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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

The Herald staff was glad to be back to a regular schedule work week last week. Got to enjoy lunch on Tuesday. Called to get food from Nallie’s and was so sorry to hear that Don had suffered a burn and the business was closed. We do wish for him a speedy recovery.
Picked up some fried chicken from Larsons and it was delicious. We do have lots of great choices for either fast, or sit-down and enjoy, meals in the Valley these days.
Was good to see a large breakfast crowd at Dunn’s Wednesday morning. Got in my quick wave, picked up a sausage biscuit and Coke and then it was on to deliver the rest of the papers. Even though the temperature was low, it didn’t feel very cold early in the morning. Things had really changed. though, when I went down to deliver at B.T.C about eight. The wind had picked up and it felt like it was coming in from the North Pole—thought I’d freeze before I got back up the street.
Prayer meeting attendance Wednesday night was down. Not surprising though, with the extreme cold and so many sick. Have to commend our young folks, though, they braved the elements and came out. They out numbered the adults.
Thursday we got to complete the monthly federal payroll tax forms, the state withholding taxes, and the state unemployment form. I used to say I worked, without pay, for the government at least one day a month —probably was a slight exaggeration. On my delivery route Wednesday, several folks advised me to watch what I wrote in the paper. I’d not had my TV on, so was completely in the dark about the terrorist in France. I’ll take my chances and continue my criticism of the the government.
It’s never made sense to me that employers have to collect taxes for both federal and state government, then we have to fill out detailed reports about the deposits (they have gotten easier in the past few years) then are penalized  if we make a simple error, which we’d gladly correct if they’d just tell us.
After completing all the paper work I went on the nursing home. Entering Mom’s room I wished for some of that cool air I’d left outside. Got down to my short sleeved shirt and survived. It’s hard to believe it’s 10 degrees outside, when you’re in an 85-90 degree room. Didn’t even stick my nose outside though, until I left about 8:30 Friday night for a good night’s sleep at Mom’s house. Got there and found that the nursing home heat was no match for her house. Bo was making sure the pipes did not freeze. I turned the gas heater down a notch and opened the door for a few minutes—got it cooled off, enough to breath. I’d intended to sleep in Mom’s bedroom, which has heat, but decided to keep my unheated room. Slept under one quilt, even with it in the teens outside.
On Thursday afternoon I didn’t take in the food—Friday night found a dozen eggs and a couple of bananas frozen. Also had cake mix that got so cold that I don’t think it really cooked right. It did rise but the texture was not exactly right. One cake was a Mandarin orange and it was fine, but the caramel cake was a disaster. Sunday morning when I was taking my food into the church, I left it in the van, was telling Louise Green about my ugly cake, while we were getting food and tea ready for the noon meal. Her son, Billy, was listening, and says, “I’m going to eat that cake,”  so he brought it in. He and several more brave folks did eat the cake and reported that it was delicious. It was dubbed the Earthquake Cake—and it looked like a big one had hit it. Mom always said that the worse they look the better they taste—if that’s true, that cake should have been delicious.
There was a cake for each month of the year and all of them looked great and I’m sure were delicious. Our September table had a beautifully decorated fall theme cake and it was excellent. I sampled it, but ate more of my favorite cake— Cathy Sartain’s Mound Cake, which was on the October table.
  Bro. Lynn’s sermon was excellent and timely, all the food was delicious, and even on this horrible day (weatherwise) we had excellent attendance for our high attendance Sunday. Missed the many members who were unable to attend due to illness, travel, and other pressing matters.
It’s so good to see Vallians Dorothy and Sonny Shelly occasionally at the nursing home. They’re on B Wing and I rarely get there. Recently ran into them as they were returning from an outing with their daughter. They looked great. Told them they looked as if they could get out and help with Odd fellow and Rebekah projects. They were always so active in these organizations. Was so good to visit with them and to meet their daughter.
Have lost so many dear friends over the past few weeks.
Willis Holder came in today to place a thank-you note. For many years we were Main Street neighbors—he was in Arthur Walker’s Barber Shop, which was next door to the Herald. Often, his wife, Bernice was there, also. The memory we discussed today was the time she fell and broke her ankle, climbing up to get bubble gum for Jim. Jim loved them both and they were so good to him. He and their son, Allen, often played together—Main Street kids. Jim and I extend our deepest sympathy to Holder, Allen and Joyce in the loss of Bernice.
Sympathy is also extended to the family of Hubert Sanders. For many years Ed would sit-in with the Vallie Echoes and he always had a great time with this group of musicians. On rare occasions I got to go and listen and it was fun. Think we all miss the old Country Music World. Now when I watch those early tapes, I’ll get in a visit with another long-time friend.
Have lost another long-time friend, Ernest Kirkpatrick. We have not gotten any information about his memorial or funeral service, even though he died Sunday, January 4.
Kirk and I arrived in Water Valley at almost the same time. I came as a bride June 19 and he as the new band director on July 1, 1958 and continued in that capacity for several years. He and wife, Nita, Ed and I became fast friends almost immediately. They came with three children, Dan, Meagan, and baby Heather. Nita was in school at Ole Miss and also taught and played a lot. Often at night when Kirk had band chores and Nita was involved with duties at Ole Miss I’d babysit and I did love those children and their parents. This friendship continued through the years, even after they went back to Nebraska, and other points out west. When Kirk came back to our area, as band director at Coffeeville and Charleston, He and second wife, Fram, who was a fine pianist., lived in the Boatlanding Area. Fran died a few years ago and Nita many years ago. He was one of the many men who took care of me following Ed’s death. After Fran’s death, we continued to visit, mostly via phone late at night. Occasionally he’d stop by the office for a visit and many times to bring me fresh veggies grown in his container garden. Sympathy is extended to the children and the entire Kirkpatrick family. Jim and I will certainly also miss him—After Ed’s death, Kirk was Jim’s go to person for music questions.
Received a note from former Vallians Dolores and Paul Morin. that I’m sure all their friends will be interested in. “We are doing fine up here in Chicago, but we sure miss all our friends in the Valley and our old home. We sure enjoy getting the paper up here and getting to read all about the Valley.”
Miss both of you. It was so good to hear that you’re doing fine now. Thanks for writing.
Note from Charles Liles, who now lives in Olive Branch, tells us:  “Please keep the North Mississippi Herald coming. I enjoy receiving, and reading each week. I always read Betty’s Week first. I like the way you write. I would enjoy the paper even more if I knew more people living in the Valley. I  know Jean Pullen, Andrea and Dr. Lee Pullen, Mari, Eddie and Cinnamon Foster. What happened to Amy Tittle and her article, “Tittle Tales”? I always enjoyed her article and only wish she would start again and not miss.”
Thanks for writing, Charles, and for the compliments—it’s always good to hear from you.
  We got through last weekend without any icy roads, hopefully this trend will continue. Do sympathize with all those north, west and east  of us who are having such terrible weather.

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