Monthly Archives: July 2016

Tragedy in the Sky – The Broken Heart of Texas

As a recent Heart of Texas hot air balloon rider, you can imagine the shock and devastation that went through my mind upon hearing that this same balloon with 16 passengers tragically lost their lives(Channel 2 News Reporting).

I knew the pilot as Skip. He was warm, friendly and one could immediately tell was also very knowledgeable in his work. He gave 14 passengers, which included my friends and I, a great adventure and a thrill of a lifetime ride! (Read about it here.)

As a writer and author you may know I happen to be skittish of heights. I knew the risk involved, but I was determined to harness my fears. However, way before our flight, there were some warning signs that gave us pause. I am sharing them now for awareness.

When we arrived to our destination, we all boarded two vehicles to take us to the open field. The girls and I got to ride in Skip’s truck with his assistant. The rest climbed into a van behind us. It was about a 30 minute ride and his assistant got off course and they had to rely on their GPS to finally get us there. When I asked Skip how many times he had flown over the location where we were headed, he said it would be his first time. When I asked him why was that, he said he was bored and wanted someplace new. I have to wonder, isn’t “new’ adding more risk?

I knew Skip wanted to get us up in plenty of time before the sun set. After we arrived, we watched Skip and his crew get into action, backing up the trailer and pulling all the equipment and ropes out to set up the balloon. We couldn’t help but look up each time we heard jets zooming by and wondered about the safety in what we were going to do. As they were filling the balloon, a man walked up to us asking who the person in charge was. We all pointed to Skip. That’s when we learned we did not have permission to fly over this field. Another 15 minutes or so went by with Skip and the other gentlemen arguing over sufficient insurance coverage, regulations, policies, and the buildings in the area before Skip made the call to shut it down and board up.

We then headed for San Marcos Airfield. Once we arrived, Skip and his crew went into action again, rushing to get that balloon up before dark. When ready, we were instructed to hop in, howbeit somewhat clumsily, unable to lower a leg from the ledge of the basket down into our tight space. But once up, it became obvious that Skip was in his element. Our nerves dissipated and the view was absolutely breath taking!

We stayed up about 40 minutes, watching the sun set and taking plenty of pictures. As we started declining, Skip asked us all to be on the lookout for power lines! When we came close to a post he radioed one of his teammates asking if it was a power line. Thank goodness, it wasn’t.

In retrospect, I realize we may have bitten off more than we bargained for and the tide of events could have easily turned against us. Perhaps if one sees or feels unnerved before doing anything, one should pay attention to their God given common sense.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all the family members affected in this recent tragedy.

A sadden heart,    

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

 

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Alfred “Skip” Nichols, may he RIP.

 

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At 3000 ft – my hot air balloon ride on January 2016

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The truth behind Mary A. Pérez’s autobiography

My interview by the talented and fabulous Ella Ritchie of Stellar Communications Houston.

Stellar Communications Houston

You may know Mary A. Pérez as the author of Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace, her incredible true story of survival and forgiveness against all odds.

blog image 4 The author chatting with a new fan at a Kroger book signing

If you don’t, then let us fill in you in. Somewhere between stealing cold cuts from stray cats and watching a stranger leave her mother’s bed after breaking in through their bedroom window, Mary figured out that her family was dirt poor. Worse than her empty stomach, she was hungry for acceptance and love in the shadows of her mother’s choices and on through an abusive marriage.

Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace is Mary’s promise of hope for anyone who was abandoned as a child, for anyone who woke up hungry and went to bed hungrier every day, and for every wife who has…

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Celebrating the Birthday Boy

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Happy Birthday to my hubby, confidant and best friend! You still light up my life, the wind beneath my wings.

 

 

 

 

 

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Secret of Life

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Read this wonderful story today:

On the first day of classes, our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me. She said, “Hi handsome, my name is Rose, and I am eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze. We became instant friends. Everyday for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.

At the end of the year, we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us.

After the introduction, she stepped up to the podium, cleared her throat and began . . .

“We don’t stop playing because we’re old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!”

“There’s a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to her. She taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

These words have been passed along in loving memory of Rose:

“Remember growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional. We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

In youth we learn; in age we understand. ~ Source Unknown

 

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July 16, 2016 · 10:48 AM

Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead!

You ever been excited about something and somebody who you love and admire shoot it down? Let me tell you, it stings. Bites. Deflates you, doesn’t it? Yeah, but don’t allow anyone to steal your dream!

They may have meant well, but they just couldn’t see what you envisioned. They didn’t grasp your concept or idea. Then what? Your resolve wavers, your hard work and steadfastness quakes.

So what do you do? Do you throw in the towel and just give up? No, for crying out loud! Perseverance is a virtue. Where’s your stick-to-it-iveness? You have it. Haven’t you burned the midnight oil long enough to come this far? Okay, so maybe they didn’t get it. Time to regroup; dig a little deeper. Re-examine your goal and ask yourself what is it that you feel? What is the message that you’re trying to convey?

I guess with me, I tend to say a prayer, asking God to continue to guide me to express the message closest to my heart to share with others. Listen, I’ve come too far to give up! And so have you! Sure, it may be a little scary, but so what? Acronym of FEAR: Face Everything and  Run, or Face Everything and Rise. I chose the latter.

I know this is not always the case. At times, it does good to cry and let out emotions. Yes, I too, have meltdowns on occasion. But if you can stick to your goal, doing all you know to do with a determination second to none, when oppositions come (and they usually will), you won’t easily break. Time to reflect, is all. Plant where you’re rooted. Bend like a palm tree, change directions if you must. If you feel you are to do a thing, whether people get you or not, stay the course. Don’t let others defeat you by their words or the looks on their faces! What am I saying? Face your giant! (But don’t forget your slingshot.)

BE encouraged.

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

How determined are you?

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© M.A. Pérez, 2016, All Rights Reserved

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

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So God Made A Soldier

Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid. ~ General Douglas A. MacArthur, 1962

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July 2, 2016 · 6:47 AM