RESOLUTIONS AND AUNT RACHEL I've never been much for New Year's resolutions. There is only one I can actually recall keeping that stuck like the Gorilla glue they sell at the hardware store. Simply put, the resolution I've kept for years is NOT to let the unfolded clean laundry pile up on the couch. It was probably a decade ago that I noticed the Frantz family had way too many candid family photos with piles of unfolded assorted towels, sheets and blue jeans artfully posed in the background. Yep, massive amounts of T-shirts used to lounge for several days patiently waiting to have their wrinkly arms folded and tucked neatly into someone's dresser drawer. Who would have guessed that several years later a Mighty Mouse computer program like Photoshop could have cropped that stuff right out. It was this New Year's Day, with the Frantz family sitting around the kitchen table, that I learned our kids had engaged their brain synapses with regard to their own resolutions. "This year I resolve to purchase a six-pack of beer and pass the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty at the United Nations," mentioned our 20-year-old son, Ricky. As the lad will actually turn 21 in May, it is a cinch the beer purchase will be realized... the treaty, not so sure. I suspect Ricky's actual "resolution" more closely resembled a computer monitor's 1280 by 720 pixels. After a chat with our oldest, I assumed Katie and her girlfriends had all come up with the same resolution. "I resolve to have two guys ask me out on a date for Valentine's Day," our oldest daughter smiled, adding her girlfriends agreed it sounded more like a wish than a resolution. Later that afternoon, Katie and I worked at the kitchen counter with knives blazing, putting together the ingredients of a new chicken enchilada recipe. Besides shopping, cooking/baking is our favorite time to catch up on what has been going on in each others' lives. It was somewhere between chopping onions and filling a multitude of tortillas that Katie told me about one of her best friends, Rachel. Now before we get started, her friend's name is pronounced "Rochelle," but spelled "Rachel." For the life of me, I can't figure out how to get that little "tick" mark over the "e," so you will have to remember that. Anyway, Rachel spent New Year's Eve with her three young nieces. The youngest, Sofia, is a mere 7. Isa, probably short for Isabelle or Isabella, is 9, and the oldest, Zoe is 11. I absolutely just loved all their names, but most especially Sofia. Well, it appears that during all the fun that day with Auntie Rachel, someone brought up resolutions and goals for 2008. Katie believes it was Rachel's plan, which was probably solidified over a rousing game of Nintendo Wii. One of the young nieces mentioned that it was her goal to be famous in 2008. I understand the conversation soon moved to something near and dear to Rachel's heart. Let's just say the girl is heavily into volunteering. I wasn't surprised. Lots of Katie's friends volunteer. All the girls have their "pet" charities and draft each other to help out at their events. If Katie isn't at the Houston Food Bank sorting canned goods, she's at Elves and More putting together bikes, or attending a dog rescue gala. Rachel's favorite charity is Lone Star Boxer Rescue. She also is a dog handler for the SPCA telethon each year, to name a couple of her favorite charities. After Rachel had successfully steered the conversation, the plot thickened like a thick split pea soup with a ginormous ham bone. She challenged Sofia, Isa and Zoe to research some charities on their own, and then, to pick two. They were also asked to try to figure out a way to get involved. Rachel then indicated that she would be expecting a full report on their progress... preferably on a quarterly basis. Now here is my favorite part. Rachel told each girl that she would make a donation to their charity. All they had to do was their research and actually find some way to get involved. Sounded like a win-win situation to me. Everyone should have an aunt named Rachel... but pronounced, Rochelle. Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 12 years. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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