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Monday, April 28, 2014

Sam Houston, Santa Anna, and On Star!

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for a paper map

If Sam Houston and Santa Anna had relied on On Star for directions, the Battle of San Jacinto might never have taken place and I would now be writing with a Spanish accent.  I shall explain.

The twelve-year-old missed the class field trip to the San Jacinto Monument due to a schedule conflict.  In a very small school it is good to have common reference points so you don’t feel left out.  So I decided to take both children to the San Jacinto Monument during San Jacinto Days when the most decisive battle of the Texas Revolution is re-enacted.

We left home at 7a.m. for the three hour trip.  When we hit the outskirts of Houston at 9:30, I hit the On Star button for directions.  The festival did not start until 10 a.m. so we should be on time.  I followed the directions and ended up at the Lynchburg Ferry only the ferry was closed for the day.  I backtracked and consulted On Star again.

Maybe they couldn’t understand my Texas accent.  I carefully spelled S-A-N    J-A-C-I-N-T-O   M-O-N-U-M-E-N-T.  I was routed back onto the six lane freeway and given instructions to make a U- turn when it was safe to do so.  On a six lane freeway??? Fifteen miles later I turned around and ended back at the closed ferry…again.  This time I gave On Star the exact address and explained that the Lynchburg Ferry was closed.  I was routed back onto the freeway and six miles later I heard “You have arrived at your destination”.  In the middle of a six lane freeway??

We could see the 580 foot obelisk.  We just couldn’t get there.  I told the nine-year-old to keep the monument in sight.  I stopped at a convenience store for directions.  The proprietor was on the phone.  I think he had just switched to Vonage because he was reconnecting to his 384 relatives in India.  He didn’t know what the San Jacinto Monument was.  I was about to point to it out the window but the fog had obscured my landmark.

The twelve-year-old had brought up Google Map on the I-pad.  The blue line extended past the Lynchburg Ferry exit so we decided to follow that.  After ten miles, the pin on the Google Map had not moved and none of the streets matched what was on the map.  Time to make another stop at a convenience store.

“Do you have a map of Houston?”

“No. No map.    I Google, yes?”


Two things prevented me from taking him outside and pointing to the monument.  One, I think his brother was calling him from the other convenience store and two, he was standing behind bullet proof glass.  Time to leave.

With the monument now on our right instead of on our left, it was time to stop before the fog came in again or I arrived at the Gulf of Mexico.  I spotted the San Jacinto Mall.  Surely somebody there would know how to get to the San Jacinto Monument. The lady I asked gave me more convoluted directions than On Star.  I thanked her and contacted Dr. Hubby.

“I can’t get to the monument.  The ferry is closed.”

“What are you doing at the Galveston ferry?”

“I’m not at the Galveston ferry.”

“Where are you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well stop at a convenience store and get a map.”


It is now 10:30.  We have been driving in a semi-circle for an hour and thirty minutes.  I called On Star…again.

“Yes, Mrs. Worsham I see you are not at the monument yet.”

“Noooooo, I am not.  Now listen very carefully.  I will speak slowly.  I can SEE the monument. Don’t tell me to turn left; it is a one way street.  The Lynchburg Ferry is closed, no matter how many times you send me there. Ferry Not Working!  And there is no monument in the middle of a six lane freeway.  Get me to the battle before there is another one right here."
“I am sending an alternate to the alternate route to your vehicle now.  Have a nice day and thank you for using On Star.”

Like on Gilligan’s Island, our three hour tour took four and a half hours.  We made it to Parking lot D.  We boarded the shuttle bus that would take us to the monument.

“Don’t forget.  You are parked in ‘D’ as in Dog” said our driver.

Another D word immediately popped in my head. 

Fortunately Sam Houston and Santa Anna relied on real stars for directions and the Battle of San Jacinto took place on April 21, 1836.  Ironically the actual battle lasted only 18 minutes but finding the battlefield 178 years later with GPS, On Star, and Google Map, took us an hour and a half.

As we were driving home, the sounds of the day’s battle were still ringing in our ears.

“Remember the Alamo!”

                                  “Remember Goliad!”

                                                                                  “Remember the ferry is closed!”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Closet Quilter

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for Speed Quilting

When my creative writing hits a snag, I seek other creative endeavors for awhile. Usually I try to cook something but Dr. Hubby just replaced the batteries in the smoke alarms so that is not a good idea.

I am now quilting. This is supposed to be a subway tile type quilt. Mine looks more like an earth quake hit the tiles on the quilt. That is not entirely my fault.  I shall explain.

Our house has been "under construction" for the past 36 years.  The stairs have needed a railing for the past four years.  THE day I set up my quilting frame (four 2x2 boards balancing precariously on 4 folding chairs), battle the batting, fight the pieced quilt top, and wage war getting the bottom cover in place with everything pinned down, Dr. Hubby decides to hire a contractor to finish the stair case.  After moving the entire frame and having it fall from the folding chairs twice, the earthquake quilt  also looked like a tsunami was approaching the lower  half.  But I digress.

 My problem, one of many, is that I get a little bit of information, then run 90 miles an hour trying to get it done so I can see what it is going to look like.  This was my first pieced quilt.  Cutting cloth into rectangles then sewing them together seemed fairly easy.

To cut the rectangles, I got the self-healing cutting mat, the rotary cutters like the real quilting ladies said, but nobody told me to cut only two or three pieces at a time. I figured I would save time and cut about six or nine pieces at a time.

Unfortunately my cardboard template kept getting shaved a little bit by the rotary cutter every time I cut a chunk of material so that by the time I had cut 250 blocks... well let's just say my corners no longer had right angles.

I am really a closet quilter meaning my quilts should remain in the closet unless a sever blizzard is in the forecast.

I learned a long time ago to use a printed fabric for the bottom of my quilts to hide my stitches. This time I used fabric covered in stars. The neat thing is when the eight-year-old was playing under my makeshift quilting frame he said "Hey, Mama when I'm sleeping at night, now I'll be sleeping under the stars."

So my quilt will never be entered in a quilting show with members of the Quilters Guild and it will never win a blue ribbon, but maybe one day a grown man will say to his little boy "Want to sleep under the stars?"

Friday, April 4, 2014


Touring with my Blog...virtually, that is!
By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for Unlimited Writing Engagements

I was invited by Libby Hall to join “My Writing Process Blog Tour and I am so glad.  I think because it affirms that at least one person reads my blog besides my mother.

As part of the invitation, I have to answer these four questions.

# 1  What am I working on?  Right now, I’m trying to figure out this blog tour rolling thing.  I have been working on laundry for the past three days and at some point I have to grocery shop and remember to pick up my children.  Writing wise, Wanda Argersinger and I have a book coming out as soon as we settle on the cover.  We have the title “Kin We Are Not Related To” but the cover is the hold up.

# 2  How does my work differ from others of its genre?  Well, I am the Medicare Mom.  My husband and I adopted six children, then, in our early sixties, we adopted our one day old grandson and our three year old granddaughter.  It’s senior parenting with us being the seniors and the parents.  There are two million plus grandparents raising their grandchildren.  Raising children has many universal topics and challenges.  Rearing children as seniors has its own humorous twists and turns.

# 3  Why do I write what I do?  Instead of keeping a baby book on the children, I started writing essays about them and what it is like to be a parented by a senior.  Writing humor for me was cheaper than therapy, didn’t leave a hangover, and didn’t require a prescription.   It will be their inheritance  .  They can submit them to  “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”, “As the World Flops”, or give them to their therapists.

# 4  How does my writing process work?  I wake up.  Stuff happens.  I write it down.  If I am stuck for a topic, I just try to cook something.  That is always good for a couple of blogs including but not limited to: a trip to the ER, smoke alarm tests, and/or supper at McDonald’s. The book “Kin We Are Not Related To” evolved through a series of e-mails between Wanda Argersinger and myself.  With us feeding off each other’s humor style, and topics, MayBelle, Mable, Aunt Clovis and a whole family of relatives evolved and took on a life of their own.  The book will be out soon.  If you recognize any of your relatives in the book, then you are probably kin to MayBelle and Mable.


Molly Dugger Brennan is joining the tour.  Molly is a Southern humorist who lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her patient husband and four monster dogs.  She is devoted to the Holy Trinity of Southern life:  a porch, a pie, and a pack of dogs.  Read her essays at
I am supposed to have two more but most of my humor blogger friends are headed for the Erma Bombeck Writer's Conference.  It's that or else I am alone out there in cyber space somewhere.

Anyway, next week  "The Dueling Phone Carriers" or "Hold Please...and I Still Am"