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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

Early last week when I called North Mississippi Mechanical, Martha answered the phone and I enjoyed a visit with her. She was our next door neighbor for many years when she worked for the laundry.
Martha loved cold weather and was like a kid when snow came. Ed always threatened rolling her in the snow and he probably did. I’d called to ask her son, Scott Russel, to stop by my house to check the central unit and light the pilot, and also to light the pilot on my little gas heater in the living room.
Was so glad to find Scott so efficient, because I was very happy when I opened the front door Monday afternoon and saw that tiny little pilot shining brightly. Turned the heater to one and soon my house was toasty warm. It was cold when I first went in because I had turned all the electric heaters off before going to work that morning.
We really went directly from summer to winter over the weekend  after Thanksgiving weekend. I’d been outside in short sleeves and was comfortable, but  by last Wednesday morning, when I started the paper delivery route, it was 24 degrees. I let the van idle at all stops and the heater ran. Weather prediction for the early part of the week this week is for cold until end of the week, when rain will move in.
David was out with his wife, Charlotte, who had surgery on Wednesday. We’re glad to report that the procedure went well and she is recuperating very well. Mel and I had no problem keeping the Herald going. I did leave her in charge late in the afternoon, as my team was responsible for the evening meal that night. All I had to do was warm my gumbo up, make cornbread, cobblers and tea.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and fellowship and we had a pretty good crowd. Bro. Rob Jones finished the fifth chapter of Daniel. This week after the fellowship meal, he will begin Chapter 6. The meal begins at 5:30 and Prayer Meeting and Bible Study starts at 6:30. Anyone is welcome at both of these, but if you can’’t get there at 5:30 come on for the 6:30 services
Mel shopped for some items we needed to complete  our window displays Thursday morning and I sold Christmas greeting ads—first time I’d done this in a couple of years. It was fun getting to visit with many friends. You still have time to get in a greeting ad. If we’ve missed you, just call 473-1473 and either Mel or I will fix up your with an appropriate greeting. This is one of only a few Christmas traditions that has  not had to be cancelled.
When Mel arrived we began assembling a few of the cute Christmas decorations I’d bought earlier this year. We soon discovered  that we needed electrical and construction engineering degrees from Ole Miss to assemble the goodies. First we tackled the six foot candy cane. I had assumed that  it would be a large PVC shaped cane, with red stripes. I did wonder how they’d managed to pack it in such a small box.
It came in about a hundred parts – metal frame pieces with lights, screws, carter keys, zip ties, and then a fabric cover. It took the rest of Wednesday to get it together.
On Friday, David was back, intending to catch up on work for this week’s paper. However, he got drafted to assemble the airplane, while Mel constructed the tear-drop camper. I ran back and forth between them to hand parts or read instructions. He was in the front office and she was in the back – I definitely got in my 10,000 steps on Friday. I assured them that I would not purchase an ornament with some assembly required next year.
These will be put away fully assembled, with dust covers – I don’t even want to have to dust them. Tree will also be left fully decorated – David may have to add on to the building for all this storage.
Don’t want to take up our grassy space out back though, because I saw a cute display on one of the decorating shows last week. They cut old pine and cedar saplings, strung on lights – no ornaments except animal edible ones – pine cones, apple slices, etc. Then there were deer and other animals on a snow covered area. Might even find Santa and his sleigh to add to this. A full moon overhead would also go well with the display. I do dream big.
I was so busy decorating that I forgot my daughter-in-law’s birthday, which was Friday. Thought about it earlier in the week. She’ll just have to get a belated greeting. Also forgot that Carolyn and Bo’s golden wedding anniversary was Saturday, as was youngest brother-in-law’s (Tommy Shearer) 67th birthday.
Of course, Ed and I did not make our 50th, and talking to Jimmie I said, “You and Bill did not  have a celebration?” They did  not, so doubt that even if we had remembered Bo’s and Carolyn’s we could not have celebrated, due to Covid. Well, they at least had an excuse for skipping it.
Ginny and Rance did not celebrate this  milestone either. Maybe we’ll all celebrate on Gina and Don’s – our last chance for the siblings.
Jim called to check on me Saturday morning and while we were talking he says, “You did remember Celeste’s birthday yesterday?”
Had to admit that I had remembered it several days ago. Then he wanted to know where I’d been for the past couple of days. Told him working. He said, “I never thought to call the office.” Guess  some of us are not functioning on all- four right now. (For all you youngsters that’s cylinders – old vehicles with four cylinders would sometimes run on three, or probably even two, but not very well.
Jim usually takes Celeste out for dinner on her birthday, but since they cannot eat out he cooked for her. She wanted a German chocolate cake, which she got.
So I asked, “You made it?”
Jim’s a great cook, but he’s never been much of a baker. He finally admitted that a down-the-street neighbor provided the cake. Wish I’d been there, because I can cook a German chocolate cake from  scratch – cake mix will just not do for that cake. Happy birthday Celeste, maybe next year we can have a party.
After Jim’s phone visit, I called Jimmie and she was home assembling her tree. Went on over to help with the chore and take some left over pies and pecans I had not used. With Christmas coming, I knew she would need these. Was elated to find that they are overlaying about nine miles of the Pope/Water Valley Road. While the construction is in process, I will have to run Eureka to Hwy. 51, then down to Pope, but it will be worth it. That Pope/WV Road is in terrible shape.
Arrived and Jimmie had completed straightening row (N), which she had started to assemble. I took over getting the rest of the rows straightened and fluffed, while she added them to the tree and put on the lights. This tree is completely unassembled and is not pre-lit. Before I had to leave for home about 4:15 (have to leave with enough daylight to see the deer) I had gotten through row G, only leaving her with B, C, D, E, and F. After the assembly is completed, she still has to put on about six containers of ornaments and ribbon. Maybe she’ll make it by Christmas day.
This Monday morning is a gray, dreary day, but don’t guess we can complain, because we’ve had a beautiful fall. And, as hard as it is to believe, it’s time for winter. Christmas is less than three weeks away. Christmas shopping at my house is done, since we decided to not give gifts and since I have no grands to buy for. Great nieces and nephews get a little money in a card. Who knows what to give youngsters these days – they all have everything.

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