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Street Talk

Water Valley: Small Town With A Big Heart

By Susan Hart

This Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 27, may your heartfelt giving be what someone else is thankful for.

“We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what [they] mean by Thanksgiving,” Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

My mother was always right on about the weather. She was raised on a farm and understood how the animals’ behavior indicated weather patterns. Mom read the Farmers Almanac front to back, referencing the weather predictions from season to season.

When summer thunder storms were especially rough, Mom knew the exact moment when the tater wagon would drop a ton of potatoes out of the sky. My sister and I would anxiously await the storms’ passing and carry our egg baskets to the site Mom predicted the taters had fallen.

We had a huge persimmon tree at the edge of the driveway.  When the persimmons began ripening and falling, Mom would send us out with those same baskets to gather up the gushy fruit. She read in Ozark folk lore that splicing a pit open would tell the winter weather. If the centers looked most like spoons, forks, or knives, there would be a certain outcome depending on the shape. It was confusing. Sometimes the center looked like a spork, or a knike, or all the pits would look different. But one thing for sure, the persimmons got picked up.

And, oh my goodness! When Widow Gladys Yeager called on the CB that her bones were hurting, you knew right away days of rainfall was coming. If Gladys radioed that she had seen a bear around her rabbit pens, you had better stock up on firewood for the winter and call the gas company to fill up the tank. Dad always dreaded the call that Mrs. Yeager had actually shot a bear, but it wasn’t exactly dead, so could he come see if he could find it, and put it out of its misery?

This year, earlier in the hurricane season, I heard the Weather Channel say that all the hurricane activity indicates more than usual snow in our region. Could it be? I went to Sartain’s Home and Auto to case out the sleds and snow toys just in case. The Farmers Almanac also predicts colder temperatures and snow mid-Dec. to early Jan.  

Predicting the weather is like predicting the economy. Who knows? We can just prepare the best we can. Lately, all of us have experienced financial pressure. Now is the time to reach out to those who are strained the most. Though a small town, Water Valley has a big heart.

Everyday, we pray, work, live, worry, laugh, plan, and share. We take care of our neighbors. We cherish the wisdom of our elders and the energy of our children. We give of ourselves. Then, we close shop, tuck in the kids, and count our blessings. Nothing is guaranteed, but tomorrow we will get up and do it again.

If you are inspired to help your neighbor during their difficulties, consider contacting your church office. Or, you can call one of the several civic organizations in Water Valley. They all have charitable programs and welcome donations. You may want to pay a child’s tuition at Imagination Station art studio, or Valley Dance Company. Call a Water Valley school and ask if there are scholarship needs. Your gift may keep an athlete in basketball shoes, a band member’s instrument maintained, or a little one in a warm coat.  The kindness of private benefactors restores hope where it seems to be lost.

 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”- Theodore Roosevelt

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