Tag Archives: Cardinal Newman

Thankful for those that came before…

Saturday Memories 😊


Inspiration today comes from Isaiah 40: 28-31

“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall into exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”


Earlier this week, my high school Cross Country coach, Harry Howell, passed from this life into the arms of Jesus. I had two coaches during my high school tenure that purposely shaped my life. Coach Howell was one of them. His goofy sense of humor and classic “one liners” provided for interesting times on the Cross Country course, but what I remember most about Coach was his heart. I know that our antics drove him crazy. But, he loved us anyway.  I don’t remember all my times or places from the years that I ran for him. But, I remember that he had our backs – that we could always count on him to show up for us – and that he valued us not just as athletes but as people. He never gave up on us. I don’t think that I properly valued these things at the time, but I still carry them with me thirty years later.

Coach Howell was famous for his “one liners”. He just kind of stuck them into the middle of conversations, and then turned them into  “learning moments” (AKA lectures). My favorite was Murphy’s Law. Coach was a bit of a worrier. My freshman and junior years, multiple members of our team were competing in the Florida State Swimming Championship meet the night before we competed in the Florida State Cross Country Championships. Coach loved us and knew that we loved both sports, so he supported us as we “doubled up” during the fall season. But, the notion that we were going to compete in two different places in two consecutive days caused him to fret a bit. One day at practice, we got the Murphy’s Law lecture. I remember the look on his face as he stood there with his hands on his hips and said, “Ladies – Murphy’s Law prevails. We have to be prepared that anything that can wrong will go wrong.”

Fortunately, we held Murphy’s Law at bay as we brought home hardware both in the pool and on the Cross Country course (team Cross Country State Titles (1989 and 1991) 🙂

Coach Howell is in the white shirt and blue shorts.

Another one of Coach Howell’s famous “one liners” was, “It’ll put hair on your chest”. Whenever things were hard, he reminded us girls of this interesting thought. We laughed, shook our heads, and muttered that coach might be a bit crazy. But, his well-timed comment broke the tension and taught us that the truly meaningful things in life were the hard things. We learned from Coach that we could do hard things together.


My life has taken a series of twists and turns since I was a member of Coach Howell’s Cross Country and Track teams. Murphy’s Law took on a new twist as I learned to manage a cattle feedyard and care for animals on the farm while Mother Nature’s wrath simultaneously “put hair on my chest”. The years have gone by, but memories of Coach Howell surface often as I spend time as a coach in my community. Ask any one of my athletes about Coach Anne, and I’m sure that you’ll hear a story or two about my own “one liners” 🙂

Today, our Cross Country team had it’s first meet of the 2021-2022 season. As we huddled up to prepare for a race, one of our runners shared the above scripture verse from Isaiah. It made me think of Coach Howell and how he inspired us to run strong and not grow weary. Of how, when we believe in ourselves and the Lord who created us, that we soar high on wings like eagles. I’m pretty sure that Coach Howell underestimated the impact that he had on his runners’ lives. I hope that he knew in his heart that we loved him – that we ran fast not just for our Lord and ourselves, but also for him.

I don’t know how many athletes Coach mentored over his lifetime, but I do know that his impact was far-reaching. Today, it still lands into the hearts of runners almost 2000 miles away from Cardinal Newman High School as his legacy of love and “one liners” continues on through me in Cozad, Nebraska. Please help me to lift up Coach Howell and his family in prayer and thanksgiving as we honor a great man.

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A Thankful Daughter and Mother…

This week my high school alma mater, Cardinal Newman, is hosting a special celebration for 50 years of high school athletics.  As part of the celebration, they are honoring the top athlete graduates of the school and have asked them to be present for the celebration.

Three generations…just before my wedding day…

In addition to being a “Cardinal Newman Mom”, my mother has been a dedicated teacher at the school for more than twenty years.  She has a passion and love of teaching that rivals my passion and love for raising cattle and making beef.  As both “faculty” and “mom” she has been intrinsically involved in the planning of this athletic celebration for almost a year now.

As a three sport high school state finalist, I am supposed to be in Florida attending the celebration.  The phone conversation where I had to tell my mom that I was not going to be able to attend was a painful one.  I know that she was terribly disappointed and, as a daughter, that I let her down.  She was my biggest athletic “fan”, and spent years getting up at 4:30 in the morning to drive me across town to swimming practice until I got my driver’s license.  She always supported me and never complained.  I do not remember her ever missing a swimming, cross country or track meet.  As my own children begin their athletic careers, I am beginning to have a better understanding and appreciation of the unselfish and constant support that I received from my mom.

So, why am I in Nebraska instead of in Florida this week?

I wean calves at the feed yard in October and November.  I mentioned a couple of posts ago that freshly weaned calves are “high maintenance”.  Offering them the supportive care that they need to remain healthy and thrive during this time of stress is just plain hard work.  I will go sixty days straight of being at the feed yard at just after 6:00am, and my days will be long.  I purchase, receive, exercise, vaccinate, and ensure that my calves receive the proper feed and care…

My baby went to 1st grade this year…

My youngest daughter blessed us with her presence four weeks early on October 24, 2004.  I am convinced that she came early because she was tired of receiving and caring for cattle…She is a smart kid and figured out that the only way that she was going to get my attention during “weaning time” at the feed yard was to be born.  To this day, she tells everyone (with a very solemn face) that she has to share her birthday with the calves at the feed yard.

I am truly thankful to my family for the sacrifices that they make in order for me to be the Boss Lady at a cattle feed yard.  I could not offer my calves such a high quality level of care without the support of my family.  I could not offer you, the consumer of my beef, a great tasting and humanely raised beef product without the support of my family.

In honor of my mom and my daughters, I would like to share a favorite recipe with you.  This was my favorite meal as a kid (it’s still one of my favorites), and my kids would tell you that it is one of their favorites as well.  I do not know where the recipe originated from, so I am going to name it after my mom…

Sally’s Amazing Hamburger Cassarole

1# ground beef

½ chopped onion

1 can tomato soup

1 cup water

1 bag uncooked noodles (I use whole wheat macaroni)

1 Bar Grated Cheddar Cheese

In a large electric frying pan, brown hamburger and onion. Drain grease if necessary. Turn down the heat to just hotter than simmer temperature and add tomato soup, water, and a little bit of pepper.  Mix together until the soup and water are blended with the burger and onion.  Add uncooked noodles, stir and cover the pan.  Cook until the noodles are partially done mixing periodically.  (The mixture should bubble but be careful not to scorch the bottom—you may need to add a little bit of additional water to ensure that the mixture does not go dry while cooking the noodles.) Place in a casserole dish and top with cheese (I put half the hamburger mix in the casserole and then put a layer of cheese in the middle before adding the rest).  Bake in a 325-350 degree oven (depending on your altitude) for 30-45 minutes.  If you choose to double the meat, then you need to double the amount of tomato soup and add extra water.

Thank you, Mom (Grandma), for a lifetime of love and support…


 

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