Good morning.

Were you, or are you afraid of thunderstorms?  I have been told that my mom’s dad, Pawdie, was terrified of thunderstorms.  His fear of storms was carried on down into at least two of his daughters, my mom and her sister Rose.  Naturally, this fear should have been embedded in some of us kids, but somehow, we never seemed to be afraid like they were.

When we finally moved to the new house, any time a thunderstorm came up, Mom made us go to the basement.  You probably remember that I told you about the time it was storming and she told Cheryl to listen and tell her if she heard anything that didn’t sound like the wind.  Cheryl called her away from her cleaning to say she heard something other than wind — it was rain.  She nearly got a whipping over that one, but it was totally funny.

Now, when I was about five years old, I didn’t think I was afraid of storms either.  But, one day my little sister and I were playing in the living room and it was storming like crazy outside.  We were very fascinated with the lightning so Mom said we could sit in the door and watch.  What fun that was …. until, there came the biggest flash of lightning that you ever saw and the thunder actually shook the door.  I mean, that lightning lit up the entire sky and the streaks were huge.  Well, I let out a scream that you could have heard in Texas; and in turn, that scared my little sister and she began to cry.

My mom came running into the living room to see what we were crying about and I’m here to tell you she wasn’t happy with the reason.  She finally got Cheryl settled back down and then turned her anger on to me.  She didn’t whip me, but she threatened to if I ever did that again.  As a matter of fact, she told me that I couldn’t watch the lightning anymore, at least not if my little sister was gonna be there.

Then another time was when I was about 6 or 7 years old and a little friend came to stay the night.  We had a great time playing after school and Mom cooked a really good supper.  It came up a little thunderstorm that night and the lightning got just about as bad as it did when I scared my sister.  My friend and I were playing in the bedroom and for some reason, the thunder was extra loud and of course everything shook.  I got scared and started crying.  Well, that upset my little friend and she started crying too.  My mom ended up calling her parents to come get her because she refused to stay at my house.

Those were the only two times that I can remember being afraid of storms; but I wasn’t afraid of what the storms could do; just the lightning and thunder.

Call me crazy, but just once in my life, I would love to join some storm chasers and chase a tornado.

See ya next Wednesday.


Stewed Okra

Good morning.

Have you ever eaten stewed okra?  And if you have, how did you like it?  Well, I can tell you I tried, and I emphasize tried, to eat some just once and it did not go well.

When we lived next to Mawdie, my grandmother, sometimes my dad would take preaching jobs on Sunday.  Most of the times, those preaching jobs were a pretty good ways from home; and since some of my friends attended Maple Hill Church of Christ, I asked if I could stay with Mawdie and go to Maple Hill on the Sundays that Dad preached.  We had some really sweet neighbors, Roy and Bertie, who lived down the road from us who also attended Maple Hill and they said I could ride to church with them.

sc01225b76_2So, one Sunday, I got all dressed for church and waited for Roy and Bertie to stop by and pick me up.  Mawdie chose not to go with us that particular Sunday and said she would have dinner ready when I got home from church.  Let me add here that dinner was lunch at our house. Anyway, they stopped by and we went on our merry way to church; and as always, it was a great service.

I got back to Mawdie’s and sure enough, she had a good hot meal all ready for us to eat.  She had made chicken and dumplin’s, cornbread, sliced  tomatoes and stewed okra.  I had never eaten that slimy stuff and swore I never would. But, Mawdie asked me to just try it and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have to eat any more.  Since Mawdie was such a sweetie and she asked so nicely, I decided that I would try it just for her.  I mean, how bad could it be?

I got some okra on my fork and put it in my mouth.  OMG, that was the most awful stuff I had ever put in my mouth but I tried to chew it up and swallow it.  I tried and tried to swallow it, but my throat completely closed and I had to choice but to spit it back out.  The whole time I was trying to eat it, Mawdie was sitting there watching my face to see how I would react.  I bet she was secretly laughing at my reaction, but she just smiled and said that I didn’t have to eat it.

I do love fried okra, pickled okra and okra in my soup, but I just cannot take the stewed okra.  And you know, there was a very slim chance that I might have liked it, but I would have never known if I hadn’t tried it.

Mawdie was a wonderful grandmother and I would have done anything for her, even try to eat slimy okra.

See ya next Wednesday.




Valentine’s Day Party

Good morning.

Do you remember Valentine’s Day parties when you were in grade school?  Those parties were something I always got excited about.

Around the first of February, our teacher would tell us when the party would be held and that we would need to decorate a shoebox and bring it to school on Valentine’s Day.  I believe she even gave us red and pink construction paper and some doilies to take home with us so we could decorate our boxes.  She also handed out a mimeographed sheet of paper with everybody’s name on it so no one would get left out.  Oh, and we had to put our name somewhere on our box so the other kids would know whose box it was.

The next big thing was to buy valentine cards.  Now, I didn’t have the luxury of picking out my cards; my mom would get them on one of her weekly trips to Paducah.  But, I have to say she usually picked out some really good valentine cards for me to give away.

Once my mom brought home the cards, I would sit down and sign every single one of them and then address each envelope.  There were cards for best friends, teacher and especially ones for the one you loved.  Again, I didn’t have boyfriends in grade school, except for the one, so I generally kept those cards out.  Some of the kids would bring boxes of those little hearts that have words on them, but we just didn’t have that kind of money and that was okay by me – it was all about the cards.

So, then I would get to work decorating my shoebox.  First, I had to cut a hole in the shoebox lid so the valentines could be dropped inside the box.  Then I would cover my shoebox with construction paper or sometimes my grandmother would give me some fabric to cover my box.  I would make big sc039d8d70and small heart patterns so I could cut out bunches of hearts.  The doilies made perfect backs for the red hearts and then sometimes I would cut a big red heart and paste a smaller pink heart inside.  By the time I finished, my shoebox was a masterpiece – well in my eyes anyway it was a masterpiece.

The big day arrived and everyone brought in their decorated boxes and placed them on a couple of tables that the teacher had set up for us.  After everyone put their boxes on the table, it was time to put the cards in each kid’s box.  It was so hard to concentrate on lessons when we knew that after lunch, we would party the rest of the day.

But, finally it was time to party.  Some of my classmates’ moms would bring cookies and punch for the party and the teacher would decorate the room with strings of hearts and crepe paper streamers.

Each one of us would get our box and bring it back to our desk.  Once everybody had sat down, we started opening our boxes and they were filled with beautiful cards. We opened each one carefully so we wouldn’t tear the card and first see who it was from and then read the message.  And what was so sweet was that our teacher gave us a Valentine’s Day card too.  By the end of the day, we were exhausted but happy kids.

See ya next Wednesday.




Catalog Paper Dolls

Good morning.

Did you play with paper dolls when you were a kid?  I loved playing paper dolls but we couldn’t always afford to get the store-bought ones.

My Aunt Mary Clay, who lived with Grandma and Grandpa Thomasson, got sc02e66c5athe Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs and those puppies were huge and had a gazillion pictures in them. Sometimes I would spend the weekend at Grandma’s house and my cousin Angelyn, who lived just up the hill, would come down to play.

Aunt Mary Clay kept the catalogs in the hall closet so we would sit down in the hallway and get both catalogs out.  We would go to Grandma’s sewing box and get scissors which we were gonna need.  We usually picked which catalog had the best people and then started going through and cutting out the people we wanted as our paper dolls.  We would pick out whole families like the father, mother and a couple of kids.

We not only picked out the best looking people, we also picked out beds, living room furniture and kitchen furniture.  I’m sure we named all these people but I don’t remember any of them.

We would sit there for hours playing with our paper dolls.  I mean, they talked; their kids would cry and they would go to bed for the night.  We would finally get tired of playing paper dolls and find something else to do.  But, we always cleaned up our mess; otherwise, we wouldn’t be allowed to play in the catalogs any more.

Another magazine that Aunt Mary Clay got was the McCall’s magazine.  You may not remember this, but each month McCall’s would have the Betsy McCall paper dolls inside.  So, one month Angelyn would get them and the next time would be my turn. Now these were real paper dolls and had clothes and shoes and all kinds of accessories.  You had to be real careful cutting them out because they had little tabs to be used to put the clothes on the doll.  If you cut the tabs off, the clothes wouldn’t stay on them.  There were lots of times that I would make a miswhack and cut a tab off and my doll’s clothes would hanging lopsided.

Aunt Mary Clay gave each one of us a shoebox so we could keep our paper dolls separated.  And, I can tell ya, those boxes were filled to the rim.  Eventually, we would have to clean out some of them because when a new catalog came in, we jumped right in there cutting.  I don’t know how Aunt Mary Clay ever ordered anything from her catalogs.

One Christmas, Aunt Mary Clay surprised Angelyn, Cheryl and me with Betsy McCall dolls.  Yep, they were actual dolls and they came with extra clothes.

Aunt May Clay was always playing with us kids or giving us something special.  And you know something, she was a very special lady.

See ya next Wednesday.