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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

Most of the discussions last Wednesday morning were of the Monday snow and its fast disappearance. Was fine with me, even though it was beautiful and was not hampering driving. Think folks were about evenly divided as to wanting more snow, and those not wanting to see another flake this season. I’m in the last group. I didn’t even like snow when I was a youngster.
The only part of a snowfall I enjoyed was being able to kill rabbits. I liked rabbit then, and still do. However, the rabbit population on my hill is gone. Both quail and rabbits had just about disappeared from our hill prior to the 1994 ice storm. When we moved out there, there was an abundance of both.
Following the ice storm we did not clean up our downed trees and other debris—just pushed it into piles and left homes for the quail and rabbits. It seemed to work, as for many years we saw coveys of quail and lots of rabbits, but as the homes we’d left for these creatures deteriorated, they were again vulnerable to their predators, so they have again disappeared.
If I had rabbits now don’t think I could kill one, even if they were eating all my bulbs, which they did in the early days. It’s strange how the wildlife population changes. Sixty years ago we did not see a deer, squirrel, or turkey on the hill, but had plenty of rabbits and quail. Now it’s just the opposite.
Back to the snow. I heard several snow stories, but no one seemed to remember the big one. In late December of 1963, a Sunday morning, the snow began to fall and I’ve heard estimates of 14 to 16 inches. I remember it well. A combined choir of Camp Ground and North Main Methodist were singing a cantata at North Main Methodist Church. The choir all made it, along with a fair number of worshipers.
Ed directed and I can’t remember who the accompanies or soloist were, but I think we presented, “Love Transcending.” After the program we had to travel to Eupora for a wedding for one of Ed’s Dalton cousins, which did take place.
Ed was the photographer. We made the trip okay, because we were driving a new Corvair (rear wheel drive vehicle). Our apprehension was because I was about three months away from Jim’s delivery.
Another family wedding on the Shearer side of the family (Dad’s niece) was taking place in Houston and Daddy was the photographer for it. They were driving that big old Ford and who knew how it was going to handle in the snow – they also made the trip without a problem, but we were all glad to be home safely. I’m sure those weddings have not been forgotten, as the stories about them have been told over and over at family gatherings.
Another of the few things I liked about snow was sliding down the snow-covered hills. We had a makeshift sled and I sailed down our hill several times and walked back up. Got chewed out royally by my mother-in-law, when this story was told. I’ve always wondered if she was worried about me or her grandchild (I gave her the benefit of the doubt, knowing  it was for both).
Mother Shearer and my Mom both thought the baby would be a girl. The Shearers had four grandsons, so I understood their hoping for a granddaughter, but my Mom already had two granddaughters. Mother Shearer was an RN, so I enjoyed (and usually abided by) lots of advice from her. It must have worked because Jim was a healthy baby.
Another snow, this one smaller, I remembered was in late March. Again the Shearers were on the road, but this time only Mom and Dad. They had a meeting in Jackson and were still traveling in a big old Ford. I don’t  think any vehicles in our area ever had snow tires. This time Jim was about four or five and had a cold. Ed came home at lunch and Jim persuaded  him to build a snowman outside the front window. It looked so  pretty, but only lasted about an hour. The temperature was above freezing all the time the snow was falling and as the snowman crumpled, Jim cried and cried.  By morning all snow was gone.
I realized as I listened to snow stories, that we’ve not had many snows in the Valley in all my 62 years. Only one since Ed’s death that required David picking me up for work. First day of this snow he walked up the hill and we both walked down. Then that evening he made it up the hill and for a couple more days he came up the hill for me.
If the snow lovers get more snow this year, I hope it’s on the weekend where I can stay inside and just look at it. Don’t even want to slide down the hill at my advanced age.
My landline has been out for almost a week. I’ve been given a projected repair date of January 20. It really would not have bothered me because I never use it. However, Wanda tried many times to get me and got a message that the call could not be completed. On Thursday she called the office and found that I was not at work, so she and Bud came out to check on me. I do appreciate them caring enough about me to make sure I’m okay. It was about ten o’clock and I was in the shower.
When I turned off the water I heard the knocking. Grabbed my robe and was off to the door. Really expected to find brothers, Bo and Rance, but instead it was Wanda. Bud was in the truck. She says, “I’m glad you opened that door because I was about to break it down.”
She asked “Do you   know your phone is out?” I didn’t, so she came in to check the phone and found it completely dead.  Since I was getting dressed to attend Melvin Ford’s funeral, they left.
Back home they reported my outage by phone and Bud even reported it on the computer. I do own a cell phone, which has never worked very well. They came back on Friday to try to get better service on it. Turned both the ringer and volume up to the highest levels and now I can hear it ring and carry on a conversation if there is no other noise in the room. On Thursday, Jim called while they were trying to improve service and I could barely hear him —it was like a whisper. Was able to communicate enough to let him know I was okay and the land line was out – he was just happy that I was okay. Still do not know why he called the cell – knows that I do not answer it. I’m sure he was surprised that he got an answer, even though it was just a whisper.
Dressed and attempted to attend Melvin’s funeral. Went down about 1:15 and the funeral home parking lot was full. Went out to Dunn’s and enjoyed a barbecue before coming back by to find the parking lot still full. Knew that they did not need any more visitors so just came back to the office. Had talked to Marjorie the day before and she and all the family knew how much we all cared for her dad. Most of the Valley and surrounding area held him in the same high regard. All of the Ford family is still being remembered in Jim and my prayers.
Sympathy is also extended to the Callahand family in the loss of Mike. Ed and I were members of Camp Ground Baptist Church with Mike and Clemmie, their sons and families along with his brother, Robert and family, for many years. Clemmie and her sister, Dean, along with Michael and Kay, were in the choir. We’ve been friends for many years and enjoyed many great visits and fellowships together. He will be missed.
Sunday we heard the third message in the series of “Being Ready”. These are timely messages as we do not know the hour of the Lord’s return, neither do we know the time he’s going to call us home. As you know we’re only a breath away and I can certainly attest to that as Ed left healthy (we thought) and a few minutes later I got the message that he’d gone home. Last year my Mom just breathed in and the breath never came out. We’re not promised our next breath.
After service Bud and Wanda took me to lunch. We picked up our picnic lunch and then returned to our table at the church to enjoy it.
Sunday night Bro. Rob Jones continued the study in Galatians.
Monday was a beautiful sunshiny day, but the prediction was that more rain is on the way. I know God knows best, but I think we’ve had enough rain for a while. Then I  remember all the areas with no rain and I’m thankful for what He sends.  Have a great week.

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