I met Karen and Wren Michels in 2010, when they opened Peas in the Pod restaurant in Malakoff. The food was great, and I went there often. But I soon discovered it was just a front for what they were really doing. They were turning around and taking every penny they made and then some to feed and minister to people in need, with a clothes closet, food pantry, church services and a recovery program. We were all sorry when they closed. I don’t know for sure why, but I’m guessing they just gave till they couldn’t give any more.
They just couldn’t stop giving, so they set their sights on ministering abroad. They set goals of raising enough money so that every other year they could go and meet small needs of the neediest in the most remote areas of Africa. Karen says they knew they could do big things with little money but trusted that God could use that little money to make a big difference in a few villagers’ lives. Karen would research the place to go next, and find the cheapest tickets possible. They would save what money they could, gratefully accept gifts from family, friends and church members, then Wren would go to the bank and make a loan for the rest of what it took.
Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced recently that Malakoff ISD was one of 61 school districts and district charters across the state received a distinction designation for postsecondary readiness as part of their 2018 state accountability rating.
Malakoff ISD aced the new state grading system, but that doesn’t mean they like it.
Malakoff ISD received an “A” in the 2018 state accountability ratings by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
“Malakoff ISD is pleased to have been assigned a grade of A by the TEA,” said MISD Superintendent Randy Perry, “but, this is still a flawed system. It is a complicated system. A-F is still largely based on one time a year standardized tests.”
I was heading out to visit Cheryl Kutscherousky at Country Oaks Golf Course near Cross Roads the other day, when I turned stopped and turned around. I’d seen on Facebook that my kinfolk, Lisa and Wesley Anding, were up to something new at their amazing Anding Acres which is right across the road from me. I figured this was a good time to check them out, as there was no way I would walk there. It seems like it would be close to my house, but they have created a world where it seems miles away. I entered their gate and felt like I was somewhere else. You take this really long winding road where you see nothing but woods, cross a bridge, and start feeling like you’ve gone a couple of miles, and for all I know maybe you have, the way that road winds, before you get to their big wedding barn. I’ve written about it before, and you can see about it online. But I was looking for something else, and I saw no sign of it.
Almost every Saturday morning Carl and I head out to Big Daddy’s Flea Market near Seven Points. For much of the year, my excuse is to find plants for the nursing home. Right now it is too hot to plant, and the plant sellers have gone home or have resorted to selling mostly shrubs or trees. But when the flowers tents are bulging, that is the first place we stop. Carl starts at the front and walks all around, while I spend time with the flowers. Those lantanas that are blooming so brightly on either side of the nursing home entrance started out as $5.00 hanging baskets from my favorite stand. Then I head over to Travis’s place, which is a little more than halfway up the first row, past the barbeque stand. Travis has been at this spot since the flea market opened. We have been buying stuff and just visiting Travis for such a long time we feel like he is part of our family. He had some serious medical problems a while back and we were very worried about him, but miraculously, the problems went away, and he seems good as new.