Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer


    Weather was definitely the topic of conversation over the past weekend. Left here late Thursday afternoon and the cold air had already started to filter into our area. The rain was still falling. Our night sitters were alerted to just stay if we could not get to Mom and that we’d do the same if they couldn’t get in at their appointed times.
    Surprisingly we had no serious problems. I was a few minutes late Friday morning because when I attempted to unlock my doors I found them frozen shut.
    Remembered that Ed took my hand-held hair dryer and thawed them. Mom uses a bonnet type dryer so that would not work. After thinking about the situation for a few minutes I decided to try hot water. Realized that it could freeze even harder, but took a chance. It worked. When I asked about frozen locks, found that that’s the way most folks thaw them. Well, this was the first time I’d had to deal with frozen door locks—it’s been almost 10 years since Ed’s death and we’ve not had weather cold enough to freeze up the door locks in that length of time. I have been lucky.
    During our snow last year it was still just a little below freezing—certainly not the 19 we had Friday night. Also, my van was out in the elements, parked on the north side of the house. Mom’s carport is completely stuffed with broken dozer parts and left-over building materials. I couldn’t even get to the freezer, much less park a van under it.
    Then I got another scare Saturday night. When I left the nursing home at 8:30 it was drizzling rain and the temperature was dropping. Just knew that I’d wake up to ice on trees, power lines, and roads. Got up around 6, but decided not to try to get to the Valley in time for church Sunday morning. Decided it would  be safer coming home in the middle of the afternoon.
    Had no problems, but think I might have in the early morning hours, because there was still lots of water in the ruts on the highway and I’m sure it was frozen earlier in the day.
     The morning forecast (Monday) was for more rain to come in late today and tonight and the temperature was again predicted to dip below freezing. May not make it to work in the morning. I’m just terrified of driving even on sleet and snow and I’m certainly not going out on icy roads.
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    Bo came down with the crud, so I didn’t see him until Sunday morning. He had been to the doctor and was taking medicine, but still did not sound good. He thought he was past the contagious stage and went back to sit with Mom this morning.
    Jimmie came by Saturday afternoon and she had broken a couple of toes. They looked awful—black and blue and badly swollen. It hurt me to watch her walk. Rance and I were the only able bodies family sitters, but we made it fine.
    Mom seems to be getting better slowly. She was eating much better, going to therapy and they reported doing good, and talking a bit more to  us and less to folks not in the room. She even remembered that I’d told her we were doing some work on her house. Asked if it was nearing completion, because she was ready to go home.
    The extent of my cooking was pulling a pot of soup from the freezer and making cornbread to go with it. Was good all weekend.
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    Report was that Woodland Hills’ candy cane give-away went well. I hated to miss this—it’s always fun to greet all the passersby early Saturday morning of parade day.
    Also heard that the parade was great, even though it was a cold day. Also had to miss this. Mom had to have a sitter.
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    I watch a lot of TV while sitting 14-16 hours on both Friday and Saturday each week.
    Saturday morning I watched a Pearl Harbor special—72 years after the event. It contained a lot of information I don’t remember ever hearing, with many original film clips.
    The damage was almost  unbelievable and the account said only 2,400 lives were lost. From looking at the ships and building it would have seemed that the fatality count would have been much  higher. Had this happened today, we would have known the whole story in a matter of hours, much of it in a few minutes. Then, even the President did not see the damage—he heard about it via phone. He choose not to share the extent of the damage for a time, even with his staff and congress.
    The first report of the event from a Roosevelt came from his wife, Eleanor, on her weekly radio broadcast. Her excellent speech was interesting.
    President Roosevelt’s address was a little over six minutes long and was very limited in what he said. A declaration of war was declared the next day when he met with a joint session of congress.
    One of the surprises to me was that the U.S. had a limited  budget for the presidential car. This did not allow for a bullet-proof auto, so with the unrest following Pearl Harbor, security looked for a way of protecting the President. Found Al Capone’s car in the vehicles which had  been confiscated. On the way to the meeting, President Roosevelt was told what the car was and  his reply was, “I hope Al doesn’t mind me borrowing his car.”
    In addition to Pearl Harbor they were concerned about the Philippians and Gen. McArthur was notified. His reply was “We’ll be ready.” He was. He lined all the airplanes up on the runway and never got them off the ground, so most of the aircraft was destroyed.
    Further concern was about an attack on  our west coast, which they believed could extend as far east as Chicago. After hearing what was known at this time, I’m glad this did not materialize. Report was that we had only one group of battle ready troops in the entire U.S. That’s hard to believe. It was stated that we were a third rated military power at the time.
    I still maintain that we won World War II  because God wanted us to.
     This was aired on MPBS and if you get a chance to watch it I highly recommend the program.
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    I rarely watch a football game on TV. However, the MPBS station was what came up when I turned the TV on at Mom’s Saturday night. Oxford was playing Picayune in a state high school playoff game. Quarterback Armstrong was doing a wonderful job of throwing the ball and I saw him complete passes to make two touchdowns in a matter of minutes. This put Oxford ahead two touchdowns—just knew that they had the game won, so I continued to watch. Was so disappointed when Picayune, late in the game made two touchdowns in a matter of minutes to win. We always pull for our north half teams.
    Oxford’s quarterback is only a sophomore, so I expect we’ll see him and his team in the state playoffs next year.

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