Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It has been 47 years now, since we woke in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Whew! The wedding that got planned, and took place in two weeks was over. I wonder if I was settled within myself to even think of what Mama had just gone through, and appreciate her, and tell her so. If memory serves me correctly, that would come sometime later, I had thoughts of only one at the time.

Poor Jim. We were driving a U-Haul trailer. Friends had done a bang-up good job of painting it. *I* never thought *my* friends would ever do such a thing! HA! And Jimmy Williams, his dad president of Southern Baptist College (the school's name was later changed to Williams' Baptist College to honor his father) at Walnut Ridge, our soloist, was in on it, too! But he and Pam were were so nice to come at the last moment when whoever-was-supposed-to-sing-got-sick. Was it she who ran errands with me all afternoon, picking up the cake and what all. Anita Wood was my ever faithful organist (it was very sad what happened with the loss of her husband whom we met while we lived in Turkey). Eleven year old sisters couldn't do much since they couldn't drive could they Brenda. Mama, I've thanked you, but never since the kids have grown, and I've done the mommy-marriage-thing myself to know what it was really all about. NOW I can really and truly thank you. I'm just sorry you missed out on all of their wedding stuff. Another time, maybe. Oh, not in this lifetime unless it's Christen, Hannah, Ashton, the princess Kaitlyn, Matthew... but... *I* don't have to do anything but show up for any of those, and they are way down the road, or at least had better be! I'm already having to change my grandmother's ring for great grand number five, and great granddaughter #2!

Well, Jim got the car out of the driveway, and we were headed to Clarksdale. First encounter of the evening. Getting stopped just after crossing the bridge we were so proud of. It was dark. Here was a man with a flashlight waving us to stop out in the middle no where. Egads! But here comes Jim - *My* Hero of the day (and forever more, I'd just said a couple of hours earlier). The little man with the flashlight was waving it all around, up and down, looking at our car, our nice little chevy.

Mississippi wasn't going to be contaminated by any ole folk from Arkansas, that was for sure. Jim got out to talk to the man, who was already walking around the car. When he and Jim met up, he spoke to Jim, started to ask him some questions (me shivering in my "get away clothes" inside the car), but then he laughed and said, "Heh, heh, you young folk aren't interested in any ole boll weevil are you?" He thought we had only one thing on our minds. We did! Eating. We were starving. A piece of cake at the reception just did NOT cut the mustard! We were going to eat at the motel restaurant. Little did we know, just wait until you hear. Anyway, he let us go on, laughing as he went back to his bridge patrol of us possible Arkansas boll weevil transporters. Bad Arkies! Bad Arkies! Thieves in the night.

Again we pedaled on to Clarksdale over paved roads with memories of only having the ferry with gravel road access. And *they* wanted to check us as WE came into their state. Phooey! What an insult. "Why I was born in a cotton patch on Granddaddy's farm in Arkansas, the grandest land that I ever did know, My mama would cringe if she heard me sayng these things, 'Why, Mama, I'm just havin' a bit of fun,' but don't you dare let another say nary a word 'bout this grand state of mine! Mine you hear! " (Tune kind of to "Davy Crocket") Hrumph! Then why am I letting this Airman carry me off to the eventual foreign land of Alabama, after this quick stop in Mississippi? Love. Love? Whatsitallabout? Howsabout grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup? Oh, you mean then, 1962? Second encounter. After checking into the motel, we found the restaurant was either closed or the kitchen was basically closed offering very little, but they had fried shrimp. Deep fried shrimp at 9:30 on Saturday night, down in Mississippi? Oooo... Well, if that was it, that was it. I'm thinking (not a memory) wouldn't a burger have tasted good about then after all that the day had been, but *I* wanted it to be just perfect. We laughed. Just a few hours into our marriage and we were choosing to laugh. two times already. (actually no, but other things during the day should not be repeated here, best left unsaid). We were the only ones in the restaurant, and got supurb service. Whatcha wanna bet, not only were WE laughing, but THEY were laughing at us behind closed doors to the kitchen.

Day is done. The moon has risen over Clarksdale, our new bridge across the River, that now gives rise to boll weevil infestation from state to state, West Helena, and the church that had hosted our commitments, and also had hosted my growth. It was *my church* and like *my friends*, it was irreplaceable. It would always be. Everyone's kicked off their shoes and settled down. Who had to clean up the church? I hope not Mama. The women there were so good to help one another Maybe Brenda knows. I'll have to check with her about that, but that is a long time ago to ask someone to remember. Besides, she was just a child. Eleven years old. My baby sister. Wonder how it felt for me to go off and leave her for good, not just away at school? Bye lil sis.

Retreat. It is time to say good-night to all else of the day, and recognize the true meaning of it all. NOT that we stopped then to reflect. I was too scared to think of much of anything. HA! I found out years later that Jim - *My* hero remember - was scared, too. It measured up to my dreams.

April 1st found us having breakfast in the motel restaraunt. I had on my corsage. I asked Jim if he thought anyone would guess/know we were newly weds. heh heh Ohhhh, my. I think if that were me today looking at some young couple, I'd know in a heartbeat. Aren't the young ones cute?

Thus, began the first day of the next 47 years together. I really wanted to do some sort of recap, but do YOU know how much happens in 47 years? Let me just say this. It all works together to build us into who we are today, and I would not trade that for anything in this world. We've been tried and tested in some of the worst kinds of ways. Even if I could bring Robert back, I'd not be the person I am today, and I am happy with whom God has shaped me into today, with the person God has made Jim into today. We are so happy with whom we are today, singly, and together. I've seen these little ole couples who seem to have melded into one another, and I see us as one can't do without the other. Do I wish I could get up from here and be a wife rather than work on the computer all day? Do I wish Jim could do more than watch TV most of the time? Sure I do. Some days I resent the computer and the TV. What can I do about it? Nothing. So why lament? Make the most of it. Right now I'm having to make tomato soup from it because of gastroparesis that gives rise to reflux. It's like if I didn't have this, then this, and this.. . . no. With all my infirmaries, if that is what it takes for me to be me, then let it be so. If it takes this, and this and this for Jim to be Jim, this let it be so. I love him sooooo much. God gives us strength at our ages and abilities to carry on, deriving the best of each other, what each of us needs to keep on adding to those 47 years now. There is a chorus that says "Give God the glory....." and that is what I have to do. God has sustained us through it all, and He will continue as He as done all this time, just as He did that night in the taxi ride to the hostansi, or down the snowy, icy hill to the hostansi with a baby with a temp too high to register on the thermometer, and Jim couldn't ring a taxi, but the Air Force came to the rescue out of no where. No where? He went on over the hill to his home, and said he'd be right back to take her and me to the hostansi. Jim had us waiting. They packed her groin and underarms, and told me if she didn't seizure from that she likely never would. No convenience as in stateside; our service to our country. The whole family, not just the service man. This all shaped us into what and whom we are today as God allowed it to be for our best, for when it came to lose one of those children, we were prepared, NOT for the loss, but to follow God. Oooo Eeee HARD!! There was much chiseling God still needed to do on us.

So long everyone. Ragdoll says she needs a friend to join her today.

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