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Weather was the main topic of the week. We were blessed to be in the rainy area with above freezing temps and then dried out before it dropped below 32 degrees. Roads in our area never iced and of course the trees and power lines stayed clean. We watched the news and sympathized with the over a 100,000 homes without power, located not far north of us. Many of the news reports included pictures of our 1994 ice storm.
I remember that winter storm well. We had gotten a paper delivered and gone home, leaving a sick mother alone in town. We lost power about 11 p.m. but still did not see any icicles forming, so decided to just go to bed and check on Mom early the next morning. Were awakened long before dawn by what sounded like a war as the towering pines all over the hill buckled under the weight of the ice, except the six big pines right over our bedroom. Also left standing was the oaks that covered the rest of the house.
The big limbs just spread out on the roof-and we had no structural damage. At that time we heated primarily with wood – had two inserts and one open fireplace. Also had plenty of wood on the back porch.
Daylight arrived and Ed set out to clear the driveway. I was getting my coat and gloves on to help when he came back in the door stating, “I almost got hit in the head with a falling limb and had it hit me I’d be dead. Someone else will have to check on Mom and I’m sure neighbors will.”
They took good care of her, until Al and Betty Davis, along with Stan and Becky Crow got to the foot of our drive on Friday morning. They were expecting to find us cold and hungry. At that time we had cast iron cookware and were found eating sausage, biscuits, gravy and scrambled eggs, which we shared.
They all (I stayed in the warm house) walked back down the hill, Ed checked on Mom, then was brought back to the driveway and walked back up the hill. Our drive was cleared by Monday, a generator was located, and we got out a paper. We made it fine on the hill for nine days with candles, kerosene lamps, melted ice for water, and over-the-fire cooked food. It was a fun vacation for newspaper folks. After nine days, a crew from Georgia got our power back on and we were most appreciative, as I’m sure folks without power north of us are during this week’s outages. I’m sure many Mississippi crews were helping.
Stopping by for a short visit Tuesday afternoon was youngest brother, Don. He was on his way home to attend the first birthday party for grand, Ellis, the happiest baby I’ve ever been around. He just smiles all the time. In pictures posted after the party, the young man and his cake reminded me of Jim’s first party.
Ellis also had two cakes, and the one pictured was about half demolished and he was covered in chocolate with a big smile on his face. Jim, also had two cakes–one baked by George Miles, an adopted grandfather, who owned The Bake Shop. The second cake was cooked and decorated by me and Jimmie (his Sissy). George also baked Jim’s second cake but passed shortly before Jim’s third. However he got a cake, baked by George’s wife, Mable, who delivered it with the warning, “I’m not a baker, but did the best I could. It’s my only cake, so Jim gets the decorations for little boy cakes.” She handed him a shoebox full of cowboys, Indians, horses, and fence parts. Those were kept for years and may still be in the storage house.
I know that remembering George and Mable will bring back happy memories for some of you who had cakes baked by them. Jimmie’s and Bill’s wedding cake was the last one baked and decorated by George and it had to be kept frozen for several months. Those of you who didn’t get a birthday or wedding cake probably remember the delicious donuts, other sweet treats, or oatmeal hamburgers. Better stop this reminiscing–I’m getting so hungry.
Don was on his way home from Gumbo Flats, a hunting lodge in Quitman County, where he’d been helping get ready for a party for the Wounded Warriors Program, a very worthwhile program. His night to cook was Thursday and he was hoping that everyone planning to attend would be able to get there, as so many flying were being detained by canceled flights. The winter storm also made many roads impassable. Wounded Warriors is a program, and I urge you to donate.
I was lucky – had no medical visits scheduled during this horrible weather. Rance and Bo were not so fortunate, but they did get weather reprieves. Rance had a doctor’s appointment in Memphis on Tuesday – made it fine and got a good report. Bo’s eye doctor appointment was scheduled early Thursday morning and with Bill as his chauffeur made the trip okay–they were in front of the ice. Bo also got a good report for which we are all thankful.
All we got was the cold and that was only on cloudy days. The den is like a Florida beach when the sun is out. Preparing for the ice storm and possibly loss of power, we’d dug out an old thousand piece jig-saw puzzle. Even with no power outage, we’ve divided our time between the puzzle and favorite TV shows. Food has been plentiful, with Bill making runs to the store. He even went to the Pope Cafe for delicious hamburgers one night. As Mom would have said, “That boy’s as handy as a pocket on a shirt”. I do appreciate all his help during this illness.
We had no Valley visitors this week (don’t blame them–it was just too cold to get out), but did have notes and calls, which are so appreciated. And, as always, your many prayers are so appreciated–keep them going up and maybe I’ll get to see you soon.