Monday, February 23, 2009

Whatever Happened to Mr. Rogers?

Saturday morning, Emma Leigh got out of bed before me, as usual! She usually watches some television while I sleep a few more minutes and Bryan eats breakfast. The normal Saturday morning shows are bizarre to say the least. She likes one with robots and another with dinosaurs--I think. We don't have cable or satellite, so her choices are pretty limited.

On school days, she watches PBS Kids in the morning while we get ready for school. Her favorites are "Martha Speaks" and "Curious George," but she also really likes "Sid the Science Kid" and "Dragon Tales." I like these shows, and they all teach valuable lessons whether they are educational or moral. But I've always thought there was just something missing from them.

And then I saw my old friend Mr. Rogers! This past Saturday I focused my sleepy eyes on the television as I warmed my bagel, and there was Lady Aberline! She was standing at King Friday's castle! Emma Leigh squealed, "Look Mommy! It's a castle like I learned about at school!" I told her all about how I used to watch Mr. Rogers when I was a little girl.

After the trip to Make-Believe Mr. Rogers had a puppet of Mr. McFeely and soon he was singing, "I'll be back when the day is new, and I'll have more ideas for you; And you'll have things to talk about. I will too. Good-bye Neighbor." This reminded me of how Mr. Rogers taught me to use my imagination.

It made me a little sad that Emma Leigh isn't getting to watch shows like this. Even though she watches very educational shows, there's just something about Mr. Rogers and his willingness to share the truth with kids. I did a search for him on Wikipedia, and I discovered that he was somewhat of a controversial figure. He wasn't afraid to tackle big issues like war and divorce. That's what made him real to me!

I hope Em gets the chance to watch him again soon. Watching him made me proud to have learned so much from him. He truly was a Godly man!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ike Isn't Gone

This week, I attended the ACSI Conference in Galveston with many of the wonderful teachers from my school. I was excited about the opportunity I'd have to see how Galveston is rebuilding after Hurricane Ike. Today was the first day I was outside the Moody Gardens facilities during the daytime, and I was able to see the damage first-hand.

Although it's been nearly 5 months since Ike's landfall, Galveston is still recovering and rebuilding. Most of the shops and restaurants in the Strand district are still closed. Many, many homes, hotels, and condos still have blue tarps on their roofs. Plywood still covers the windows and holes left from the high winds that Ike brought. P.O.D.S and FEMA trailers sit in driveways and front yards of homes being completely gutted and remodeled.

The most eerie sight by far was the Flagship Hotel. A large hotel--and prominent Galveston landmark--that once stood supported by large concrete pillars out over the raging ocean waves, now sits separated from the mainland by demolished driveway entrance and exit ramps. A gaping hole in one end of the hotel reveals damaged rooms. Broken windows give crumpled curtains an escape to billow in the ocean breeze. A bed can be seen through one window, and the empty room in which it sits waits for guests that will never again arrive.

I took pictures but felt that I was invading the privacy and dignity of the people of Galveston. I want to post them to serve as a reminder of the work left to do in Galveston and of the beauty of a place that many seem to have forgotten. God has not forgotten, and I hope that I will not forget to pray for these people as they rebuild their homes, businesses, and lives.