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Betty’s Week

Betty’s Week
By Betty Shearer

As I was cleaning  out the van late Tuesday, getting ready for Wednesday morning delivery, I was amazed at the sky. The jets had been busy and the trails were so beautiful against the bright blue sky. Took a load of papers inside and when I came back the sun was setting and the trails had turned bright pink and against that sky, the image was breath taking. Apparently there was no air currents up high because the jet trails remained very clear. I just had to stop for a few minutes and enjoy the beauty.
Early Wednesday morning I tuned in the news, primarily to hear the weather prediction. Didn’t sound good. Heavy rain and some wind was supposed to hit the Valley around six a.m. That’s about the time I leave on my delivery route. Decided to come in earlier than normal, as right then there was only a slow drizzle, and maybe get papers loaded before heavy rain came. Papers loaded, I did a few odd jobs before leaving – no need to rush as stores open near 6 a.m.
Got papers into Sprint Mart and Larson’s with just light rain, then at Tobacco World it got harder and by the time I was at the hospital it was coming down pretty steady. The rain was still hard when I got to Sayle’s store, but the paper stands there are covered (that’s so nice). Then at Dunn’s the rain had almost stopped and by the time I arrived back at the office it had completely stopped. Didn’t visit much along the route, as I was trying to beat the storms expected. Thankfully, they never materialize.
Mel had been ill on Tuesday, but came in for a little while Wednesday to help with the monthly billing. Her husband, Del, drove her over to work and took her home. Del and I enjoyed a short visit before they returned to Panola County.
After David finished his work, he started his Thanksgiving holidays, and I stayed until about 4 p.m. – finished getting statements into envelopes. Went to Larson’s to pick up a few things I needed for the weekend and ran into our across the street neighbor, Greg Segroves, and we had a great visit.
During the pandemic we have called in plenty of pizza orders, but had not seen him – they deliver.
Jim called to see what I was doing for Thanksgiving. Told him that even though the Cole family had invited me to  join them, I had opted just to stay  home and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, an event I’d missed in recent years as I was sitting with Mom in the nursing home.
Well that didn’t turn  out so well, we lost power about 30 minutes into the parade and it only returned about 30 minutes before the Santa float. I know the power loss was more disturbing to cooks getting the Thanksgiving feast on the table than to me missing a parade.
With no power I did a bit of dusting, mopping  and dish washing. Jim had suggested that I watch the Steelers game that night, they are his and Celeste’s favorite teams. Well that game got canceled, so I just watched Hallmark movies.
Continuing with Jim and my phone visit, he said they were having the Cole/Kilgore Christmas brunch for their Thanksgiving meal. It was a bit different though. I learned about some strange bacon – don’t think it’s made it into our area.
He asked, “Mom do you know what hog jowl is?” Certainly I did, but we used it to season peas, beans and greens. He says it’s applewood smoked, and has a sweet cured taste – reports that it’s delicious. He couldn’t figure out where the sweet taste was from, but I’m sure it is the old sugar cure that was used when we had no freezer. To keep meat from ruining, the pork was cured in a smoke house, with salt, pepper and sugar cure. Served with this was other breakfast foods.
My main Thanksgiving meal was also brunch, but with hot sausage, an egg over medium, and biscuits. In the afternoon I enjoyed a peanut and butter sandwich. We did recall those wonderful Thanksgiving dinners at MamMaw’s house, which we’ll probably enjoy again once this pandemic is over. Food won’t be quite as good, and there will be no Rook games, but we’ll have fun remembering.
Our conversation ended with a discussion of social media. Jim’s said (and I was surprised that he remembered this) our original social media in the old days  was MamMa’s down-the-road-neighbor, Emma Wilkerson, who stayed on the eight-party line day and night.
If you wanted the gossip, just pick up the phone and listen to Miss Emma for an hour or so (if MamMaw didn’t catch you and make you hang up). If you wanted to use the phone, you had to request that Miss Emma hang  up for a few minutes until you got in your emergency call. As soon as you hung up, she was right back to spreading the news, probably even your emergency call.
There were no secrets in the eight families on this party line – and we all loved it.  Miss Emma had jet black hair (out of the bottle) and one time Jimmie’s beautician decided she should be a brunette. Well it didn’t turn out so well – her dye job turned out to be exactly the same as Miss Emma’s and it would not wash out. For a long time, she was referred to as “Miss Emma” by her brothers.
Friday morning I got up early, thinking I’d hear from Jimmie. I’d called late Thursday night, thinking I’d given her ample time to get home. She didn’t call and I forgot to call back later. About 8:30 Friday morning I was in the kitchen after  breakfast washing dishes. It was drizzling rain and the clouds were dark. Heard what I thought was a clap of thunder. Looked out the kitchen window and out the back windows and saw no sign of a storm. Went to the den window, which gives a pretty good view of the highway with so many of the leaves having falling, and saw numerous blue and red lights just to the west of my driveway. Traffic was being stopped just east of the drive.
Decided it was not a good time to go to Panola County. So I just stood at the window and watched. In the ditch there was a large object that was blue – couldn’t  figure it  out, but was not curious enough to go down my driveway to investigate. Watched for about two hours (during some of this time traffic was allowed to move) but finally a wrecker arrived and traffic was again stopped.
After a long time it righted the wrecked vehicle and it was the Pepsi Cola truck. After it was towed away, traffic began to move again. I still do not know the cause of the wreck, or if anyone was injured. The accident is a mystery though, since that part of the highway is the straightest and most level between Water Valley and the Pope/WV turnoff.
Inquiring about this accident in church Sunday, I heard of two other wrecks that happened Friday on the bypass. One was at the intersection of Highway 315 and the other at the intersection of North Main.
The bad weather finally arrived Sunday. The morning was not so bad, just a cold drizzle and cold wind. However, by the time I had to leave for night service it was pouring and the wind was very cold.
We have a pastor who is completely new to the services of the church. I’ve never had this in all my church days, and that’s most of my life. We had our first observance of the Lord’s Supper  since the pandemic began and it was Bro. Rob Jones’ first time to officiate this ordinance. He was a bit apprehensive, but with guidance from fellow pastors in the area, our deacons, and me (chairman of the Lord’s Supper Committee), he did a fine job. Told him that he would never have a problem with this ordinance, because he’s survived this very unusual one. Assured him that the usual is much easier. I was a bit nervous about serving this in a safe way. Had offered many prayers asking for guidance in this. With the Lord’s guidance, Barbara Warren and I  decided that placing the bread in juice cups, and having the servers wear gloves and masks and serve the participants rather than passing it, we should be safe. No one objected and the service went smoothly.
The Sunday night service was the Mission Moment, in conjunction with the Lottie Moon Offering, which was also a new program for Bro. Rob. Becky York is our Mission Chairman and she always has a very inspiring program. Our focal area this year was Mexico City and the program was very informative. Think everyone enjoyed it very much – know Bro. Rob did, and so did I.
Can’t believe today is November 30 – tomorrow starts the last month of 2020. The shortest day of the year will be December 21 and then Christmas Day. Where has 2020 gone? Seems like it should have been long and drawn out, but to me it has passed very quickly, even though much of it was boring. Even with the pandemic and elections this year, the thing that will overshadow these in our family is the loss  of Mom, and not because it was a very sad time. It actually was a sweet home going, as Mom had lived a long and  happy life serving her fellow man, which she enjoyed. The only sad thing about Mom’s death is missing her physically, but we know that we’ll all be back together soon.
If the prediction holds, very cold weather will be in our Valley for the next few days. Hope everyone, who likes the cold, enjoys it. Personally I enjoyed Thanksgiving Day, when I actually walked outside barefooted and I rarely go outside without shoes, even in the hot summer sun.

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