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Betty’s Week

              By Betty Shearer

The fish must have  been really biting last Wednesday morning. I saw many, many fishing boats – from little aluminum crafts to the big, expensive bass boats. I’m not a big fisherman, even though we often  had fishing outings during my growing up days. These fishing trips were at private lakes or the river. I’d take a book, find a shade tree to  lean against and dangle my pole in the water. 

Mom always packed a great picnic, which added to the fun day, and Mom, Dad, Granddad, and my siblings caught fish, which I later enjoyed. In my teen years we also enjoyed fishing and swimming in both Sardis and Enid lakes. 

Lately we’ve been discussing a family fish cook-out and the boys were discussing where the best fish could be purchased. Not even the brothers are fishing anymore. We’ve either gotten old or lazy – maybe both. Everyone on the paper route was doing fine and driving has certainly gotten so easy. I’m going to have to re-learn how to maneuver in heavy traffic when we’re back to normal.


Thursday we finally got around to putting  the kitchen back together at Mom’s house. It had been packed into boxes when nephew, Michael, and his family lived in her house for a few years. We were amazed at the amount of stuff there had been in this small kitchen. No way was it all going back.. I really think when any room is decompressed it really does spring. 

We filled a couple of garbage cans (the big commercial ones—hers and Bo’s and Carolyn’s.) Mom had two or three sets of old cookware—the first non-stick kind, which had totally become trashable. All of that went. We saved the new pots and pans and her original stainless steel.  Everyone took the CorningWare, Tupperware, casseroles dishes, glasses, and all the china that matched ours. 

We left a couple sets of china, flatware, plenty of serving pieces, and lots of storage ware. The only good thing we threw away was a hand mixer, which was found with no beater blades. I found them in the last box I unpacked, but Jimmie would not go through the garbage, so blades went, also. We all found ourselves swapping items owned by us. 

Jimmie needed cast iron and I have a ton in my cabinets, so she got all my pieces that were at Mom’s. Also, gave her the large pieces of CorningWare – I cook for one, maybe up to four, so I don’t need four-quart dishes. She does, because when her boys and their families come, that’s a crowd, and  the Cole family is still sizable. Usually our family also gathers at the Cole home, and if we decided to eat at Mom’s we left plenty to get a meal on the table.

Things just seem to accumulate at mother’s house though. Not long ago I decided to make a carrot cake and this cake is much better if you use large carrots inset of the small ones, which have already been peeled. Looked for a potato peeler and there was not a single one in my utensil drawer. Knew I’d purchased a dozen or more over the years, but they had all disappeared. Went to Larson’s and Dollar General and there was not one to be found. Finally peeled the things with a knife and that’s no fun. 

Putting Mom’s utensils in her drawer and counter stand, I found all  my potato peelers—about two dozen. Brought my dozen home, along with bottle openers, big spoons, spatulas, manual can openers, and lots of other stuff you occasionally need. I also  took my KitchenAid Mixer (willed to me by Ludie Appleton) home. After years of use in Mom’s kitchen and then setting up a few years it was grimy. 

We had not exactly kept it clean at Ludie’s and I’d used it there for many years. I’d always thought the thing was white and had just turned creamy. Not so, it is a very pretty cream color – matches my kitchen appliances exactly and after I spent almost a day with several scrubbers, and all my fingernails, it looks like brand new. The cord is even cream and very pliable, after all the dirt and mould was removed. Found no rust – the thing is stainless steel and porcelain. It also can be dismantled very easily with a Phillips screw driver. I’m sure every part on it can be replaced. Jimmie has a similar model (probably 20-30 years newer). She picked the old mixer up and almost dropped it because it is so heavy. It only got cleaned because there are so many memories attached to it – first  at Ludie’s and then at Mom’s.

Also brought home Mom’s toaster oven. I’ve been heating my big oven up each morning to make a piece of toast for years. Every one else had their own, so it came to me and it really is nice—I also re-heated fried chicken and made chips crisp again. To make room for the oven and mixer, I cleaned off my counter space – I hardly recognize my own kitchen. Got on a cleaning roll and cleaned out the fridge and the stove, including the oven. Dishwasher stays clean (or did) because I never use it. However, I found that a lot of stuff can be stored there.


Late one afternoon Wanda and Bud McCluskey came over. Wanda wants some small Magnolia trees, which we thought were under my old tree. Unfortunately they were only limbs that had dropped down and looked like they had rooted. If you have babies under your trees that you want to give alway, just call me or Wanda – I’m sure she’ll have Bud come and dig them up. They brought lemon slushes from Sonic and mine was delicious, especially while we were outside in the hot afternoon. After being out for a couple of hours, none of us had a dry thread, and our hair was dripping. Back inside I had to find the shampoo. Wanda said she did the same. When I started washing my hair, I kept finding twigs and other debris from being under the trees and bushes. Unusual for me, because I rarely get off the sidewalk. Even with the heat, we had an enjoyable visit.


Sunday we again had services at Woodland Hills, both Sunday school and morning worship. For worship we had about 60 in attendance and Bro. Rob Jones again filled the pulpit. He’s an excellent preacher and brought us a message on the Second Coming of Christ, explaining all the things that are supposed to happen before this happens have been fulfilled. Now we still don’t know the exact time, but we do need to be ready. If you don’t know Jesus as your personal savior, I urge you to do so.

We were glad to learn that the Jones’ second daughter had arrived last Monday. She has been named Amelia Elise and will be called Millie.

After church Wanda and Bud took me along for another great picnic. We found a short line at one of our favorite places, Cook-Out in Oxford. Bud got a hamburger that looked really good, with delicious sides. But let me tell you about our hamburgers for lunch on Thursday – the worst I’ve ever had and they came from a fast food place in Batesville that has always served excellent food.  The meat patty was about an eighth of an inch thick, with lots of mayonnaise, two little slivers of  onion and two pickles. 

But back to Sunday,Wanda ate a chicken wrap with sides and I had a spicy chicken sandwich, which was great, along with cole slaw and onion rings. Then later we went back for milk shakes. I usually get a banana pudding flavor, but selected strawberry and it was so good. Wanda had M & M and Bud got Butterfinger, and they both were reported to be delicious. You really should not eat a meal before eating a milkshake. I just had a small bowl of tomato soup for supper—no crackers or cornbread—to help make up for a few of those lunch calories. 


 Monday was really dull on Main Street – I’m sure all our neighbors were closed for the Memorial Day holiday. Hope they  are having a great holiday and also hope everyone else is having fun celebrating. 

Jeanette Whitehead was in the office earlier and she asked about my snakes. Was happy to tell her that so far this year, I’ve not seen a snake in my yard, and the boys, even when cutting grass, have not reported seeing one. However, I know they’re there – just hiding. Was so good to see Jeanette and enjoy reminiscing a little with her. Will be glad when this crisis is over and everyone can drop by for a visit.

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