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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    So many folks enjoyed the early daffodils on our counter last week. They were brought to us by Billy Rotenberry and we did appreciate them—we also enjoyed them. Don’t think I’ve ever seen these flowers bloom this early before.
  When I was going over to Mom’s Thursday afternoon I noticed that all the Hawthornes (some call them February bushes) were almost in full bloom—I think this is early for them, also.
  As I delivered papers to the stores last Wednesday morning the phrase of the day was, “Boy, we sure dodged a bullet!” Indeed we did. As I left the office about five Tuesday, the van still had some ice on it, but most of it had melted. I thought it was going to be fine as the temp seemed to have gone up. Still seemed okay out 315 until I crossed the bypass. I checked the trees and the ice accumulating on them was scary. It looked exactly as it had when we went home about five o’clock on a Wednesday evening in 1994.
  The further I went the worse it looked. Going up the driveway, trees were bending low and the power line into the house was really sagging.
  Just knew it was ‘94 all over. Recalled that we went in then, turned on the TV and watched as the lines and trees grew heavier and heavier with us not paying any attention, until about eleven o’clock when we were plunged into pitch black darkness. We waited for the return of power—didn’t happen for about nine days.
  I was much smarter Tuesday. Found all the candles and matches, put them in the den, bedroom and bath. Then I rounded up all the flashlights and placed them in reach. Next it was off to gather up all extra blankets and put them  on my bed. Finally I filled the bathtub and all water containers, some for drinking and some for flushing.
  In ‘94 we were in much better condition, heat wise. Then we had a Buck insert, an Ashley insert and an open fireplace, with an abundance of wood. We also had a grill with a full tank of gas. I cook mostly with cast iron and it does as well on open fire as it does on an electric range. I still have the Ashley insert and the open fireplace, but  unfortunately I’ve let all my wood rot and have not replaced it and the gas tank has gone dry—I just never grill anymore.
  Was so glad that all this preparation was unnecessary. Do plan to do a little better with permanent preparation though, by laying in a supply of wood. With that I can at least stay warm and well fed if the lights go out. My Dutch oven cooks biscuits and cornbread as good as an oven, the bean pots will cook almost any veggie and the skillets fry excellent food over open flame.
  Our late delivery Wednesday was because of the icy conditions between here and Batesville. Our delivery was about ten o’clock, too late to catch the mail. All the folks on my route were so nice. At Sprint Mart they were glad to see me and actually applauded as I entered, then at Larson’s, WV Food and Gas Mart, WV Gas Mart, Valley Mart and Park and Shop they were very concerned about me. At Dunn’s Country Store they said they were about to send out a search party. It’s so good to live and work in a small, close-knit community where folks are actually concerned about your safety. Thanks.
  Before I got started on my deliveries, though, Jack had to come with his saw and cut a tree which was blocking my driveway. The little pine, about four to five inches in diameter, had bent completely across the drive—no way to bypass it. Now that’s a great friend—brave that ice and cold to free me from being housebound.
 Imagination can run wild when you know you’re stuck and can’t get travel. I just knew I’d fall and break something, get deathly sick, or even have heart failure.
  Mom and I spent most of the weekend alone. On Friday Bo, Carolyn, Rance, Ginny and Misty and Briley went to Tupelo for a shopping spree. They took Briley to the John Deere store and he really had a good time—I got to see pictures. They put him in a baby saddle and this smart little boy knew exactly what to do. Guess he learned it from TV. He put his hand on the horn and kicked in his “spurs” and rode that bucking bronc.         Then they found him some boots—a couple of sizes to large. Smallest size available is a four. He latched on to them and tried to get them on his feet.
  This story brought back memories of Jim’s first boots, supplied also by Uncle Rance. Jim was much bigger than Briley, but he had tiny feet. His boots were also size four, and we had to stuff cotton in the toes to keep them on his feet. He liked to never learned to walk in them—kept toppling over backward. Jim was not a child to give up, as I’m sure Briley will be, so he fell, got up and fell again, until he finally mastered the art of walking in cowboy boots.
  The snow and ice took its toll on Mom’s and Bo’s driveway. Sunday afternoon Bo and Rance decided to spread new gravel and came in to proclaim that neither of them could put in a full day’s work at road construction again. For many years both of them worked 12 to 14 hours a day doing road work and then would go out and party that night. Do believe they’re getting old.
  Brother Don came by for a few minutes to tell me he was bringing me more rabbits. This is about the third time he says he’s done this and Bo keeps losing them. Don says he’ll label these “Wrabbits” in hopes that Bo will leave them alone. Don wants rabbit and dumplings, which I’ve never made. I don’t want to waste a good rabbit in the dumpling pot—chicken or ham will do for that. I like them fried up and smothered in gravy. Also need a hot pan of biscuits to put the gravy over. Did consent to make him dumplings if he brought enough rabbits for me to have plenty with gravy.
  Last rabbit I enjoyed was supplied by the late R. L. Kelly. He grew some excellent game and often shared with me.
  We had great services at Woodland Hills Sunday. Bro. Hal Clark brought our messages and he’s an excellent preacher. He shared a bit about daughter,  Chessie’s and her groom, Robert Berg’s, wedding held shortly before Christmas. To give a daughter away and then perform the ceremony must be hard on a father. Hal said  that she got a good husband and it was not so bad. Know it was a beautiful wedding, with a beautiful bride—wish I could have attended the ceremony, but my schedule just would not permit.
  Watching the weather news this morning I caught a bit of the inaugural ceremony. Report was that attendance was down from four years ago, even though the weather was much better. I’m sure I’ll see more of this affair on the evening news.

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