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