Betty’s Week

           By Betty Shearer

Wednesday morning has almost gotten back to a normal routine in Betty’s Week after the virus changed store hours and operations during the last couple of months. Enjoyed visiting at Sprint Mart, speaking to everyone at Larson’s (the folks there are very busy early in the morning, with everyone getting breakfast), still have to skip Tobacco World and return to deliver there at eight, knock on the door at the hospital and someone comes to take the papers, an easy delivery at Sayle as papers go into a news rack, but usually do get to speak to a few folks, then it’s Dunn’s where it’s getting back to normal. 

They have safe distancing for their tables at Dunn’s, but the food is still delicious. After that I double back to Express Mart and usually there are a number of folks to speak to and almost always there is very nice, long-time checker, Abraham waiting for the papers.

At Central Street Food Mart, I’m still delivering both their papers and Rascal’s (they are still opening at eight). Then it’s back to the office, where the day’s work begins – Ann comes in to clean and I do whatever needs to be done that I can handle. Drive last week was nice, pretty good weather and the landscape is still very pretty.

Wednesday night I baked layers for strawberry cakes, which were iced Thursday morning. Also made a pressure cooker full of vegetable/beef soup. This cooking is to help feed some of our Woodland Hills members as well as friends of the church who need a little help with meals due to health problems. On Thursday morning I also made cornbread to go with the soup. 

Wanda McCluskey is helping with this. We both enjoy cooking and  it’s a joy to be able to help folks. For a long time now, I’ve not been able to cook because of my sitting schedule with Mom. She would be so proud of me, because one of her major joys in life was cooking and caring for others. I feel those pats on the back, as she encourages me to keep up the good work that she set the example for. Noway I can ever do all she did, but I’ll do my best. She always said that was all she every expected from any of her children—whether it be work, school, or any other endeavor in our lives. She sure would not want me to drive anyone to the hospital in Memphis, Jackson or Tupelo—probably would not even want me to drive to the hospital in Batesville or Water Valley. Mom did not think very highly of my driving.

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On Friday, I did a few chores and called Jimmie to see if she wanted to start on cleaning up Mom’s house. Was so sorry to hear that she had a funeral to attend. Bill’s oldest brother’s wife, Charlie Ruth Onkst Cole, had passed away. She had fought an illness for several years, but you never are ready to give them up. Some of you National Guard folks may remember John “Sonny” Cole, who was with the Guard for many years. Sympathy is extended to him, the daughters, and grands.

Since I was not going to Mom’s house, I did a bit of cleaning at my house. First project was to de-clutter under my bathroom laboratory – don’t know how all that junk got under there. Found three rolls of toilet paper, squashed pretty flat and which before this crisis I’d have just thrown into the garbage bag. Not now—I pressed those things back to almost round and am using them. 

Also surfacing were four boxes of Kleenex, a couple of partial rolls of paper towels, several bars of Dial soap, a couple bottles of shampoo and conditioner, many light bulbs, several bottles of lotion, and even an expensive bottle of White Linen perfume, still in its box. In addition to all of this I threw away a good size bag of junk. It does look much better and I wonder just  how long this straight area will survive? 

After this I cleaned out the two drawers , and towel storage on either side – they were not quiet as bad, but did get out some clutter. On Saturday, my cleaning continued. Got all the out-of-date food out of the fridge, straightened up the freezer, and then put away some of the food items and storage containers that were left on the counter top.

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While talking to Jimmie, I explained that we have no toilet paper, paper towels, or tissue on the shelves at Larson’s. Then we remembered what we  had often used for each of these products. Jimmie and Ed always washed windows, mirrors and other decorative glass items and they used newspapers, even when there was plenty of paper towels. It’s a much better cleaning medium – makes glass really shine. Don’t waste paper towels, clean with newspapers. If you don’t have a supply, come by the Herald and I’ll give you some. For drying dishes, get out those dish towels – they work well and you can wash and re-used them. It takes years for them to wear out and then you can use them for cleaning or dusting rags. 

For dusting, cut up old t-shirts, cotton undies, or even just good cotton clothing that is soft, if they’ve gotten holes, tears or bleach spots. All these things work fine and they last a long time and washing is not hard or expensive – so far we can buy  plenty of laundry detergent. 

We didn’t come up with a substitute for toilet tissue, so we suggest that you just use it sparingly. Another saver for paper towels is to use your hand towels and not paper towels for drying hands. I found several old hand towels, told David and Mel to pick one to use and at the end of the week take it home and wash it.

Even before Ed died, he and I started this in the bathroom. Our hand towel rack has two pegs, his was on top and mine on the bottom. I washed white clothes in the middle of the week and sheets and other towels on Saturday – hand towels were washed in both loads. I’m still using my towel– it has a few holes and ravels, but it has saved a ton of paper towels. I also have hung a dish towel on the stove rack for drying my hands in the kitchen.

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It was such a joy to be back in church Sunday. At Woodland Hill we had 35 to 40 members present. We were spaced six feet or more apart, with families occupying rows. Sammie Cobern and I sat on some of the front pews on the piano side of the church. Sunday I was on row two and she was a couple of rows back, so we were fine. Others were doing the same. 

It was so great to be able to pick up a hymnal and sing, with Sammie at the piano and Barbara Warren on the organ bench. Travis did an excellent job directing. Even though we did not have a choir, we all sang like choir members.

Bro. Rob Jones brought our message and it was a great one on the Great Commission. Even though we’re not able to get out and go in a normal way, we can still tell the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection, providing a bridge back to God, via the phone, social media, postal mail and other ways. 

We do appreciate Bro. Rob being with us, even  though he’d left his wife who was expecting to deliver their baby any minute. If it did not come Sunday night they were to enter the hospital Monday morning to induce labor. Our prayers are with them.

It was so good to see everyone, to wave, talk even at a distance, hear a Sunday School lesson, then sing, pray and hear a sermon with a real live preacher standing in a pulpit and not on a TV screen. Hopefully, this will continue and  it will only get better and better. 

TV coverage is already about the Memorial Day weekend, which is also going to be much different. Was glad to see NASCAR races on TV, even though they had to race with empty stands and also golf being played – a benefit for all the working heroes. 

Hope everyone has a good week. Congratulations to all the seniors who would have enjoyed their commencement ceremony this week. I’m sure we’ll think of something to substitute for this when things get back to some sort of normal – may even be better than the real thing.

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