By Betty Shearer
Faye Swann of Coffeeville was in and says to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” from her and Husband John.
Received a Christmas card, along with her subscription renewal, from Mrs. J. H. (Helen) Blackburn of Bastrop, Louisiana. She writes, “I’ve been getting my paper every Friday or Saturday. Sure enjoy every word. Betty’s Week is one of my favorites.”
Thanks for the delivery update Mrs. Blackburn and thanks for the lovely compliment. We do appreciate our subscribers and always enjoying hearing from you.
A note from subscriber, Gale Stienon of San Marcos, California reads, “Dear Betty, I sure appreciate being able to keep up with Cliff and Ramona’s goings on. Would have loved to be able to go to that Chair-ity Auction—what fun! Maybe next year.”
From Margie Gill of Oxford comes: “Dear Mrs. Shearer, Thank you for our nice visit via telephone. Was nice to talk to you. I enjoy reading your column, as well as other articles—all very interesting.”
My den heater gave up Wednesday night, so it was off to Sartain’s early Thursday morning to find a replacement. The old heater was about 35 years old and had served well. New one is okay, but we do miss the old friend. While there I picked up Jimmie’s Christmas gift from Ed. For eight or nine years she has been using my Christmas Gift from Ed—a Hoover carpet cleaner. This thing has worked tirelessly for all these years and it too, all of sudden, just wouldn’t go. Along with the new cleaner came a note from Ed, which asked her assistance in his gift to Mom (clean her carpet) and a question about my van (have you looked inside Betty’s van?)
Don’t know yet if she got the message—we were too busy over the weekend to do any chores that can be postponed until after the first of the year. Did have a good laugh over the gift though, with Jimmie commenting, “He’d better get himself back here and help!”
After unloading the carpet cleaner, we loaded up food and gifts to take to the Bridge Club Christmas party, hosted by Eve Florence Sprouse. This is always a fun event. Food was excellent, I was not low scorer, and the gift exchange (dirty Santa), as always, was a riot. Those gifts changed hands so many times, I couldn’t keep up with who was in control of what. Finally the last gift was opened and everyone seem content with their gift. Last exchange was Kate Florence Pope, who was advised by Allison Rowsey to take pillows that she wanted. Allison had a snowman that Kate wanted and says “You get the pillows and I’ll swap”.
Several kidded Kate about making a deal with the devil to get what she wanted. This ended the swapping with everyone laughing heartily. The first gift I opened was a beautiful Premier bracelet and earrings, which I loved—no swapping for me. Then Sister Jimmie takes them away from me, so I had to open another gift. This time I got a Premier set of pearls and earrings. Told sister that gifts came only one to a person, so leave these alone. I will get to keep my present until she borrows it.
Friday morning we got up about six, and Jimmie and I swapped chores. She began cooking and I went down stairs to vacuum and dust. Usually I don’t go near a vacuum cleaner, much less turn it on. I love to cook. Found that I really could use the thing—sucking up thousands of lady bugs, other critters, and some dirt. Cleaned the game room and the stairs, which is a job. It made me glad I took the carpet off my stairs and now just have to take a dust rag and clean them—much easier than lugging a vacuum cleaner.
About ten I left her with still lots to do in preparation for the pastor, deacons and wives dinner she and Bill were hosting that night. She made it with plenty of food cooked and the house cleaned and decorated. I came on home to read proofs of the Christmas Section, which went to press that night.
After grocery shopping Saturday morning, it was off to Moms. I cooked lunch and as we were eating, the phone rang. On the other end was what sounded like someone drunk or on drugs. Usually I’ll hang up on these calls, but something made me hang on and continue to ask, who are you and how can I help. Finally was able to understand Sister-in-law Carolyn, who had passed out at her house, which is just in front of Moms. Sent Jimmie to her and I tried to keep her talking. Finally the phone was just silent, so I bounded out of the house, passing Jimmie who had stopped to get her blood pressure cuff from the car.
I got to her house and the door was locked—dead bolt. I turned over every flower pot, mat, brick and stone, looking for a key. None was found. Then it was off to check all windows and doors—all were locked. Jimmie finally got there with her cell and called Carolyn back, but she was unable to get up and unlock the door. Jimmie then called Brother Bo and he said he was about to get on I-55 (we had no idea where) but his estimated time was five minutes.
I’d already found me something to break a window (jo blade from the back of Brother Rance’s pickup). She would not let me break that window, but I sure did want to—that was the longest five minutes of my life.
Rance says when Bo got the called, he threw his phone and says, “Hang on Bro.” Rance says he did and he really needed to because Bo put his old Dodge to the floor and didn’t let up.
Rance says, “I just knew we were going to turn over when he went up the ramp off 6 on to 55 at Batesville and again when we came off at the Pope/Courtland Exit.
I heard the truck when they came off 51 and then when it bounded over the railroad track and up the driveway I really don’t know how that pickup stayed upright. Bo and Jimmie went in to Carolyn, Rance called 911 and I got the dogs impounded in the kitchen. When I saw Carolyn I was sure she was dead and she almost was.
Jimmie got no blood pressure and she was barely breathing. Shortly we had a great team—Carolyn and her brother, Gerald Aven, both EMTs, a Courtland fireman, cousin Cliff Olson and his wife, Clara. The ambulance arrived, EMTs checked her vitals, started an IV and were off to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford. Rance had already left to pick up Niece Misty in Batesville, and Jimmie and Bo followed.
Carolyn is still in the hospital, and is doing well. However, they are still running tests to determine what happened. Only negative result yet discovered is low potassium. Have had two people report that family or friends have died from this and many others tell of near death experiences with this deficiency. I was completely unaware of this health problem.
Learned a few things from this though: Leave a key that several people know how to find; if you feel like you have any problem, report it immediately; and keep a close check on your medical condition. My key situation is in good shape but the other two leave a lot to be desired. I’m prone to just brush off symptoms and I sure don’t keep up with my yearly check-ups—I’m about three years over. Let’s all do better—don’t want to loose any family, friends, or even folks I don’t know.
Stayed with Mom’s Saturday night and then after Sunday School went back to keep her company all afternoon. Did come back for evening service, which was a mission study on northern Africa. It was most informative, interesting, and also very disturbing. Program presenters all did excellent jobs. Following the program we were treated to several dishes made from authentic recipes from the area and they were very good.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) will wrap up our work before taking a few days off for the Christmas holiday.
My wish for each of you is a very Merry Christmas and that we would all remember the reason for the season—Christ’s birthday.