Friday, December 25, 2009

Christiansen's Comments,Hinds County Gazette Decmber 17 2009

Last time we spoke I told you I would not be keeping you long, because I was getting my house ready for a bridal shower. Over the years you have heard me mention my friends Bob and Betty Kemp many times… Well…as I was writing that column, my friend Bob , and his friend Thomas were at the bottom of my hill cutting up a big limb that had fallen across the old drive way…we needed the old drive for parking for the shower, so I asked Bob at church Sunday could he come help me…early Monday morning he and Thomas came and tended to the limb.

That Monday morning was the last time I saw Bob…. When Bob did not come to church Sunday, his family went to check on him….and found him dead.… I went to the house, I wanted to see him…before his body was removed….I had to see his face….. I am convinced, my friend Bob Kemp died a quietly, without pain or struggle…….I had to see that for myself. As near as coroner could tell…Bob died sometime

Saturday. I never could catch Bob home so, I didn’t even get to tell him “thank you“ for cutting that limb out of the drive way. That makes me sad. Betty died several months ago…..I miss them….they were like family.

It was a hard week for us over here in Edwards…earlier in the week…Jo Ruth McClain died. Jo Ruth was a thoughtful lady….one day, years ago, I looked out the kitchen window, Wilson and Jo Ruth were getting out of Wilson’s pick up…they were carrying the most beautiful cut glass bowl…and coming to my door. Jo Ruth handed me the beautiful piece and said “I thought of you, and wanted you to have this bowl, because you are always having parties” It had belonged to a friend of hers in Vicksburg…was that the sweetest most thoughtful thing? If you have the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary ’s cookbook Ambrosia, the bowl on the cover full of ambrosia, is very similar to the one Jo Ruth gave me.

In fact when my friend Betsy gave me the cookbook Ambrosia , I thought it was my bowl on the cover…I remembered Jo Ruth saying it had belonged to a friend in Vicksburg , but when I scrutinize them side by side it was not the same pattern…..Betsy gave me the book as a gift before my first chemo treatment….Seems like people are always giving me nice things doesn’t it?

Saturday the children of Bob Kemp gave me a very special gift, it was a well worn denim jacket that was Bob’s when he was a child…they found it neatly folded and put away amongst the things he treasured…The little jacket will now be happily at home, here 201, nestled cozily in amongst my treasures.

Love to all and Merry Christmas

PS. There was a time, I may have thought Christmas would not be a good time to bear the death of someone close…but lately I have been thinking, it is not such a bad time….everywhere I look there are reminders of the Baby Jesus, Gods gift to the world…so that we, who believe in him, may have life ever lasting…

Christiansen's Comments,Hinds County Gazette Deember 3 2009

Good Morning! Good Morning! I for sure will not be keeping you long today…I need to get cranking, we are having a bridal shower here at 201 Saturday, for Evan Allen, the soon to be bride of Adam Rydbeck, the son of the pastor at the Presbyterian Church.

I am decorated for Christmas, but I must put out a few touches of wedding…rearrange a bit of furniture. I have a Pete fountain CD playing, “New Orleans Jazz”…. I better take it out. Put something else in… before I get started…. or the decorations, instead of wedding or Christmas….might just take on a decidedly Mardis Gras appearance.

I was full steam ahead…. until my stride got broken by a plumbing crisis. But it could have been much worse…I found a plumber who works on Saturday. While he was here he cleaned out my slow moving drains.

It is a big mystery to me why there are not more plumbers…he was here 2 hours, his labor charge was $225.00. Mind you, I am not complaining, it was worth it to me to get it fixed….uncontrolled water can do big damage in a hurry, more then the $225.00 for sure….I have wood floors.

Well, here I go … get to work on the embellishments for Saturday…if I don’t get started, I can’t get finished. And of course when I finish…I won’t be done! I have told you my philosophy on that, “It is not done, until it is over done!” Over done is just a few steps past tacky….it takes nerves of steel to go to tacky… let alone past it…..some never get there…many stop at tacky….. But take heart you to can got to “Over Done” or at least to “tacky”….for some reason “tacky” and “over done” come easier with age.

Oh! I have a new favorite holiday dessert! And it is so pretty I have served it twice so far to rave reviews! And you don’t have to get out the mixer!!!

It started out with Martha Stewart’s Orange Cornmeal cake recipe, but I fixed it…I wasn’t crazy about the cornmeal…It is very easy Mix, ½ cup of oil, 2 eggs, a cup of sugar, ½ cup of wine or Orange juice, and the zest of 3 oranges, Martha only used the zest of one orange. Then add 1 1/2 cups of flour to which you have mixed with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of salt….mix until smooth, Pour in a prepared 8 or 9 inch cake pan, sprinkle top with 1/3 cup of sugar and bake at 350, until done…my oven it was about 30 minutes.

This is the Gloria part of the dessert…what to do with the zested oranges? I peeled them and sectioned them like I was going to make Ambrosia, sprinkled a little sugar over them…. added some maraschino cherries …then when it came time to serve the cake I dipped out a big ladle of the oranges and cherries poured it over the cake, I served it in a flat soup bowl…..Fabulous!

Call if you need me….

"Christiansen's Comments" For the Hinds County Gazette...November 5 2009

Hinds county Gazette

Chritiansen’s comments

November 5 2009

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose” Well…… none of that is happening it has been perfect for wiener roasts and marshmallow toasting….roasting weenies and making S’Morhere in Mid-Mississippi. The rain finally stopped and the weather has been perfect for many, many days in a row now. I have finished lots of chores that I have been putting off…some of them for years….like painting the porch furniture.

And it’s sitting around a fire barrel is just about my favorite fall activity. I certainly have plenty of sticks and fallen limbs to burn.

My Christmas tree is up…and mostly decorated…. This is early even for me to have the tree up but, opportunity knocked and I answered! Grandson Garrett came for the weekend…I paid him to do it.

Life lesson # 1046 : When children are young and are too little to be much help….they beg to help….when they get old enough to be of real assistance you have to pay them.

To Garrett’s credit he did tell me I didn’t have to pay him. But, way on after while, I got to wondering…. Grand kids are quite skilled in the manipulation of grandmas. Reckon, he said that so I would give him a big tip? If he did, it worked he got his tip.

I have baked a fruitcake it’s ripening, all snug, wrapped in cheese cloth, soaked in dark rum. I know you all think I am rushing the season….I am not. I am calling myself getting prepared. Now days, the holiday season begins so early and lasts so long. Actually, Halloween through Super bowl Sunday….so if I don’t get started…I get behind.

We all have days driven by panic. I am not fond of days driven by panic…but I can handle them ….I have them… so I know I can. But at holiday time, the hectic, hurried, panic days that are self created… exasperate me. So I go on and get the tree up…The biggest dirt clods swept out the door, the most noticeable cobwebs pulled down, and the fluffiest dust bunnies vacuumed up. And I’m ready to enjoy the season‘s events…

And I like to have lots of time to leisurely enjoy the holidays, time to cook and bake, time to have friends in for nibbles…time for working in my shop. Time for late evening visits to Kay and Doug Turner in their shop, they make a birdhouse every Christmas….This year’s Turner Christmas birdhouse is the Edwards Baptist Church.

As usual I am crafting most of my Christmas gifts and as usual I have to get advise/help from Doug on how to proceed with my plan. Ideas and plans are easy to come up with…the difficulty comes in the execution….of said plan. I think Doug has the kinks worked out of mine now…so I shall began building in earnest this week.

Love to all


Here is my advise to you….During the holidays, don’t be grinning…..adopt a “Poor me” face, take lots of deep harried breaths and act busy…. Because if you are not scurrying around in a panic, …chances are you will be perceived as having nothing to do…and almost certainly shirking your holiday responsibilities. ..No doubt somebody is going to have to step up and carry your load….That person already in panic mode probably …so don’t be acting happy….act busy…Only when you are by yourself, do you dare smile, hum Christmas Carols and contemplate on the birth we are celebrating.

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose” Well…… none of that is happening it has been perfect for wiener roasts and marshmallow toasting….roasting weenies and making S’Morhere in Mid-Mississippi. The rain finally stopped and the weather has been perfect for many, many days in a row now. I have finished lots of chores that I have been putting off…some of them for years….like painting the porch furniture.

And it’s around a fire is just about my favorite fall activity. I certainly have plenty of sticks and fallen limbs to burn.

My Christmas tree is up…and mostly decorated…. This is early even for me to have the tree up but, opportunity knocked and I answered! Grandson Garrett came for the weekend…I paid him to do it.

Life lesson # 1046 : When children are young and are too little to be much help….they beg to help….when they get old enough to be of real assistance you have to pay them.

To Garrett’s credit he did tell me I didn’t have to pay him. But, way on after while, I got to wondering…. Grand kids are quite skilled in the manipulation of grandmas. Reckon, he said that so I would give him a big tip? If he did, it worked he got his tip.

I have baked a fruitcake it’s ripening, all snug, wrapped in cheese cloth, soaked in dark rum. I know you all think I am rushing the season….I am not. I am calling myself getting prepared. Now days, the holiday season begins so early and lasts so long. Actually, Halloween through Super bowl Sunday….so if I don’t get started…I get behind.

We all have days driven by panic. I am not fond of days driven by panic…but I can handle them ….I have them… so I know I can. But at holiday time, the hectic, hurried, panic days that are self created… exasperate me. So I go on and get the tree up…The biggest dirt clods swept out the door, the most noticeable cobwebs pulled down, and the fluffiest dust bunnies vacuumed up. And I’m ready to enjoy the season‘s events…

And I like to have lots of time to leisurely enjoy the holidays, time to cook and bake, time to have friends in for nibbles…time for working in my shop. Time for late evening visits to Kay and Doug Turner in their shop, they make a birdhouse every Christmas….This year’s Turner Christmas birdhouse is the Edwards Baptist Church.

As usual I am crafting most of my Christmas gifts and as usual I have to get advise/help from Doug on how to proceed with my plan. Ideas and plans are easy to come up with…the difficulty comes in the execution….of said plan. I think Doug has the kinks worked out of mine now…so I shall began building in earnest this week.

Love to all


Here is my advise to you….During the holidays, don’t be grinning…..adopt a “Poor me” face, take lots of deep harried breaths and act busy…. Because if you are not scurrying around in a panic, …chances are you will be perceived as having nothing to do…and almost certainly shirking your holiday responsibilities. ..No doubt somebody is going to have to step up and carry your load….so don’t be acting happy.

Only when you are by yourself, do you dare smile, hum Christmas Carols and contemplate on the birth we are celebrating.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween Learned Mississippi Christiansen's Comments...Hinds County Gazette

Jacqueline preparing for the trick or treaters

Margret Sue on her front porch....learned Mississippi

Good morning, I wasn’t here last week, because my computer got sick, very sick, a virus….it had to have a new hard drive to bring it back into the world of cyberspace, of face book, Google, map quest, email and online banking.

I missed being online, to the point of having symptoms of withdrawal….nervous and anxious wondering what was happening on face book, having to go to a real cookbooks to find recipes, and the worst was having to look up phone numbers in that big heavy book…what a pain that was…..

But I must say, it was not all bad…In fact, it was an eye opener, to see how much time I actually spent on this computer….. And even more amazing, to see how much I could accomplish…. When I wasn’t being tempted by the all the distractions out there in cyberspace. My shop is de-cluttered and straight, and the shed, it is a sight to behold!….I got rid of the junk that lived under it….most of the junk….some of the junk….well, I tidied up the junk….and now there is much more room for the lawn mower.

I saw somewhere that Halloween is becoming one of the year’s more popular celebrations…more folks are decorating and taking part every year…. I have always like Halloween….I have grand childhood memories of running from house to house to get treats.

But why now? The children are far more sophisticated now then when I was a kid….their toys have lots of bells and whistles…much too complicated for old Brain. A pile of rocks and bucket of sand would not hold their interest long…..Back in the day, we would spend hours in a pile of dirt and sand building forts, and towns …we even had dams and running streams.

Many of the children around this area go to Learned to do their trick or treating….for sometime, I have wanted to go to Learned to see the kids all dressed up…So this year, Jacqueline and I packed up treats and headed over…Margret Sue graciously allowed us to set up on her front porch. (What a treat Margret Sue’s house is to see, she lives an old store…it still has the long counter and tin ceilings, she has it decorated so nice, I wish I had taken a picture…Why didn‘t I? I had my camera) Margret Sue lives next door to Gibbs Grocery/ restaurant…so we were slam in the middle of all the activity.

Passing out candy from Margret Sue’s front porch…it came to me why, the 31 day of October is becoming popular even now….in these complex, modern times.
First of all, it has little to nothing to do with Halloween…in fact if the preacher had not reminded me last week, of the pit falls of celebrating Halloween in the wrong way…I am not sure the dark side of Halloween would crossed my mind….

I have come to believe, Trick Or Treat Day has become so popular because it is truly a family day, with out the stresses of some of the other widely celebrated days. It is not a day that you are commanded to or feel obligated to spend time with the all grandmas, cousins and old aunties.
Halloween requires no long distance traveling, nobody asks, …“Where are you going for Halloween?” There is no mandatory shopping for gifts.
Halloween is not expensive…the homemade costumes are as cute or cuter then the purchased ones….

Halloween!… is not busy! Not like Christmas has become…Back when I was a kid, we had a Christmas program and a draw name gift exchange at school …then Santa Claus lead a parade to town….Santa Claus came in a cattle truck ….he stopped at the lumber yard and passed out bags of goodies; candy, peanuts and there was always an orange in the bag…..That was it. Everything else for Christmas took place at home, making fudge, baking cookies stringing cranberries and popcorn to decorate the tree, etc, or church related, practicing carols for the church celebration and my favorite, walking through the streets caroling, stopping at the homes of the elderly and the shut ins….ending with hot chocolate and cookies. Christmas is crazy now…

Halloween is simple…uncomplicated…October 31 is a day that even the dads can enthusiastically take part in…showing off their knife skills by carving the pumpkins, children are impressed with dad… watching him turn a pumpkin into in to a jack o lantern. Dad doesn’t have to get dressed up for Halloween… he can go straight from deer hunting, still wearing his camouflage garb and work boots right to the Halloween festivities…..
Call if you need me

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Christiansen's comment's" Hinds County Gazette

When I opened the Gazette last Thursday, I was mortified and embarrassed. I must apologize again, for that long rambling column last week…I didn’t even know it had gotten that long. It is this weather!…the clouds, the drizzled, the torrential rains, for what seems like weeks, with only the occasional, short lived, rays from the sun….I will soon be mad!. Mad! Mad! Do you hear me MAD!

Saturday morning I stood in my shop door… looking out at the drizzle, thinking, “I can not stand much more of this“… looked up and ask God ,”Do you see this grass? Can’t you see it needs mowing? God I need to put another coat of paint on the back door…. God there are crops in the field that need to come out” That banter with God ended with…me remembering, there is nothing like the weather to keep us reminded that God is in charge of this world. So locked the shop, went in, took a bath and headed to Raymond.

The friends of Raymond was supposed to have wrapped up their pilgrimage, Saturday afternoon with a ribbon cutting at the site of the newly acquired, 66 acres of battlefield and addition to the 66 acres, Gaddis Farms gave them an easement of more acreage, Artillery Ridge, where cannons will be placed in the spot they were during the battle of Raymond. Gaddis Farms, the Artillery Ridge addition, also allows an extension to the walking trail. The friends of Raymond are very proud of the newly obtained lands.

Because of the weather they moved the dedication to Saint Marks church….I am glad they did….because instead of ribbon cutting, Parker Hills, a retired Brigadier General, a friend of Raymond, maybe the most passionate and animated friend of Raymond, gave a power point slide show about the various battles that took place between Vicksburg and Jackson, in May of 1863? Have already forgotten the year?

I have respect for history, but not much of a student of the campaigns, battles, strategy, or tactics. I have always thoroughly enjoyed reading Gordon Cotton, telling us how individual life’s were affected and were lived during the war… the day to day life.

Back to the General’s talk I had heard of all of the battles, Raymond, Champion Hill etc. and had read about most of them…but the dots were not connected for me until I saw it on that screen with maps. The time frame, distances and chronological order are much clearer now.

The Friends of Raymond is an active, productive organization…their meeting do not seem to be the kind, that only thing that is decided at the meeting….is when the next meeting will be…

I joined Friends of Raymond Saturday, after all Raymond is the county seat, and I feel as a resident of Hinds County, I have a stake in what happens over there…

And maybe not most important reason to join, but still pretty high on the list… all the meeting I have attended, ended with a party…wine, nibbles and good conversation…..

The dedication ceremony was no exception…it ended with a reception at the home of Bob and Jeannie Chunn, the historic Porter House…It was a lovely party, the Porter House is a charmer, a neat garden in the back, several enchanting porches…Bob and Jeannie are charmers too, I enjoyed visiting with them…they brighten up a dreary Saturday afternoon for many people..

And besides all of that….I want to paint a cannon…. Come to think of it, that membership card I filled out, didn’t ask for my phone number…I wonder, How are they going to let me know when it’s time to paint? My number is 601 852 9998! You all, better call me!!!!

Love to all

Click here: Official Site: Friends of Raymond

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Christiansen's Comment's Hinds County Gazette

Hinds County Gazette
October 8 2009

I am just about wore down to the ground….I have two major projects going at once. You all, generally it does not bother me one little bit for friends to see my house, with an occasional unmade bed, sink full of unwashed dishes, or a gazillion dust bunnies down the hall. But the back porch had come to the point it needed attention, so very badly, it was mildewed, the Formica was peeling off the counter top , the cupboard doors were warped , so they no longer closed, the screens were disgusting… clogged with dirt and pollen. The porch had gotten so bad…I was ashamed for even my buddies to see it.

I had a plan for the porch…but it kept raining, so while waiting for the rain to stop… I moved on to a rainy day plan. Which was to put up new curtain rods…actually a poles with rings that have clips…the curtains are attached by means of the clips…so from now on, when I wash the curtains, I will no longer have to tussle with threading the lace curtains, on to 12 feet of rod, then climbing up the ladder one step at a time….gripping that cumbersome load, then comes precarious part, the far reaching ….to attach each of the ends, that are positioned 12 feet apart,….. all the while, struggling to keep my balance. The ceilings in this old house are 12 foot and the rods were positioned at about 10 feet up….None of this use to trouble me. But now that I getting old, it doesn’t seem like an especially safe maneuver…..…Hence my new plan.

I don’t think this clip on thing is meant for lace curtain….It almost certainly would not pass the laugh test in and around the serious home decorating crowd. ….But you have to do, what you have to do… to stay in your house when you get old….and have clean curtains.

The instruction stated to install the rods and brackets it would take 30 minutes, I was doing six windows….well….the first one took and hour. Each one after that took progressively longer and longer. Hours turned to days...

In that 30 minutes they evidently did not factor in ….moving furniture, old hardware that had to be removed…or stubborn to impossible to remove screws, or the dirt, cobwebs and dried up chameleon, I come across behind the desk in the living room ….The instructions must have been for new construction, with 8 foot ceiling.

Then the Sun came out….so I was putting up the rods betwixt and between waiting for paint to dry on the back porch…and pouring the concrete counter top…that was a heavy job…..And it is not level….When things don’t turn out perfect on The Home and Garden Channel they call it having an “organic appearance” …mine is more lumpy then organic….but I am not totally unhappy with it.

It was the ladder climbing that really slowed down me to a crawl and made my bones and muscles ache…. After climbing up the ladder, no matter what I was doing, I did not have what I needed when I got up there and had to come back down. Or if I had it…it fell to the floor and I had to come back down. And the painting! I thought my arm was going to fall out at the shoulder….My neck is still stiff…my legs are cramped, my muscles are sore.

One day after working the entire day, I was so tired and so sore, I went to the bathroom, and turned on the water going to take a nice hot bath. Mother vowed and declared that a hot bath with a handful of Epsom's salts pulled the soreness right out of the muscles …I has some Epsom's salts in the shop, I use for my roses…I limped out to get it and limped back in …I have one of the old tubs…deep and long, an old claw foot ….I looked down at that bathtub filling up….I thought to myself…“as weary as I am, as bad as I hurt, if I get down in that tub, I will have to call the fire department to get me out.” I turned off the water drained the tub and took a shower….

None of you all care about my aches and pains…. do you? That’s Okay….Nobody I whined to this week be seemed concerned either… On top of all my aches and pains and nobody caring…my washing machine died….is there anything more aggravating then an out of fix washing machine? Well, maybe a car that won’t crank…..or a lawn mower that won’t go, or a dog that won’t come when it’s called….or somebody that all they want to talk about …is how hard they work, or how busy they are, or want to tell you all about their various aches and ills.

I did have a grand time Thursday Evening…, a friend and I went to Raymond for one of the Evenings at St. Marks events to see the writer Allan Huffman, he spoke on his book Sultana: Surviving the Civil War , a tragic story of a boat that sink, north of Memphis, just after the war. I had met Allan at the Mississippi Heritage Trust event that I attended with Isla awhile back….I was so impressed with myself when he (A real author) told me read my column…then on after while, he confessed, he didn’t read anymore, he had let his subscription lapse

Mr. Huffman had let his subscription to the Gazette come to an end, therefore, I felt I was under no obligation to buy a copy of his book….so I borrowed Isla’s copy of another book of his, Mississippi in Africa… .

But still and all, after meeting Mr. Huffman, …and finding him so down to earth, witty and fun,…. sore and exhausted as I was, I just had to go listen to him speak about the Sultana…and soon as I finish Mississippi in Africa, I shall be hunting down a copy of the Sultana…..sometimes I find history a bit dull but, I am finding Mississippi in Africa totally absorbing….

Hey! I gotta go! I hear Charlie barking….I called Jerry, I think Brian must be here to fix my washing machine!
Call if you need me

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gloria ChristiansenChristiansen's Comments, Hinds County Gazette

Isla and Peggy

Friends of Terry dinner theater

Christiansen's Comments
Hinds County Gazette
October 1, 2009

I do not watch the news or listen to talk radio…there is nothing wrong with doing ether…I used to be a news junkie…And John always listened to Mississippi talk radio on his way to and from work, he would come home all riled up. One time he stayed in a stew for weeks over the state of the public schools in Mississippi,,,… and how much money was being wasted, seems some of the superintendents in some of the districts were being paid enormous amounts of money…and not much to show for it wise.

Of course all of that has been rectified by now…Soon as those folks in charge became aware there might be reason for concern…they flew in to action and resolved the problem…Right? ..because that was years ago….They have… haven’t they? Of course they have…they promised to do so when we elected them.

I forget now where I was going with that…..So let me tell you about, Peggy Ann, Isla and I driving over to Terry Mississippi, last Saturday evening for The Friends of Terry, Dinner Theater at the depot. During the ride down Midway Road…we were lost conversation…about clouds, sunshine…we hadn‘t seen the sun in days and reminiscing about Porter Herb Farm that was once in the area.

On after while, we found ourselves, not exactly lost, but a bit discombobulated…Until Peggy remembered she had a GPS on board…we were not satisfied with what it was telling us , about that time… we, spotted a man, up the road, mowing his grass….after a bit of contemplating, whether or not we should interrupt his work…you know how temperamental lawn mowers can be …sometimes after being shut down they refuse to crank back up….but after just a few words of deliberation…we decided he looked perfectly capable of fixing the machine if it needed it….so we asked him for directions, he set us right and off to Terry we went…..we did not look back….

The dinner theater was so much fun! The food was delicious, it was roasted pork loin, some of the best green beans I ever ate….real bacon don’t you know. ….a roll that tasted homemade and strawberry shortcake for dessert…Oh! yeah and rice… flawlessly seasoned.. The food was cooked, and served by the members of The Friends of Terry, some of the ladies and gentlemen after serving and clearing plates, pouring tea and coffee, pulled off their aprons and stepped in to costumes and took part in the play.

The Play, Lilly, The Felon’s Daughter, is one of those villain plays, where the audience gets to participate by hissing, booing and throwing peanuts. I do not believe, I am revealing anything to you, that the cast was not already aware of, when I say….…“Hollywood need not send talent scouts to Terry Mississippi“…On the other hand Foodnetwork would not be wasting their time by coming down for a look.

But, It was grand fun and oh! sooooo entertaining, the cast was having so much fun…they infected the audience with their enthusiasm. Sitting in the back of the depot watching all the silly carrying on, taking place on that makeshift stag…I could have been in Mayberry, with Andy, Opie, Barney Aunt Bea and all the rest of the town.

The likes of which that happened in Terry Mississippi last weekend, and what will be happening in Raymond this weekend, with their Pilgrimage…That is the real America.

The members of Friends of Terry, and the rag tag cast…every one a volunteer were not looking for fame or fortune…They come together for a cause. The profits generated by the dinner theaters are used for the restoration and up keep of the depot, a train engine, a box car and a soon to be on sight caboose.
Trough their generous gifts of time and labor have achieved something far greater…then fame or fortune.

"To affect the quality of the day – that is the highest of arts." Henry David Thoreau.
Thank you, all of you, for affecting the quality of my day.

Love to all and call if you need me 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gloria Christiansen, Hinds County Gazette, Christiansen's comments

First, I do want to apologize for last week ‘s column…it did rather ramble on. Everything I said, could have been said, in many fewer words. I just could not stop myself.

Last Saturday’s cannon painting, at the battlefield in Raymond, was called off on the account of rain….I had been so looking forward to painting a cannon…I want to have my picture taken while painting a cannon, as one component of Brain’s new scheme….

Why is it, we so captivated by our family members that lived way in the past, the long gone generations,? I wasn’t too interested in my family history until everybody was gone…and left boxes and envelops full of pictures of people and places, that no one alive can positively identify.

But now, that every body is gone…I am Suddenly interested in those people. Folks of eras past, appeared to have lived enormously interesting lives. Don’t you think? I catch myself wondering. “what the occasion was that drew them together when the pictures made? …Who are all of those people? Where was that picture taken….where did they come from? where did they go…. ?

I said that…to say this: Brain went to studying on this and has come up with a theory as to why. Brain says, what makes them interesting, is not what we know about them, but what we don’t know…

Stop and think about those folks who have died…even relatively recently, when their names come up in conversation….their reputations, more often than not are associated to just a very few antidotes, incidents unique to their lives. And those a small number of stories are repeated over and over….perhaps embellished on.

Brain saw this phenomenon as an opportunity to design an interesting life for him and I, for future generations to ponder over… And has hatched a plot to make us seem quite remarkable. Brain has been giving considerable thought on just how we will go about implementing this plan….Brain says it “It will easy…A piece of cake”.

Take for instance, the picture of me painting a cannon…of course, I will put my name on the back…but that’s all….Then let their imaginations go …

Brain is convinced, to make us appear very exciting, to future generations… we will only need a few carefully selected , and strategically placed photos, in amongst the hundreds of unmarked pictures in the attic…But, not too deep in the pile …not many have the stamina to get all the way to the bottom of the box.

I have a picture of my friend Emily, on my frige, holding a great, huge, big, long, dead snake she killed…I am going to see can Photo Shop, put my head on Emmy’s body….Me holding a snake, that will go along way toward making it come across…that my life might it’s thrilling, courageous moments….Don’t you think?

And to bring people around Edwards to remember us, after Brain and I are dead and gone …Brain says, we, instead of throwing our wine bottles in the trash… we are going to bury them…all around the yard….again not to deep. I bet Brain makes me dig the holes….

Love to all…call if you need me

Friday, September 18, 2009

"The week that was..."

One of the bullet holes...


Edwards Ministerial Alliance and C.U.T.E. combined meeting

Front Porch at Gibbs Grocery Learned. Mississippi

Steak Night at Gibbs

King Edward Hotel

Downtown Jackson Mississippi

Christiansen's Comments
Hinds County Gazette
September 17 2009

The tempo of life in Mississippi is picking up speed now….What with football season beginning, and so many of our community events are planned to take place in the cooler months…So from now until New years, we will have lots of events to chose from…we for sure can’t get to them all.

Then after New Years it dies back a bit until Spring. The coming of Springs brings another eruption of activity …and our calendars are once again get so full, we have to go to writing in the margins, with arrows looping around and pointing to dates, just to keep up with where we are suppose to be and what we are suppose to have in our hands when we get there.

I said that to say…I have had a full week last week, my first full week since last Spring…I’ll get the calendar and we will just take it day by day…want to?

Monday was Labor Day: I drove to Madison and had lunch with daughter and did a smidgen of shopping…bought some new towels…Lost my camera in the mall, when I discovered it an hour or so later we returned to the mall and it was right where I left it…
Tuesday: Remember back about a year ago, Dave Montgomery’s house, over on Montgomery drive, was broke into? Dave was home at the time, after an exchange of words, the intruder ran out, but he shot back in to the house? Well the intruder’s trial was Tuesday. ..I went to the trial.
The court house in Raymond is closed for renovation…so for the time being court is being held out at the penal farm….quite depressing what with the fences and the razor wire. Tuesday morning they picked the jury…I didn’t go for that part. The trial was to begin at 1’ was delayed for a short time…Something about the jurors lunch.

When the proceeding began to proceed, Dave could not go in the court room, because he was a witness, but I could and did. The judge was familiar face, Judge Breland Hilburn.

I sat down on the back row…sort of the back row…the court room is quite makeshift….but serviceable for sure. Anyway two young people came in and sat down on my bench…they were law students…an assignment from one of their professors was to observe 10 hours of trials, the month of September…trials with evidence.

This I found most astounding…They told me, they were are having a very difficult time finding trials to monitor. Now you would think with all the criminal activity reported on the local news shows…those young law students would have countless court cases from which to pick. .

What I learned was this, it is not that cases are not being dealt with…fewer cases are going to jury trials…, more and more defendants are choosing to plea bargain and plead guilty. Which in the end, was what happened in the case involving Dave …The young man plead guilty to 2 counts…which could net him 45 years in jail…..he is not but 20 years old. Very sad…..

Wednesday : I was in the MEA clinic…they were handing out face masks to those with coughs and sniffles…flu season is here.

Thursday; Morning I spent baking cookies for the families of Knox McGee Thomason, of Atlanta, and Elizabeth Camille Hale of Raymond. Knox McGee was born September 1, Elizabeth Camille was born September 9, I have to tell you ..I think Knox McGee is the coolest name ever! Lynn and Davis named him Knox after one of my favorite people, Knox “Knocky” Askew, the McGee is a family name on his great grandmother Cannada‘s side.

The time between cookies going in the oven and coming out …I spent on face book ….up loading pictures of my cookie baking….and seeing what my friends were up to…..I must say…the people I hang out with on Facebook post lots of stuff about their dogs….I guess it’s that birds of a feather thing.

Thursday evening: Tuesday, while in Raymond, I stopped in city hall to say hello to Isla and Brenda…Well! You all! Isla had an extra ticket to a Mississippi Heritage Trust event to be held Thursday, at the old train station, the event was to call attention to the 10 most endangered historic places in Mississippi …one of them being the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, Raymond.

(Oh my word this is getting long…you can stop reading any time you like…it will not hurt my feelings…really it won‘t. But I am no quitter!!!… so I shall push on…..)

One component of that Heritage event was a tour of the King Edward Hotel, presently, being restored . Isla asked me did I want to go…I was so excited………the person she first invited was unable to go…I could not believe my good fortune! And I don’t mind being second choice, not at all…

I have long be fascinated by the King Edward…the stories I have heard of the events that took place there back in the day…Weddings, coming out parties and all such as that.

From the time we came to Mississippi in 1979, every few years a new scheme to save the King Edward was trotted out, we would get our hopes up and nothing would happen, until now. It is beautiful! It is going to a 136 room hotel, there will be apartments, and for those of us who are always looking for dinning opportunities there will be a coffee shop and a dinning room…December is the target date to open…I can’t wait!

Friday: I went to the grocery store. Friday evening, I met Isla and Suzanne Harpole in Learned for dinner at Gibbs Grocery, Friday night is steak night. You all it was packed, we had to wait for a place to sit… We didn’t mind waiting…I for sure didn’t have anything better to do then soak in the atmosphere. It is in an old store…the paint fell off years ago….the inside does not appear to have evolved a great deal over the years …same old counters and tables…

You don’t necessary eat at your own table. There may be two individual tables…Most squeeze around two long tables …I am thinking the tables where sit down to eat, are where back in the day, they placed bolts of fabric to be cut, they are quite long. And there is no air-conditioning aside from the front door standing open. But it is not hot…there are fans. Dinning at Gibbs is a grand experience!

Saturday: There are two newly formed groups in Edwards, C.U.T.E (Community United to Transform Edwards..or something close to that) And a Black /White Ministerial Alliance. Rev. Dean Rydbeck, pastor at the Edwards Presbyterian Church, asked if I would help serve lunch for the joint meeting…I recruited Suzanne Harpole to assist and off we went.

It was a pleasant meeting of about 20 sincere folks, whose purpose seems to be the opening up communication in Edwards…Between Black, White, our city government…all groups. The emphasis is on pray…if your plate is full, but you would still like to take part….place these groups on your prayer list.
Love to all

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gloria Christiansen Edwards Mississippi

Ms Barbara

Crisis committee in action at the Edwards Methodist Church

Eat your heart out Delta laddies

Just an itsy bitsy part of the pewter that can be found around town.
Christiansen's Comments
Hinds county Gazette
September 3 2009

We have had the most delightful weather for August, it has been in the 80s, and low humidity. Usually in August it is humid, hot, and dry, the ground is cracked, the grass crunchy and brown and the air is so still ….not even a hint of a breeze.

I am ashamed to admit, in the past, there were some among us, (I may have been one) who actually wished for a hurricane to blow up from the gulf to give us some relief. We don’t do that anymore! Not since Katrina…What with All the suffering she caused.

Lately, it has been the kind of weather… I had been telling myself, when it comes, “I am going to get lots accomplished!” Well, I haven’t, I have just puttered around in the yard taking deep breaths and enjoying the pleasant weather.

I have had the Book, Being Dead is no excuse ..sub titled, “The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral” for along time. It was written by a pair of Mississippi delta ladies. I did not read it, I used it as an adornment, ( hoping to appear Southern.) The book has been at one time or another on every bedside table in this house…complete with a beautifully ribboned book mark. It recently came to rest on the table next to my bed. The other night I picked it up and began reading it. It is a fun book….Some of the tales they relate are similar to events that have transpired right here in Edwards.

I had not read the book because, I didn’t think we needed it…we have been performing perfectly satisfactory funerals meals, for years ,over here in Edwards, with out any advise. However, Our funeral meals are not nearly as pretentious as those in the book…What with all of homemade mayonnaise, the polished silver and crystal cut work bowls they talk about. Fact is, there just not that much silver….polished silver…left over here in Edwards.

But, we could, if called upon, without straining, simultaneously have a funeral, bridal shower, baby shower and a christening, and have each gathering served quite nicely, on the vast accumulation of the pewter…that lives on various pantry shelves in and around Edwards.

Our quintessential funeral hostess, is Barbara Pennebaker, I have worked with a lot of ladies in my time…Barbara is hands down the Best. Barbara does not under any circumstances panic…(Years ago, we had near crises conditions at one house where the meal was to be served, You all, the commode was very nearly ready to fall through the floor) Barbara, armed with only her abundant charm, soothing southern voice, and careful word choices…can take a calamity and turn it in to what feels like a grand “Southern Experience”

Recently I was going up the walk at the Methodist church’s fellowship hall …carrying a yellow fiesta ware canister full of sliced cucumbers and onions, my contribution to a funeral meal…Barbara jerked the door open, I could tell by the horror in her eyes…something BAD was wrong…and it wasn’t just the bright yellow canister I was carrying! (Perhaps on thinking it over… not best choice for serving vessel at a funeral.) Possibly the Yankees were at the back door? No…there was a dead mouse in the house…and she could not find it. Barbara was flustered …In fact far more anxious about the dead mouse, then she had been about the teetering toilet all of those years ago.

I have not read the entire book yet…so I don’t know if they have had to, on the day of a funeral, deal with a church fellowship Hall, thick with a foul odor, being emitted from a dead and decaying dead mouse.

Love to all and call if you need me

PS. Let me hasten to say this: there is absolutely nothing wrong with pretentious …some of us live and die by those great words of wisdom from Mick Jagger…“Anything worth doing, is worth over doing“….we love pretension! When we the one being pretentious…..But, it is just plain tacky when other folks are being pretentious…. Don’t you agree?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Christiansen's Comments Hinds County Gazette August 27 2009

Above is a picture of the limb mess....

Picture of the old pecan trees in my front lawn...

I recently discovered facebook. Facebook, for those who do not know, is a social web site that makes it easy for folks to stay in touch … with their friends, their friends friends, relatives and total strangers….on the computer. People share the happenings in their lives….with the whole wide world. I thought the concept was silly…Wondered who would do such? Put their life out on the www for the world to see?…and who cares what folks are up to? Well!!!! I do! .

In fact, before I sat down here to chat with you…I turned on the computer and signed into facebook to see what my friends had been up to…and let know them what I was doing…“making pickled eggs and fix’n to feed cats” and I up loaded pictures of my cats Scout and Harper Lee and my golden retriever Charlie. I just knew folks were dieing to see pictures of my animals. Yeah, that’s the type of stuff that is on facebook. Really, you know what it is like?…It is like meeting your friends and neighbors at the Post Office or the grocery store. I love it!

Keeping all of the limbs, branches and twigs picked up, that fall from my pecan trees , is a job….A big job! Several weeks ago, I had a big limb to fall, it was too big for me to cut up…and I can cut up some pretty big logs with my bow saw…but I had to go ask Bob Kemp to come with his chain saw, to cut this limb in to manageable pieces. We had lots of rain so it was too wet to bring my truck in on the grass, to haul it off…so we stacked where it fell…Then a couple of days later, I took a notion it needed moving or it was going to kill my grass, so I hauled it a piece at a time, over by the Leyland cypress trees, where grass doesn‘t grow anyway…I was getting sick of looking at that pile…So last week I moved it in to the woods. That pile of logs and branches had been moved three times!

I said that, to say this….I have often wondered of all of the places in this world, why? oh why? did I wind up in Edwards Mississippi? Of course we know God has a plan… I am guessing, He put me in this house surrounded by big old pecan trees,…because He knew I would need something to keep me occupied in my old age……So instead of me being out and about, up and down the streets worrying folks…I am on this hill, happy as if I had good sense, moving piles of limbs and sticks from first one place to another.

Hey I gotta go… I have to check and see what my facebook friends are up to now!
Call if you need me

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Betty Jean Tatun Hill

Betty Jean Tatum Hill, 79, died Saturday, August 22, 2009, at Hospice Ministries in Jackson, MS. Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 25, 2009, from the Edwards Methodist Church. Visitation will be Monday, August 24, 2009, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home High Street and at the church Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Burial will be in the Edwards Cemetery.She was born to Mary Eliza Tatum and John Henry Tatum in Edwards, MS in October 1929. She attended Edwards Public Schools, MUW and The University of Mississippi. She was a lifelong Methodist.She married George McLaurin Hill in 1950. She worked at Kenningtons department store for a brief time and then stayed at home to raise her three children, Mary Laurin, Betty Jane and George Jr. After they were grown, she was an independent sales representative for several educational publishers, until her retirement.She is survived by her husband, George M. Hill; daughters, Laurin Ripley of Sarrasota, FL and Jane Seale of Starkville, MS; son, George, Jr. (Mac) of Nashville, TN; grandson, Clay Seale of Batesville, MS; granddaughter, Crisler Seale of Madison, MS; and great grandson, Matthew Seale of Batesville, MS.Memorials may be made to Hospice Ministries, 450 Towne Center Blvd., Ridgeland, MS 39157.
Published in the Clarion Ledger on 8/23/2009

Brain or me...

This morning, I am not on the front porch with my lap top, I am coming to you from the room at the back of the house, I call “my office”…I can’t hardly call it “my Office” with a straight face. “Office” sort of implies you have important papers and such to deal with….

I watch the Home and Garden TV channel occasionally…That’s where I became aware that every house must have a media room and an office. I don’t have a media room, I don’t even have a flat screen TV….But I am looking…..for a BIG one….I’ll take it home hang it on the wall, in one of the under utilized rooms in this house…Then run over to Utica, to see Kevin at Cane Ridge, pick up a few miss matched chairs, set them up, facing that TV, I plan to acquire from a road side trash pile. And Voila! I have a media room! Nobody need know the TV does not work…all that really matters is I will have the must have “media room”.

In an attempt to make this room come across as an authentic office/writer room. …I have office type paraphernalia spotted around the room, there is a big old dictionary on a stand, I bought it at a second hand store and , a Roget’s Thesaurus, that I carefully placed on the desk, to make it appear that it in use frequently….(I could not tell you the last time ether one was actually used for anything…. except to press flowers)…it is so much easier and faster to go on line to get answers my lexicon questions. Also on my desk I have pencils and pens standing in vases….quite a nice wooden box, full of paper clips, I have two staplers, nether has staples in it, but they do not need to have staples…I do not have any important papers to staple… Behind me on a narrow table, I have papers and files in baskets….Like I have important business to tend to.
But all of that said, I do feel more like a “real” writer, in this room.

I don’t know how I got off on that tangent …

My brain use to work quite fast…not necessarily well, or accurately, but fast. And I always have been pretty good at interpreting instructions, even quite complicated ones……But some months back I became aware my brain had slowed down significantly …It has slowed down to the point I began to get can’t be the chemo…those effect should have wore off long ago…I do occasionally take a Benedryl…some authorities believe Benedryl may have an adverse effect on our cognitive skills….

But, While riding the lawn mower the other day it came to me why Brain is so much slower now then he use to be! He at some point stopped taking information in and instinctively acted upon that information….to where, now, he is thinking in full and complete sentences! Occasionally with punctuation! Like !!! and dot dot dots…

I never thought in sentences, not back in the day.! I didn’t have time! You just do not have time for full sentences, not when you are tending to a house, cooking, yard, and babies.
But Brain is thinking in full sentences Now! And he repeats himself, he may change the words around a bit, but it is still pretty much the same thought….He asks questions and he does sometimes answer…but often when an solution doesn’t appear after he has repeated himself several times….he declares “I will come back to that…” and he makes Me say it out loud…..

Maybe it did begin when I was under the influence of the chemo…Brain had to work hard back then. I remember one time Brain and I were attempting to put a DVD in a Netflix envelop, so it could mailed back…Brain was struggling…. He could not figure out how to put the thing in the envelope where the bar code would show though the little window…I finally had help him by laying it down on the counter and lining it up….even then, it took awhile…we were both just before asking John for help.

I don’t know what to do about brain and his time-consuming, rambling sentences…I suppose it is to late now, I have let him get by with it for far too long. Brain use to get irritated with me, because I was so slow…but even with no parts on this body working as they once did…knees, hands, even my elbows sometimes hesitate…I, at times, am faster then Brain. Now he annoys me!….I am ready to go and he is still rambling on and on and on….

Fact is, Brain and I are both on a down hill slide…..
Brain has been wondering, who will depart this world first him or me.
Call if you need me

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hinds County Gazette's Christiansen's comments August 13 2009

Felder United Methodist Church
Felder Campground Summit Mississippi

My toes on the saw dust covered ground....

The week with Garrett and his patched and stitched together arm went quite well, all things considered….by the time he got here, the wound was no longer bleeding or draining, except for a spot just above the elbow about two inches in length. To my great relief Garret was able to tend to his own wound care.

Garrett is at his Papa Rigby’s this week…he is staying with us, not so much that he needs looking after, but he needs entertainment….and rides to his appointments and to the book store etc. His arm works fine, so he could drive, but he is still on pain meds, for when he goes to physical therapy….

Last Thursday, I took Garrett to the Pavilion at University Hospital to meet his dad for his doctor appointment. You all, It is clean, the workers are friendly, and helpful. The office clerks were not sequestered behind sliding opaque glass panels daring us to disturb them. Garrett’s accident was my first real experience with UMMC, except for seeing it on the news…..related to people who had been shot or stabbed. They have the only trauma unit in Jackson, maybe the state, so that is where they took Garrett after the wreck. I have got to tell you I am impressed with every thing about the University Hospital…..the hospital, the doctors, nurses, the clinics…. everything.

I had heard and read about camp meetings all my life… I went to my first preaching at a Camp meeting, this summer…down at Summit to the Felder United Methodist Church Camp Ground. They go and spent 10 days or so every summer….Sort of a reunion, revival, and vacation.
The scene was just like I had pictured….little cabins around a common area…. kids playing and folks sitting on the porches of the little cabins…in the middle of the common area was an open pole shed, saw dust on the ground, when the bell rang, folks young and old, came from all directions, Bible in hand to hear the sermon….The preacher was from Norway…the sermon was from Proverbs…Very interesting…he has me reading proverbs again.

Here I go to the Post Office… my head hanging low in shame…I am locked out of my P O Box...I must not have paid the rent.
I have a photograph of Garrett's arm....I thought it was a bit too graphic to post here, but if you want to see it I will send it to you.
Email me at and I will shoot the picture right out to you.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Edwards Presbyterian Church Bible School resignation:
Dale, Angie and Robert Edward

The Lesson Rev. Dean Rydbeck and Dale Robinson

The children singing

Linda Dickson playing the piano..

Fun time!!!

Photos courtesy of Lesley Cannada

Well, ready or not... I am back….I took off July just because it is so blamed hot and miserable…and I knew you all didn’t want to listen to me whine. August is hot too…so I will still be whiney, but perhaps be a bit more cheerfully whiny? The days are still hot, but they are getting shorter. perhaps more tolerable.... We will see.

I am on my front porch. My computer, Ruby is her name, has finally caught up with the old fashion tablet and pencil……Ruby is a lap top, and it can be toted any where a pencil and paper can go….but to use the internet she had to be connected physically to a phone line.

Until Now!!! I recently acquired a wireless router! ( I already had a router… in the shop, the purpose of that router is to shape wood. The two routers do not perform even remotely similar tasks, so why the same name? Maybe the techie guys didn‘t know the word “router” was already in use…do the techie guys not get out much?)

This new router thingamajig sits on my desk in the back of the house, and some how enables Ruby, un-tethered, by a tangle of wires, to function perfectly any where in the house. As I understand it, other folks and their computers can come play too and be connected. grandson Garrett is coming with his computer, we will see.

Garrett, you may remember was in a car wreck last October, he had to have more surgery, his mom and dad tended to him last week…they have declared him sufficiently improved enough that I should be able look after him this week. I don’t know about changing the bandage….I have a weak stomach…the incision is from his shoulder to his elbow. …I keep telling myself it can’t be any worse then a full diaper….we will see.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge…literally…(7or 8 inches)...since I was last here…but the most fun, was Bible School…we had Bible School in Edwards for the first time in years…It was a GRAND success…we had 29 children to attend.

I love Bible School…I no doubt have told you this before…as a wee little child, I learned all I really needed to know about Jesus at Bible school… “Jesus loves me, this I know because the Bible tells me so” , “The B I B L E” that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the word of God, the B I B L E” The Bible was taught to me, in simple language, with plenty assuring words, by compassionate Christian ladies that loved me…bandage my knees, give me hugs when I needed one, poured my Kool aid and gave me cookies…Bible school taught me, I can snuggle up with Jesus any time…

Call if you need me… 

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Texas trip, Edwards Mississippi to Wylie Texas and back....

Diane and Joe on the Dart Train.....

Down Town Dallas...

The white curls are pickled pork rind...yum!

My Texas Trip

Sometimes I surprise myself, as to just how clever I am… without intending to be. Come to think about it… I am far more clever by accident, then I ever am by intention.

Yesterday I returned from a long weekend, 4 days 3 nights…Well! To keep from going to the hot attic to retrieve traveling cases for the trip….I packed up the bright yellow, (I call it Doris Day yellow and it is from that era,) Samsonite luggage, Barbara Pennebaker gave me, a while back, from her attic. The bright yellow cases are so decorative, they live in one of my bedrooms and are out on display all the time…therefore saving me from an expedition to the hot attic.
For me packing a suitcase is not fun…but in the unpacking there are even less opportunities for hilarity. I have not unpacked,…… I just brought the bags in, and sat them down in their normal location, and they are not bothering me one bit. Clever Huh?

I will eventually get around to unpacking, but it won’t be today. Because I want to tell you about my trip ….and I am waiting for friends, we are going to go to Learned, to Gibb’s Grocery for lunch…. we have been hearing how yummy it is. So if I cut this off in mid sentence it is because I heard the horn honk…I do hope they are open on Mondays.

Before I get to my trip, I want to tell you what Doris Stubblefield said about growing pineapple from the green part…It will root and it will produce pineapples, it takes two years….Doris and a friend each rooted a top, Doris got tired of fooling with hers, but her friend persevered and was actually able to harvest pineapples. So…there you go………

My best friend from high school , Diane and her husband Joe, live over in Texas, close to Dallas, I drove over for the weekend, we had a grand time. We took the Dart train to downtown Dallas, did the tourist thing down there, got back on it and went to what they call the West End, ate lunch and walked around, lots of cute shops and restaurants. It was 99 or 100 degrees but the humidity was so low it was not disagreeability miserable seeing the sights. ….just walk on the shady side of the street.

Then Saturday morning we got up and went on the hunt for Mexican vanilla, like my buddy Paula used to bring us back from Mexico…didn’t find any…. but I sure enjoyed going in and out of the Mexican markets looking for it….seeing all of the different foods. I became fascinated by what the lady selling it called fried flour…It was thin and curled like pork rinds, but bigger like 6x4 inch rectangle. So I ordered one, she asked me what I wanted on it, I told her what ever was the traditional. She started with lettuce, and pico de gallo, then with her gloved hand she reached in to a jar and pulled out two big handfuls of nearly white, short pieces of something resembling worms…it was pickled pork rind….then she topped it off with sour cream and jalapeno peppers. Well, I thought it was tasty, Diane and Joe opted ham and cheese sandwiches.

I do not like interstate driving and besides you see more on the little two lane roads. I took old Highway 80 most of the way going to Texas. On the way back I crossed north Louisiana on LA 2, then took 65,to 80 they had signs calling them “scenic bypasses” …what a pleasant drive.

Love to all Call if you need me…

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Burial of Hobbs Freeman

The phone rang……I picked up the phone when saw the name on the caller ID…I knew it was the call I had been expecting for days ….the voice on the other end of the line said, “Hobbs has died.” I felt both sadness and relief, in mid May Hobbs had been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas…he never left the hospital…much of that time he was not conscious.

Into the phone I heard myself say “I didn’t know him long enough…” I got to know Hobbs through his neighbor and best friend Gordon Cotton…and the hymn singings and dinners on the grounds they held down at Campbell’s Swamp, at Jordon’s Chapel .

Hobbs was a rare man…His pastor referred to Hobbs as a renaissance man….Hobbs was a man of many talents he was an artist, a sculptor, a builder, jewelry maker, a cook, a gardener…God gifted the hands of Hobbs Freeman…Hobbs’s hands could create what ever his mind could imagine…..

But, the quality Hobbs possessed that I admired most was he never tried to be anybody but Hobbs Freeman…he was the same everyday…he didn’t change according to who he was with… he treated all people the same….everybody was important to Hobbs….If you stop to think about it that is a very rare quality indeed.

Hobbs was buried at Campbell’s swamp…we arrived a head of the processional. When we step out of the car an uncommonly large butterfly came down and buzzed past our ears. I wondered a loud if that butterfly could have been Hobbs…I know there are folks who think that is not possible even sac religious …but I am of the mind that God is almighty and would have no trouble what so ever letting Hobbs spirit go into butterfly, so he could sit on the limb of a blooming hydrangea and see his friends on earth one last time..

The setting down there is like out of a movie…at the edge of the woods sits Jordon’s chapel, a cemetery to the side and a bit behind it, flowers in bloom all around and the scent of gardenias in the air. his burial was so appropriate, so simple. His casket was handmade by a friend out of an old walnut tree that had fallen on the property.

In the cemetery, there were six stones marking the graves of fallen confederate soldiers and a hand dug grave awaiting Hobbs. The hearse pulled up, the pall bears carried the walnut box up the hill and placed it beside the opening in the ground…The preacher said a few words…Then the pall bears and young men call out from the gathered mourners to lend a hand…began to slowly lower Hobbs body in to the ground.

Accompanied by the sounds of nature a young lady sang, while we in turns, beginning with the pall bears, took shovels of dirt and began to cover the box in the ground holding to body of Hobbs Freeman.

We walked away clapping hands……