Tecumseh news: Aug. 1, 2018

Greetings from our area as summer heads into fall. How time gets away as we get older! It teaches us to not waste God’s special gift to us and encourages us to be useful and share our talents with others in our time here on earth.

Air conditioners are getting a workout. It used to be a fan that would circulate the air around us, and that was no comparison to today’s air-conditioned comforts. Growing up, we had a two-story house – I was fortunate there – and we had windows every direction, but the air upstairs was hot until the wee hours of the morning. The fan we used in those days was made of cardboard!

On these hot summer days, I think about all those who go out and get sunburned. Sometimes people even get blistered. I tell my little great-granddaughter Alexus that her skin is fragile, and she needs to protect it. 

The past week’s news of tragic happenings reminds us how uncertain life is. Whenever I hear something about the accident involving the duck boats in Branson, I remember when I rode the ducks with Mearl and Beulah Satterfield during one of our many Branson visits.

Our Hootin an Hollarin festival is coming the third week of September. Few people these days remember the efforts of Addie Lee Lister and Helen Marie Luna, along with other special people, who were involved with the early days of Hootin an Hollarin. They celebrated the Ozarks as a hillbilly area, and we did not mind that reputation! 

In those days, comic-section characters portrayed hillbillies dressed in patched britches or long-layered skirts. As I think of those times past, I remember the patched britches my children wore. I patched my children’s jeans so they wouldn’t have to go to school wearing clothing with holes in it. I patched as many holes as I could on the sewing machine, but lots of my patching had to be done by hand with needle and thread and thimble. The holes in the knees were usually gained from wear and tear (in my case, mostly from garden work or from scrubbing my clothes on a washboard). But my goodness! Today’s britches can be purchased, freshly manufactured, with holes in them! And sometimes it seems they’re worn so tight that the wearers have to have holes so they can bend their knees. Oh, no, that is not for me! I need room to move without being restrained. 

Thinking more about times past, I was remembering when I had one of the first yard sales in our locality – mine being in my carport –that netted a few dollars when we were raising money for our new building at Lilly Ridge Church. Before that, the schoolhouse was used as our church. That long-ago carport sale was a new adventure – something that’s very common now. 

Another Hootin an Hollarin recollection of mine was the molasses-making that was done in the early days on a corner of the square. My father-in-law was not able to demonstrate his molasses-making at that time, but in my opinion, we made the best. In our last year of molasses-making we made 300 gallons. I remember that year, one lady asked me to save some sorghum for her, and I saved back three gallons of the best we had made. She picked them up, saying she would pay later, and I’m sorry to say, she never mentioned it again and carried that debt to her grave. The price, as I recall, was $3.50 a gallon. I believe I heard that somewhere last fall molasses sold for $18 a gallon – when you could find it.

We bought the empty gallon molasses buckets by the case at Richard Brothers and Reed Harlin in West Plains. I still have one or two of those buckets, just for remembrances. That was in the 1960s and 1970s. I remember well the sad story my daddy told about hauling a few gallons of the finished sorghum in a horse-drawn Springfield wagon going up a hill. The tailgate on the wagon popped opened, and out spilled the sorghum. What a loss! It was the winter’s supply of sweetener. We sweetened many things with sorghum, believing it to be healthier than granulated sugar.

Here in the Ozarks, no one lives alone. There are varmints! And pets! My favorites are my two cats of partial Siamese ancestry. They trust only me. 

My daughter Kris and I spent Sunday with Dave and Karen Davis celebrating Karen’s 78th birthday. (I have to mention her age because she’s fortunate to be 78 years old and still have her mother living!) We had lunch with them at Udall. Kris made sandwiches, and we took pies and a birthday cake. Karen and Dave have a little dog named Evie who was quite skeptical about having company. She’s a dog who likes her privacy. She mostly sat up on the back of the divan as far as she could get away from us – while watching our every move. 

Elda Edwards sent photos she took of the deer outside her home at Turkey Creek Resort at Theodosia. She says, “Hello, hello! More pictures of my baby critters in my yard.” It was a picture of a doe and a fawn and a 7-point buck in velvet. Elda takes the best pictures! She’s very busy, but she takes times to write such interesting letters to her friends. She said rabbits like to eat her sprouting beans, so she cuts the bottom out of buckets and sprouts the beans inside them.

My biggest concern right now is that every step I take must be a safe one. My knees aren’t working properly, and I have to step very carefully. 

Thanks again to my neighbor Jerry Miller, still a favorite gardener of mine, for sending me vegetables.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423