Betty’s Week

           By Betty Shearer

My report on last week starts  early – last Tuesday night. We had a church committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday night and I was so afraid I’d forget it, because we have had so little church activity for the past three months. We completed the paper early Tuesday afternoon and it was sent to the printer, so I decided to just wait at the office until the appointed time to meet at the church and then go on up without going home and coming back. 

Got there about 5:45, went into the building shortly before six and waited and waited,  no one came. Really suspected that the other four members of the committee had forgotten. Finally decided to go back to the van to find a phone number for another committee member and just as I began to search, Carey and Cathy Sartain (Carey is on the committee) pulled into the parking lot. 

He rolled down the window and asked if I had a problem, to which I inquired, “Has the meeting been called off?” “No,” Carey answered, “I think it’s still on for tomorrow night.” 

I had to admit my mistake and after a good laugh, with him remarking, “I think you’re here in plenty of time,” I went on home.

Wednesday night I got there, again very early, because I had given myself time to run errands. I stopped at Larson’ and got out before the rain began. I stopped again for gas at Sprint Mart with a heavy sprinkle, but they have a cover, so I didn’t get wet. I planned to stop at Dollar General for a few minutes to pick up things we needed at the office and I needed at home, but decided to just go on to the church because the rain had started coming down pretty hard. 

Got to the church and parked by the door in a handicapped spot (none of the members are handicap) to wait. The rain really began to pour—could  not even see the building and I was only about eight feet from it. The wind was blowing so hard and  it rocked my heavy van so bad that I became frightened. I had seen pictures of 18-wheelers turned over by winds and I was not sure I was not going to be toppled, with me left hanging on the top side – I had not unfastened my seat belt. 

This continued about 30 minutes. When the rain slacked I ran inside, flipped on the light switch – no power. Finally two more members appeared and we waited and waited, until Bud McCluskey  and Carey both tried to find the other two members and they did – more humor, they had forgotten. 

One of the missing was the chair of the committee, so we advised to just stay home and reschedule the meeting, because with the wind we knew it could take a while to get power back on. Fortunately, it was only a short time at my house – had lights about seven. Maybe we’ll get it all together this week.

Rest of my Wednesday was pretty routine, with more traffic than there has been in recent months on the early morning paper route. Folks seemed to be getting ready for a happy Fourth. Back in the office, my phone began to ring. So many members of the Class of 1972 called to tell me that the unidentified photo was of Gary Lockwood. 

I’d figured that out the night before, but it was so good to talk to all those folks I’d not talked to in many years, even though many of them live right here in the Valley. I’m sure I had more fun with this picture than anyone. There were a few from classes above and below Gary who also recognized him. Also his wife’s sister, Vickie Wilkie, called and she plans to get the picture and send it to him. 

Then Monday  morning, Jimmy Holloway called to tell me who Gary was – said he knew I’d already had him identified, but just wanted to talk. Jimmy has so many memories of Water Valley, along with some current stories. Our phone visit was so much fun. 

Sister Jimmie and I plan to visit his business in Memphis, if we ever get through this virus, and I invited him to come by and visit me when he’s in the Valley.


Thursday, I’d planned to go over to Bill’s and Jimmie’s, but with the weather prediction decided to wait until Friday for my visit.  Didn’t even get a grocery list, but did take some bacon (knew the tomato season is here we are going to need bacon). Also took a couple of Edwards lemon pies. 

Except for the meringue, that pie is as good as my homemade and about half the family just trashes the meringue anyway. When I bought in my goodie travel box, Bill says, “Are there lemon pies in there?” 

“Yep I said, but they are not homemade.” 

He decided he would make do with store-bought. I also took the bottom half of a Reese’s pie—the peanut butter cream. Left off the chocolate coat, because Brother Rance will not eat chocolate, but loves peanut butter and I knew if I put that chocolate on I would lose favorite sister status. 

Of course, he was not present – had been there the day before. Even though I’d taken chocolate chips to make the top, they just put Cool-Whip on as a topping—I’m sure chocolate went on the other half, because both agreed that it would be better with chocolate. Their granddaughter, Caroline, is still with them, so I took green grapes for her. Also, reported that our experiment with sun baking slime does  not work. 

It just spreads, turns a very dark color—looks like burned peanut brittle with out the peanuts. I think all you can do with slime is play with it and Bill says, don’t leave it where the dogs can get it—he spends lots of time getting it off the grass, so it won’t gum up the lawn mower, or off his boots, if he steps in it. It’s fun to play with, but it’s also messy stuff if it get out of your hand.

Was so glad I’d waited until Friday, as Bill’s niece, Joanna, and her granddaughter stopped by. For several years Joanna had the nursery on the intersection of Hwy. 315 and 6 in Panola County. Many Vallians shopped there and she also had the pumpkin patch at Halloween. She and her husband now have a large nursery and vegetable store in Ohio. Joanna is here with her mother for a month – says, she’s free until the corn comes in. She’s also visiting with a son and his family, who are at grandmothers while preparing for  a move from New Orleans to Los Angeles—he’s military.

After the pop-up storms for the past three days, I decided to go on home early, expecting another on Friday. Was so glad it didn’t materialize. Time came in handy, though, since I’d planned to watch the HallMark veterans’ movies on Saturday. These are so uplifting and were a good way to spend the Fourth, even though I’d been invited to join the Cole family’s gathering. 

Got to hear plenty of fireworks. They started about 10 Friday night, continuing until around midnight. On Saturday night they began even earlier and continued until well after midnight —some rivaling commercial displays. Mostly, I just heard the booms, as  my trees have grown to where, when all the leaves are on, you do not see much and I was too lazy to drive down to where I could see. Did enjoy a barbecue for lunch and then a home-grown tomato sandwich for supper, so I ate well, even though it was not an outside cook-out. 

Enjoyed several cute animal displays all three days. Early Thursday  morning a doe came into the front yard and grazed for about 30 minutes in Bo’s Poke Sallet patch. She seemed to really like it and the deer have not bothered my lone tomato plant or my remaining hostas. Maybe I’ll leave all the Poke Sallet next year for the deer, hoping they will enjoy it enough to leave the flowers and veggies for me. 

Leaving the house Friday, there was a rather large turtle in the driveway For all the years we’ve lived on the hill we have had numerous little turtles (about four to six inches), but this one was probably ten or more. 

Late Saturday afternoon, I put out all the stale bread for the crows. As always they came in one after another, picking up a slice of bread before flying off to make room for the next guest. The last crow, picked up the aluminum pie pan (bread was all gone) and flew out of my sight. Really thought it had taken it with him, but getting into the van  Sunday morning, found that it has been dropped out 20 feet from the feeding spot. I’m sure he discovered that it was not very appetizing. 

Both Friday and Saturday nights I also watched the fireflies – they are almost as pretty as the fireworks. When we were children, we’d catch them, put them in jars, which we’d hang in a nearby tree, and watch them until bed time, then release them. We did not have flashlights or outside electric lights in those days and it didn’t take much to entertain the Kilgore kids. Also, all weekend I’ve seen so many pretty birds and butterflies. It has been a pretty year, even with all the storms.


Sunday was a nice day. Bro. Rob Jones brought us a message from Revelation about the third church (Pergamum) of Asia Minor (present day Turkey). Several of our members were out, on trips or ill, but we also had a few back with us for the first time. It’s so good to see folks that we have been away from since the onset of the virus. 

We were all hoping it would be over by July Fourth, but the recent news indicates that we have a long ways to go.   Hope everyone had a Happy Fourth weekend.

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