Last week was undoubtedly the strangest of my entire life. Week before last I’d spent a couple of days entirely alone. This week I left the office Wednesday afternoon, drove home, parked the van in the carport and did not move it until 8:20 Monday morning.
During that time I was completely void of face to face human contact. Did talk a lot on the phone and watched way too much TV. Until this period I’d never been along more than a few hours. I was born into a family of three parents (my only living grandfather lived with us) and I’m sure for my first 20 months I was never left along a minute. Then came siblings and we were certainly always together, with one or more parent supervising. Then at school I was in a class of 50 or more. Summers were jam-packed with cousins, neighbors and friends.
At Northwest I had a roommate, more like a sister, and tons of friends, actually in the mid 1950s the enrollment was only a little over 300 and we were just a big happy family.
After I was engaged to Ed, I came home for a year with my big family, and also spent lots of time with Ed’s family, the Herald staff, and made many Valley friends. After our marriage we, as I’ve shared before, spent less than 20 nights apart – lots of those days and nights were 24/7. We worked together, ate together, worshiped together, and even sometimes (other things permitting) slept together. Mine has been a full and wonderful life, with so much personal contact.
Then comes the last four days and five nights, where I’ve not seen a single person. I’m so thankful for the phone and TV though—did get to hear voices and see faces. Nature has also been delightful. From my kitchen and den windows, I can watch the birds, butterflies, squirrels, and other critters. Carolina Jasmine still has a few blooms and the butterflies have been so beautiful as they flew from bloom to bloom.
I’ve seen sunshine yellow, deep orange yellows, even swallow tails and many others that I call just plain butterflies—they are all pretty. Also have seen so many gorgeous birds, along with my family of crows. Squirrels are scampering everywhere and often take spills as they leap from limb to limb—the expression on their faces when this happens is amazing. They always look both ways to see if anyone has seen their embarrassing moment. Have seen very few deer, but I’m sure it will not be long until the does bring those adorable little fawns into the back yard.
First face in the office Monday morning was David and he never looked so good. Only got in a few words because he was off to the first-of-the-month county board meeting. Then Bro. R. W. Moffett came by and we enjoyed a lengthy visit. He is looking good, very healthy, after his long bout with an illness last year. For you who do Facebook, he shared that his messages are on this medium at 6 p.m. each Sunday evening. Unfortunately I do not use Facebook. With me, it’s TV or the phone.
Sunday morning I got up early and got to listen to five fine services. First was Rev. Charles Stanley. Then a minister from the Delta, whose name was Anthony (either first or last I don’t know) and never heard the name of the church. His Palm Sunday sermon was great. I’ve been really missing music in these worship services, but this one included Tom Edwards and Tommy Steadman, playing a guitar and dobro and singing as a duet “The River’s Wide.”
Then found another message, “Do You Know Who Jesus Is?” from the Church of Christ in Fayetteville, Ala. They also included music in their program, with the choir singing A Cappella, “Calvary.” My final service was from First Baptist in Fulton, again a Palm Sunday message.
After this it was breakfast time. I had cooked bacon for a BLT and decided more of it needed to be used. Remembered Mother Shearer’s westerners—can’t make them as good as hers, but it was pretty delicious. To make this sandwich, you put mayo on one side of the bread and ketchup on the other. Saute onions and peppers and then scramble in eggs. Pile eggs on the bread and top with about three strips of bacon and the other slice of bread – this really is delicious.
Staying in is really good for the sinuses, but bad on dieting. I only went outside one time during my alone time and that was to feed birds and other critters my refrigerator clean outs. In addition to the usual scraps, I had hotdogs and other meat along with veggie left-overs. I had forgotten a delicious peach cobbler in the second fridge, so decided to try this on the animals. They really liked it – the bowl was so clean I really could have just put it back in the cabinet without a washing.
My diet included, biscuits, sausage, ham, eggs and gravy and, of course, cornbread –best I’ve made in years – purple hull peas, cabbage, baked white and sweet potatoes, round steak smoked sausage, chicken, lima beans, a couple pots of soup, cookies, cake, and home-made ice-cream. In re-arranging closets I found the little quart freezer that you just put the container in the freezer for 7-24 hours and then pour in the mixture, turn the dasher about every three minutes for 20 minutes and you have a quart of fine ice cream. I made mine banana pudding flavored and it was so good. Over these four days I’ve probably gained five pounds. This virus had better end soon or I’ll be buying a new wardrobe.
I’m sure the clothing stores are glad to hear this because I know all the Easter finery is still on the racks and shelves. My suggestion for this is that when this crisis is over, we all go out and buy a beautiful new outfit and have one big face-to-face party – want that be fun. Them we can buy more new clothes for our return to worship services in our beautiful church buildings. Why we could even have Easter in June or July. I’ll gladly cook breakfast and help stuff candy in eggs for an egg hunt. I’ll have to buy more sausage and Crispy Crowns though –I’ve eaten most of my stash that I’d been buying when Larson’s would have them on sale for the past few months before the virus hit.
Report is that Mom is still doing fine at the nursing home. I hope to go back to my regular sitting days this Thursday. Sure have missed seeing her and all the family. Have also missed my church family and other friends.
Among the missing was Ed (more than usual) as I was by myself for Jim’s birthday Sunday. It’s so hard to believe that it was 56 years ago on a Sunday (then one Sunday after Easter and this year it’s the Sunday before) that Ed, Mrs. Blackwood and Dr. Spears delivered that beautiful little baby boy – I slept through the whole thing. When I woke up I looked at Mrs. Blackwood and Ed and they looked like coons (their eyes really did have black mask). I was afraid to look in the mirror.
Finally got brave enough to do it and to my surprise I looked pretty good – compared to them. We did have a party on that Sunday afternoon. Along with the Kilgore and Shearer families, about 65 of our Camp Ground family came by that afternoon. Both Moms and I entertained, while Ed and Jim slept – they’d had a rough night. Aren’t memories great and with that I wish that sweet baby, who has grown into an incredible man, a very happy birthday.
Also wish everyone a safe and happy week and hope we can see each other soon.