Living off the Land
Women in Business
Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, October 12, 1999
By Peggy McCracken
Granddaughter brings joy
and lots of energy
Jasmine came to town last week and taught me something about priorities.
My 3-year-old great-granddaughter, Jasmine Lee Bejarano, is a bundle
of energy and a non-stop talker who doesn't take a grunt for an answer.
For two days I ignored all the "must do" jobs visible on every hand and
gave her my undivided attention. And the world didn't stop turning.
We ate, played basketball and football in the back yard, shopped for
groceries, visited the monkeys at Maxey Park Zoo (and the bear, mountain
lions, kangaroo, llama and other exotic animals), climbed and slid at Kiddie
Park, ate, watched Veggie Tales, played the organ, sang, "read" all my
photo albums, picked veggies out of my garden and pomegranates from the
backyard tree, watered the grass, visited the newspaper office, federal
and state courthouses, ate, napped, operated the typewriters and computers,
ate, picked up mail, ate...you get the idea.
This was my first one-on-one experience with Jasmine, and I didn't quite
know what to expect. She has dozens of abuelos y abuelas, tios y tias,
primos y primas who adore her, and I suspect let her have her way at
every turn. So I told her mother, Amanda, to clue her in that this abuela
believes in spanking little girls who don't mind. Amanda well knows
the power of the switch, because I used it to get her attention many times.
We were not yet halfway home from Midland when I had to use the "s"
word because Jasmine had moved into the back seat and wouldn't buckle her
seatbelt. I pulled into the handy little rest stop to cut a switch and
help her buckle up. She was buckled up before the car stopped. "You don't
have to spank me, great-grandma," she said. "I have my seatbelt on." Repeatedly.
I didn't spank her, of course, but it didn't take much more than a frown
to get her in line after that. And we got along famously.
Reading the albums was a special treat, because I got to point out her
mother, from diaper days on; her uncle Jason, Pawpaw David when he was
a little guy, Grandma Helen and all the rest. She recognized herself with
her parents and her baby photos. But when we came to Amanda at age 3, Jasmine
insisted, "That's me!" Nothing I could say would convince her that she
did not attend her Pawpaw's wedding nor swim nude in my backyard. Truly,
she is the spitting image of her mother at that age, and anyone could have
made the same mistake.
That's the beauty of grandchildren. They erase lines between past and
present, infusing tired old minds and bodies with new energy just as springtime
renews all of Mother Nature's offspring. I saw myself in her sparkling
eyes, relived the wondrous childhood experiences, marveled that time changes
I am still me, the little girl who consumed books like a thirsty deer
consumes water; the rough-and-tumble tomboy who could catch a pass on the
tips of her fingers; the wannabe cowboy astride a loyal horse; the young
mother learning what real love is, the grandmother who just thought she
knew something about love.
Yes, my computer is still out of commission, the carpet hasn't been
vaccumed in three weeks, Bermuda grass is heading out in the backyard,
mending piles higher and higher beside the sewing machine, okra in the
garden grows too tough to cut, much less eat; dirt has turned my white
car brown. Not to mention five desks covered with work I may never get
Jasmine's in town!
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under
heaven." Eccl. 3:1
Editor's Note: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise reporter
and webmaster whose column appears monthly. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
President leave millions trapped in poverty
While most of the country enjoys unprecedented economic prosperity, there
are millions of Americans who live in distressed inner cities and rural
communities, still trapped in hopelessness and poverty. They have become
the America that the President has left behind.
While the President and liberal Democrats have argued over the last
few months against the Republican tax relief bill, saying that only wealthy
Americans would benefit, the President's recent veto keeps millions shut
out of America's current prosperity.
The proposed Republican tax relief plan would have designated 20 `renewal
communities,' receiving $2.2 billion in relief. These areas would have
provided tax and regulatory relief to existing businesses, the promise
of new investment, and created an environment for growth and opportunity.
It would have extended the Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work tax
credits and helped struggling Americans get jobs, support their families
and create independence and self-respect. It would have allowed poorer
Americans to save more, invest more time and money in their children and
their education, and made homeownership more of a reality.
These proposed provisions in the tax relief bill were parts of the `American
Community Renewal Act,' legislation that I first introduced with Reps.
Jim Talent, Floyd Flake and Danny Davis more than five years ago.
Since becoming president, Bill Clinton has talked a good game, but has
done nothing to repair distressed inner cities and rural communities. He
continues to discriminate against churches and faith-based organizations
by denying them the financial support to address social ills within their
communities. For the last seven years of his presidency, rural and inner
city schools continue to lag behind schools in wealthier suburbs, leaving
millions trapped in poverty with few opportunities to pursue the American
Since 1969, we've spent over $5 trillion on anti-poverty programs, and
I ask: Are we any closer to ending poverty today? Helping distressed inner
cities and rural communities will require meaningful reform and incentive-driven
ideas like the American Community Renewal Act, rather than the standard
liberal mantra of throwing more money at the problem.
President Clinton had an opportunity by signing the tax relief bill
and helping America's poorer communities now, yet he turned his back on
them and decided to put policies before principal once again. Next time,
I hope he will not make the same mistake.
J.C. WATTS, JR.
Chairman, House Republican Conference
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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