If anyone told me on a Saturday afternoon in September, I would walk through Central Park wearing a mask, bouquet in hand, while a couple of friends held the train of my wedding gown and my parents made a FaceTime call from Texas to watch my wedding… … (Not to be cliche, but since this year has been anything but cliche, I think it is fitting.) …
In high school, teachers would assign us to write a letter to our future selves. I would daydream about my future husband. Of course we would meet in college. Where else do you meet husbands? As Senior Class Vice President, my primary duty would be to plan our ten-year reunion in 2019. To an 18-year-old, ten years into the future seemed like an eternity, but I couldn’t help but imagine my future life.
Heart-shaped candy boxes, heart-shaped balloons, heart-shaped cookies… February really is all about the heart. Every year, we use the fourteenth to celebrate those we love and express to them how much they mean to us. However, our heart obsession is not limited to the parties and confections of Valentine’s Day. February is also National Heart Month and serves to bring awareness to the importance of heart health and the millions across the nation who suffer with heart conditions.
The communal roots of talented artists find their homes in the twin cities. Growing up here, I enjoyed the music of my parents, Professor Samuel and Rosie Williamson-Collins, both singers of gospel music and pianists. After performing with the Dunbar High School Marching Band in 1968, I continued my music studies with the late Bob Ingram, former Texarkana Independent School District Supervisor of the Instrumental Music Program. I also enjoyed singing in the choir.
After announcing I was running for the Texarkana, Arkansas Board of Directors for Ward 6, a common response was, “Why would you want to do that?” The negative feedback was overwhelming: … “You are going to have to give up a lot of your time for no pay.” … “You are not going to be able to make everyone happy.” … “You are opening yourself to criticism.” … As I pondered these comments, I would not be honest if I did not say I second guessed my decision on more than one occasion. However, I am an overcomer and truly believe, despite such comments, serving others is a calling we all share.
With most couples, “to have and to hold” does not include a daily serving of queso and chips, delicious green salsa or shrimp rancheros. However, power couple and Amigo Juan owners, Maria and Sergio Rodriguez, have been cooking and serving up these popular menu items for the past 18 years, while also finding a way to keep their love alive. A power couple could be defined as two equal partners who complement each other and whose relationship is based on mutual respect and appreciation—more about collaboration and less about competition. In the words of an unknown source, “Be a boss.
Mark McWilliams lived in Texarkana for 18 years. He is owner of Arista Winery and Vineyards, founded in 2002 in Sonoma County, California. Arista has become one of California’s most sought after producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Arista’s wines are produced in small quantities and have deep, rich flavors that reflect the unique sites from which they come. … What is your favorite Texarkana memory? … Growing up in a place, you have tons of memories and it’s difficult to pick one.
Two in the Canoe … I LOVE “love!” To me, it is paramount to all other emotions. No matter what I am feeling, love either makes things better, or takes the sting away, making struggles a little easier to experience. I have been loved, and have loved, in so many ways: as a daughter, as a mother, as a friend, as a teammate, as a sister, as a cousin, as an aunt and as a niece. But the love I love most dearly is that I have experienced as a wife. Words cannot adequately express the joy with which the Lord has blessed me through my marriage.
Home is Where the Heart Is … We purchased our home just over three years ago. After searching, we found the perfect fit for our growing family in a home originally built in the 1950s. Only one family had lived in it previously. Their three children grew up within its walls and that comforting feeling of a family home was still present, even though it had been a while since it had been occupied. As word of our new home spread to our friends and family, they told us stories about all the fun times they had in our home with the original owners.