By Betty Shearer
I had an appointment for an oil change in the van Friday morning, so Jimmie met me and we did some shopping (mostly looking) while the car was serviced. Jimmie needed some items from Wal-Mart and while we were there we toured the garden area. She found some great plants on sale. We bought a cart load and then remembered we were traveling in her car—not my van. Found classmate, Ann Pund Holland, who works in this department and she said, “No problem, we’ll park them in this corner until you return in the van.”
While there we enjoyed a great visit. She still lives in Crowder and keeps up with many of our class members and lots of other friends. We’re having a class reunion, our 55th, this weekend and we’re both looking forward to seeing many of the class and their spouses.
Ann and I were in this class for all 12 of our school years, as were many others—people did not move around as much back then.
In the grocery department we ran into other Crowder friends, Candi and Levi Brewer. They were a few years behind me, but the Brewers lived about a mile from us for a few years. We knew almost everyone in the school – grades 1st to 12th. Many of us had siblings in several grades. I think about ten of us had siblings in both the class of ‘57 and ‘59. Our class will meet on Friday night, and we’ll also have a three grade reunion on Saturday night. It’s going to be a fun weekend.
We went on to Mom’s to feed her lunch, but Bo had already made beef stew, so we just ate his food — was very good. After visiting a while, came on home and did a little laundry and a lot of dishes. How can one person mess up so much stuff?
Also got a little head start on Sunday’s cooking for Mrs. Etta Hodnett’s birthday party. We were instructed to make finger food, but no sweets, because dessert was to be a huge birthday cake. Well, I found when you take away my sweet treats, I don’t have many finger food recipes.
Made Mississippi Caviar, which I served in a unique way—on little hoe cakes. It was good, much better than on corn chips or crackers. Also made ranch dip, which is better made days ahead. Veggies had to be assembled on Sunday morning.
Went back to Mom’s early Saturday morning and cooked lunch and then food for Sunday. Left the roast for Jimmie to cook—she needs to stay familiar with a stove.
Mom and I watched golf for a while Saturday afternoon and then I came on home to finish my finger foods. Made Swedish meatballs and I must have gotten the recipe right—the crockpot was licked. Also made chicken salad (Jimmie usually does this) and it was also eatable. You can’t do anything wrong with cocktail franks, so didn’t have to toss any mistakes.
Michael had the church decorated beautifully, using pink roses and other pink flowers. Lela Mae’s cake was beautiful and delicious, as always.
Was so good to see “Miss Etta” and daughters, Martha and Wanda. They are all such pretty women and “Miss Etta” just looked great. We all enjoyed visiting with them and catching up on what’s happening in their lives. It was also good to have Charley Harris (he’s a son-in-law, Betty’s husband) visiting with us. Charley has been a friend since my early days in the Valley. I like seeing Charles, because I can look at him and feel like a young woman again—he looks just like his father, the late Gerald Harris, did when I got to Water Valley.
Mr. Gerald was our Chancery Clerk and therefore we worked very closely for many years. Charley’s mother, the late Janie Harris, and the late Minnie Humphreys owned a florist. Ed always liked to visit there—he was a flower lover and they’d share all their flower and gardening secrets with him. Janie also was a great home decorator. I remember on one occasion we were in the Harris home and she was up on a ladder putting up wallpaper by herself on those 12 or 14 foot walls. Years later Ed and I, working together, were trying to get paper onto an eight foot wall.
Ed says, “Think Janie would come out and do this if we called her?” We didn’t call, but if we had I know she’s have been right there. Never saw her without a smile and an eageress to help anyone.
Back to “Miss Etta,” Charley’s other mom. She turned 96 (we have permission to tell her age) a few weeks ago, but had been so busy we just couldn’t work in a party until Sunday. Now talk about an industrious woman, she cut her grass until she left the Valley, made a garden, was an avid hunter and fisherman until well into her 90s. Most men don’t have the outdoor trophies that Mrs. Etta has.
And now we get to her domestic side. She’s one of the best cooks I’ve every known. For all you who are wondering—yes, she’s still making sweet potato cobblers. She told us that her doctor’s father lives across the hall from her and she occasionally makes him a cobbler. The doctor cautioned her to serve this treat to his father sparingly because he’s a diabetic.
The father says, “Son, mind your own business.” Sounds like she lives in a lovely place and I know that it’s much more interesting and fun with her there. We do miss her at Woodland Hills and in the Valley.
Hope you have many more happy birthdays, “Miss Etta” and we hope you will celebrate them with us. Told Wanda and Martha that she’s my Mom too—I have two 96 year old Moms. Not many folks are that lucky and they’re both wonderful.
Yesterday (Monday) Mary Sue Stevens came by with another picture of Ed, made at one of the later watermelon carnivals. I put it on my copy board and enjoyed it all morning. Then in afternoon Christine Fielder brought me a picture made at a Master Gardners Confer-ence, held in Vicksburg, a couple of years before Ed’s death. Enjoyed looking at it in the afternoon. I’ve now placed them where I can see both at once. Thanks to these dear friends for thinking of me. I was so glad to see Christine looking great.
She shared the news that Elizabeth (Spoony) Wright’s nephew (Christopher, 25-year-old son of her sister, Dr. Lelia Kelly) had suffered a fatal heart attack over the weekend. Dr. Kelly has worked with many extension programs in our area and is known by many of you. Was so sorry to hear this and sympathy is extended to this family.
We’re getting rain and it is wonderful—just wish I’d watched the weather news before I watered this morning. Came in and saw the band of rain coming across the river, and it did make it. Maybe it will stop the cracks in my back yard, though, and I’m sure the plants can use more water, especially if it’s the natural kind. Brother Rance said he tried to fill up one the cracks in his yard on Saturday—put the hose in and just let it run, but no water ever came out, it all went down. We are dry.