Summer meals are available at no charge to children 18 years old and younger at the North Hopkins School Cafeteria. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to take advantage of the free meals, which are a part of the USDA Summer Nutrition Program. Breakfast is served from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and lunch is from 11:30 a.m. until noon Monday through Friday through Aug. 7.
Tira Volunteer Fire Department has responded to several fires in the last couple of weeks.
Candy Wischerman reports that their German shepherd is missing. They have not seen him since Friday afternoon. He is 7 months old and had a John Deere collar on. If you have any knowledge about their dog, please give them a call at 903-945-2185.
Cody Fite, Tristen Sickles, Sherry Smiddy and Powell Vickery went to the American Airlines Center on Thursday night to see the American Idols 2009 Tour Concert. Sherry reports, “The music was great. Before the concert we enjoyed dinner at Dick's Last Resort. The boys had to wear hats during dinner that had some really funny sayings on them. Oh yes, we have pictures!” Cody and Tristen spent the night and went swimming and riding four wheelers all day on Friday. On Saturday Chris, Jenna, Ally, Braden and Emma Vickery and Daylee Fite visited with Sherry and Powell and went tubing and wakeboarding on Cooper Lake. Then all the kids spent the night with Sherry and Powell and enjoyed hot dogs and more swimming. On Wednesday of last week Branson Adair, Cade Vickery and Cody Fite spent the night with Sherry and Powell.
Alice Hall and Yvonne and Wesley Weir spent last Sunday night with Dacy Campbell. On Monday Wesley had an early doctor’s appointment in Dallas. Yvonne says that Elise (Dacy’s baby) and Wesley kept them entertained. Alice and Yvonne enjoyed a ladies meeting at First Assembly of God
Church in Cooper on Saturday morning, then Robert, Yvonne, and Wes attended Kiegan Shehan’s 5th birthday party that afternoon. Wes enjoyed swimming. Dustin and Natalie came for a visit on Sunday and they all went to the lake. Yvonne tried the tube, but didn’t stay on too long! Dustin and Natalie tubed for a long time and Dustin took Wes for a gentle ride.
Joyce Goldsmith reports, “Sunday, July 26, was a wonderful day of celebration at Birthright United Methodist Church. It was the birthday (guess which one) of Lynda Williams, a member of our church family. Several members of her family — daughters, mom, brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces and nephews — came and prepared breakfast for all our church family. The food was delicious! We even got to order from a menu. The fellowship was great! We had 35 in attendance for Sunday school and worship service including Rev. Gary Regan of Charleston.
Bessie Goldsmith spent last Friday thru Monday in Talala, Okla., visiting with Mike, Janet, Thor and Kenzi Burnside.
On Thursday July 16, Donna Durst's sister, Karen Fitzhugh, from Larue, Texas, came for a visit. We shopped around town on Thursday, eating lunch at Plain and Fancy. On Friday, we headed out to Frisco to spend the day. Our grandparents, Ernest and Ethel Warren, were some of the first settlers in that "little town" when there was just a dirt road for the Main Street. He had a barber shop and she had a beauty shop. We spent a lot of time at the Little Elm Cemetery where they are both buried, along with our Daddy and other relatives. We also got to take a tour of Grandmother's home.
The outside of the home still looked like a 1920s house, but the interior has been remodeled by the new owner to look like a New York loft. It was quite interesting. We couldn't get over the size and "congestion" of Frisco as it is today compared to when we were kids. We drove on Warren Parkway that was named after our family. On Saturday, we shopped a little more in Sulphur Springs, but spent most of our time playing cards. Karen headed back to Larue Sunday afternoon.
Allen, Tami, Madison and Jeremy Joslin, Julia Lawrence, Chelsie Edwards, Chuck Olmsted and his friend Robin, and Chip and I enjoyed smoked brisket, chicken and sausage and all the “fixings” with Malcolm and Tiffany Joslin and their family on Saturday night. We also had homemade ice cream.
John Long has returned from an exciting trip to Europe and has sent me the first of a series of reports about his travels. This week’s story is about his trip from Dallas to Dublin — and into the Swiss Alps. John says, “It was a fascinating trip- the best I have experienced, most difficult I have experienced, most exciting I have ever experienced, saddest I have ever experienced, and in some ways, it was all of those emotions, put into one.”
John writes, “I must say, that this was, in many ways, the trip of a lifetime. It all began for me after being dropped off at the DFW Airport. It was an interesting wait to just get onto the plane that would take me first to Dublin, Ireland, via a connecting flight in Atlanta, Georgia, then onto Zurich, Switzerland, where I would hop onto a train to go into the Alps for two full days of climbing at the beginning of my European journey. The first people my parents and I ran into at the DFW Airport were from Hopkins County! The Rorie and Bennett families were hopping onto a flight which, via a connection, would take them to Copenhagen, Denmark, and then into Russia, a fascinating journey for two wonderful families from our community, I think. After saying our goodbyes, I made it through security rather quickly, and then into the terminal to find out from which gate, my flight was to depart for Atlanta. The next thing I know, I am stuck, at the wrong gate! A person had reported a suspicious package in the bathroom, just before my gate of departure and the security teams had sealed off that area of the terminal! Rather than stand around and listen to the griping from stranded travelers, I decided to move into action and get around the security block. After studying the airport and terminal layouts on my iPhone, I decided to take the SkyLink tram, which was still open. Bam — it worked! I waltzed into the correct gate area, only to find that all Delta flights were being routed to another gate further away from the security lockdown. By this time, I was getting a bit nervous as to whether or not I would be able to get onto my flight. We were all routed to one gate that would take us to Atlanta, and luckily for me, it was an easy walk, but an agonizing wait. While waiting, a flight came in from Salt Lake City, Utah, at the gate which contained NBA stars Shaun Bradley, a former member of the Dallas Mavericks, and Utah Jazz star, US Olympian and Dallas native Deron Williams. As I recall, the two men discussed playing in a charity golf tournament. I did not pay attention to them very much. My impressions of professional athletes in general are not great, although, I will admit these two men did seem like they were very classy guys. After a long wait, I took a very uneventful flight to Atlanta, and after another long wait there that, thank goodness, was also uneventful, I was on my way to Dublin, Ireland. I do admit to having dinner at On the Border Cafe in the Atlanta airport, as I knew I would miss having even decent Mexican food for the next several weeks!
“Flights to Europe can only be characterized as incredibly long and at times, trying. If you are stuck on an 11-hour flight with a 2-year-old screaming his or her head off it can make for a miserable experience. Why people take such small children on such a flight is beyond me, as I think it must scare them half to death. I spend much of the flight asleep, if you do not do this, you will pay dearly for it when you land because Ireland is six hours in time ahead of us and though you may depart at night in the U.S. you will arrive in the middle of a very busy morning in a place such as Dublin, Ireland, and you need to have your wits about you just to be able to get around! I travel alone. I quit traveling with groups after my first traveling experience in Europe. I have found that traveling alone allows me to live more like a local and to actually be able to interact and experience their lives more readily. It's, I think, a much better way to experience Europe, but it helps me greatly — as you will see — to have friends in the places where I go to visit who help me along in my journey quite a bit. I would not have made these great friendship connections had I been traveling as a part of any tour group. I have the freedom to come and go as I choose, and for me, that independence is golden and a great part of my traveling experience that I treasure greatly. Upon landing in Dublin, the ability to move around independently would pay great dividends for me as I would experience one of Europe's up-and-coming cities of culture to its fullest in a brief visit and then return to it to catch what I had missed at the end of my wonderful journey.
“If you visit Dublin, Ireland, you must understand a couple of easy things up front, and then I think you will find it to be one of the easiest and quite frankly, one of the neatest cities in Europe you can visit. Dublin, itself, has a reputation for being an incredibly friendly city. I think this is pretty accurate, to a degree — don't be naive, or foolish enough, rather, to think that this will apply to everyone you meet. If you think this, you may find yourself disappointed in an incredible city to visit. I took a bus that brought me into the heart of Dublin from the airport, which was really neat, but, a bit slow, in my opinion, if you are a traveler who is in a hurry or has a streak of impatience, Ireland, in general is probably not for you. After finding my hotel and getting settled, I was off to see what I could visit in my day of rest in Dublin before hopping on to Switzerland and the Alps. First of all, you can easily see Dublin's best sights on foot or by easy bus connections. I walked everywhere during my visits to Dublin and did not regret it. All of the wonderful sights in Dublin are fairly close together. I paid a visit to the main tourist office which is in the heart of the area of the city in which you will spend most of your sight-seeing time and located in a gorgeous cathedral. When I walked in and told the young lady who waltzed up to assist me that I would only be there for a day, before I could explain that I would be coming back at the end of my trip for three more days, she gave me a whiff of just how unfriendly an Irish person can be and then noted, if you will wait, someone else will assist you. So I stood there in a growing line for a minute or two, which seemed like quite a while, and then up popped a very, very cute and pleasant Irish girl who looked as if she had just come off of the stage of the RiverDance musical! Needless to say, I got the help I needed — and to boot a cheap, but as you will read later, very nice seat to see RiverDance in Dublin, of all places — very cool. From her, I also received not just great recommendations on what to see for the afternoon, but also a place to eat for the evening which would turn out to be my favorite place to eat at during my entire trip! After leaving the tourist office, I went by McDonald's and grabbed a bite to eat for lunch. I sat with a group of Irish construction workers who noted to me in our conversation that their country was having real trouble with American visitors. They noted it was not visitors from the U.S. such as myself that were causing them a lot of trouble, but American high school and college students who were coming to visit their country, often completely unsupervised who were getting drunk and causing disturbances in Irish pubs. One man noted, ‘Your American college students, even the girls, seem to think nothing of coming to a pub, claiming to be of Irish descent and then drinking our ale and whiskey until they cannot walk out without assistance. This is not why Irish people come to visit a pub. We come to visit to have a drink and enjoy the company of one another. Who enjoys waking up every morning with a terrible headache, lad? Not myself.’ Sadly, I kind of had to agree with him.
“After lunch, I made my way to one of my favorite visits on my entire trip. I went to Trinity College to see the famous Book of Kells. The Book of Kells, is, for those who do not know, an early bound and copied manuscript of the Bible that was written in English! The monks who wrote the book gave their very lives for it. It was their way of preserving the Bible for people such as ourselves to have centuries later in our own native language. It was also, truly, one of the earliest and best preserved works of Irish and in some ways, our very own culture. The works are incredibly beautiful, but very delicate. The monks who wrote them were working at a time in the history of Ireland when the island as well as most of the British Isles and the European continent, where being ravaged by barbarian hordes — in this area, these raiders were Norsemen — we call them today, simply, the Vikings. The books, as well as other monastic works of the time are on display in the museum. It is a small museum, but it has some of the most informative displays you will see anywhere, period. It is a moving collection, as you feel almost to a person to be transported back to that time when only the church and a handful of people, such as the monks who produced the Book of Kells, would keep the flickering flame of civilization alive during a period of time we note as the Dark Ages today, when illiteracy, disease, and extreme poverty ravaged Europe after the fall of the mighty Roman Empire. If you visit Dublin, you must see the Book of Kells, it is a great Christian experience. After being moved by the Book of Kells, I decided to appropriately take the time to visit one of the two grand cathedrals of Dublin — St. Patrick's. It is gorgeous and has a very, very super friendly staff of older ladies who upon my entrance welcomed me to stay for evensong, something we should do more often in our churches here, I believe, for it is quite beautiful. After first experiencing it in Dublin, I would experience it again in Edinburgh, Scotland, and it was also quite beautiful. In essence, evensong is an open choir performance for free that is open to anyone, and think about it — you are getting the pleasure of seeing, hearing, and experiencing this in a beautiful place of worship with, for the most part, locals. I have found, sadly, that despite their beauty and that they are free, few tourists ever come to see one of these remarkable services. It's also a good way to meet Christian friends from another wonderful place of culture in a venue of extreme grandeur. It was a remarkable experience.
“I made my way through to St. Stephen's Green for a rest. It is a remarkable park located in the heart of Dublin and a great place to relax. After relaxing, I walked back to my hotel, organized my things, and then prepared myself for the journey to Switzerland and the Alps. When I had all of my things together for the morrow, I made my way back down O'Connell Street, which is the main street that runs through the heart of Dublin and veered onto another street, beyond the river Liffey, which runs through the city, almost splitting it in two. From there, I walked to the pub that had been recommended by the cute girl in the tourist office and boy, was it good. It was a pub called, appropriately, the Bank. It had been the Bank of Belfast and was built in 1892. The building was completely preserved and restored to the last detail and then turned into one of the most special places to eat in Dublin City. The food is excellent, the waitresses love to chat with you about anything under the sun, and from the moment you walk in you feel as if you have walked onto the set of one of our favorite American television shows which takes place in a pub — Cheers! I enjoyed eating here. It was quite an experience — excellent food, enjoying soccer on television with the locals, and being able to relax in a truly unique place. After a wonderful dinner, I walked through the Temple Bar District and listened to the Irish music in the pubs. The Irish know how to have fun in a safe and responsible manner. What makes them special, however, is their willingness to have others participate in the fun with them, even in their very own, small local pubs. By this time, I was getting quite tired and made my way back to my hotel to video chat with my parents via my internet connection and rest up — it would be an exciting, and for all of you, a riveting journey into Switzerland and the Alps. Come with me next week as we visit the true high-altitude villages of Switzerland, take on four peaks in one day, and then after a day of rest climb the fourth highest and one of the most scenic and famous peaks in the beautiful Swiss Alps!”
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