Sunday, June 2, 2013

Run For the Wall

Christiansen's Comments

First Published

Hinds County Gazette News Paper
Raymond Mississippi
 May 30 2013

I am writing this early morning, Monday May 27, Memorial Day.  Last Monday the Veterans riding motorcycles, passed through Hinds County, headed to Washington….making their annual Run For The Wall  

Run For The Wall recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by all veterans who have served our nation.

Mission Statement: To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.
Philosophy: We strive to maintain a safe, supportive and private atmosphere in which all participants can reflect and heal on their journey to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. in the hope that they can return home to a new beginning.
  1. To guide the participants across America.
  2. To educate future generations as to the importance of accountability in wartime actions emphasizing that no one should be left behind.

I wanted my little buddy, three year old, Whit  to see the veterans on motorcycles.   “The Run” is impressive sight… hundreds of veterans participate. The group that came past us was the on the southern route, there is also a northern route, and as they travel the route more veterans join the band of vets.  By Memorial Day weekend there are hundreds and hundreds riding in to Washington.
 We stopped at the dollar store and bought an American flag to wave, so we could show our support for their cause.  Then we drove to the Farr Road I 20 over pass, between Edwards and Bolton, and joined a group of Bolton folks, many of the same people are there every year.
 To those gathered on the bridge to watch the motorcycles pass, it was both a solemn and celebratory occasion. I believe that to an appropriate response.
Many men and women have served in the armed forces, giving their lives, and far too many veterans sacrificed their sanity to defend this nation.
The cyclists, all they are asking, not for glory for themselves, but that those veterans and their families who each and everyday suffer the consequences of war, that they not be forgotten.
Keith Jenkins, himself a veteran, invited those gathered on the bridge to his house in Bolton, for a cook out…Pulled pork and all of the fixing…Grilled hot dogs, Jess Tackett was on the grill….Whit ate four hot dogs. We had a grand time!
Jess Tackett
And of course it is the right thing to do to make the day, a festive one, other wise their service would have been in vain.  Those men and women served this country, so we Americans could live, celebrate, and go on with our lives.
 Thank you
Love to all
Call if you need me

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Christiansen's Comments

First Published Hinds County Gazette
 May 23 2013
  Saturday I attended two parties, a crawfish boil out at Montgomery Lake to celebrate Julian Gibbens birthday.  Julian turned 100 on Friday May, 17.  One hundred!!!!

And he still has his mind! Still writes letters…still enjoys telling stories…remarkable! (When I consider  living to 100…All I can think about is…that equates to having to put up,  decorate and take down the Christmas tree 31 more times!)

Julian came from a large family of Louisiana Cajuns…I guess they are Cajuns…, people in Mississippi refer to folks from Louisiana as ether Cajuns or Coon ___ (I am not allowed to say the word or write the word.  I can still taste the soap mother use to wash my mouth when I said a word she considered offensive…There were lots of them back in my day….The only person who was allowed say “hell” was the preacher.) So anyway his Louisiana relatives came up and cooked crawfish to celebrate Julian’s birthday.  

My word!  I have never seen so many crawfish!  A wading pool full! 
Whit stirring Crawfish, Julian is Whit's "Paw"

 The children were fascinated with them…Actually touching the wiggling creatures.  Crawfish are not ugly exactly…but I have to wonder who was the first somebody who had the nerve to eat one?

 I don’t think that coon___  nickname is necessarily derogatory ….I am thinking it is like us rural folks in Mississippi being called “rednecks”.  The good ole Mississippi country boys don’t seemed to be insulted by being called “red neck”. 
100 Balloons!  Photo P.A. Mckey   

 Later Saturday afternoon, I went from a party celebrating a long life, to celebrating a little girl who is not yet born. I attended a baby shower for Mary Frances Hilbun, Mary Frances was not in attendance…I guess she was, but Mary Frances will not be born until July.
Mary Frances is the daughter of Marrianna and Jamie Hilbun, the granddaughter of my friends Dave and Suzanne Harpole.


The shower was given by some of Marrianna’s young lady friends ….Us old ladies have wondered “who is going to do the parties when we get to old to do them”…… let me tell you we can stop fretting…. this younger generation knows how to do a party…the food, flowers and table were absolutely beautiful. 

And I learned something from them….you do not have to make everything from scratch ….stand over a hot stove for hours…The cupcakes were exquisite…and tasted sooooooooooo yummy!  They were bought, not from a fancy dancy bakery…but from a local grocery store!

Miss Mary Frances received many beautiful gifts….or so I was told…us older attendees, stayed seated at a table in the breakfast room, as the gifts were being opened, ….we were just plum dumb giddy … we were at a party!! We were enjoying being waited on!!! We never shut up…talking loud and laughing….If we were not so darn loveable we probably would never get invited to another party.  

We old ladies were unsure who we could pass the party, Bible School, etc baton to….Actually I am not sure we were looking….we were hanging on to it with a white knuckle grip…They had to come peel it out of our hands.

 The young ladies have proven they can do it.   They learned from the best!

Call if you need me
P.S. I received a note from Julian yesterday May, 29, 2013
informing  me there were no Cajuns at his party. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hinds County Gazette May 16 2013

There is so much going on in May, we can not possibly get to everything we should.  But Thursday evening, I did get to the Southern Cultural Heritage Center in Vicksburg to take Nancy Mitchell’s art class. Nancy led us through painting, Vincent Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers.

Gordon Cotton

Another friend Jim Biedenbach
Photo Nancy Mitchell
 My friend Gordon Cotton had taken the course a couple of months ago... Gordon is enormously creative for sure…but I must admit I was flabbergasted; he actually turned out a quite respectable interpretation of the painting.  Not wanting to be bested by Gordon I signed up for Nancy’s May class.  I am afraid Gordon bested me. But it was great fun! Next time Nancy will have us painting sailboats… hope I do well. Adam and his family have taken up sailing, I can take my painting of sailboats to them for a happy, when I go visit later this summer.
Grand daughter Julia
Photo MK Christiansen

Son Adam
Photo MK Christiansen

 And I did attend Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Raymond Saturday.  The day’s events began in Raymond at St. Marks Episcopal Church.  The guest speaker was Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice William L. Waller Jr.  Judge Waller spoke to an attentive, over flowing crowd. 
St. Marks Episcopal Church Raymond Mississippi
 Judge William L.Waller Jr.

                                                                Photo Mary Adams Kuhn

The program was followed by the Boys Scouts burning American flags on the lawn at St, Marks….I had forgotten there was a formal procedure to retire of wore and tattered flags, in a respectful, dignified and honorable manner. The ceremony was impressive, and heart warming.
Boy Scouts
Photo Friends of Raymond

After the flag ceremony, the attending crowd was treated to lunch in the garden of St. Mark’s….The food was scrumptious and beautifully presented. Of course that is the Southern way.

The group then moved to the Raymond Military Park for the cannon dedication, and to recognize cannon sponsors.   The Cannons on the Battlefield were sponsored by individuals, and organizations from Mississippi, and all over these United States of America.  Many sponsors traveled to Raymond just to attend Saturday’s events.

After the Historical Marker Dedication at Dillon’s Stand on Old Port Gibson Road, Brenda and Charles Davis treated the out of town guests to an afternoon of rest and relaxation at their home, The Dupree House.  The guests enjoyed a tour of the house, and an afternoon of visiting on the porches of the Davis home. What a fitting way to end a day, of course it is the southern way. I was thrilled to be included!

Call if you need me

As I am writing this Monday, May 13, 2013…I have a fire going! It is in the 40s!! This is not the weather we are familiar with for May. We here in Mississippi by mid May ordinarily have begun to whine about the escalating heat and humidity.

Friday, May 10, 2013

 Christiansen's Comments

Carolyn Mckey recently moved from her home in Utica to Riggs Manor in Raymond, in the preparation for the move they came across a drawer that held newspaper articles, clipped and saved by her late husband W.C. "Dub" McKey, among the clippings was one of mine from September 29, 1994.  Peggy McKey, Carolyn’s Daughter in-law brought the clipping to me.

This is that column….

That column survived for nearly 20 years in that drawer.  Just think how many spring cleanings and fall cleaning that yellowing piece paper survived in that drawer.  I can not think of a greater honor, for a writer to then to be clipped, and saved.
 I never have called myself a writer before, because I am not sure what has to happen before you can call yourself a writer,  but now that I know I was clipped and saved at least once….I shall always believe that qualifies me to say  “I am a writer”.
Thanks Dub!!!
Love to all
Call if you need me
 First published in
 Hinds County Gazette
May 9 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Christiansen's Comments
published in Hinds County Gazette April 25 2013

John and I moved to Edwards in 1987,

 Inez Lee, was my very first Edwards friend. Back in those days Miss Inez was delivering the Clarion Ledger newspaper around Edwards.  Miss Inez was out early every morning, she had her finger on the pulse of Edwards, she was one of the first in town to know who was sick, who needed help, and who had died…Black and white she knew everybody.  Inez is one of the kindest people I have ever known. 

Miss Inez is 92 now, I saw her at the Edwards Fellowship Club last Tuesday, she had on a beautiful pink blouse, cute as a button she was, and  an absolute delight, Miss Inez kept the conversation bubbling at our table that is for sure.
Miss Inez

The very next day, Inez fell and broke her hip; she has had surgery, but physical therapy is ahead. I told you that, to ask you this, please pray for Miss Inez Physical therapy is not comfortable.

Inez was my first friend after coming to Edwards….  Doug Beard, he does not know it, but he is my NEW BEST friend.

This is not the first time Doug has been my best friend.  The spring after John died and I just finished chemo…I needed a new string trimmer, I wanted to know who I would be looking at if it needed fixing, so I went to Doug.

  Doug informed me I could buy one a lot cheaper just about anywhere, and he advised me it was heavy.  Bless him he tried hard not to sell me one.   I guess he didn’t think I was strong enough yet to handle a trimmer…  I kept insisting until I finally wore him down a bit…Doug said he would put one together, I was to come back later and he would see if I could start it.

I left there, on the way back home I called my friend Emily Dear, put her on notice that  she might have to call Doug and testify on my behalf…”You tell Doug I am well! And I am strong!”

 Later that afternoon I went back to pick up my brand new machine…Sure enough I could start it…On the first pull! But he still would not sell it to me!!! He insisted I take it home and try it…he wanted to make sure I could run the thing, before he let me pay. Doug is a man of integrity.   I still have that trimmer and it still starts easy.

I am just about to the part about why Doug is my NEW BEST friend…..
I told you about learning how to change the spark plug in my riding mower a few weeks back…well I mowed and then the crazy thing would not crank for anything…Knew it was not the battery it was brand new…One of the guys from the bottom of the hill came up declared it was a bad solenoid, but did not have time to work on it right then…. so I was going to have to wait until the next day. 

But then later that morning I was in Bolton, I spotted Doug…an idea flashed in my brain…” I shall go ask Doug about solenoids, see if he has one to fit my mower and ask him if he thinks I could change it myself.” I talk to myself a lot.

Last year Doug talked me through changing my fuel filter…..He did not actually say he thought I could install a solenoid …What he did was…he handed me two solenoids told me, one of them should fit it…explained to me where I would find the solenoid on my mower…He even took the parts out of the box…and gave me some pointers about removing the old and installing the new….placed the new solenoids down in a bag, asked if I needed to borrow any tools, and told me to bring back the one that didn’t fit....and sent me on my way.

 It took a couple of hours but I got it installed and the mower ran!!!  And that folks is why Doug is my NEW BEST friend…

My new best friend needs prayers too…Doug has finished treatments and will be having surgery soon.

Hey I have got to go! Shelby dog has to go to see her veterinarian, Doctor Farr this morning! Doctor Farr has had  some medical issues recently also…but he is back at work…not sure wife Pam was ready for him to go back so soon….but he seems to be doing great….But you might want to put Pam on your prayer list.

Love to all
Call if you need me

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Swing project

  There was a time a three year old boy was my best friend

With much help from our friends, Whit and my swing project is complete! We wrapped it up Friday.  But not, without, over the course of the project, innumerable trips to Gaddis McLaurin and to Doug Turner’s wood scrap pile. 

 The place in the yard,  Whit always heads to when I open the back gate is the front yard, to the left of the house, under the pecan trees, so that is where we placed the swing frame. ….it is made from five, 8 foot, 4X4 posts, Doug and Kay came and helped set the swing up, it is a good thing they came.  I had a picture of the swing from a web page selling the plans to build it.  I did not want to pay the $12 for the plans, so constructed it from the picture.  Well when we got it set up…It looked just like the picture!  Yes it did!  But there was just one little thing…it would not stand on its own, it wanted to fold.

  Kay and I had to hold it up while Doug scrambled around and found some lumber to make temporary braces. After much measuring…Doug wanted it to be square…Kay and I didn’t care so much about square…we just wanted to be able to let go.  But way on after while… Doug got it like he wanted and nailed in the temporary supports and it held on his own! 

 Then Doug went to his shop and cut permanent braces, when I went to pick them up he gave me very careful and detailed instructions on how to attach them. I hope it suits him….he has not been by yet for final inspection of the braces and ropes.

I wanted a porch swing to place in newly constructed frame; because the intended purpose of the build was a comfortable relaxing place for me to sit while watching Whit play.  So I went swing shopping… but did not find a swing like I wanted, in the short time I had to look. (I did learn one thing though while out looking for a swing…I could have bought a swing set for what this one cost.  That is… if ever all things were taken in to account…gas alone back and forth to Bolton would figure to be a substantial outlay.)

So anyway, Friday Whit was coming back and I knew he would be expecting something to be happening with the project. Bless Whit’s heart, he worked hard on that swing frame, he learned real fast how screw in the lag bolts with the ratchet wrench, I think he liked the sound it makes.  And he can use the drill to make the pilot holes for the bolts…But I do have to hold up the back of the drill… that battery is heavy.
Doug Turner inspecting our build

So anyway, not wanting to disappoint Whit, I wondered “What to do? What to do?” You all, I felt like a genius when the solution finally came to me!   An old time rope and board swing! We went old school! John was a bit of a rope aficionado, so had plenty of rope in the shop and there was a board in my very own scrap pile just the right length. 
Whit calling himself tying a knot
Whit enjoys the old timey board swing so much….I may never get another swing….Until he grows up….which will be way to soon, Whit will be three years old next month.

  While working on this project with Whit… I came to believe my children were no doubt  just as smart and clever at three years old… as my grand children were and Whit is, if I had had taken the time and had patience with them…. as I have had with the Grands and Whit. 
Love to all
Call if you need me
 Christiansen Comments
First Published in
Hinds County Gazette April 18 2013