The year 2021 started off as no other in our memories. Still reeling from the effects of the Corona pandemic, astonished and saddened by the breach at our Nation’s Capitol, we were left wondering what possibly could happen next. Almost overnight the world's attention was focused on the Rio Grande Valley when our nation's president announced he would visit Alamo to dedicate a section of "The Wall" that had been completed or repaired during his term.
This would be his second visit to the Valley during his four-year term. Many were overjoyed and some were fearful that there could possibly be another confrontation between opposing factions. That certainly was not the case.
Read more: Making more history in the Valley
It is a NEW YEAR! And let us hope that 2021 will bring an end to the pandemic and the problems we all encountered in 2020. Hopefully by mid-year, we all will have been vaccinated and we will be on the road to our... ‘new normal’ or whatever is in store for us in our future.
Read more: Remembering the Positives
Oops! Christmas time and family celebrations have now come and gone. I hope that you practiced social distancing and followed the suggestions of our CDC and government mandates and stayed home. Yes, it was difficult not to visit with family and loved ones. But if we are to conquer our battle in this pandemic, we must do all possible to fight it.
Read more: Happy New Year
Although there have been some adjustments made due to the pandemic, the Rio Grande Valley has not forgotten Christmas and the reason for the celebration. Many churches have been unable to celebrate with their usual posadas held on church properties. Instead, the churches are encouraging people to celebrate within their own families and neighborhoods. For those of you new to South Texas, a posada is the enactment of Mary and Joseph seeking a place for the Christ child to be born. Special songs requesting lodging are sung as the group moves from house to house. The most beautiful posada that I have ever witnessed was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Read more: Christmas traditions
The Brownsville Historical Museum has a wonderful display to delight young and old and all those in between. Not only is this an outstanding museum, but each year for the Christmas Season they have a special exhibit of a miniature village. Filling stations, houses, stores and even a Starbucks will all be displayed in miniature.
Read more: Remarkable exhibits at BHM
Today is a beautiful day. Even if it is raining, it is still a beautiful day - the farmers need the rain, our yards need the rain. And soon the rain will stop, the bright, warming sun will shine down upon us and we can all go outside and enjoy our beautiful world. If it is a foggy day, that too will go away by mid-morning and the sun will shine again. Or perhaps the day will be one of those gorgeous November days from the very beginning.
Read more: Making safer choices
Hats off to McAllen! - one of the most progressive cities in the Rio Grande Valley. They seem to always have something big and wonderful planned for us to enjoy...from the huge Christmas Parade to the upcoming Fiesta de Palmas, formerly called Palm Fest. Not only is McAllen progressive, but they are also the largest city in Hidalgo County and according to the last census, McAllen is the 22nd most populous city in Texas.
Read more: McAllen forging ahead
Fall is in the air! Yes, it is that time of year. The mornings are beautiful, the air is crisp and dry....and cool. It's time to take a walk. After all these months of “Shelter in Place,” a morning walk sounds quite refreshing. Your walk may be just around the neighborhood or perhaps you would like to journey a little further afield. No matter what part of our beautiful Rio Grande Valley you may call home, there are many wonderful places to explore. So, put on your walking shoes and let's go.
Read more: On the Road With Jo
Talk about being prepared! How about being over prepared? During the past ten days, two speeches have been written, rehearsed and ready to present. But there is nowhere open for the presentation. Two speeches, but nowhere to speak. It's like ‘All dressed up and nowhere to go.’ But writing is thought provoking so the time in preparing the speeches was valuable as a learning experience.
Read more: The Four Way Speech
Good morning to all of you who are still here in the Rio Grande Valley. And many of us are here year-round. Winter Texan season may have ended but many of us have transplanted ourselves into the semi tropical region of Texas, the Rio Grande Valley. We live here year-round and have become rooted in this tropical paradise. Even so, we like a little vacation time, too. So, let' s look at what is available for us during this upcoming summer season.
Dates are available now for the Eagle Pass Casino Tour. Departures are not as frequent during the summer season but at least two departures per month are available each month. You might call these tours a "get away tour" so if your time is limited, these tours might be for you. Just remember the machines are not very often in favor of the player.
Read more: Summer tours coming up
It's been a pleasure for me to have visited with so many of you this Winter Texan Season. Your sense of humor, your kindness, your contributions to our communities has made me appreciate so much more all that you do for us.
And so, now the time has come when you are thinking of returning to your summer home up north. You will be with your family, your children and your grandchildren and oh, what a busy summer it will be. We will miss you. We hope you have a blessed summer and that you come back to be with us next year.
Read more: Summer, tours and change
How we express ourselves in different languages has always been of interest to me. The way we say things tells us a lot about a person’s cultural background. Unfortunately, I know only one language other than English and that is Spanish. But what an expressive language Spanish is!
Not long ago, I walked into my office and the bookkeeper said in Spanish..."Ya viene el calzon sin gente". Needless to say, I was a little taken aback for the saying that I had always heard was "gente sin calzones". The second saying has a double meaning. You really need to watch for those double meanings when speaking Spanish. My reaction was, of course - " What did you say?"
Read more: On the Road with Jo - Watch out for double meanings