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About Deloris -- Almost all of my jobs have required me to put pen to paper. As a secretary in the Pentagon for 10 years I wrote much of the flag officers' , and their wives', social correspondence.

As a systems analyst for the Navy I wrote software requirements.

Upon retirement from the federal government I started Munden Expressions. Meaning I would help you express in a resume. We were in a recession and I was writing and writing and...writing.

Throughout the years I had acquired a talent for drinking wine. I could tell the difference between white and red and I figured white went with white food and red went with red food.

That knowledge got me a job working in a tasting room in Sonoma, California. The name of the winery was Viansa owned by the Sebastiani family. It dawned on me that I didn't have all the answers so I attended an 18-month winery course at Napa Community College. We planted grapes, pruned grapes, crushed grapes with our feet and made wine. At "work" I gave tours and conducted food and wine pairings. And they paid me. Go figure!

I also had the pleasure of working for Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma.

In 2001 Ron and I packed up our "stuff" and headed east to Marshall.

For some reason Ron wants me to WRITE so occasionally, to keep peace, I will share my thoughts. Hope you enjoy.

Editor's note:
Ms. Munden understates her qualifications. There is one excellent writer in the Munden family and it is not Ron Munden.

By Deloris Munden

Since severing our umbilical cord with Northern California 15 years ago Ron has found it imperative to return annually. I recognize that umbilical severing is a bit over the top but it isn't to Ron Munden. You may have heard of The Trail of Tears when the Federal Government gave a lot of great land to Indians to set up new tepees. I believe we also gave them free linens (blankets sprayed with smallpox). The Indians cried and many died on their journey to their new home.

Well as we drove from Northern California to Marshall Ron almost cried. As anyone knows who has lived in California and moved to Texas, you don't go back. Ron knew that.

This is not some hardwired thing because he has to return to his roots like Kunta Kinte in "Roots." Most of us know Ron’s parents courted on the beer barge on Caddo Lake, married in Marshall and Ron was conceived on East Burleson and born at Marshall General. So this “roots” excuse won't fly.

He is not like a swallow that has to return to Capistrano or salmon who literally kill themselves to return and die where they were born. Editor’s note...this spawning deal must be really great to die for!


By Deloris Munden

First I must apologize about the subject matter. No well-mannered, genteel, classy lady would write about bathrooms. You see what that says about me.

If we could zip back in time, I was raised in a one toilet house. It was referred to as the "outhouse" and for a very good was outside. There was no sink, no mirror, and the toilet paper was a Sears and Roebuck catalogue. There was no heat and no A/C which eliminated lingering in your bathroom. The furnishings consisted of a raised box-like pedestal with a round hole in the top. But my BFF had an outside bathroom with two holes in it. We were BFFs because we knew people who had bathrooms inside their home and our outside bathrooms was our sacred bond.

I wasn't envious of my friend's 2-hole bathroom as there were only 4 children in our family and my friend was one of eleven. It was simply a matter of necessity.

Our church had two outside bathrooms, one for men and one for women. My friend and I checked...they were exactly the same. Both had two holes. Looking back now I wonder if it was accepted protocol to chat with the lady sitting next to you. Wouldn't it have been rude to be in this little room sitting on a box and not exchange pleasantries?


By Deloris Munden

Several years ago a book entitled "Men are from Mars Women are from Venus" became a best seller. The book explained in detail how men and women were different, and I don't mean physically, I mean our mental hardwire is 180 degrees different.

As a young woman I was clueless. If a couple was in love they would do everything together and never never look at a person of the opposite sex! HA! I can still recall going to Ocean City, Maryland, which is a very popular east coast beach resort. "Very popular" means the beach was heavily populated with young females in bikinis. My husband would spend every waking moment scanning the area for breasts. Why? He had a wife. I certainly wasn't looking at men...I had one.

I'm now on husband two and numerous years have passed and the only things that have changed are different husband and different location.


By Deloris Munden

If anyone in Marshall knows of me, about me, etc., they know I'm a flower kind of girl. That statement is all inclusive...trees, shrubs, annuals, and periennals. I don't exactly dust the grass but I do give my flora and fauna a lot of attention.

A few years after our move to Marshall I was busy making the front yard presentable for guests and while cleaning the weeds from under boxwood surrounding my mailbox, a cottonmouth nailed me. Yep! And good ole Ron had told me one day it would happen.

Well, years have passed and I'm wiser and older. I don't stick my hand into unknown places and I've recognized I can't plant and maintain 10 acres.

So, I've narrowed my goals for planting new beds and turning our land into a botanical garden.

But that doesn't stop me from buying house or patio plants.

Last Friday I ran into Krogers for a couple of items and as I made the sharp right turn towards fruits and vegetables I saw a flower. Not just any flower. It was a striking royal blue ORCHID. I felt it, felt the soil, circled it, returned to it, contemplated my excuse to Ron for spending $30 on a plant that if any other color would cost less than $15.


Dateline -- December 25, 2013, Marshall, Texas

I awoke at my normal time -- 7:30ish with 4 sets of eyes peering at me with the unstated statement ---"we have to pee." So I donned my robe, let the dogs out and put on my teapot. The morning ritual consists of the standard poodle dashing out the front door. retrieving the newspaper and dropping it in the kitchen whereupon she and her 3 sister/cheerleaders who have been barking hysterically during this process receive a treat and breakfast.

Typically by now Mr. Munden has made his appearance and makes a great show of reading The Marshall News Messenger (which takes nanoseconds) followed by a few"tonight is the blank blank meeting" or the something shoot" and I'll be home about (fill in the blank).

This morning there was nothing. Dead silence. No meetings, no shoots, NOTHING. It was not going to be a Merry Christmas at the Munden home.

I consider myself to be like a motor home. I have my own generator, refrigerator, and bathroom...not literally. Actually I have needlework, an IPAD and eight sets of adoring eyes (yes I said eight) who think I am the leader of the pack. I am the leader of the pack and where I go and what I do is critical to the quality of life of the pack.


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