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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    We finished a bit earlier Tuesday night than usual, so when Betty and Al called to see what I was doing for supper, the answer, as usual, was “I don’t know!” They were going to El Charritos, so I told them I’d be there in a minute. Betty ask if I’d seen Ludie’s house recently.  Had to fess up that it had been a while since I’d been up Clay Street (used to go up several times a week).

    She says, “You’d better drive by before you come to eat.” Hung up and the phone rang, Thought it was probably Betty with further instructions, so when I answered, I was surprised to find Jim on the other end of the wire. This is unusual for him. He usually calls on Mondays, Wednesdays or the weekend. Said he was just driving down the road and decided to check in.

    We had a good short visit, since everything was fine with him and with me. He’s working hard to wind up the end of the school year. Then it was off to see what was happening at Ludie’s house (presently owned by her great-nephew, Eric Reed and his wife, Brenda). Was surprised at what I saw. They’re doing a great job of renovating and it’s going to be really nice. I’m looking forward to a tour when I have more time.

    We ate next to Amy and Wesley Vanlandingham and their daughters and enjoyed a fun visit. Food was delicious, as always. It’s great to get good Mexican food in the Valley, since I don’t get to New Mexico very often these days.


    Was a little late getting the papers delivered Wednesday (only a few minutes). They were heavier than usual and I had to take them in a bundle at a time—doesn’t seem like much extra, but it does slow the process down. Picked up a new helper at Tobacco World, though. Mike Williamson came out and carried in one of my bundles.

    It’s great to live in a small, friendly town, where so many friends lend a helping hand. Didn’t take time to find out how the farming is going. Have been glad to see the farmers get some great weather for the past week. Maybe I’ll get a farm check this week from either Mike or the crew out at Sylva Rena Grocery.

    Got applause when I entered Sylva Rena Grocery with papers. They agreed that since I’d remember to bring them, they all should buy a couple. Knew I’d never live my previous week’s error down, but I’m just glad they love me enough to kidd me.


    At prayer meeting Wednesday night I was surprised to learn of the numerous cases of pneumonia among Woodland Hill members, and others in the community. Do hope everyone is soon well. Also learned of the Swine flu outbreak in Mexico, with a few cases in Texas and a couple of northeastern states. Report was that the NE cases were from residents there who had been vacationing in Mexico. I’m certainly a bit concerned about this dreaded flu, since Jim lives only a few miles from the border of Mexico. Hopefully, the medical family will soon have this flu under control.


    Played bridge Thursday night for the first time maybe this year. I was the hostess, but with many members out I had to play. Told them play would be just as exciting, playing with a dummy, but to my surprise I didn’t have the low score (came in second to low). Jimmie did most of the cooking and she did good. She also had to clean, but the cleaning had a two-fold purpose. She had an appraiser coming on Friday morning—my room has not looked so good in many years. You could also see the top of the kitchen island, all counter tops and even the dining table was clear. Didn’t look under beds or open closet doors—didn’t even want to see what was there. We had a great time visiting, eating and I enjoyed catching up on what was going on in Panola County.


    After a brief visit to Lowe’s Friday morning (Chad needed a couple of things not available at Valley or The Other Other Place) I came on home. Worked in the afternoon, to help out a little in Mel’s absence. She and husband, Del, had to make a flying trip to Michigan to help with a family emergency. We’ve missed her this week, but David and Jack have gotten the paper together. I’m proud of them—wish I knew how to do more, so I could help.

    Friday night the Relay for Life program was very enjoyable. It so good to see our many survivors, looking good. The fellowship, food, and entertainment at this event is always great. My deep appreciation to Event Chairman Glenda Gordon and her committee, long-time chair, Jonnie Mayo, all the team members, M.C. Bobby Murphree, all the entertainers and everyone who had a part in this event. This event raised over $65,000 for the American Cancer Society, even with the depressed economy. I think this is pretty amazing.


    After grocery shopping, cooking and eating lunch, brothers Bo and Rance decided to come to my house to cut grass. Told Jimmie we’d better go with them, to save the few plants still in my yard. Advised Mom she was going to my house for a short visit and to our surprise she agreed. She says, “I still have on my PJs.” I assure her that’s O.K. because she only going to see the four of us and we’ve been with her all morning. She then decides that she might want on cooler clothing, so out comes the scrubs and in a few minutes, she dressed and we’re off.

     Arriving, Jimmie and I drag a chair out of the living room for her to sit in—all my outdoor furniture is much to low for Mom to comfortably get up and down from. We position her on the edge of the driveway, under the shade of a big oak. Next Jimmie and I begin to rake limbs and leaves, pick up debris, and find the plants in need of saving. All the time we’re talking, or listening, to Mom. Jimmie finds a snake and I’m summoned to bring the hoe. This I did, but the snake disappeared into the brick pile. After several minutes of trying to scare him out, we continue our work. I’m off to the trash pile with a load of timber from a window we’re destroying and again “Mr. Sneaky Snake” appears. It’s now my time to yell for the hoe, all the while being very brave and keeping an eye on this reptile. My feet really wanted to run, but my brain says, keep an eye on the critter.

    Jimmie finally arrived, tried to hit Mr. Snake, but again he took cover—this time in a scrap lumber pile waiting to be burned. We rattled the pile for a long time, but he was safe and wasn’t coming out. We’d completely forgotten Mom, when we heard neighbor, Billy Wilburn, coming up his driveway. Sounded just like the vehicle was coming up mine, so off we ran to rescue Mom from what we thought were the brothers coming in from Mrs. Shearer’s  house on Prospect Drive (their first chore of the afternoon).

    Mom did need to be moved though, her shade had left her and she was burning up. When we moved her chair, she says, “Well, thought for a few minutes you were planning to have me for supper—I’m well done!” She had to move a couple more times before the mowing was completed. Yard looks much better, but we never found the snake.

    On our way home, Mom says, “I’ve had a great time this afternoon and I feel so good.” We assured her that we could do this at least once a week and maybe more often if she’s just get up and go.

    Snake came back into the picture Sunday at noon—not materially but mentally. Jimmie had ordered me to load up my three huge ferns and bring them to her house for care. She wants them in good shape for Niece Misty’s wedding in late June. I followed orders, but going down my driveway I began to wonder just what critters I might be transporting, along with these plants. All the way to Pope, I kept imagining a lizard hopping onto my head, or a snake coiling around my ankles. Didn’t happen, but it sure was an apprehensive drive. Also, it was a very unsafe drive. I could not see out of my passenger side nor my rear view mirror. Making left hand turns, I was flying blind, and then crossing Highway 51 was a horror, I sure am glad no one was coming from the north. Made it fine, though—God does take care of us.


    Was so sorry to hear of the death of long-time friend, Mary Allred McCain. In our childhood, the Allreds lived about a mile and a half from us and we rode the same school bus. She was several years younger than me, but in small towns everyone knows everyone else and she was probably in class with one of my siblings. Remember that she was so pretty, as were her sisters, and all the Allred boys were very handsome. After coming to the Valley, our friendship was renewed and I not only enjoyed a personal friendship, but we were also Main Street family. Loved her antique shops and her restaurants. Sympathy is extended to Sam, her daughters, and all the Allreds. She will be missed.

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