Guide Invitation to Cat Spring

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Virtual Serfdom under the Hapsburgs has gripped the Czech lands for generations. In the mid-nineteenth century, letters arrive from Cat Spring, America, telling of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. Rozina and her family decide to leave Moravia and take their chances. After crossing Europe by foot, wagon, and train, they make the arduous sea voyage to their new home, braving unbelievably crowded conditions, hunger, storms, sickness, and death.

As the family begins to scratch out a meager living and adjust to the adopted homeland, Civil War looms. They don't speak English, oppose slavery and are against secession. Gauging in my mind that I had backed far enough into the roadway, I put the car in drive and discovered immediately that I was stuck.

How could that be? Opening the car door I could see that I had driven completely across the road and was stuck on the other side of the street across from the Strauss Haus. Did I mention the railroad tracks are located just across the street from the Strauss Haus? Was I far enough away from the railroad track not to impede an on-coming train? It was pitch black outside. Looking to my left, I saw lights coming my direction. Was it a train or was it a car coming down the road adjacent to the train track? I hurriedly jumped back in the car, held my mouth just right, breathed a prayer and put the pedal to the metal.

It was absolutely nothing but a waste of effort. I was going nowhere, unless of course the lights heading my direction were a train and the back of the car was too close to the tracks. In that event, my car could be scattered for blocks.

[HD] Cutest Cat ever STUCK in a car spring: CAN SHE GET OUT?

It was the fight or flight mode of my brain or lack thereof that was fully engaged. I thought momentarily about getting my luggage out of the car. I discounted that as being a bad idea. If not the luggage, how about my new computer? On the other hand, did I really want to go there? Once you start protectively taking out what you want to keep, where do you start and where do you stop? I cautioned myself to stay calm. How stupid could I have been?

You have to turn your neck and look out of the back glass. If the General is reading this, I can read her mind. I have it all wrong. It is easy for her to say. Fortunately, the on-coming lights were those of a vehicle and not an on-coming train. Otherwise, my car might have been knocked to Kalamazoo. Who knows, I might have been knocked with it. Fortunately, I was never actually even close to being in harms way, but in the midst of pitch-black darkness you can imagine any number of things. None of what I was thinking was good. I looked in the directory of my phone for contact information for Ryan Reichardt.

How fortuitous for me that I knew he was the self-proclaimed alternative to a wrecker service in Cat Spring. As it turned out, Ryan was in my directory, but I only had his email address. I could see his home from were I was standing. Yet truthfully, a phone call would be better than a cold call by simply knocking on his door. And yes, for the record, it was cold outside.

Instead he called his wife to call her brother. The next thing I knew, it was Becky to the rescue. She had called her brother, but gotten no answer. As it turns out, I am indebted to both Becky and her brother. It was subsequently the two of them who saved the day. When Ryan arrived, I told him he was my hero. No wonder people call Ryan when they are stuck.

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He knows what to do and he has the stuff with which to do it. For one thing, the possibility exists that he might occasionally remind me of it, but I doubt it. He is genuinely a nice guy. For another, it serves me well to remember his kindness. Life goes by quickly.

Invitation to Cat Spring

It is difficult to believe that today is the first work week of a New Year. Yet, there is something psychologically refreshing about the opportunity for a new start. Whether it is the beginning of a new year, a new semester at school, the beginning of a new job, a move to a new house, or simply the resolve to do life differently, the opportunity for a fresh start is always inviting.

Sadly, year after year, I found myself making the same resolutions over and over. You know the kind. It is also a resolution that resonates with my soul. When you stop to think about it, everything else is wood, hay, stubble. Our children, grandchildren and other significant people in our life are the only thing we have that is eternal. Every other dimension of our life will one day be no more. My youngest grandson just turned seven years of age.


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Do you have any idea how good that makes me feel? Jenna, his daughter, was baptized at their church during the Sunday morning worship service yesterday. An invitation was extended to the General and I along with Andrea and Kevin, my daughter and son-in-law, to be present. We were delighted to do so. In addition, Becky, my daughter-in-law, invited her extended family that live in the greater Cat Spring area to be present. Talk about a demonstration of family support. I was absolutely amazed! The solidarity and strength in numbers was absolutely powerful.

Hands down, it was probably the first time the First Baptist Church in Sealy was graced with so many Lutherans in their worship service at one time. You can imagine that some of the Sunday morning Baptist regulars who got out of Sunday School and walked into the sanctuary were in a state of disbelief that somebody was sitting in their pew. Whenever you add an additional forty people to any mid-size church experience, the influx of new people is noticeable. It is very noticeable. Most of the family members present sat on the right side of the church right being directional rather than a contrast to wrong.

I smiled when I later learned that some extended family members opted not to sit next to other extended family members because they were on the wrong side of the church. The General and I listened to the audio book about twenty years ago when we drove to Colorado on vacation. We literally laughed until we cried. It is a hilarious book. What an awesome demonstration of support and encouragement for my granddaughter. I have always known that my son, like his dad, married way above his pay group. It is indeed a small town with a big heart. Periodically over the past forty-six plus years the General aka — my wife and I have fantasized living in a turn of the century home.

How about a vintage home located near the Capitol in Austin? When we first moved to Austin in the mids, we drove through neighborhoods filled with the kind of charm we hoped one day to call our own. Some folks would call it a pipe dream. All of those neighborhoods are reserved for folks who have financial resources well beyond our ability. This past weekend when we stayed at the Strauss Haus in Cat Spring, we momentarily envisioned what it would be like to live in a turn of the century home filled with history. The house is absolutely magnificent.

Truthfully, I could move in and not change a thing. Everywhere you look the house is filled with treasures from long ago. Some time ago a friend told me about a visit she and her husband had with Charles and Mary Wright. He subsequently retired and moved to Alpine, Texas in While he was living in Alpine, my friend and her husband went to see them. My friend had spent a number of her childhood years living with her grandparents in Marfa.

While they were visiting the Wrights, Mr. Wright suggested they drive over to Marfa. She said just seeing the neighborhood and the house filled her with memories and joy. My friend was shocked when Mr. Wright insisted on stopping the car at the home where she had lived. He went to the door and knocked. He introduced himself and explained to the current owner that he had a friend with him who had spent her childhood years in that home. They were delighted to do so. My friend who shared the story with me said that the opportunity of walking through the house and meeting the current owners was something she valued.

She had the opportunity to share her story and that of her grandparents. In addition, the current owners talked about their lives and how much they enjoyed living in the home. In , the house is posh. Obviously the owners were leading citizens of the community. They operated the H. Strauss General Merchandise mercantile store located next door to their home.

Actually, the mercantile store was located at the site prior to the home being located next door. The bank failure following the Great Depression had hurt the community and slowly businesses either closed up or moved to Sealy. This left an empty space next to the store, and Dad was still keeping the store open until all hours to accommodate the late farmers. Dad decided to buy the land next door because it would be a lot handier to have our house next to the store instead of across the tracks.

So, he bought the lots and moved our house. This was no small job because our house was a two-storied building. They had to move the house along the entire length of the lumberyard and then lift it over the railroad tracks with the two ditches on either side of the tracks. Going over the tracks had to be timed just right between trains. I had come home for the weekend while the house sat alongside of the lumberyard. The next time I came home, the house was in place. The Strauss Haus is a home with an illustrative history.

The owners were obviously mainstay residents, business owners and leaders in their community. If walls could talk, what stories would they tell? I gleaned from Mrs. His body was being shipped up on the a. The funeral services would be held then next day.

Invitation To Cat Spring by Mary Frances Chupick Bennett, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

His body, too, was on display in the front room of his home. From the perspective of a small child, I found that a little frightening. Interestingly, my granddaughter shared some information related to a piece of furniture located in one of the upstairs bedrooms that I found interesting. Reportedly, the oak armoire or wardrobe came into possession of the Strauss family about the time the house was moved to its current location.

Because of its size, it was placed in a second floor bedroom before the upstairs windows were installed. Once in the house, its location was fixed. There is no way to move it down the staircase. Jenna, my granddaughter, said she should would have spent Friday night with us at the Strauss Haus, but that she was too frightened to sleep in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

The General and I toured the upstairs on Friday night and found it a very comfortable two bedroom, two-bathroom suite. Are you kidding me? The bullet hit him in the leg. According to story, the wooden wardrobe that the Strauss family acquired previously belonged to another family.