All through the Christmas holiday season Mom kept saying, “What day is this, I’m so confused!” Well this morning (Friday, December 28th) I’m beginning to understand her dilemma. Usually writing a column is my early Tuesday morning chore and then I rise early Wednesday to get papers into the stores. We had the same schedule last week and sure enough Saturday morning my eyes popped open at 4:30, but I persuaded them to close for another two hours of sleep. I’m sure I’ll have the same problem in the morning.
After the extra sleep I got up, decorated the house (just a little), then went grocery shopping. In Larson’s I had a very disturbing conversation with John Crawford, owner of Sylva Rena Grocery. His business had been closed due to it’s proximity to the church.
John says, “I did not want beer in this county, voted against it, and certainly did not want to sell it, however with my business I’m forced to sell if it’s legal. I can make it without the beer sales revenue, but if I don’t sell it many of my customers will go elsewhere to buy their fishing tackle, bait, and food.”
He’s right, and as much as I’m against beer, I think something needs to be done to keep this fine fellow in business and as a citizen of our county. If he goes we’re going to lose some great barbecue and other delicious foods, some wonderful fellowship, and two fine people who are a tremendous asset to our area.
I finally did get to paper deliver on Wednesday morning and it was so sad to drive into a completely bare parking lot at Sylva Rena Grocery. Usually I have to thread my way through all the vehicles and park in the front door to leave their papers. Then I wave at all my fellows there (sometimes even a gal or two), often hear a few great stories, get some wonderful hugs, pick up my sausage and biscuit and Diet Coke.
Ed and I use to eat breakfast there each Wednesday morning, but I don’t have time—wish I did. Dining here for breakfast, lunch or supper is super—I’ve done them all. I understand the store has reopened and I hope it can continue operation.
Celeste and Jim were scheduled to arrive on Saturday—didn’t have an exact time. After I shopped I decided to run over to Jimmie’s and Bill’s to drop off food for Sunday Lunch and Christmas Day’s feast. Talked to Jimmie and told her to just stay where she was, because I was coming and would just dump the groceries and return home immediately. Got there and found Bill.
He says, “ I don’t think she has been here since breakfast.” Well I insisted that I’d just talked to her thirty minutes earlier. We put up the food, enjoyed an hour of visiting, and I knew I had to get back home. Walked in the door and my phone was ringing. It was Jimmie and she says, “Where have you been?” “At your house, visiting with Bill, where are you?” “I’m at Mom’s waiting on you!” came back at me. I explained that I’d told her to just stay where she was and I’d be right there, thinking she was at home. I understood her to say she was on her way up to Mom’s to fix her hair and feed her lunch, when the truth was she was at Mom’s doing these chores. Oh well, it all worked out. Seems we were all confused during the holidays.
The kids were late getting in Saturday night—they had to drive all the way in that horrible rain and wind. I’d cooked for them, but put it in the fridge, when they called to tell me they’d be late and would stop for a bite on the way.
After church Sunday morning we all went to Mom’s for lunch, which Jimmie, Bo and Rance had cooked. Jim got his fried okra.
Then on Monday we rode around the Valley and then it was back to Mom’s for the game meal (deer and quail, cooked in a dozen different ways, along with veggies, biscuits and tomato gravy). Jim wanted a vinegar roll, which I made, and Celeste says she’s a peach cobbler fan, so I made that also. Jim made us his asparagus bundles and they were great—he usually introduces us to a new dish each time he’s home.
Usually we spend Christmas Eve at Bill’s and Jimmie’s, but this year we were to lazy to pack so we just went back to the house and got up early to get to the Cole home for Christmas breakfast and presents. Jimmie and Bill had cooked tons of sausage, ham, bacon, red eye and sawmill gravies, along with hash rounds. I made the biscuits, fried and scrambled the eggs. We finally ate about 9:30 and several others came in after this. Bill kept asking, “Are we all getting old? Why I can remember that if food was not ready by six, we were running late. Maybe we’d better call and see if everyone’s O.K.” Even Brother Terry, of Brandon, who was scheduled to arrive by nine was late, and that’s not like him.
We all enjoyed our gifts. I got the cutest set of log bears, made by a blind artist in Ruidoso, NM. I collect bears, and for many years Celeste said she had thought these would be a great gift, however it’s a bit hard to transport them on an airplane.
This year they drove, so I got the bears. They came in Celeste new car, which her students have dubbed the transformer. It’s a VW Eos convertible. This car uses the old Ford Edsel technology. In about 30 seconds it goes from hardtop to convertible. Things flip out, pop up, fold back—it just moves all over—then they flip down, pop in and fold over and like magic you have a convertible. It reverses to a hardtop just as simply. I love it, want one, but don’t think it would be practical for delivering papers on Wednesdays or for hauling all my junk. Even with the trunk half packed the top will go down and the car has a back seat, which was very comfortable for me and Jim could actually ride back there.
On Christmas night, Betty and Al came over and we pulled out the Saturday night meal—it was still petty good.
After a wonderful visit, Celeste and Jim had to leave early Wednesday morning. I made my route, met them back at Valley Mart for breakfast and then they were off west. They stopped in Dallas Wednesday night, and then it was on to visit her father, brother and his family in Abilene for a few days, before returning home.
This morning I had trouble crawling out of bed. Usually I’m up by six, but it was so dark, I rolled out at 7:30. The thunder storms had kept me awake last night and usually you don’t disturb my sleep. I’ve never heard such loud thunder, not seen such a lightening display. When it went away I went back to sleep and am surprised that I was out of bed when I was. Got to work before our opening time of 8:30, though, and I have a column finished before deadline.
The paper staff is looking forward to a New Year’s break (the Herald was closed Monday and Tuesday).
If nothing interferes I plan to watch the New Year’s Parades with Mom if I get up early enough, or at home if I’m a sleepyhead, and then go to Courtland for lunch.
Hope everyone has had a great New Year’s Holiday.