waiting until they would hop and land on the ground exactly three times and then catching them.

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There is always another small heart waiting to save someone – waiting for love. Please, adopt one in my memory.

God, in His infinite mercy, did not save this precious puppy – He enabled me to do that. And, as a result, it is my belief that God saved me. He gave me the unmeasurable joy of this wonderful friend for so very many years. And on that well traveled road, Rosie resurrected my hope and filled my spirit. I found salvation through the innocent eyes of this small friend, with a large heart, who became my constant and loving companion.

No, I was not alone in saving a life. For in truth, she became my savior. And, in a very real sense, one of the reasons for the continued existence of this school, which has saved others.

Yes, with the first time I held her in my arms, she gave a new meaning to this world of mine. She came into my life and filled my heart with special moments that to this day, last. She filled my days with so much love, that anywhere I went, I was never lonely. And as I reached to feel the warmth of her presence, she was always there. My, how my arms begged her to stay, for one more hour, one more day.

From life’s illusions I came to a time when I felt that I really didn’t know life at all. And then prayer became a promise, and faith blossomed into the most unlikely of appearances. And suddenly, I absolutely knew and felt in the very fiber of my being, that I was deeply, deeply loved. God bequeathed someone to care for and love, children from above and in the depths of my sorrow, a quirky, funny, loving, tiny puppy dog.

Perhaps, finding Rosie was not a chance encounter. From this miraculous experience, and others, I have learned not to question the way God works and how mysterious His ways are . . . .  “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform”.

And I am brought to my knees, in tears of thanksgiving.

I placed a special marker to let the world know where I buried my heart. But in a very real sense, Rosie will always be with me. As we find in 1 Corinthians 13, Love is eternal. . . There are faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

“There is a land of the living
And a land of the dead,
And the bridge is love,
The only survival,
The only meaning.”
                         –  Thornton Wilder

We cannot say goodbye to love

No. We can never say goodbye to Love.

Our Trip last week to the Texas Civil War Museum

What a great lesson we were blessed with on the the topic of the Victorian Lady at the Texas Civil War Museum. Our wonderful docent entertained the girls (and the boys, some of whom asked to be dressed as Victorian Men).

Kylie becomes a true "Southern Belle"

Kylie becomes a true “Southern Belle” during our visit to the Civil War Museum.

ON THIS FRIDAY, FEB. 7

We will meet at 9:30 a.m. at Half-Price Books, located at 475 Sherry Lane, north of Ridgmar Mall –Telephone: 817-732-4111. At approximately 11:30 a.m. we will travel to the FOOD COURT in the Ridgmar Mall to enjoy lunch. Following lunch, we will walk to the RAVE 13 THEATRE located in the Mall at 2300 Green Oaks Road, telephone (817) 566-0025, to enjoy the highly acclaimed new movie Monument Men, MPAA Rating PG-13 for Historical Smoking, Some Images of War Violence. Run Time: 127 minutes and starting at 1:00 p.m. Younger students may view another film with the blessing of Mrs. A.

PICK UP will be at the Theater at 2:30 p.m.

Synopsis: During World War II, a group of art scholars and museum directors infiltrates enemy territory to retrieve stolen masterpieces before the Nazis dispose of them.

The starting time may change, please be patient. Dr. A may become anxious but popcorn will help.

Emergency Telephone 682-777-1908

If you arrive late, we shall have departed with your child(ren) and will return to school. Please call if you will be late.

Students are NOT to leave the bookstore, food court or theater without the approval of Dr. A (wake him gently with the smell of warm popcorn if necessary).

FINANCIAL: We have been told Tickets are $5.00 but this may be incorrect – please pay at the Box Office. Please provide funds for a good book and for lunch. Refreshments: Yes!

Uniform pants with a belt & red monogrammed school shirts are required.

PARENTS / FRIENDS / NEIGHBORS, are invited to participate on our trips.

IMPORTANT DATES:
Feb. 1 Tuition Deposits were Due for 2014-15
Feb. 17 (Mon.) President’s Day Holiday
Mar. 10-14 Spring Break Holidays
Mar. 21 Texas Indian Market and Southwest Showcase (Arlington)

Mary Alice also loved becoming a Southern Belle

Mary Alice also loved     becoming a Southern Belle

And Rylee said, "What about ME!"

   And Rylee said,                     “What about ME!”

We truly enjoyed learning about dress and attire of the old deep south.

We truly enjoyed learning about dress and attire of the old deep south.

Another inhumane form of technology

Many of our new public schools look like and possess the feel of a prison. Have you noticed this? We employ architects and then order them to create environments conducive to one primary motivating factor – increasing an ever illusive, ultimately harmful and virtually meaningless test score, the result of which is an ever increasing drop out rate, which happens to be counter productive to the concept. Architects then lose sight of the shore and design virtual prisons for our children.

Architects are not educators. They do the bidding of typically uninformed and highly politicized board members and legislative types, and their products then evolve into a truly ruthless and dogmatic emphasis upon accountability and control and very, very little else.

This is but one example of how technology can take on a life of its own and evolve like a cancerous growth and be suddenly out of our control.

These new prison like structures virtually eliminate or very significantly reduce access to natural light and replace windows (you know, those highly distracting and antiquated structures the older types grew to love) with nothing but banks of florescent lights.

I recently drove past a new large public school and, to my horror, observed classroom windows placed at the very top of the walls, so that children could not possibly see out into the beautiful world of flowers and birds and trees and escaping dreams and other distracting things.

There are a large number of negative health effects that have been linked to working under fluorescent lights that are theorized to be the cause of ignorantly manipulating our body chemistry mechanisms which result in such serious problems as:

Migraines
Eye strain
Problems sleeping, due to melatonin suppression
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression
Endocrine disruption and poor immune systems
Female hormonal/menstrual cycle disruption
Increases in breast cancer rates and tumor formation
Stress/Anxiety, due to cortisol suppression
Sexual development/maturation disruption
Obesity
Agoraphobia (anxiety disorder)

Do any of these sound familiar? For more information simply search the internet (your child can show you how. Mine did and, to my embarrassment, suppressed by my amazement, still does).

Annie & Alex Anderson supervise on moving day of the new Anderson Private School

Annie & Alex Anderson supervise the moving of their new school.

Many years ago, LeVonna and I fell in love with the old Oak Grove Baptist Church Sunday school building (built back in the 1940’s – you know, when they used something called Number 1 Lumber).

The Church was advertising to have it moved and we made a donation to the church and then moved it to our present location. And one of the big reasons we admired it, related to the abundance of natural light, thanks to the numerous (17) large windows that were plentiful in every room. They were placed, as custom

And we are on our way!

And we are on our way!

would have it, at eye level. I know how many windows because I personally, along with guidance and very hard labor from my dear friend, John Hammons, replaced every of them, since they were all knocked out, to some degree, during the move of the beautiful building from Burleson.

We got a police escort.

We got a police escort.

You will love this – I announced to my lovely bride that I was going to take my time with this project (restoration of the structure). I was planning to work on it for one whole entire year. Why get in a hurry?

This was not easy.

This was not easy.

Dream on! Four years later we opened the school and I took out a life insurance policy on the old dilapidated, worn out body that was now mine. I looked like the old building before we worked on it. Those two large cracked windows on the front were my glasses. The smaller stained glass windows were my teeth. We wound up so broke, and took so much aspirin for our backs, that they named a mountain after us. When we finally finished, I wasn’t sure my heart was still beating, so I pounded on my chest to imitate the sound and keep up my spirit.

We were located briefly on Chapel Creek.

We were located briefly on Chapel Creek.

We started the school with five students and two of them were our own children. I have no idea where the other three came from, but I suspect foul play. My wife did have an occasional funny look about her (it wasn’t exhaustion, I know what that looks like). The only furniture was our dining room table and chairs, which meant odd looks and standing around a lot at home when we ate.

In the beginning we had a great time singing, “Getting to Know You” and wondering who you were. But LeVonna was a great sport. We truly enjoyed everyone we came to know and deeply appreciated the help that was given from so very many friends, relatives and parents. This school would simply not exist without their guidance and help. Our memories of getting this school up and running are truly treasured by us.

Well, seriously, what it all means is this – our society now values test scores more than the emotional and physical well being of our precious children. Governmental entities are making very, very poor decisions in an effort to force educators and children to bend to the will of a philosophy that is devoid of simple logic and any real compassion for children. This is now irreverently referred to as the, “No Child Left Behind” program or “Where In World Did Half Of Them Go?” program (yes, they dropped out).

With its narrow focus upon test scores, it is seen as a dangerous experiment that seriously threatens to disrupt and dilute the education of millions of children, especially gifted children. The Democratic chairman of the Senate education committee, Tom Harkin, says good intentions in the No Child Left Behind law have not translated to good policy.

Even the sacred ground of the learning environments we provide for young and fragile minds are being tragically designed with a gross lack of fundamental understanding and consideration.

Few people in decision making roles are researching the long term impact of what we impulsively do. And virtually no one is giving consideration to looking back in time to what was effective. When it comes to learning give me that, “Old Time Religion”.

When I was a boy, schools in Texas were required to teach about birds and the protection of their nests and eggs and fly the American and Texas Flags and that was it! And I was a truly happy and successful child. My teachers possessed the freedom to teach whatever they felt I needed to know and, more importantly, they were free to love me in the process. And I still feel the warmth of their love today. They did not fear for their jobs, their fear was for my future.

Our beloved Nation became the only superpower in the world because our teachers had the academic freedom to do what they knew needed to be done. Our educators, when they were empowered and trusted to make decisions and teach what they spent years in a university learning to teach, were directly responsible for turning this country into the wealthiest nation on earth, possessing over one half the wealth of the planet and with only six percent of its people.

Freedom, my dear friends, is the reason and it is the only reason we have prevailed and prospered. And it is what we, to our disgrace, removed from the hands of our dedicated and capable teachers. We took freedom away from the very people we need to promote the cause of freedom and enable our children to keep us free! We stopped trusting those who took a vow of poverty so that they could dedicated their lives to teach our kids.

And what is the result? We have reduced the most valuable gifts that God could bestow upon us to an egotistic compulsion for mere numbers on a test, which in a horrible futuristic scenario, translates humanity into another inhumane form of technology.

When will we wake up?