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The photographs of San Antonio and Dignowity Hill used within this blog are the property of Juan A Garcia East Light Images. All rights are reserved to the owner. Copy and use of these pictures is forbidden without written permission. Contact Juan at for permission.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of Year Ramblings

Some of End of Year Ramblings to Close Out 2008:

Had breakfast at Tommy Moore's place this morning. Tommy's is on the Eastside near downtown. Nice place, good food and excellent service. Because of our work schedules it's a little tough for us to visit Tommy's Cafe and Deli on a regular basis. But each time we go there Tommy and his staff always treat us like royalty. Tommy seems to remember who you are even if you haven't been in for awhile. Great customer service but even more important, you feel like friends every time you walk into Tommy's place. That's nice.

One whole year of living in this old house. One year of living in Dignowity Hill. Looking back, the blessings out number the negatives. Saving and restoring our old house has made us realize that community matters. Because of this old house we've made new friends, strengthen old friendships and hopefully brighten our little corner of the world.

Dignowity Hill Watch List for 2009: Ft. Sam Houston and the BRAC impact on our neighborhood, the newly ordained Arts and Entertainment District, city elections and new council person for our district....all of these have great potential or they could be a great bust!

Dignowity Hill Wish List for 2009: better lighting for our streets, repave our streets, a stronger sense of pride in our neighborhood, less trash in yards and streets, stronger code compliance, improve our bike lanes, slow down the traffic on Pine St, get the Hays St bridge project going!

One last thing, someone once wrote that "change is the law of life".....well, 2008 certainly brought many changes not always good ones but change none the less. I think that 2009 will bring even more change to Dignowity Hill and our surrounding neighborhoods. Change by itself is a given. The real challenge is to move from change to renewal and transformation.

Happy 2009!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hope on the Hill

Man, where has 2008 gone! Is it me or is time really accelerating! I have to say that 2008 has been a tough one for many of us. With the economy tanking out, folks losing their jobs, our leaders (read: politicians!) letting us's no wonder there seems to be a general gloominess about the future. But I feel hopeful. I know, I know....I may be going against the grain with this but I really do feel hopeful. We have a new president, the Bush era is finally ending and expectations are running high that things will get better....I have to believe that things will get better. But it won't be easy.....nothing worth fighting for making life better is ever easy. There an old Mexican "dicho" (saying) that goes like this: " La lucha es vida" (The struggle is life). How true is that! Its hard work making things better! Hope and struggle go hand in hand. It happens everyday and sometimes so close and in front of us that we can easily miss the good the comes from hard work, a little vision and hope.

Across the street from our house, on a little strip of property that belongs to the elementary school, is a little garden area. I see it everyday from my back porch. When we first moved into the neighborhood, the little plots of what once were apparently thriving gardens were neglected and overgrown with weeds and grass. Sometime last spring as the school year was winding down I approached the Principal with the idea of letting me work the gardens over the summer. She was gracious and agreed but because of my work schedule it was little tough to get to the gardens and work in them. So the summer past and it looked like the gardens were to be neglected for another year. Then one day shortly after the school year began my wife and I noticed someone working the gardens plots. It turns out that the Principal had contacted a local community volunteer group to work the gardens and was able to secure some grant funding to offset the cost of restoring the gardens. WOW! Since then the gardens have come back to life. It amazing what a little elbow grease, compost and manure can do to renew tired soil! So here we are, almost the end of December and winter veggies and flowers are growing and thriving in soil that was terribly neglected for who knows how long. The school kids love it and so do I!

So am I hopeful? Will 2009 be a good year? Yes....if this little bitty garden can make a comeback with a little bit of hard work, a little vision and hope....then think of what we can do together as neighbors and friends to transform our neighborhood!