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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

Found all the traffic I’d missed for the preceding two weeks as I delivered papers last Wednesday morning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many vehicles on the road at that early hour before. Everyone must have finally realized that Christmas is coming—and soon. Business should have been excellent in all stores last Wednesday. Was great to get to wish so many a Merry Christmas. After taking about an hour and a half to deliver papers, it was back to the office and to help finish the Christmas Greeting Section, which is included in this week’s paper.
This has been a bittersweet week. The dates and days of the week this year have been exactly the same as 2003 (year I lost Ed). On Friday, 11 years ago, we went shopping for a live Christmas tree. First stop was at the Arechea Tree Farm. We’d taken the back roads to the farm — a usual route, if there was time, and if you were traveling with Ed. We saw some interesting country that morning, some of it on posted land, which I think was in a pasture.
Finally found Mr. Arechea and discovered that he was out of the tree business — it had been several years since we’d had a tree. Had a great visit though, and he suggested that we visit the Morris Tree Farm, near Bruce. They’d advertised in the Herald for several years and we were delighted to meet them, buy a tree, along with some wreaths and decorations. They were such delightful folks and we enjoyed our visit so much. That tree (the prettiest I’ve ever seen) was never to be decorated.
Went on to Bruce and looked around, then to Oxford before coming home, still traveling the back roads. We saw some areas of Lafayette County that I doubt many folks have ever seen and no, I can’t take you there.
Back home we went to shower and dress to return once again to Calhoun County. We were dinner guest of friends, James and Ernie Caviness in Calhoun City. It was the last great outing we had before Ed’ s death. Food was delicious and the fellowship wonderful. James had just gotten a new Harley. He and Ed went out to the garage for Ed to see it. Wound up with Ed just sitting on it for a couple of hours—weather was so bad they couldn’t take a ride. Back inside, James gets out his fakebooks (music for a jazz band he been a member of years before). While sitting on the motorcycle these two boys had decided to start a superior jazz band. Ed was playing with the Substitutes at the time, but they didn’t play nearly enough for him.
In this short time they’d worked out motorcycle riding and a jazz band, and then Ernie and Ed get on airplanes. She had a private pilot’s license, as did Ed. Unfortunately, Ed could no longer fly because he could not pass the medical. Ernie says, “I rarely fly anymore, it’s no fun by  yourself.” So she invited Ed to come over and fly her plane anytime, which is legal if you have a pilot with you with a valid license. Ed left that dinner party a happy man.
Ed woke up Saturday morning with a terrible respiratory infection. The Cavinesses got it also—I had to be the odd ball and get a stomach virus on Monday night. Never did have the respiratory variety even though I slept with Ed through the whole thing. He stayed in bed all day Saturday, got up Sunday with a temp of 102, but went to church and directed the cantata. Working awhile and then resting we finally got out the Christmas  paper. We skipped Christmas with the family and then started on the New Year’s edition. Ed died on Monday afternoon and many friends and neighboring newspaper folks helped complete the New Years paper. Also, none of the best laid plans of Friday night ever came to fruition.
On Sunday we enjoyed a nativity presented by the children of the church, under the direction of our pastor’s wife, Danielle Jones, a beautiful solo, “Mary Did You Know?” by Travis York, and the Christmas message by our pastor, Rev. Lynn Jones, using scripture Luke 2:1-20, which urged us to consider who’d come to our Christmas celebrations. Using the Biblical people attending the first Christmas celebration, he related them to faith (Mary), humility (Joseph), praise and worship (angels), and joy (shepherds).
We did not have service Sunday night, so I watched some TV movies. Intended to watch the service from North Oxford, but got into “Skipping Christmas.” This is the only John Grisham book in our library and I really don’t  know how it got there—Jim either left it or I brought it from Jimmie’s house. Read the book many years ago and it came at a very good time.  It was one of those depressing Christ-mases, when I was really missing Ed. Laughed and cried through the book—read all night—and then felt much better. Last night I was  again a little down and the movie, “Skipping Christ-mas”, which I did not know had been made, came on. Twice now I’ve been perked up by Mr. Grisham’s work.
The office crew enjoyed a chili  lunch, complete with Butterfinger Cake for dessert, next door at J’ On Main Monday. Lunch was so delicious and the fellowship was even better – having such great Main Street neighbors is wonderful. We all ate too much, but concluded that we might as well get the Christmas eating season off to a good start and Glenda’s food is definitely a good way to begin. Thanks for the invitation.
Here’s wishing everyone a very safe and enjoyable Merry Christmas.

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