by Betty Shearer
Around five last Tuesday we’d wrapped up the February 7th issue of the Herald and were all glued to the weather news or standing out in the street watching the clouds. I was the designated cloud watcher, since I don’t understand the technical stuff. It did bring back memories of 1984 and no one wanted a repeat performace of that weather evening. At about five o’clock April 20th ‘84 (Easter Eve) the big one hit the Valley. All of us who experienced this event can certainly empathize with our neighbors to the north and those in Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and Alabama, who suffered loss of lives, injuries, and extensive structural damage.
Looking at Wednesday’s Oxford Eagle, brought amazement that many lives were not lost in that destruction—much as viewing the Valley in 1984. When I first came into town, I was sure we’d have at least hundreds of deaths. Was a miracle that it was fewer than ten. Last week Oxford suffered no fatalities.
Periodically I pull out the photo albumn, which contains Ed’s, Stan’s and other Vallian’s pictures, just to remind me of what the Valley went through, how far we’ve come in recovery, and the awesome care of a loving God.
As I parked the van a few minutes ago (Tuesday morning) I sat for a minute, looking at the gathering storm clouds. Today, however our prediction is for only rain, wind and a drastic drop in the temp. I can handle all of this—just keep the tornadoes and ice away.
With so many days of warm temperatures it’s hard to believe that we’re only half way through February. Also the the crocus, daffodils, narcissi, and other flowers are blooming. I have one little miniature rose that has remained green all winter—I expect to see a bloom on it any day.
Birds are already abundant on our hill—they certainly think spring is here. Also the squirrels, rabbits, o’possums, deer, raccoons, etc. are so frisky. I have my eyes open for snakes and lizzards on these warm days—they also like our hill.
The boys have abandoned the deer stands and are pulling out the fishing gear—that’s a sure sign of spring. The 4-wheelers and their trailer have been put under the shed and I know any day now there will be a fishing boat hung behind the truck. They were also working on the dozer Saturday, so dirt moving will begin soon.
I’m ready to dig some beds and put in some plants, but I know it’s a bit early yet—I don’t like to replant.
Another sure sign of an early spring is an early Easter and this year it falls about as early as possible—March 23rd—only a little over five weeks away.
A month after that Water Valley will celebrate its 150th Birthday. Many exciting events are being planned for this milestone.
One I read about in Jessie’s column last week is of real interest to me—the fashion show. I enjoy antique items—and vintage clothes are of special interest. If you have clothing you would share for this event call Jessie—I want to see them (and I’m sure many other women and probably even lots of men will enjoy viewing them also).
Also they’re looking for food vendors for the day. If you want to particiapte in this, again, call Jessie. Church, civic organizations, and others are invited to serve food for sale or for free. The church of which I’m a member (Woodland Hills) is interested in a booth for the youth to sell food and also one for a community service by the church.
Jessie says that many games, lots of entertainment and other events are planned for the day. Sounds like a lot of fun and we appreciate the Main Street Program for spearheading this.
Another upcoming event, which I’ve always enjoyed, is the Water Valley Junior Auxiliary’s Crown Gala. Through the years it has provied lots of fun, with a delicious meal, great entertainment, wonderful auction items, and just super fellowship. JA’s community service is a tremendous asset to our area and we do appreciate the hard work of all these fine ladies. The Gala provides much of the funding for these projects, so purchase a ticket, come out and enjoy a great evening. Tickets are available from any JA member—you’ll find an article containing details elsewhere in this issue.
Friday morning Sister Jimmie called to invite me to meet her in Oxford for lunch and then an afternoon of shopping. She was there to pick out paint and carpet for the new addition to Pope Baptist Church—we don’t ever let a trip go to waste. I went on early and shopped J. C. Penney’s great end of the season sale. Bought lots of items for rock bottom prices—spent a little over a hundred dollars and had to make two trips to the car. Bought Brother Bo a sport coat for $29.99—a real bargain birthday gift. It was originally $180. Added a couple of other items to this and then they gave me another ten dollars off. Jimmie says they were giving us our merchandise and then paying us to take it away. If you find anything you want —and we always do—on the 75% Off racks you really can purchase lots of stufffor very little money. I don’t feel bad about shopping their bargains because if I need anything I’ll pay full price for it—and I always enjoy shopping J. C. Penney. The clerks are supper nice—very helpful—and the store is always well stocked.
When Jimmie arrived we had to back track all the racks I’d shopped—she liked what I’d picked out. I’d left plenty for her and she also found some good buys for Bill.
Realized when we left the store that we’d failed to raid the shoe, jewelry, and accessory departments. We sat in the parking lot for a few minutes, decided we were just too tired to go back in, and were also starving. Ate lunch at the Huddle House and their plate lunches are very good. I had fried squash and she had fried okra, both ate cornbread. We also had meat and another veggie.
After lunch we visited a couple of our favorite malls—ran out of time before we got to our absolute favorite—The Depot. Next time in Oxford we plan to visit the Hanies.
First was Sugar Magnolia, where I got a huge red vase for Sister-in-law Carolyn. She likes ruby glass and this piece made a statement. Think she liked it because when I gave it to her she immediately carried it to her house. Jimmie and I told her we didn’t intend to take it away, but she says, “Someone else may come in who does want it.” Also got Niece Misty a piece of Pace Pottery for her birthday. Picked up several other small interesting pieces in this shop.
Then we visited the Mustard Seed. There we found an unmarked pottery that was very nice and dirt cheap —bought several pieces. Also found some Pace Pottery and other signed pieces by a potter we were not familiar with. Neither Jimmie or I can remember the name and we lost the card we picked up. However I did buy the piece I liked best—a chip and dip set. Plan to pick up other pieces in the future. Here I also found some wrought iron window boxes that I really like. If I can figure out a way to attach them to my windows, I’m going back for them.
Shopping time ran out—I’m sure they stayed open late waiting for us to decide to leave. We do appreciate this.
I almost got home before dark—Mom’s rule.
Grocery shopped at Larson’s early Saturday morning, hurried over to Mom’s for a day of cooking. Fixed lunch for us, prepared the Sunday meal for her house, and cooked for a church-wide meal Sunday at Woodland Hills. I almost wore the pots and pans out.
Had left over ham so it was ham and dumplings for Saturday lunch—big pot full. Made cornbread, cabbage and peas. Then got a call that more folks were on their way, so I put Brother Bo to work frying okra and I popped a peach cobbler into the oven. Bo says, “You’d better add some more broth and dumplings.”—Rance and Eric were coming. We had plenty and it was good to see Eric again—don’t think he’d been around since Mom’s birthday in August.
Sunday Bo and Carolyn, Rance and Ginny were left in charge of getting the meal on the table. Jimmie had to attend the Cole February Birthday Party and I was at Woodland Hills.
At the Woodland Hills lunch, if you wanted it it was on the buffet. We had enough food to feed all of the Valley and it was all delicious. The occasion was a visit from one of the military families (Charles and Audra Watkins and family from Indianola) we’ve had a card ministry too. They were the most delightful folks and we all had a great time visiting with them.
My book is getting a little out of hand this week, so I’d better wrap it up, and get on with other chores to get this paper into your hands tomorrow.