And here's a family portrait before they head outward to further adventures...a happy ending!
Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have made it alone without lots of helping hands. I think it gives the name of San Antonio's famous "River Walk" a whole new meaning! This is a great story and wanted to share it with you.
At last, all present and accounted for: "We're all together again. We're here! We're here!"
All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking.
As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping in the river and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after their adventurous ride.
At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River, site of the famed "River Walk." The onlooking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them in the container.. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River. The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight, all the way.
As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it down it by its momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful leap. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was trying to help her babies.)
One by one the babies continued to jump. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy downtown sidewalk traffic came to a standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother.
The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn't stand to watch this risky effort nine more times! He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling, near its mother, was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter, ready to help.
Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Next morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off. Office work came to a standstill as everyone gathered to watch.
This is a true duck story from San Antonio, Texas. Something really cute happened in downtown San Antonio recently. Michael R. is an accounting clerk at Frost Bank and works there in a second story office. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and then all of her ten ducklings hatched.
Here is a picture of my bobcat that I photographed while on the Arrowhead (tripod) Stand back on January 17, 2009 while deer hunting. It was published today in The Vicksburg Post. Read the story here on how I got a snapshot of this beautiful bobcat at the famous Christmas Place Plantation and Hunting Club in the Mississippi Delta, northeast of Vicksburg.
Taft Nesmith bagged this turkey, his first, while hunting with his father Scott Nesmith in Claiborne County in March. The turkey weighed 18 pounds and had a 10 1/2-inch beard with 1-inch spurs. Taft is the 11-years-of son of Scott and Lisa Nesmith.
Brian Davis, from Vancleave, caught this largemouth bass while fishing in a private pond in northeastern Warren County. Davis, the son of Brian and Leigh Davis, was visiting his grandparents James and Sherry Henry of Vicksburg.
This evening at 6:00 we will be kicking off our 50th class reunion at The Ware House which is located in the middle of historic downtown Vicksburg (catty-cornered from The Valley at 1412 Washington Street). It comprises of five buildings built in the mid 1800's and each one has been meticulously refurbished. There are two bars on the premises...The Lounge and The Sports Bar & Grill.
Tomorrow our picnic will start at 11:00 at the Knight of Columbus Home. At 5:30 we will have Mass at St. Michael's Catholic Church and I have been chosen to be one of the gift bearers. After Mass we will all assemble in the Parish Hall for cocktails and the alumni banquet will start at 7:30. The class of 2009 and our class (1959) will be recognized. The guest speaker will be our own class member, Dr. Edward "Ed" Habert of Kirkwood, MO and of Destin, FL. We have approximately 27 classmates coming with their spouses and extended family members. There were 20 girls from Saint Francis Xavier Academy and 19 boys from St. Aloysius...three from each class are deceased. We are all looking forward to a great time and making more wonderful memories.
I'm so proud of my Godchild who has just completed his dissertation, Stakeholder in the Family Firm, and will graduate from Mississippi State University with a Doctorate of Philosophy in strategic management. His research focused on entrepreneurship and family businesses. He holds an assistant professor faculty position at the W. Frank Baron School of Business at Wichita State University in Kansas, where he teaches strategic management. He is a 1996 graduate of St. Aloysius High School here in Vicksburg and is the son of Charles and Jeanette Ring. Jeanette has been my best friend since back in the early seventies and we have remained the closest of friends through the years. Jeanette and her husband have raised three fine young men. Congratulation John Kirk!
This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which needed to be amputated. He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.
His first owner also did not think that he could survive. Therefore, he was thinking of 'putting him to sleep'. By this time, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him. She was determined to teach and train this dog to walk by himself. Therefore she named him 'Faith'.
In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfing board to let him feel the movements. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him to stand up and jump around. Even the other dog at home also helped to encourage him to walk. Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his 2 hind legs and jumped to move forward. After further training in the snow, he can now walk like a human being.
Faith loves to walk around now. No matter where he goes, he just attracts all the people around him. He is now becoming famous on the international scene. He has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows. There is even one book entitled 'With a little faith' being published about him. He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.
His present owner Jude Stringfellow has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul'.
In life there are always undesirable things. Perhaps one will feel better if one changes the point of view from another direction. I hope this message will bring fresh new ways of thinking to everyone and that everyone can appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day that follows. Faith is the continual demonstration of the Strength of Life.
I received an email last week from a lady deer hunter by the name of Niki. She's a 60's "young" deer hunting Gramma who loves it, just like I do! She wrote to let me know that she linked my blog site to her lenses on Squidoo, and invited me to check them out and if I haven't heard of Squidoo yet (or even if I have)...wanted me to link up with her lenses. (a "lens" she said, is just their term for a short web page. The idea is that you focus (as in focusing a lens) on one issue, or one subject. The idea is to publish as many "lenses" as you wish on any subject or subjects....and you can gather into groups to further focus your lenses, i.e., women who hunt).
She is a member of the Women Hunters Club too and Sue Burch (Founder) had given her permission to write an article on Squidoo about the club, and offers another place where we could exchange links. She just started a group on Squidoo, called "Women Who Hunt & Fish." If I decided to join Squidoo, she encouraged me to join her group. She commented that she does not usually write to people she don't know, but in this day of "social networking," she's learning that it's all about contacts and links. I also email her back and encouraged her to join our Outdoor Bloggers Summit whereby she will meet like-minded bloggers and give her more support. Here are some of her lenses on Squidoo.
Will be celebrating our 50th Class Reunion this coming Friday and Saturday. It will be great to see my classmates again. We will have our "Ice Breaker" at The Ware House downtown Vicksburg where we have rented a suite. We all look forward to our milestone celebration. I have put together a memory booklet for all of us and is approximately 53 pages and is dedicated to our deceased. I also started a blog last year and named it, of course, Class of 1959 and have posted their autobiographies and pictures of basketball, football, etc., a gift to my classmates. Walter P. Little took me to my Senior prom and he went on to be a Doctor in Dermatopathology and was also a clinical professor of pathology and dermatology in Alabama. He is retired now and he and his wife live Mountian Brook, AL.
Members of the 1959 graduating classes of St. Francis Xavier Academy and St. Aloysius High School will participate in a reunion and will be recognized at the Catholic Schools' annual alumni banquet Saturday. Members of the girl's graduating class were Marie Braun, Kay Hess, Ina Lott, Marian Love, Myrtle Loviza, Vera Marshall, Theresa Martin, Margaret McCormack (D), Pat McNamara (D), Sue McNamaara, Jackie Melsheimer, Katherine Meyer, Florence Murphy, Billie Price, Antionette Sheehan, Margaret Sheehan, Bonnie Smith, Lynn Stegall (D), Rosalye Wilkerson and Marlene Wilson. Those from the boy's graduating class were William "Bill" Adams, John "Jack" Baker, Paul Booth, Franklin "Eddie" Crevitt (D), Ivan Cunningham, Phillip L. Doiron, George Evans, Wayne M. Evans, Eddie R. Habert, John A. Hennessey, Joseph "Joe" Lindigrin (D), Walter P. Little, Louis "Sonny" Logue, Jackie Mackey (D), Larry Miller, Mickey Sullivan, III, Gordon Sutton, Roy V. Turcotte, Jr. and Robert "Bob" Witty. All alumni are welcome to attend the Mass at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Michael Catholic Church. A social will begin at 6:30 in the church's parish hall, followed by a banquet at 7:30 featuring Dr. Edward Habert, speaker. Eddie is retired now from St. Anthony's Medical Center in St. Louis, MO, as a Radiologist. He and his wife live in Kirkwood, MO and Destin, FL.
Keaton Jones, left, and Cameron Cooksey, right, got lucky on the same day in a lake south of Vicksburg with a pair of nice large mouths. Jones' bass weighed six pounds, 10 ounces and Cooksey's bass weighed six pounds. Congrats to Keaton and Cameron on their nice fish!
Anyone who has pets will really like this. You'll like it even if you don't and you may even decide you need one!
Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named 'Lucky.' Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.
Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's other favorite toys Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.
It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease....in fact; she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him! The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death. The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable. Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed. When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love.
Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky...he still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.
Remember....live every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget....the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care for us. If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours!