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Betty’s Week

A note came with the notice to stop Judy and Tom Bush’s paper. It told us that Tom had passed away and Judy has dementia and can no  longer read the paper. Having missed the Watermelon Carnival several years now, I had also missed visiting with these two long-time friends. I always loved their falling-in-love story. For you who have  never heard it and for those of you like me who enjoy remembering — it would make a wonderful Hallmark movie script. 

Judy worked at Turnage Drug Store and Tom came with a distant National Guard unit—probably from Texas since Judy and Tom have lived in the Ft. Worth area for many years. These young men were staying in the Valley during the Ole Miss integration time and they would often visit Turnage’s for snacks or ice cream treats. 

During this short time in the Valley Judy and Tom fell in love, were married and enjoyed a long happy life together. I’ve always thought that was a great illustration of God’s getting His  selected life-partner matches together.


With a subscription renewal from Betty Robertson came the notice of another death that I have either missed or forgotten. She tells us that her husband, Loomis, died a year ago. When I first came to the Valley I made the smart remark that I could talk about anyone, since I had no relatives here. I’d been told not to talk about anyone because  you might be talking about a cousin. 

Well Loomis’ mother called to tell me a couple of weeks into my residency in the Valley that we were related – and even though it was very distant, family is family. The Robertsons had been  married for 61 years and Betty states that God had been good to them and their children. It was good to hear from you and my sympathy is extended in your loss. 

Sorry that through the years we did not get to spend more time together. For  years the Robertsons lived away from the Valley and after they returned to our area, my time has been spent at the Herald, visiting with my Mom, or in church.


Water Valley native Barbara Strange Andrews, a long-time resident of Alpherata, Ga., called Wednesday afternoon.  She has moved to Rome, Ga., where she finds the smaller city life more enjoyable. She, also, has lost her husband. When she  moved to Rome, she let her Herald subscription expire and has lost touch with the Valley. When I got to know the family, her father was already dead and her mother had married Mr. Rogers. 

Barbara was a member of Don Holloway’s class, but graduated a year early with Ed’s class of 1953.  We talked for about 45 minutes and it was great recalling all the old memories. Barbara said, “I really had a  hard time finding the Herald and you.” Our phone number has been out of the directory for a few years now and we really don’t know how to get it back in. Barbara found Lucia’s number, called her and she gave  her our number—I’m glad the old phone landlines still work. Thanks for calling, Barbara, I really enjoyed our visit. She says tell all her friends, “Hello.”


  Thanks to all of you who keep up with Mom. I’m glad to report that we had a pretty good week at the nursing home in Batesville. Mom ate well and only refused to take her meds a couple of times. Thursday Med Nurse Christiana came in after breakfast and Mom refused her pills. Christina says, “I’ll wait until after lunch”, which she did and Mom took the pills with no objection. Then on Friday, Amy Vanlandingham had to try a couple of times, but after waiting about an hour Mom says, ”I’m sure I need them, so lets have them” and she cheerfully swallowed her medicine. I, on the other hand, am worn out—had to come back to work to get some rest. Working in a NH is hard work. 

Breakfast is served about 8 and it takes close to an hour for Mom to eat, then it’s pill time—often this takes a few minutes. Then Mom goes to the bathroom and gets ready for the day. After getting her sitting up, I fill her water glass, find her Kleenex, and anything else she wants. Then I eat a snack. After a few minutes rest, it’s time for lunch, which takes another hour. Then it is another bathroom trip. I  now get to eat a sandwich and rest a few minutes, before she hits the shower. A little more rest and its supper time. After another hour it’s her bedtime and I finally get to turn on the TV and relax an hour or so before its changing time, and this routine continues all night at three-hour intervals.  

Added to all this on Thursday night we had two terrible thunderstorms, which meant that I got absolutely no sleep. When I arrived  home Friday night, I ate a bowl of soup, showered, and hit the bed, where I stayed until about ten Saturday morning. Napped all day, with breaks for cleaning. 

Many of you ask for my recipes and I really don’t have many. Most of my cooking comes from what’s available and making it work. Well, I was hungry Saturday and was to lazy to grocery shop, so I searched the fridge and freezer. 

In the freezer I found some left over hamburger patties, so I pulled them out, dumped a can of Hunt’s 4-cheese spaghetti sauce in the pan and put the frozen burgers in. As they thawed I pulled them out  and chopped them into meatball pieces, all the while sautéing onions and bell peppers. Put this all in the pot to simmer, while a half bag of angel hair spaghetti, left over from last batch of chicken spaghetti, cooked.  

Added another cheese (pepper jack) to the mix and it was good. Sides were left over lima beans and a green salad made from lots of chopped up veggies left over from a party, mixed with a staple—iceberg lettuce.  Bread was left over hot dog buns from Bible school, buttered and toasted—always keep left over buns (hot dog or hamburger in the freezer) as they are an excellent substitute for French bread and they also work well as the white bread in dressing or as croûtons. 


Sunday afternoon, Woodland Hills had charge of the devotional at Yalobusha County Nursing Home. It was good to see so many of the residents out for this service, conducted by Robert Patton. Travis York, led the singing and about 20 members of the church formed the choir, with Sammie Cobern at the piano. Many of the residents joined in the singing.

Prior to the service I visited with Dot Forsyth for a few minutes. After the service I wanted to catch up some more on what had been happening to Dot and her family—we’ve been friends for many years. Dot had a stroke some four years ago—right after I began sitting with Mom—and somehow I had missed this. She told me she was in the NH in Grenada for several years, only getting back to the Valley recently.  She says she is so happy to be back home, where all her family and friends can visit on a regular basis. Her son, Paul, and Jim were only one year apart and both were in the band, so they were great friends and nephew, Steve Thompson, and Jim were classmate, and her sister, Julia, was Jim’s Cub Scout leader. Paul is now a trouble shooter for a building contracting company and she says he loves his work. Her older son, John, is still in the Valley and I see him occasionally. Also see sisters, Nancy and Julia, but they need to do a better job of keeping me up to date on the family—guess that they think because I’m on Main Street I just know everything. 


Can you believe that Watermelon Carnival is only a little over a week away. Made arrangements in my schedule to get to the Music Festival on Thursday night, and to get home early enough on Friday night to see the fireworks—my two favorite parts of the Carnival. Then, I’ll just have to see how many more of the events I can work in.

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