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Out On The Mudline

You Can Bet Mother Was Always There For Us

By W. P. Sissell

Our Mother

As a mother Miss Sadie was always there for us. You could bet that she was there at the house when the school bus let us, Ruth and William Parks, I became Bill when our High School math teacher, Mr. Botkin, called on me to work a problem for the class. When he called on me he addressed me as. “Bilious Bill Sissell”—I’ve been known by everyone, with the exception of older family members, as Bill since that day. The Parks is a family name. My maternal grandmother’s, surname was Parks.      

You can bet that our mother was always there for us although Nannette and I, as teachers, have run into situations where that is not always the case. What a sad situation that is. Although that was the case with mother you can also bet that she was a thorough task-master. On those days when there was to be a family or any other kind of gathering at our house in the summer the entire yard—front, back and side must be mowed to her specifications.  In those days we knew nothing about string trimmers.  Every grass stem must be cut so that it did not protrude above the other grass. I learned many years later that most of those offensive stems (to mother) belonged to the Dallas grass family. Mother introduced the two of us to scissors. With these we went over the entire yard, including the rock bordered flower beds.

When I introduced her to our two row, seven foot Lliston  Cutter she was amazed but didn’t want that big tractor around her flowers. I/we still have her little International mower which they bought for the enormous yard at the Taylor place.

As Mother and Dad got older they did decrease the size of her garden. The last one on the Mud Line place was a former chicken yard about 12’ X 12’. This one she broke with a spade. That 144 square foot space was chock full of fine vegetables in the three years they stayed there. When they moved to the place at Taylor, they copied their gardening after the last on the Mud Line. Both of these happened to be a former chicken pen yard and Dad believed in fertilizer. Some years later, when I told Clayton Kennedy, who was renting our Jones place at Crowder, about their “Chicken Yard Gardens,” he remarked that there was one of those at his house. Clayton made a pumpkin patch out of his former chicken yard. You should have seen the pumpkins. He blocked many of them up on firewood blocks, nail kegs, barrels or any thing else that would work.

Mothers Love

I haven’t forgotten about Miss Sadie’s first love. She never forgot those fish. In many of the last years they lived on the Taylor place you might have seen her if you passed along the Prophet Bridge Crossing on Enid Reservoir.

It just happened that Nannette’s mother, Miss Nettie Lou, loved to fish too. Miss Sadie and Miss Nettie Lou, neighbors, got together and began fishing. When the little pond in the pasture, mentioned last week, ran out of fish they looked for a better fishing hole.

Parked at the Shipp’s was a Cadillac automobile. Miss Nettie Lou had driven it one time to Oxford to the hospital when her husband, Bowen, had an appendicitis attack (before the time when all you did was pick up the phone and call an ambulance). He “advised” her as to what she should do next (years before he had carried his dad to Oxford, bought a new car {Model T, I think}, told Dad how to start and stop the car and sent him home). Dad made it home just fine. Now Miss Nettie Lou and Miss Sadie took that Cadillac over as their fishing car. They left their fishing gear stored in the car between trips. They fished down in the bottom in old Yocona River and on Taylor Creek.  Many times they went down to Prophet Bridge to the boat ramp.  When they went to Prophet Bridge they usually took Maude Toles with her five gallon bucket seat.

As far as we know, no one ever checked their driver’s license but we do know that Miss Nettie Lou never had a driver’s license.

Our wish for you is a great week I’m going to try to have the same.  Although we left church Sunday night in a mighty hard rain the ground has dried considerably.  Robert pulled into our fields Monday and started planting so it rained less here than it did at Mt. Olivet.  You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606 or 662-563-9879.

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