By Betty Shearer
Celebrated a birthday last Thursday and it was a great day. I received many calls to wish me a happy day, got so many pretty cards and some even remembered with gifts (which I really appreciated but were not necessary).
Mel gave me a delightful little tea candle, which I’m keeping on my bedside table (in case lights go out), Celeste and Jim sent a can of goodies, which I’m still enjoying. The card was a picture of he and I, taken at Rowan Oaks several years ago. I couldn’t figure out where the picture was taken (guessed their new house), and he says, “I wish.”
My very favorite gift, though, came from Billy Flippin. He worked in the rain all last week to get water back into my house. Billy came in and says, “I have bad news and good news, which do you want first?”
I answered, “Give both to me at the same time!” Billy responds, “Good news is that you have water, bad news is my bill,” which he handed me. Well the good news was the best and I opened his bill and exclaimed, “Is this enough?”
I would not have crawled under my house for what he charged, much less have fixed a very difficult break in the rain. I do appreciate Billy—he’s a real asset to the Valley.
Robert Montgomery has been back in the canning/preserving mode. He brought in a delicious jar of pear preserves, which I’ve been enjoying with hot buttered biscuits. I’m sure glad “Miss Kate” or Agnes taught him to be so domestic. He says his part in making the preserves was to do the peeling—that’s a hard job—so my thanks also goes to Agnes. Only problem I have is that if they keep bringing all this good stuff I’m going to grow right out of my clothes.
Having water, I spent Thursday night and all day Friday washing dishes, washing clothes, and washing me. You don’t realize how much you miss that precious commodity. My phone had also been out, and while in the laundry room late Thursday I heard a ring. Ran to the bedroom to answer and found Jim on the other end.
He says, “Where have you been? You don’t answer at home, don’t answer the cell, and I had to leave a message on the office phone.” Well I knew that all day Thursday I’d been right by the office phone (and had taken many calls), so don’t know what’s going on there. Told him the house phone had been out and that my cell had gotten sent to silence. Jack finally got it back to ring mode late Thursday. After Jim hung up, I called Jimmie to tell her I again had home phone service. I asked if she wanted do to anything special on Friday.
She had no plans, so I said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to attend the Mid-South Fair?” She had seen the weather prediction and declined. After the heavy rains we experienced on Friday, I knew she’d made the correct call.
I still would like to go see how the Fair is being managed in the DeSoto Center, though. I’ve watched the advertisements on TV and it brings back all the great memories of the many Fairs attended at the Fair Grounds in Memphis. For many years we did not miss the opening day, complete with taking in the rodeo. My first fair was on my 21st birthday—51 years ago. I went with Mom and Dad Shearer (Ed was in school). We took in the Editor’s Day Luncheon at the Peabody (my first visit there), then the fair in the afternoon, and that night my first rodeo. It was an exciting day.
The worst fair day was before Jimmie’s and Bill’s wedding—43 years ago. We went up early, shopped for some things for the wedding, then attended the Editor’s Luncheon, took in the fair and then the rodeo. We had Jim and little brothers, Tommy and Don, with us. The day started out very warm, then a cold front came through and we almost turned to blocks of ice, as with the cold temp also came a misty rain.
We could not get the boys to leave, so time for the rodeo was welcome relief—the coliseum was warm.
Got up early Saturday morning, thinking I’d go to Mom’s with time to accomplish things we’d let slide during this rainy spell. The sky got darker and darker, so I just studied my Sunday school lesson and waited. Finally the rain got lighter and I went to Larson’s and did the shopping. The rain again got harder so I went back to the house to wait some more. About 10:30 I went on in the rain.
Jimmie came in after me and reported that they’d had floods all morning.
Her bad news will keep me from overnight visits to her house for a long time. She says that since the rain has begun, mice have been regular visitors at the Cole Home. Jimmie, like me, puts out sticky pads to catch unwanted critters. She reported that her first morning chore is to get the flashlight and check her mouse pads. She reported finding a few small mice each morning. But one morning last week she got a bonus—on her pad behind Bill’s recliner in the living room she found a small snake.
Bill got it out. Then on the way to prayer meeting Wednesday she went out to get in the car and Dazsey was on the carport barking. Jimmie says she could not see a thing, but she couldn’t get the dog to stop. She yelled at Bill, who was a ways from the house and he says, “It’s probably a frog.” (The dog hates frogs).
So Jimmie began looking for the frog, moving the dog bed and food bowl, she found a large snake. Bill had to come and kill it. Bill put the snake in the pickup to get the experts to identify it.
One of the men says, “Bill, you killed a valuable snake—it would have killed all those mice Jimmie is having to catch.” Jimmie says she yelled at him, “The next time I find a valuable snake, I’ll save it for you and you can come and put it on your carport. I’ll catch my mice on sticky pads!” Jimmie and I don’t like snakes—only good ones are dead ones.
When we went out to load her car late Saturday afternoon, the sun was almost blinding. We’d all become moles, with all the dark gloomy days we’d had. She found her sunglasses and I even put mine on when I started home. The sunshine really felt good, though.
Coming on home, I saw all the beautiful goldenrods, blackeyed susans, and other pretty wild flowers. Had not even noticed them on the dark days. In the sun they just glowed. Also the wildlife was scurrying. Had to stop and let a couple of squirrels cross the road, turtles were out, as were raccoons and deer. We are fast becoming overpopulated by wildlife.
The subject of animal overpopulation, brings me to the deer problem in Oxford. Those seeking to save all the deer, don’t seem to realize that if they are not thinned out they will eat everything in sight and eventually begin starving from lack of food—this is a horrible death. The deer will be killed in a safe, humane manner and I’m sure the animals taken will be used for food, as God intended some of them to be. One of the suggestions for taking care of this overpopulation was to catch and transfer the animals to other places outside the city limits. Well, don’t bring them to my hills—I already have too many. I’m sure this is the case with most places in our area. The deer have totally eaten up my hibiscus, hostas, many other plants, and are even beginning to nibble on the holly. I see on a regular basis a large doe, a doe with fawn, a big buck, and a small doe—there’s probably ten for each one I see. Deer need to be thinned, as do squirrels, rabbits, coons, opossums, foxes, armadillo, and probably other critters. They can’t all be allowed to live, otherwise there will be no food for humans.
Was sorry to hear of the death of Charlotte Hille. Charlotte had come by the office on a regular basis for many years, brining in news articles for First United Methodist Church, other items for publication, or just to say hello. For the past couple of years, she’s often had two darling granddaughters with her. I will miss her visits and will miss seeing these two little cuties. My sympathy is extended to her family.
Last night (Monday), in the wee hours, I awoke reaching for cover—it wasn’t there. Had to dig a blanket out of the linen closet and it felt good. This morning I found a long-sleeve shirt and as yet I have not taken it off. It is a beautiful day, though, with bright sunshine and a cool breeze—could stay this way all year. Cathy Odom just poked her head in to say how much she’s enjoying the day, but says, “Next week we’ll be complaining about it being too cold.” She’s probably right, but let’s enjoy the perfect weather while it’s with us.