About Me

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i has spent my whole lifes a cookin. i got a early start at it cuz i is the second oldest of nine - thats a big family to cook for. and growin up on a workin farm makes for everbuddy to has a mighty healthy appetite. after i married my man, everett, cookin was a bit easier on me since it was just the two of us and thats when my creativitee really started to kick into high gear. so much so that everett encouraged me to open myself up a diner. that was the funnest time ever to be had by any mortal soul. i kept at that diner thang even when the yung-uns begun to show up. now they is all growed n dear everett is long gone so i has learned in my old age how to cook on a smaller scale as a single wid-der woman. exceptin on wednesday nites - we all has a grate big church social pot luck supper afore bible study down there at the calvary community chapple n thats my chance to still cooks up a storm - it is jest sooo much fun.
my grate grandsun has been a buggin me for some time now to write down all these here recipes that i keeps in my head so that the family can remember me after i leave this earth. he has turned me onto this here blogg thang n now that i has got the hang of it all, i thinks it is a real awesome way to record down thangs.

here is a handy lil tip: y'all can CLICK on any of these here pictures to enlarge them n then ya can see more of the details . . . (n then hit the BACK ARROW in the upper left hand corner of the screen to return to the story). aint that jest somethang now!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

my dearest everett

oh my goodness now, where do i begins? my everett was jest plain ole the sweetest man that god ever saw fit to create. kind-hearted. giving. humble. i loves that man with all my heart. n will for all the rest of eternity.

1. small deed BIG notice

i knowed the very first time that i laided my eyes on him that we was meant to be. even if i was jest in the second grade n he was in the seventh.

hey, in a lil ole one-room kountree skewl likes we all wents to, ya gots to knowed everbuddy there jest like family. shoot, there was only 13 yung-uns in the hole skewl n most of them WAS kin folk. now you modern folks probably thinks thats some mighty slim pickins, but i is here to tell ya that theres some great good comes from stayin put. n back in them days, people didnt up n move around all the time 
like y'all does now.

sooo . . . even tho i was at such a yung age, i jest knowed that everett was the man for me. oh i mean back in them days he was jest a tall lanky kid n shy as all get out. why i remembers once that my pencil done rolled off of my desk n sweet everett rushed over there to grab it up fer me n when he handed me that there pencil i telled him thank you n when our eyes met he jest quickly flashed his sweet smile n then starred down at the floor. he could all ways jest melt my heart . . .

2. how long the waitin

my momma n daddy really liked everett a hole lot but they wouldnt let me date nobuddy until i come of age (if ya knows what i means), which that all started when i jest turned twelve. by that time everett was 17 n had been out of skewl fer a couple of years so i figgered he'd a been snatched up by some hussie by that time. one day my daddy saw everetts daddy over at jeb pritchetts feed store n daddy telled them all that everett should stop on by for a visit sometime. course daddy never did say a word to me bout any kind of mention like that, ya know, so i could be proper prepared. but all ways the gentleman, everett saw daddy a workin out in the field one day n went on out there to get daddys permission for him to court me all proper like. aint that jest so ole fashioned sweet!!! again daddy never did mention their conversation to me,

but that very next sunday at church, everett showed up for service all decked out in his go-to-meetin clothes n he sat himselfs down rite next to me on that pew. he never said any word, couldnt even look me in the eye, he jest sat there a lookin down at his hat in his hands. thats when i noticed that his hands was a shakin he was that nervous. so i jest snudged myselfs over a smidgen closer to him so thats our shoulders were a touchin n his hole body frozed up. n he stayed that a way for a few moments til he started to relax a bit n then very very very slowly he started to turn his head in my direction n when our eyes finally met i just gaved him the biggest ole smile that i could muster. he held my gaze for a good while n then his sweet lil smile begunned to form on his lips. why, i thought my heart was just a gonna melt fast away n jesus was gonna swoop down n carry me on off to glory rite then n there afore the church service ever even got begun.

after service that sunday, everett walked with me on out to our farm n momma invited him to come on in
for chicken dinner. i still remembers the twinklin looks that momma n daddy passed back n forth during that meal. they knew what i knew n eventually everett caught on n knew what we all knew. after all them long years of waitin, we could finally be in love.

when it came time for everett to head on out to get the chores done at his daddys farm, he him-hawed about awkwardly
for a bit so i jest wrapped my arms a round him, leaned up on my tippy-toes n gaved him a tiny lil kiss right on his lips. why, i can still feel that first touch of our lips pressin together jest like it was a happenin right now . . .

3. dancin amongst the stars

everett n me becamed inseparable. i mean, we both still had our farm chore responsibilitys n all, n i wanted to git some more skewlin in n all, but we spent every spare moment together doing somethin, n sometimes jest a doing nothin. my best friend alvernie lou bradshaw started datin kouter southebridge, n her cousin missy anne kalhoun (the mayors daughter) was a seeing dayton lambert, n the six of us spent many a nite a dancin away the hours - it was jest sooo much fun. we danced every saturday nite at the towne square social n sometimes we would drive on up to bigg city n dance at the ballroom n other times when there weren't no band a playin somewheres we would jest go to somebuddys house n scoot the dining table out of the way n dance right there on the kitchen floor to the radio music. n i is a tellin ya now, my man everett could REALLY dance!!! any kinda dance: waltz, charleston, square-dance, cha-cha, fox trot, polka, swing, hop, hustle, jitter-bug,
jive, rumba, salsa, tango, samba. you name it, we danced it!!! (dont y'all jest know that now a days i jest loves watchin that there tv show named dancin with the stars)

but dont get me wrong now ya hear. everett n me spent some real quality quiet time alone together also. there was picnics down by the creek, ridin horses all thru the kountree side n up into them hills yonder, sittin on the back porch swing a talkin n a makin all kinda plans about the future, OUR future . . . oh my now, i is jest a carryin on so . . . all caught up in my memorys of all them special days so long ago . . . but in some ways it seems jest like yesterday . . . time jest keeps on a flyin by way too fast . . . any ways . . .

4. theres a first time
for everthang

on one of our picnics down by the creek, oh i is a guessin that everett n me had been a steady item
for about seven or eight months by then, i jest felt a boldness come on over me. i mean, i had thought about this a LOT. n everett was all ways the sweetest of gentlemen. but i jest felt like it was time to consummate our love for each other. now i is not gonna go into all the details of that there conversation (i'll leave some thangs up to your own imaginations) but suffice it to say that when i started in a talkin on this topic, everett turned a shade redder than a beet. hahahahaha!!! n when we was done talkin, with all his typical sweetness n tenderness n gentleness, everett started in a fumblin his way a round this thang that we had commenced. not that i was any more adept - this being our first time doing such a thang. now i is not gonna go into all the details of that there physical connection either (i'll leave those thangs up to your own imaginations too). but it was a beautiful thang that we begun that day. n its jest like dancin, the more ya practice, the better ya get at it . . .

of course, i never did talk to momma n daddy bout all those a goings on. they was from a different generation, more stoic, n ya jest dont talk about such thangs. i thinks that they had an idea what was a happenin between me n everett but they jest wouldnt or couldnt bring up such a topic. i is a bettin that they did the same stuff afore they got hitched. i knows that my granparents got married in june n their first baby was borned the following september so guess what, it aint no big secret what they was up to. lol. besides, somethangs are jest better kept private, jest between the two of us . . .

not like them 60s generation women libbers n long haired hippy freaks hollerin out loud all over the place that they jest invented "doing the deed" with their so called sexual revolution. thats such a buncha crapola. why, peoples has been doing that deed for thousands of years!!! married or not married - dont make no never mind. aint nothin new about it at all.

any ways, i digress . . .

5. life is jest sooo full of experiences

when everett was 19 n felt the callin to perform his patriotic duty by joinin the military service, he surprised me one day with a proposal to marriage

n a beautiful amethyst ring

that he had saved up for
n buyed at the 5 n dime store.

since i was just barely 14 years old,

daddy said i had to wait n git hitched

once everett got back from the war.

he enlisted himselfs into the navy n eventually got stationed over there across the ocean in that
kountree named france. n dear sweet everett, he wrote to me as often as time allowed to do such - ooohhhhh . . . how i did enjoy receivin them letters. n he done told me everthang that was a going on over there exceptin anythang about the actual war thang. he jest never did want to ever talk about the killin part of the war BUT he sure nuff wrote to me a bout everthang else.
like what it was a like ridin on that grate big giant metal ship out there on that great big giant watery sea. n about all the buddys he was a meetin out there on that great big giant ship - he made friends with guys from all over the hole u.s. of a. n about all the good food n all the bad food that they was served up. n about all the trainin they was receivin. n about all the chores that they still all had to do on that ship.

n then when they all got to that there france kountree, all the sites that they did see n all the wonderful food n wine that they was served up in all them restaurants. n all the interestin peoples n all the different customs that they did. why dear sweet everett even wrote to me bout when he a started messin round with this french hussie named viellette-chèrise. now dont think me krude or krass or nothin but i was kinda all right with all that. i mean i did have to fight with myselfs some bout that ole jealousy thang that comes so easy with human nature but i understood havin needs. i had me a few dallyances of my own n everett knowed about all them too n even encouraged me onto all that cuz he didnt want for me to jest be a workin all the time that he was gone n he didnt want me to jest sit a round a pine-in for him all lonely like n such. but them others was jest for fun n for to pass the time, they didnt really mean nothin to me. everett was my first n my truest n ALL my love was for everett. me, i aint no prude. "doing the deed" is a real beautiful thang. n a real natural thang. n everett he done learned some real fancy tricks over there in that france kountree. he might of shipped off as a awkward fumblin boy but he came back to me as a REAL man who knew some thangs a bout doing me up right.

n everett, he done learned how to do that french talkin thang real good too. i never did understand a word that he was a sayin in that there french tongue but my oh my jest the sound of them words comin out of everetts mouth all mixed up with his kountree twang thang was such a beautiful sound to my ears. he often offered to teach me the meanin of them words but i would all ways jest a tease him a sayin to jest keep on a talkin them french words cuz evertime ya do, ya makes my tulip get all wet (if ya knows what i mean). lol. n evertime i would say that teasin thang, sweet innocent everett would again n again turn two shades redder than a beet. hahahahaha!!! we sure nuff did have us some fun times . . .

when everetts four years of the navy was done, he had learned all about some new-fangled technology named sonar n he found it all to be so interestin that he done decided to re-upt for another four years n continue on with his trainin. it was a mighty tuff time for me considerin that i was truly lookin forward to him a comin on home but i was real proud of his patriotic spirit n made myselfs do the right thang by encouragin him on. plus he had done told me that he was really enjoyin travelin round the world n seeing everthang cuz it was probably the only chance in his hole life that he would ever git to do such a thang. n he kept on a
writin to me as often as time allowed to do such - a tellin me all about all of his adventures . . .

that reminds me. i need to be a diggin all them there boxes of letters out of the attic n handin them on off to our oldest daughter eliza mae. she is a real sentimental type n wants to be a keepin her daddys memorys. she is a talkin bout puttin some kinda book together or some such. well, i guess that after all these long years, i could greatly enjoy readin all them letters again myselfs. oh my now . . . my dearest sweetest everett . . .


6. a hero's welcome

any ways, after everetts eight long years in the navy, he decided that was a nuff for him. he was a missin the simpler kountree life n i sure nuff was a missin him somethang fierce. oh you jest never saw such a day of rejoicin when he returned home. everbuddy in the hole township showed up n what a cellabration we done had - it went on for three hole days.

everbuddy had spent weeks plannin n preparin for everetts return home cellabration. on the first day that everett done got back to our lil town, we had a grate big parade which ended up at the towne square bandstand. of course rite off mayor
kalhoun took to his speech makin n jest went on n on n on til we all could hardly stand it anymore (that man sure nuff enjoyed listenin to the sound of his own voice but thats jest his way). he presented everett with this beautiful VIP medal on a velvet ribbon n hanged it round everetts neck for him to wear proudly for the three hole days of cellabration.

then everbuddy took turns participatin in a musical talent show. me n alvernie lou n
her cousin missy anne did this funny song that we had seen at the movie theatre:


i jest loves all them ole little rascal shows, dont y'all? n of course the three of us cut-ups wore the costumes n glasses n tried our bestest to imitate singin like them there three lil brian sisters that we had seen at the movies n we jest had everbuddy rollin with laughter. this song was jest sooo appropriate since everett had spent most of his first four years in that kountree named france n he had been to paree many a time. but i sure nuff was glad that he didnt have no problem comin back to the farm after he'd seen paree . . . 

7. seasons of life

rite off, everett went n bought him a beautiful piece of land
for to start his own farm. n all he could talk about was us a gettin married. we talked on n on about our life together but after a few weeks of all that, we both kinda came to the same counselin conclusion that we should probably spend some time gettin to knowed each other all over again cuz eight years is a long time n we both had growed up a lot by then. when he had left for the navy he was jest 19 n i was jest turned 14; now he was 27 n i was 22. we wasnt lil kids no more. we was growed adults. n then everett told me somethang that jest made sooo much sense that i had never even thought of afore. he said that we should wait for the four seasons to pass n enjoy gettin to knowed each other thru all four of the seasons of the year: summer, autumn, winter, sprang. lord a mighty, what a voice of wisdom!!! but he all ways gaved the credit for that advice to his grandaddy who had told the four seasons story to anybuddy who was contemplatin gettin hitched. n we done told that same four seasons story to all our yung-uns n grand yung-uns afore they ever got married up.

my momma now, she was a mite concerned with us waitin any longer. she thought that me a marryin at 23 years of age was close to disgraceful - i was a passin my prime. she was a worryin on n on a bout ifn thangs dont work out betwixt me n everett or ifn he changes his mind n wants a yunger woman then i would be jest left high n dry n spend the rest of my days livin as a ole maid. so i had to spend a lot of my time reassurin her that she really had nothin to worry a bout at all. i would tell her that thangs between me n everett aint never changed in all these past years n nothin was a gonna change in all the future years. n that we really aint in no big hurry to get married up. we was livin our life our way.

8. buildin for the future

so me n everett spent that first summer gettin to knowed who the other one was now that we was all growed up. i mean we still had all our other workin responsibilitys n we spent time with our family n friends at various get-togethers, but me n everett learned a lot about each other by talkin thangs over n workin side-by-side on his new farm. everett was all ways a planner. some folks called him a dreamer but he all ways was accomplishin somethang. way more than merely dreamin bout thangs, he got stuff done. n that first summer he started plannin the house that he was a gonna build for me. but he all ways did say that i HAD to give him my input. that he needed to know what i thought about thangs. he all ways did call that house: OUR home.

another of the smart sayings that everett learned from his
grandaddy was that a marriage is NOT 50/50, its 100/100. its not about what ya get out of the marriage but what ya puts into it. ifn two peoples put in 100 percent each of themselfs, then together they is twice as strong as they would have been on their own. aint that jest somethang now? n i is here to tell ya, everett put 125% n even more of himselfs into everthang he ever did. he sure nuff was quite the man.

n in no time at all,
we was puttin
the finishin touches
on that house
that everett built:

OUR home.

n everday i would hurry up n finish up my chores n
everday momma would ask me where i was in such a hurry up a bout to get off to n everday i would tease her with a sayin that i was 
off to go play house with my man everett n everday she would jest laugh n say: oh my dear lil gal ya best be doing some serious thinkin about makin that situation permanent.

by the end of that there first summer in the dog days of august of that year, momma n me was puttin a coat of paint on the new kitchen walls. it was hot as blazes that day so i jest slipped my blouse off n was a paintin away jest a wearin my bra when momma noticed a big ole whiskery scratched hickey on my left breast. at first i didnt know what in tarnation she was a laughin a bout but then she was finally able to say: girl, looks like ya done ran into some steel wool.
then i started in to laughin with her. n she said that joke thang a bout why would everett want to be a buyin the cow when he was gettin the milk for free. n i joked back: momma, i aint no cow n it aint milk that he is after. n i aint for sale at any price. ooohhhhh nnnooooo ma'am!!! mmmooooo . . .
n we laughed n joked n teased on n on n on bout that one!!!

9. going to the chapple n we're gonna get married

so the next sprang we started makin plans for a june weddin - nothin fancy. back in them days weddins was a much more simpler affair than what y'all do nowadays.

we would have the ceremony at the calvary community chapple

where both our families had attended services for many a generation.

shoot, pasture ray dempshun had married my folks n everetts folks.

he had baptised both me n everett n
we jest couldnt imagine any buddy else performin the spiritual side of our weddin ceremony
that would be the beginnin of our married life together.

pasture ray had a openin
in his schedule for

saturday, june 12th,

so we set the date.

everett n me spent some time writin n rewritin some befittin vows that would describe the "us" that we had come to know. we both came into agreement rite off that there really would be no way that we could recite a hole bunch of these vows ourselfs cuz it would jest be way too emotional. so we planned a part that we could say together n then have a part that my momma n daddy would say together n then have a part that everetts momma n daddy would say together.

everett n me sayed: 
we will share the good times side by side with joy.
we will share the hard times side by side with faith.
we will live in warmth,
for we each will be a shelter for the other.
we will live in peace,
for we each will be a protection for the other.
we will live in love,
for we each will be a sanctuary for the other.
i humbly give you my hand n my heart.
i pledge my faith n love to you.
my momma n daddy sayed: 
now you is still two individual persons, but there is only one life before y'all.
may beauty surround you both in the journey ahead n through all the years.
may happiness be your constant companion n your days together be long n good upon this earth.
everetts momma n daddy sayed:
treat yourselfs n each other with respect.
remind yourselfs often of what brought y'all together.
give the highest priority to the tenderness n gentleness n kindness that your connection deserves.
n if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be a life marked by abundance n delight.

n then everett reached up into the breast pocket of his vest n started to pull somethang hidden out of that there pocket. i thought maybe he done jumped the gun on the ring exchangin part of the ceremony or somethang. i didnt know rite off what he was up to. but as he pulled this hidden somethang out of his pocket, he started in a sayin that he had made me somethang all them years back when we first met but was too shy to give it to me at that time so he had put it away in his bureau top keepsake box n had forgot all about it until this morning when he went to git his pair of cuff links outta that box n then he knew he had a secret somethang for to gives to me on this most important of all important days of our lives.

n he hands out to me this ole paper valentine heart with tissue paper ruffles all a round the edges of it . . . 
n i jest starred at that valentine heart in disbelief.

this valentine heart that my dearest everett had made for me.

i jest plain was at a loss
for words.

so i jest sayed to him with tremblin voice n tears bubblin out of my eyes: you knows that you is the only one can get away with callin me bea.

n everbuddy there jest a busted out a laughin cuz everbuddy knew that i all ways thought my given name, beatrice margaret, sounded too much like 
a ole lady name
n nobuddy was ever allowed to call me that name
n thats why i has all ways gone by the name bettie mae. (in fact, when everett n me went on for to get our marriage license certificate
n i had to change my legal last name any ways, i jest went on
n changed my hole legal name to bettie mae turley
so that i wouldnt ever have to deal with that ole lady beatrice name ever again).

n then everett said to turn the valentine heart over n reed the other side n when i did i jest a busted out a bawlin like a baby. here all them long years ago, my dear sweet everett DID know what momma n daddy knew that i knew.
i was speechless.  

so i jest looked everett straight in the eye
n held his gaze for a good while n then his sweet lil smile begun to form on his lips.

so then i started to rustlin around in the bouquette of daisy flowers that everett had picked for me for to be my weddin arrangement n slowly pulled out of the center of that there bouquette that there pencil from the second grade that everett had picked up off of the floor for me. n when i went to handin that pencil to everett, it was his turn for bubblin tears. n then i said: well, aint we jest a couple of sentimental fools. my dear sweet everett, i'll never forget this day forever.

i doubt there was a dry eye in the hole church . . .
n since our weddin ceremony had taken such an impromptu turn, no one was at all surprised when ole uncle moses franklin (everbuddy in the township called him unk altho i dont think he was actually related to any of us. but we sure nuff respected his wisdom) he came a walkin down the aisle carryin a ole straw broom. without sayin nary a word, he laided that broom down at our feet n we knowed jest what to do cuz we seen it done many a time. everett n me held hands n together we jumped over that broom to one side n then we jumped together over that broom to the other side. n sweet ole unk jest a smiled so big n all he said was: may yer life together be truly blessed.
n he picked up that broom n turned around n went n sat down.

pasture ray went on to say all of his has to's bout all that better n worse n richer n poorer n sickness n health n love n cherish sayings but neither me nor everett really heard any of them words. we was jest overjoyed with joy.

we exchanged the weddin rings which everett had done made himselfs by meltin down a 1922 silver dollar that his grandaddy had gived to him a long time ago. n everett somehow fashioned us a matchin set of rings by braidin three strands of that silver together. he was always sooo creative that a way. it is the most beautiful piece of jewelry that i has ever weared. 
pasture ray did all his pronouncin us mister husband n missus wife n he said to everett: you may now kiss yer bride. so we exchanged a kiss rite there in front of god n everbuddy. n let me tell ya now, that wasnt jest any kinda kiss . . . oh the memorys . . .

n then we had a real nice reception over in the back room of lewt knutsens general store. everbuddy in the township was there. everetts best drinkin buddy, rudy klemp, had brought along a bunch of jugs of his fresh corn squeezins n poured everbuddy a shot so he could give everett n me a welcomin toast. that rudy!!! he was jest the funniest clown all ways a jokin round. he had everbuddy raise up their shot glass together n he started in announcin his weddin toast to us: may ALL your ups n downs . . . be betwixt the bed sheets!!!
n everbuddy jest a busted out laughin sooo hard that none of us thought we'd ever be able to stop. then we all commenced to partyin n cellebratin n rejoicin in everetts n my new life together.

one of the older gents, ivan steindorf, that everett n me had knowed for all our lives moseyed on by us to wish us well n to say to everett: you can spend your life chasin money, or you can spend your life chasin your wife around the living room. in the end, would you rather remember feeling like you never had a nuff or would you rather remember feeling like you had everthang in the world?
everett poured the three of us another shot of shine n sayed: i can drink to that!!!
n i
sayed: the fun part is in the chasin but the reward is in the catchin.
i thought poor ole ivan was gonna choke on his chew he was a laughin so hard n he
sayed: everett, ya got yerself a lil feisty one here, eh?
n dear sweet everett
sayed: thats for sure. thats what i has all ways liked most about this lil gal. ya jest never knowed what she is a gonna say rite out loud to anybuddy. so bettie mae, ya says that the reward is in the kitchen? i was thinkin more like the bedroom.
so i jest couldnt help myselfs from saying: well, if ya wanna do the deed on the kitchen table, okay. sounds interestin to me.
n i swear my dearest everett turned three
shades redder than a beet. hahahahaha!!!

after we all had partied it up a good while, selma jo larsen, the head of the church ladys committee, announced that we was all to go on over to the community center / volunteer fire dept for a big ole feast specially prepared for our weddin day by all the ladys of the church n the men of the fire dept (well, thats purdy much everbuddy in the hole township. lol). n i is a tellin ya now, them folks could really cook!!! luke gentry, the kaptain of the volunteer fire dept, n his team had prepared smoked brisket that was jest outta this world good along with chicken, ham n brats n the church ladys did up all the fixins.

when everbuddy was done eatin their fill, clifford davis announced that him n the band, the jolly ole rogers, was throwin us a weddin dance over at the towne square. for our first dance as a married couple, they played a sweet ole slow song that was all ways one of our favorites: moonlight over possom ridge. the second dance, i danced with daddy n everett danced with his momma while everetts daddy danced with my momma. n then the next dance we all switched up again, i danced with everetts daddy n everett danced with my momma while my daddy was a dancin with everetts momma. n after all that, everbuddy jest cut loose. why, we didnt stop dancin til about 3 in the morning.

we all sayed our good-byes n wish-ya-wells n everett n me headed on out to the farm: OUR home. n the hole way out there we jest a kept a gigglin n a snickerin cuz we knowed that the festivitys was far from over. but we had to make it look good so we turned out all the lights n hunkered down at the front window lookin down the driveway. n sure nuff, here came all the folks of the township a sneakin up the drive for to give us a ole fashioned shivaree. but everett got the first turn n bestest them all by startlin them all when he fired off his shotgun out the window n up into the air. we laughed sooo hard when they all hit the ground lickety-split. n once they all got over their startledness then they all started in a laughin too. n hootin n hollerin n a bangin pots n pans n shootin off their guns n lightin fire crackers. ooohhhhh ya jest never heard such a commotion afore.

after we had partied again for a while, all us ladys started to cookin up this huge breakfast for everbuddy. then we all said our good-byes again but knowin this time the fun was over n everbuddy had to get to doing their chores.

that afternoon, everett n me drived on up to silver dollar city
for a three day honeymoon trip. we couldnt have planned it any better cuz that first evening was the grand finale of the BaldKnobbers HillBilly Jamboree. oh what a grand time we had a singin ole gospel songs n a square dancin n the comedy shows was jest plain rib splittin. 

10. life on the farm: OUR home

we settled into such a wonderfull comfortable life on our beautifull farm. the first thang my dear sweet everett did was to plant me a huge orchard with apple n peach n apricot trees n also a huge berry patch with rapsberry n huckleberry n gooseberry bushes n grape vines all over the place. n he plowed up a nice big plot for me to put in a veggie garden. n he fenced all them gardens n such for to protect all them there trees n bushes n vines n veggies from them varmints n critters. everett was makin our home into a virtual garden of eden jest like in them bible days.
so one morning while we was a havin our regular coffee chat, he up n announced to me that we should put a name to our farm: paradise farms.
aint that jest somethang now? that everett . . . all ways a dreamer n all ways a doer . . .

the first summer that he had the place, the summer a fore we was married up, he had put all the acreage into cotton cuz, he sayed, everbuddy around here all ways growed cotton.
but the boll weevils was horrible that year n the cotton prices was down any ways n everett was jest all put out by the hole situation.

but all ways the thinker, he got to discussin with me one day a bout a idea he had a bout farmin. his projectin was that a body could grow good cotton n a factory can spin it into cloth n somebuddy could a sew it up into some clothing n somebuddy would buy that clothes n wear it for a good long time without havin to replace it. everetts thinkin was that we needed to growed somethang that was more in demand.
i mentioned to him that we could start up a dairy like my daddy has n i knowed all about raisin calfs n milkin cows cuz i had done all that my hole life so far.
n everett said thats a good idea n that he had a thought about that idea also cuz peoples do drink milk everday n a body can make butter n cheese n such with an abundance of milk. but his accountin was the monetary value compared to the amount of work involved was not a high a nuff percentage.

so then everett finally got to the point of his proposal. he says to me: we should start us up a beef operation cuz everbuddy eats more beef everday.
n i tells him what a grand idea he has indeed.
he continued his out loud thinkin with we could growed some acres in corn n wheat n alfalfa
for to supplement the cattles diet but mostly turn all the rest of the 50 acres into grazin pastures.
i asked him ifn he was plannin on just finishin out yearling stock cattle n sellin them on the market or was he a wantin to start a cow/calf operation.
n everett says to me: finishin out stock cattle ya still has to buy the stock up front so yer all ready out some money BUT with a cow/calf operation we'd a be startin our own stock out from scratch n i thinks that we would be more profitable with a cow/calf operation.

n i jest a started jumpin up n down for joy n a shoutin that i loves raisin baby calfs more than anythang.
everett kinda got a startled look on his face n sayed: now, bettie mae, you dont have to be out here a workin like some farm hand. you has got all that housework n cookin n such n soon the babys of our own will start to being borned.

"but everett . . . can i work the calfs ifn i wants to? the housework n such jest aint a nuff to keep a body busy. ya know, all my life i helped momma with the raisin of my yunger brothers n sisters n with the washin n ironin n cookin n such n still worked on the farm n milkin cows n raisin calfs n such cuz i really truly enjoyed all that kinda work. but it really aint that much like work to me cuz i loves doing it all."
"oh bettie mae, you are jest some kinda woman. i declare i dont know how a somebuddy like me could be so lucky to get such a good wife likes you. course ya can do it all ifn ya wants to. ya can do anythang that will makes ya happy. this is OUR paradise and we will build it on up together."

"yahoo!!! so does that mean that we can start going regular to lester moore's cattle auction n stockyard n sale barn on tuesday evenings??? it can kinda be like our date nite!!!"

n everett jest chuckles n says: whatever n anythang that will keep ya this full of joy . . . we will do it!!!
so we started rite then that week going to the cattle auctions n considerin that everett aint never had much dealin with cattle a fore, he was a rite good judge n bought us some great stock for to get our herd started. n we jest had the time of our life . . .rite off, everett jest fell in love with texas longhorn cattle. he was a tellin me one day about this buddy, kenneth danzel, that he had met in the first four years of his navy service n this buddy was from jest across the border to the north of us in kansas. turns out that kenneths family had been raisin purebred registered texas longhorn cattle for generations n that they mite be willing to sell some or at least know a resource for us to get some of those longhorns for ourselfs. n everett said that he aint heard from kenneth in all these long years n that he would write to kenneth a letter n see what he had been up to n then maybe the two of us would jest make us a little trip outta drivin on up there for a visit with kenneth n his family.long story short: everett got him some beginnin longhorn stock. n we added more over the years. the rest of our cattle was all different kinda crossbreeds but we all ways kept up with the purebred longhorns by only runnin purebred registered longhorn bulls with all them cows. in fact, i still to this day out in the pasture range rite now has some of the descendants of those original purebred longhorns still in the herd.

everett was a very astute busynessman. when we had a good year, we would buy up a few more acres at a time n expand the herd. when we had a not so good year, we would jest hold down the fort so to speak n keep everthang maintained, knowin that another good year would be a comin around in no time at all. by keepin at this over all them years, everett built them original 50 acres into a spread of 1,776 acres.

11. livin life to the fullest

along with the beef cattle operation, we all ways had us some ridin horses. n of course i had to buy me some goats cuz i loves them lil critters sooo much. n then i had to get a couple of mules to run with the goats for to keep back them danged coyotes - mules is real good n ornery
for that kinda service. n i all the time raised up a brood of baby chicks for to growed up into layin hens. n we kept a couple hogs ever year for the autumn butcherin party. n that first year on the farm with everett, i bought us two milkin cows: a lil jersey named bessie n a shorthorn that we called speckles. (i all ways liked the peacefulness of milkin time. i got us two milkin cows so that everett n me could enjoy that time together, each of us milkin one of them cows). everett n me was jest a havin the best time of our lifes . . . cuz we had each other.

the cow/calf operation fell into a easy rhythm rite off. oh i mean there was all ways a somethang that needed tendin to but them momma cows purdy much jest tended to themselfs n their own babys. with everetts extra time he took up the trade as a tanner. he learned himselfs some basics by readin some book from the library n then he heard bout this ole timer by the name of jasper leroy who lived over west of jefferson/davis n everett would go on over to works some with ole jasper n learned some more tricks of the trade. n in no time at all everett was a makin the most sturdy softest leather n was a turnin himselfs a tidy lil profit. he had all ways been a carpenter (ya knows that he done built this here farm house that i still lives in today) so he beganned to makin all kinds of furniture but he especially like makin chairs covered in that soft leather. over the years he becamed quite famous for his expert carpenter skills. that man could accomplish any thang that he set his mind to . . .

soon as we had got hitched, everett started in a talkin n a talkin bout us havin a baby of our own. i mean, we talked a bout all that a many a time a fore we married up n he knowed that i wasnt in no big hurry to have yung-uns rite off cuz of me growin up in such a big family. i was the second oldest of nine so i kinda got my fill of babys around all the time. not that i didnt want to have some of my own but i jest wasnt in no hurry up a bout it. i wanted to enjoy some time first with it being jest me n everett.but everett kept at me. a talkin n a teasin n a plannin bout OUR family. he was sooo lookin forward to being a daddy. n i knowed he'd a be a good daddy too. but i jest a kept a tellin him that it would happen in its own time.my momma on the other hand wasnt as patient as my everett. she basically hounded me bout gettin in the family way. n as all ways, i jest had to keep reassurin her that we would have her some more granbabys when the time was rite, jest not rite now. she would jest git herselfs sooo worked up a bout it, like there was somethang wrong with me. i dont know how many times she threatened to haul me on off to ole doc sampsons office for a examination to make sure everthang was workin proper. again n again i would remind her that she all ready had seven other granbabys to fuss over n then she would jest take off on another tangent bout me havin yunger siblings all ready a raisin their own families n that i should be gettin at it a fore i was too old. it finally got to the point where i kinda distanced myselfs from her a bit jest to let the subject simmer down some.everett n me was jest havin us a grand time jest the way thangs was: jest the two of us. we enjoyed buildin up OUR farm, workin side by side. but it wasnt jest all work n no play. we would go out dancin ever saturday nite n there was all ways somebuddy havin some kinda get-together for some reason, any reason. n we all ways had our times where we did our own thangs too. everett would go out huntin n fishin n drinkin with his buddys n i would join in on all the "church ladys committee" doings (which let me tell ya now, them church ladys knowed how to party it up). we was happyer than we could of ever imagined possible.
when selma jo larsen, the head of the church ladys committee, finally decided to up n retire a bit from all the busyness, everett n me throwed her a great big huge bash in appreciation of all the long years of dedicated service that she had performed for everbuddy. that selma jo, she was one very special lady. everbuddy in the township showed up for that one. even folks who had moved away n we hadnt seen in way too long a time showed up to wish ole selma jo bestest wishes.
n in the middle of all them festivitys, selma jo gits up to say her thank-yous to everbuddy sayin that there was no way in the world that she could take all the credit
for the accomplishments of the church ladys committee cuz everbuddy had given sooo much of themselfs n of their time n that was the only reason that we all enjoyed sooo much success - we all was a workin together.
n then she calls me over to her n i jest didnt know what to think. n she says that everbuddy had talked it over n voted n decided that i was the best person for to take her place as the head of the church ladys committee.
needless to say, i was shocked!!! n i started in a sayin that i jest couldnt, there was jest no way that i could fill her shoes, that i was jest too yung . . .
n she jest shushed me up n sayed: bettie mae turley, you ARE the one to do this job cuz it takes organizin skills. n you got em. n it takes entertainin skills. n you sure nuff got them. n it takes cookin skills. n you DEFINITELY got them. thats the main reason why everbuddy voted for ya, cuz everbuddy loves yer cookin sooo much. that n the fact that yer jest so darn much fun to be around. n besides, ya knows that we would a talked all this over with your sweet everett a fore makin a demandin decision on yer schedule n we got his overwhelmin approval.
n i looked over at everett in surprise n he came a rushin over to me n swooped me up in his arms n kissed me rite there in front of god n everbuddy. so i said to everbuddy: well, y'all sure nuff are good at keepin secrets, especially you mister husband!!! sooo . . . i guess ya got yourselfs a new head church lady. i will do it!!! ifn theres anythang that i knows about it is organizin n socializin n cookin. shoot, i has been a doing all that n more all my hole life.

everett was jest sooo proud n that made me happyest of all. turned out that being head church lady fit easy into my schedule. wasnt all that much to do with all the other church ladys a pitchin in n helpin out with the events. mostly my part was jest to see that the pantrys stayed stocked n to schedule who would do what. we threw weddin showers n reception dinners n baby showers n church socials n anniversary partys n jest anythang that happened along. it was all jest sooo much fun!!! n jest like selma jo, i could a never done it without everbuddy workin together.
so everett n me stayed busy with our lifes n felt all satisfied with our sense of accomplishments.along about shortly after me n everett cellebrated our second weddin anniversary, my best friend alvernie lou n me took a lil day trip on over to wyattsville for to visit with our friend, minnie jane perkins, she was our friend from back in the skewl days. minnie jane had jest birthed her a second baby so she was a tellin us all about the hole beautiful experience. course alvernie lou all ready knew bout all that cuz she n her husband kouter done had three yung-uns of their own. n so them gals started in a teasin me bout havin a baby for everett n i jest a kept a tellin them like i tells everbuddy else that it would jest happen in its own time. but it sure nuff got me to thinkin that being a momma would be a real fun thang to do n it sure nuff would make everetts heart jest swell up with being overjoyed . . .
but i still had the feelin that there was some more thangs for me to be a doing a fore i takes in to raisin yung-uns. n when alvernie lou n me left minnie janes place for to go to shoppin over at the grand emporium, i done figgered out jest what that a somethang else was. whilst alvernie lou n me was a havin tea n krumpetts at the coffee shop, sittin there a giglin n a tellin stories n a laughin n a jokin round likes alvernie lou n me all ways does, in comes a walkin pearlie sue brubaker sashayin up n down the aisle sayin her howdys to everbuddy. when pearlie sue sees us a sittin at that there booth why she camed a flyin over there to tell us all the latest news (more like to find out all our news. she all ways did have the reputate of being a kinda nosey rumorous gossip). BUT amongst all her clamorin chatter she did mention one piece of information that sure nuff got my attention in a BIG way. course i never let on to no idea til after pearlie sue finally left us be.
alvernie lou n me went back to our tea n conversation when i says, kinda thinkin out loud like for to get her opinion on my new idea: sooo . . . ole giallo betranelli is finally retirin . . . hhhmmmmm . . . how long has him n his wife gertie june been a runnin that there truck stop cafe out there on highway 190 any ways???

"oh lands sake. why, it seems like they been there forever. long as i can remember."

"n they done made a nice life for themselfs runnin that there cafe . . . a rite nice life . . ."

"bettie mae, what ya got cookin there in your lil thinker?"

"well . . . i does got some cookin going on in my head . . . course i wanna talk this all over with everett . . . but i thinks that i mite jest becomed my own busyness woman . . ."

n alvernie lou jest started in a hootin n a hollerin all excited like n a tellin me what a grand idea that is . . .
so when i got back home n was a puttin supper together, i thought out a hole proposal plan for to open up myselfs a lil diner kinda place, like a breakfast n luncheon diner n bakery kinda place. n when everett camed in from workin, i jest kinda casual like mentioned to him that i had somethang for to talk over with him after supper when we does our porch sittin n watchin the sun settin (that had becomed our end-of-the-day relaxin time custom. most evenins everett would play on his guitar n sometimes his banjo n once in a while i would play on my grandaddys ole fiddle n we would sit out there on the porch n sing some of our favorite ole songs n sometimes we would make up our own songs for to make each other chuckle n other songs for to tell each other how grate it was lovin each other n how beautiful OUR life together was. i sure nuff do miss them times).so whilst everett was cleanin himselfs up for to eat supper, he jest kinda casual like said: well bettie mae, fancy that. i got somethang for to talk over with you too darlin.

then all thru supper i told him about the day that alvernie lou n me spent together n he told me about his own goings on
for the day. n after i had all the kitchen ware n dishes washed n put up proper like, everett n me went on out for our porch sittin time.

after a nice lil quiet spell, everett pipes up a tellin me that he had stopped by
jeb pritchetts feed store in the late mornin for to pick up some extra fencin supplies n a bunch of the guys was there a playin checkers n a talkin n such n ole jeb mentioned somethang that made his ears perk rite up . . .
"but bettie mae, you go on n tell me your news first . . ."

"what was jeb a talkin bout?"

"oh, jest a lil maybe busyness opportunity."

"such as . . ."

"you remember
giallo n gertie june betranelli?"

"i knowed it!!! thats what that blabb . . . er . . . muhm, that
pearlie sue was a talkin bout too!!!"

"well i dont know none where jeb got his information from but when i heard that the
betranelli's was retirin, i thoughts to myselfs, selfs i says, that could be a purdy good opportunity for my lil gal bettie mae."

"ooohhhhh everett. does ya really thinks so???"

"well, darn tootin i does. lets jest thinks about this
for a minute. i declare, bettie mae, you is such a hard workin gal n ya has so much fun a doing for others n the cattle farmin here is a comin along jest fine n settlin into a easy routine n the church ladys committee is all organized n a doing such great thangs. so jest think about all them activities boiled up into one pot n what kinda recipe does ya comes up with?"

"oh my dear sweet everett, i thinks i would
jest plain love doing such a thang. i even comed up with a busyness plan proposal for how it all could work out. we could have us a rite nice breakfast n luncheon diner n bakery kinda place. i already knows that busyness from them two years that i worked for the betranelli's as a waitress back whilst you was in the navy. n oh my my my, we did have us some fun times. but i knows being the boss would be different. but i swear i could do it easy nuff. i could go on n talk it over with banker davis n work out some financial details about it all. most of the staff thats all ready a workin there would probably stay on. n i has been cookin up a storm all my hole life n i loves it. i jest plain loves it!!!"

"well my lil fire ball of energy, ya sure nuff dont have to do no convincin to me. i all ready knows how ya is such a hard workin gal.
but ya know there is no reason why ya HAS to do this thang. ya jest dont HAVE to be a workin sooo hard all the time. it really is okay for ya to be a taken it some easier on yerselfs. not that i is a doubtin yer abilities none. aint a body would question that. everbuddy knows what a high level of energy ya puts into everthang that ya does."of course i knowed that everett would be all worried bout me a takin on too much n a sayin such as all this so i was a lil bit prepared. n i telled everett that i jest never felt any better bout a decision in my hole lifes n that everthang that we was a doing was such great fun n enjoyment. but it jest seemed like i should a be doing somethang more. n that i could easy do this here diner thang. n that i knowed it would be a lot of work n all but it would be fun work. n that i figgered it would be easier, at least for starters, to jest do the bakery n the diner for jest breakfast n lunch n such. that ways i'd still be here at home for to take care of thangs in the afternoons n to fix up supper in the evening n such. n that i didnt think that it would be all too much at all.n as all ways, everett jest chuckles n says: ya can do whatever n anythang that will keep ya this full of joy . . .

so another long story short (i get into more detail in a separate story named: the diner days): giallo n gertie june jest plain loved the idea of me being the one to take over possession of their lil cafe. the financin was put in place. florence jo mckenzie (everbuddy all ways jest called her "flo jo") was the betranelli's head waitress n on-site comedian n she n me had worked together back in the day when i was a waitress there whilst everett had been in the navy n "flo jo" was sooo joyed that we would be a workin together again n now she becamed jest indispensable in helpin me git everthang situated - that gal could jest do anythang n everthang. all the staff stayed on. well, exceptin esther ruth but she'd a been waitressin there forever it seemed n she decided it was long past time for her to hang up her apron - shoot, she was near on 77 years old n finally ready to kick off her workin shoes. everett was the one who comed up with the name for our new diner: the kountree kitchen. n like everthang else, everett was all ways rite there being a true god-given handy man - weren't nothin that man couldnt figger out how to fix up rite.

when the financin for the diner got all situated n all the paperwork proper signed n documented, i had a hole week a fore i took over the ownership of the diner so i spent that week workin with giallo n gertie june a learnin all a bout the busyness end of their busyness. friday was their last day n a bitter sweet day it was. at the end of the day, after all the customers had lefted n giallo locked up the front door for the last time, "flo jo" n me made them a special supper n let them sit a spell n be waited on like they had been a doing for all them many years. after "flo jo" n me had everthang cleaned n put up, we said our tearfull good-byes to the betranelli's n i asked them to please promise to stop by anytime n to keep in touch n thanked them for all their help in everthang they had teached me. then "flo jo" n me stood out in the parkin lot for a while makin excited plans for the next days busyness, the first day for the kountree kitchen diner.

i could barely sleep that nite so i jest finally gived in n got up n put my workin clothes on. everett was already awake too n got up with me so we could have our regular early mornin coffee chat n he was jest as excited as me.
whilest we was a milkin our two cows, everett telled me that he had a busy day planned for himselfs doing his carpentry work n all but he could come on over to the diner also ifn there was anythang that i needed doing
n i says that i appreciate all his good help but that everthang should go smoothly jest like a nother day n that "flo jo" n me was gonna stay a spell after we closed at 2:30 in the afternoon n we was gonna make a workin plan for the next week but that i'd be home for to make supper.
with the milkin done n the breakfast dishes n such put up, i got myselfs cleaned up n changed into my diner uniform n as i was a leavin, everett wrapped his big strong arms around me tight n held me for a extra lingerin embrace
n he telled me that he was jest sooo proud of all i was a doing. then he gived me a kiss n a wink n sayed: i'll be seein ya later my lil gal.

the breakfast rush was in full swing being it was saturday n all n around 7 i was real surprised when in walks everett. he sits himselfs down at the counter n i hollers out to him from the kitchen: hey there mister husband. what brangs you round?

"jest thought i'd stop by n see how all your thangs are a going. i is jest gonna sit a spell, have a cup of coffee n read the newspaper."
n at that very moment, in walks two of everetts brothers so them n everett takes a table over by the window n got all deep into some kinda discussion. n then my daddy walks in with my four brothers so i telled them all howdy n to take a seat n somebuddy would be rite by for to take their order. but they moseyed on over to everett n his brothers n they all took to talkin bout somethang. they all ate in a hurry n got up to leave together n everett says: we all got plans for to be takin care of somethang rite now but i will be seein ya in a lil bit darlin.

i was all caught up in the busyness of the kitchen n hadnt noticed all them menfolk hangin round out in the parkin lot til the hammerin commenced. i rushed out the front door to see what all the racket was a bout n they all hollered in unison: surprise!!!

here everett n all them was busy buildin a sign for to put up on the diner. they all had spent the hole week plannin a surprise renovation party. n i WAS jest SOOO surprised!!!
i hugged daddys neck n he sayed: anythang for my lil baby gal.
n all my brothers n everetts brothers started in to crowdin round me n sayin all their congratulations n best wishes n i thoughts my heart was jest a gonna burst.
n then everett: ooooohhh my dearest sweetest everett. you is jest all ways full of surprises aint ya?
"bettie mae. we ALL is sooo proud of all that you is a doing. this here is jest a lil somethang to help ya git started rite off."

after the breakfast customers cleared on out, them menfolk reframed all the windows n replaced all the window glass n painted the hole outside of the diner n changed the street sign n everett had spent the week makin some sandstone concrete containers for to plant some flowers in - he put in my most favorite daisy flowers. then everetts momma n daddy showed up along with my momma n the two mommas made these beautiful canopy awning shades for the windows.
when the lunch crowd finished up n we closed our first day of busyness for the diner at 2:30, i walked out the front door n beheld a site that completely took my breathe away . . .
so "flo jo" n me made all them hard workin men n mommas some appreciation lunch so that they could take a break for a spell. n then they all commenced to haulin all the furniture out of the diner n paintin the hole interior n everett had also spent the week makin all new tables n chairs n the mommas reupholstered the counter stools n they all was jest as busy as could be.

later that afternoon, i found out that the surprises weren't yet over. drivin into the parking lot was giallo n gertie june n they hauled in all these trays of food for to feed everone supper. here they had been in on the plans all a long. they wanted to do somethang to participate in the cellebration so they did what all betranelli's does best n they cooked up all that food.

when everbuddy was done with their eatin of supper, i telled them all that this was the most overwhelmin surprise n how much i appreciate all that they done n that they had done turned this here diner into a palace place n that it is somethang that they could all take pride in for all the beautiful results of their hard work.
n they all jest a kept a sayin that it was everett who done thought out the hole plan n that they was glad to share in the fun surprise.
my dearest sweetest everett . . .

so everett n me settled into our busyer routines n still had us a hole lotta fun. not that we didnt encounter a hiccup or two ever now n then but like everett always sayed: without them tuff times comin along ever now n again, a body jest dont fully appreciates the good times.
so everett n me jest kept a movin forward n enjoyin it all cuz we had each other. we was
livin OUR life to the fullest.

12. raisin us a family

after everett n me had a been married
for four years, i started thinkin serious like a bout that parenthood thang. but i didnt say much rite off about all that to everett. all them past years everett had kept after me a teasin n such bout havin a baby but jest teasin. he knew that one day we would. n now i was beginnin to think that day was a comin up.

for sooo many long years i had been a calculatin the timing of the "when NOT to" of the doing of the deed that i had turned it into pure scientific insight. now it was gonna be sooo excitin to keep track of the "WHEN TO" that i could hardly contain myselfs. n in no time at all, i begun to feel that stirrin in my spirit that i couldnt quite explain. all my women friends n even some of my yunger sisters had all ready had some babys n they all would say the same thang: its jest somethang that a gal knows in her very being. n now i was a knowin that i knowed that knowin.

but still i kept it a secret from everett. it was the first time ever in our hole life together that i kept a secret from him. partly cuz i wanted to give it some time n make sure this one "took" n partly cuz christmas time was a comin up soon n i couldnt imagine a more special gift to give to my dear sweet everett after all the wonderful thangs he had gived to me in OUR life together.so that christmas mornin when i got up to put the coffee on like i does every mornin, i tied a big bow made of green n red ribbons around the waistline of my robe. when everett camed in from checkin on the stock it was still dark outside so he didnt notice much different rite off. he built up a nice cozy blaze in the fireplace n when i handed him his cup of coffee he noticed that bow.
n he started in to teasin me bout is i his lil christmas present
n i teased back that i has been his christmas present for many a year now n that he has all ways been my special christmas present. but the present that i was a given to him this year was a new kinda present n it was gonna take a bit longer to finish makin so he would have to wait a spell to receive it, probably some time in august.
n he jest kinda looked at me all dumfounded like n then ever sooo slowly i could see the light bulb turnin on in his imagination. he turned all white like i thought he was jest a gonna pass out rite then n there. so i hollered out loud: breathe!!! i is a gonna need ya a round for a while longer!!!
n that shook him outta his shock n he swooped me up in his arms n he started cryin like a blubberin lil baby . . .

"ooohhhhh bettie mae!!! really??? i can hardly believes it!!! thats the bestest gift ever!!! oh darlin i loves ya sooo much!!! has ya been to see ole doc sampson? is ya feelin all rite? did ya tell yer momma yet? oh no!!! what am i doing??? here, get on over here n sit down!!! git off yer feet!!!"

"everett!!! i aint a gonna break or nothin!!! relax!!! i knows its a big bit to take all in rite now but its okay . . . really . . . we is gonna have us our own lil baby . . . i loves you sooo much too . . . daddy."
n everett took to bawlin all over again n i jest held him tight n cryed some tears of joy rite along with him . . .

then i explained to him that i would be makin a appointment with ole doc sampson in a week or two but that i was actually feelin better than fine. n no, i wasnt ready to tell momma jest yet. i figgered that when my birthday rolled round at the end of january would be a fittin time to tell her, sorta like a birthday present back to her.
it took everett many a day n a week to kinda settle into the idea that i wasnt some kinda fragile china doll now that i was a makin his baby but he did eventually calm down a lil bit . . . but of course he did all ways worry some bout me n a sayin that i was a workin too hard n that i should a take it some easier on myselfs.
i would explain thangs to him such as after a spell when i gits to showin that i would tell all them gals at the diner n i would quit with doing all the cookin n such n that i would jest play the hostest part n that "flo jo" was sooo real good at managin everthang ifn i wasnt there everday n that it would all work out jest fine.
n then he'd a feel some better bout the hole situation.
after i did see ole doc sampson n he telled me that everthang seemed to be comin along jest fine that helped everett relax a bit more
but he still kept a cautious eye on me most of the time. i tried to stay understandin of him being this was his first experience with all this baby kinda stuff n all.
n of course i telled my best friend alvernie lou rite off cuz i knowed she'd a understand bout keepin a confidence n allowin me to be the one to tell folks that me n everett was expectin our first. she had birthed her fourth baby by that time so she was real helpful in explainin some thangs to me bout what to expect n some thangs to help everett to deal with all the changes n all. she all ways has been my most special of friends.n everett did real good too a bout not sayin anythang to anybuddy til the time was rite. even tho he was sooo filled with joy to overflowin n about to bust with excitement. he telled me that he liked havin a secret kept jest between the two of us, that it made it seem even more special, ifn thats at all possible. n he took to sayin this lil sing songy sayin: you n me n baby makes three.
everett was all full of excitement.

so the weeks passed quick like n when everett n me went to visit momma n daddy on my birthday, n after we had shared a real nice supper together with everbuddy, i started in to breakin the news: momma, i wants to thank ya for birthin me into this grand world. this lifes that i is a livin is better than i could uv ever imagined possible. sooo . . . this here year on my birthday i wants to give you a present back. (n mommas eyes got all big n excited like she jest knew what i was a gonna tells her). this year i is a gonna gives ya another granbaby."momma jest sighed such a big ole sigh she was sooo relieved n she sayed, "shoot gal, here ya are turnin 28 years old n finally havin you n everett a yung-un uv yer own. bout time . . ." n everbuddy jest a started in to snickerin cuz that was jest mommas way.

as the next weeks n months passed it seemed that time jest a kept tickin away faster n faster. i had such a real easy time of it all. well, exceptin some of those hot summer days would some times git a bit much (i'd have to plan ahead some better
for the next yung-un). but everett n me jest couldnt imagine being any happyer with OUR lifes. especially cuz we had each other.when i got towards the end of the expectin time, everett started in a talkin a bout makin arrangements ahead of time at the hospital in bigg city. that had becomed the popular trend for gals to go on off to the hospital for to have their babys. everett n me talked all that out in a lotta detail n i could tell rite off that he had kinda set his mind to doing this hospital thang so i jest agreed with him.

n on august 26th

our first baby daughter was borned.

she was jest the tiniest lil thang

weighin only 6 pounds n 4 ounces

with dark hair n dark eyes jest like
everetts gramma.

n ooohhhhh the look of love that

everett transferred onto that lil baby gal

was the most priceless experience

of my hole entire lifetime.

everett n me was jest plain in awe of this lil person that we n god had created - she was a livin n breathin miracle, simple as that. we would say all the time that we jest never knowed that anyone could feel that big of a feelin of love the ways that we loved that lil baby girl - its an experience only knowed by experiencin it for yourselfs.

so that very first day, daddy drived momma up to the hospital in bigg city cuz she jest couldnt stand havin a granbaby that she aint met yet. n rite off momma starts in a givin advice that weren't asked for n givin orders to the nursin staff that weren't needed n we all jest kinda snickered to ourselfs cuz thats jest mommas way about her. so i tried to distract her some by sayin: here momma, hold your new lil grandaughter.

"bettie mae, does this lil gal not yet have a name???"

"course momma. her name is eliza mae."

"eliza mae??? what kinda name is that???"

"its the name that me n everett agreed upon. one of his grate grammas was named elizabeth n i really likes that name. n my middle name was named after daddys gramma margaret."
"oh, so her name is elizabeth margaret. thank goodness!!! thats more proper."

"no momma. her proper name is eliza mae. i wasnt gonna have no daughter of mine growin up with some ole lady name like i had to being named beatrice margaret. so everett n me decided to jest start rite off with her shortened up name n call her eliza mae. n that is her legal name all signed up n documented on her birth certificate. eliza mae turley."
sometimes ya jest had to handle momma with the same sterness that she all ways tried to throw a round at everbuddy else!!!everetts momma n daddy showed up shortly after that n they was jest as proud n overjoyed as we was n rejoicin with us bout now knowin what that love feelin was all about from being a momma n a daddy for ourselfs. thats where my everett got all his kindness n tenderness n gentleness. his folks was the best in-laws i coulda ever asked for. everett n me all ways did joke a round a bout that i got the in-laws n he got the out-laws.

after the second nite of sleepin in that there hospital bed i telled everett that i jest wanted to go on home.
"but bettie mae!!! you need to get your rest up!!! n what a bout lil eliza mae??? she aint yet ready to be carried off in to that hole world going on out there!!!"

turns out that he was jest a lil feared a bout all the caring of such a lil baby so i reassured him that babys had survived harsher conditions then all this hospital commotion n that i jest wanted to git on back to out in the kountree n be on the farm n to sleep in our own bed again n that lil eliza mae was all healthy n such n that she would actually do better gettin out of all this city air . . . so he rather reluctantly agreed.
i took the next few weeks off from workin at the diner. "flo jo" would call me ever once n a while n she was a managin everthang jest fine n dandy.

so everett n me n our lil "makes three" spent all them days jest relishin the joys of being a family together. everett was sooo funny during them first few days, he could barely git any work done for frettin bout me n lil eliza mae n runnin back up to the house again n again jest to check on us. but we all three fell into a real comfortable routine everday n lil eliza mae was jest the best baby that we coulda ever hoped for.
when eliza mae was four weeks old, we went on in to town for to see ole doc sampson ("we" as in all the three of us. everett jest couldnt imagine how i would a be able to drive with a baby in the car. hahaha). doc telled us that lil eliza mae was a gainin good weight, still a lil small for her age but she was probably jest gonna be a lil gal. so everett beganned to relax a bit more n git comfortable with all this baby kinda stuff.the next mornin after breakfast i announced to everett that lil eliza mae n me was gonna make a lil trip on over to see alvernie lou. i hadnt seen her since a fore eliza mae was borned n i was jest a missin her so. alvernie lou n me had talked on the phone some during that time but that jest aint the same as spendin time together talkin n laughin n carryin on likes she n me all ways does. everett jest didnt know what to think a bout my plan n offered to drive us on over to alvernie lou's place but once i got to the point of explainin that alvernie lou n me needed some time together for gal talk that kinda convinced him that he didnt really want to have to sit thru all that. i assured everett that baby n me would only be gone for a few hours n that everthang would be jest fine.when we drived up into her driveway, alvernie lou camed a runnin outta her house n jest leaped for joy she was sooo happy to see me n for to meet lil eliza mae. we had sooo much fun visitin again n the hole time alvernie lou jest a held onto my lil baby n hugged her n kissed her jest as if she was her very own n was jest sooo happy for me n everett. it was sooo wonderful to see my best friend again n we had a truly grate visit.as eliza mae approached her six week birthday, i talked with everett a hole lot a bout startin back to schedulin some time for me at the diner. not much. n not cookin. jest to play hostest some n for to visit with everbuddy n to show off eliza mae some. it took a bit of convincin but eventually he realized that the day was gonna git here sooner or later.so that first trip, everett drove me n eliza mae on out to the diner n we hauled a crib out there for to put in my office where eliza mae could take her nap time. we arrived at mid mornin so as to be there betwixt breakfast rush n lunch rush n ooohhhhh what a joy it sure nuff was for to see all them gals again. n ooohhhhh what a fuss they all made over our lil eliza mae n i jest watched everett beam with pride. he was sooo happy being a daddy n that made me happyest of all, that i could of done such a thang for this man who has all ways done so much for to make my life happy n full of joy.at first me n eliza mae would drive on over to the diner for a few hours a couple of times a week n as time went by we spent more n more time out there n everbuddy got to share in my n everetts joy of watchin this sweet lil baby grow more n more. so everett n me n our lil "makes three" settled into our new routines n life was sooo good cuz we all had each other . . .a long a bout the time that lil eliza mae was a round seven months old, i started in to noticin a feelin that i had recognized one other time in my lifes n i realized that i was once again a knowin that i knowed that knowin. ooohhhhh mmmyyyyy . . . i sure nuff didnt expect this to be happenin again sooo sooon. i jest had to laugh to myselfs: well . . . sooo much for that ole wifes tale that ya caint be gettin pregnant while you is a nursin a baby. ooohhhhh mmmyyyyy . . . TWO lil yung-uns . . .i needed to think on this one a while . . . two . . . in two years . . . well . . . aint nothin we all caint handle by workin together . . . but two . . . how in the high heavens will i be a tellin everett this one . . . ooohhhhh he'll jest love the dickens out of such a situation!!!

easter holiday was approachin n my most favoritest time of the year: sprang. when all the baby calfs n colts n goat-kidds was runnin round the pasture n all the orchards was a bloom n all the plannin for the veggie gardens was under way n new lifes was all a round us. one evening during our porch sittin time watchin the sun settin, i guess my mind had been especially preoccupied with all these thoughts n everett noticed.
"hey my sweet lil gal. penny for your thoughts."

"well my darlin man. its most likely gonna cost ya more than a penny."

"what ya got going on in that busy lil mind of yours?"

"everett . . . i is adjustin to a shock . . . BUT its a good kinda shock . . . as necessary as life itself . . ."

"honey? what is it? are you all right?"
"oh, i am so sorry. i didnt mean to worry ya none. its a all good thang that is a happenin. n i am better than all right. i jest got kinda caught off guard by somethang n now i realize that i shoulda talked to you bout all this a fore now cuz you all ways think thangs out so logical like n all n this here situation takes some thinkin bout . . ."

"bettie mae, what is it? whats going on?"

". . . we is gonna . . . have another baby."
n everetts eyes got all big n his sweet lil smile beganned to grow til he was jest a beamin with joy n he wrapped his big strong arms a round me n held me tight in his way that tells me that everthang will be all rite n i jest held onto him n cryed some tears of joy n he cryed rite along with me . . . it will be all rite . . .

i learned somethang real important rite then n there. somethang that i danged well shoulda knowed better by now with all the time that everett n me been together. i shoulda talked with everett bout this baby thang rite from the very beginning of my knowin. i jest didnt knowed that part rite then but i sure nuff knows it now. aint nothin that i caint talk over with everett n git the bestest knowledge n information n insight n encouragement n help n support. he is all ways the bestest husband that i coulda ever hoped for. n i jest love him all the more for it . . .
so once again we settled into this new situation together. our family was growin faster than we ever woulda expected. but it was all good n everthang would be all rite.

a few weeks later when lil eliza mae n me was a drivin over to the diner one mornin, i was a talkin away with her likes i does everday on our drives n by that time she had taken to talkin her baby babble none stop n she did somethang that completely took my breathe away. she sayed: MA ma.
why . . . i could hardly believe my ears. n i neart ranned off the road with all the tears wellin up in my eyes. so i pulled over to the side of the road n gived her such a big ole hug n telled her likes i all ways did bout how much joy her lil selfs had brung into her daddys n my lifes n that i jest couldnt love her any more than i all ready does. n she jest wrapped her lil arms round my neck n hugged me back n we jest sat there for a good while a lovin on each other cuz there wasnt nothin more important than that rite there moment rite then.
over the next few weeks, i started in to workin with eliza mae to say: DAda. she all ready was sayin "bye-bye" real good probably cuz we was all the time leavin one place n headin to another n everbuddy got such a kick outta the cute lil way that she would say it. n one mornin when we was leavin the farm for to head on over to the diner, her daddy was a huggin on her n a givin her that ever mornin sugar that he is so good at n a tellin her how much he loved her likes he did ever day n she put her lil hands on his big shoulders n pushed herselfs back a lil so that she could look her daddy rite in the eye n plain as could be she says: DA da.
ooohhhhh the look of astonishment on everetts face was priceless. n he looked at me all teary eyed n back at her n then gived our lil eliza mae the biggest ole hug n jest a kept a tellin her how much he loved her. n i jest left them have their own moment for a while til everett waved me over to them n the three of us jest stood there lovin on each other.

when eliza mae was a bout 10 months old, she took to eatin a lil table foods with everett n me which was a good thang cuz with me being pregnant again, i had quickly gone from producin milk like a new freshened jersey heifer to barely makin a nuff to feed a baby kitten. n a good eater she was too. we was all ways amazed how easy she took to any new food. kinda like she wanted to try it all. she jest was the easiest baby ever. everett all ways sayed that she was so easy going cuz she was all the time a round a lot of different people at such a early age. but i all ways telled him that she may have my small stature but she had her daddys big sweet personality.when i was only a bout six months pregnant with that second lil one, i looked big a nuff to be full term. this all was the complete opposite of lil eliza mae who was the tiniest lil newborn. i sometimes thoughts to myselfs that maybe there was more than one baby this time but ole doc sampson assured me that we was only gonna have one more baby this time a round. n this new baby was a feisty one all ways a rollin round n pushin out with hands n feets like that baby was a tryin to make some more room to git comfortable.since i got sooo big sooo quick like, it was gettin kinda difficult to tote lil eliza mae back n forth to the diner with me. n since our lil gal was eatin purdy good on her own, everett took to keepin her at home on the farm with him sometimes whilest i was at the diner. those two was jest inseparable - that daddy sure nuff loved his lil gal. many a times he would saddle up one of his favorite ridin horses to go on out n check on the stock n he would swing up onto that big ole horse with lil eliza mae in one arm n off they wood go with eliza mae jest a squealin for joy.near the end of this expectin time, i was beginnin to wonder how in the world i was ever gonna git this big ole baby outta me. alvernie lou had had a couple of big babys n she assured me that nature jist has a way of takin its own course n all them thangs jest sorta kinda work all together n afore ya knows it that baby is swaddled in a blanket n craddled in your arms n ya jist dont ever even wonder anymore a bout how the thang gits done. ole doc sampson recommended that i make sure n git to the hospital for this baby to be borned in case of any complications n this time i didnt have no qualms bout going there n everett was sure a nuff relieved n he kept a askin me ifn we should jest go on up to the hospital early so that i could rest up some n i wood telled him that i felt some better when i kept a movin. so we jest played it day by day, all carefull like, til it was sure a nuff time for this baby to be done makin.

n on november 13th,
after fourteen n a half hours
of hard labor
like i never done worked at afore,

our first lil son finally
made it into this world.

well . . . i guess lil aint quite
the rite word for this boy cuz
he weighed 10 pounds n 11 ounces
n was 23 inches long.
can ya believe that???
23 inches long!!!
why that makes him almost 2 feet tall
when he was jest borned!!!

n he was jest all long arms n legs
n all he would do there at the first
is jest a keep a stretchin n a stretchin
all them arms n legs
like he had spent too long a time being
all cramped up in too small
a place.

all our mommas n daddys had a been a waitin in the waitin room with everett during all that labor time, so after everett had a first chance to meet his new son n spend some time gettin to know him, everetts momma n daddy camed in the room. i never did ever see everett beam with sooo much pride as to havin a son of his very own. as i handed that big ole baby boy to everetts momma, i sayed: here ya be momma turley. meet yer newest granson, jameson cooper.
n she took one look at that baby n got all teary-eyed n jest a hugged on that lil boy.
"oh bettie mae. lil jameson looks sooo much like everett did when he was a new baby. why, its jest amazin the similarities. brangs back sooo many memories of when my boy was this lil. jameson here definitely has his daddys dark complexion n dark hair. exceptin it appears that lil jameson may have dark eyes where his daddys eyes is blue. other than that, my my my, looks jest like a carbon copy."

"same as me n everett was jest a talkin bout. n i has no doubt that jest like everett learned his kind n gentle ways from the two of you, lil jameson will carry on that hole personality of sweetness when he grows up with a daddy like y'all done raised. i has no doubt a bout that. so likes i has telled y'all many a time, thank ya sooo much for raisin the son that ya did."

everett n me took our big bundle of boy on home to meet his big sister - my heart jest ached i had missed her sooo much. alvernie lou had a been a keepin eliza mae whilest i was in the hospital this time. it had been only a few days but my lil gal seemed to have grown sooo much over them nites. when she first layed eyes on her lil brother, she jest starred at him with all this curiousity going on in her eyes. then she ever so slowly reached out her hand n gently touched his cheek n sayed: BAby?
n alvernie lou chuckled a lil sayin: bettie mae, your lil eliza mae
could hardly eat nor sleep for wantin to take care of my lil jonathan jist like some kinda baby doll (alvernie lou had jest had her another baby a few months prior).
"flo jo" was a managin everthang jest fine n dandy at the diner cuz a few months afore jameson was borned, i had promoted one of our best waitresses, melbah rose buchanon (but everbuddy all ways jest called her "peachie") to being the assisstant manager. so i took a bout 8 weeks off from the diner this time so that everett n me could enjoy some time together with our two lil ones n spend time together with all our familys during thanksgiving n christmas (plus the winter weather had set in early back at that time n was unusual cold n i really didnt want to be draggin a new baby all over the kountree side). course there was many a time i wood git a phone call from one of them diner gals sayin that everbuddy was a missin THEIR lil eliza mae sooo much so when the weather was half ways decent a nuff i wood bundle them two lil babys up n we wood take a drive on over to the diner for to have a quick lil visit with all them gals - they all was jest likes family.

jameson jest growed sooo fast it was like magic rite afore our very eyes. one warm noon time in january, jameson n me was a sittin out in the rocker on the back porch whilest i was a feedin him (eliza mae was a takin her nap time). when everett took a lunch break from his leather n wood workin shop, i watched him walkin across the farm yard towards the house n jest was overwhelmed with admiration for this man that i was fortunate to be able to call mister husband n for to live my lifes with. he walked up to where we was a settin n leaned over n gived me a gentle kiss on the forehead n sayed: how is the two of my three most favoritest people that i knows in this here hole world.

"ooohhhhh . . . my sweet man. we is jist doing real good. jest enjoyin some fresh air n sunshine."

"sooo . . . whats for lunch??? does ya thinks that jameson can share any of that???" he says with a snicker.

"oh everett!!! with the way that this boy is a growin, why, i sure nuff dont have no extras!!! he is drainin me of everthang i got. i declare!!! evertime i feed jameson he gains a pound n grows a inch. i caint nearly keeps up with his appetite."

n everett jest chuckles n gived me a wink. he was all the time a teasin round like that. we all ways had sooo much fun together.

so our happy lil family of four enjoyed all them days together . . .

when it came a round time for me to start back at the diner some again, weren't no problem takin them two babys on with me cuz all them diner gals practically fought over whose turn was it to hold n play with a baby. many a day, everett wood still keeps eliza mae with him. he sure a nuff was a better daddy than most woulda done. n she jest loved her daddy so.

shortly after jameson turned 6 months old, he took to eatin some soft table foods with the rest of us. probably cuz he was one high energy lil boy a crawlin all over the place n even standin a lil next to a low piece of furniture n such. wasnt no time at all n he amazed us all with taken his first tentative steps. guess he seen all us others walkin round n figgered why shouldnt he. asides he was all ready as big as a typical one year old. plus his big sis was one of them on the go types all the time n he was all the time tryin to keeps up with her.
along a bout this time everett n me celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. n when fathers day rolled a round a week later in that june, we decided to jest spend that sunday together jist the four of us. in the evening, during our porch sittin time watchin the sun settin, with eliza mae playing with lil jameson there in the yard, everett n me couldnt imagine life being any better . . .

"everett, i needs to be going on over to the university college for to take me a math class or somethang like that."

"why bettie mae? ya gonna start in to doing the bookeepin for your diner busyness?"
"no, it aint all that kinda math. its jest that my calculatin has been off some lately these past two years. seems like i done got all my numbers mixed up some . . . n its a gonna change all our lifes some more . . . this past mothers day you gived me more than one extra special present . . . n come a round next valentines day we is gonna have us a third baby."

". . . what . . ."

"thats rite mister husband. you is gonna be a daddy again."
n everett ranned over to me n hugged me sooo tight that he squeezed the breathe rite out of me n he took to bawlin n a squalin jest as ifn this was the very first time that i ever gived him such kinda news. n i jest held him tight n cryed some tears of joy rite along with him . . .

"but everett, i is a tellin ya rite now. three yung-uns in three years n i is a thinkin that is my limit. now you know that i know that all these here babys are a precious gift direct from the lawd god n that we can handle all these babys with all the joy n enjoyment likes we all ways does. but i am a thinkin that this here third one is my limit. ifn i was to have a fourth baby rite off again,
why . . . i think that my innards would jest fall rite out on the ground."n everett took to laughin n a laughin n we joked a bout all that n all but then the reality of havin three babys to raise struck us square betwixt the eyes . . . n we jest starred into each others eyes . . . n then a started a jumpin up n down n a hootin n a hollerin n rejoicin that our family couldnt be any more complete.thank goodness this third time a round i didnt git so blasted big like i did with jameson. everett had started in to tradin off them two kids every other day - when i woulda take eliza mae with me, he would keep jameson n vice a versa. n sometimes when he was busy workin on some project that required more of his attention than a lil one would allow, then either his momma or alvernie lou would keep one of them lil ones (back in them days, we all didnt have no such places like day cares n such likes y'all does now a days). sooo . . . thangs worked out with our busy schedules n we got comfortable with the notion that another third baby would fit rite in too.long a bout thanksgiving time, i was near two or three months from the expectin time with this third baby. the hole time up til then everthang had progressed a long jest fine n dandy. but then i took to jest not feelin quite rite. everett drived me on over to see ole doc sampson who suggested that i take some time off from a workin so much n git some extra bed rest. now i did all ways believe in followin doc's orders but i jest aint never been much of one for jist a layin a round doing nothang. i stayed at home with everett n the two babys for a bout 10 days n got to feelin real good, jist a bout as good as new. so little by little, i started in to gettin thangs done a round the house, real carefull like. n some days i wood take one of the babys on a lil drive on over to the diner jest to say hey to all them gals n customers.a round the middle of december, i was out at the diner one morning doing some office work n visitin with "flo jo" n "peachie" when all the sudden i had this sharp pain all most likes a labor contraction. i excused myself to the ladys room n jest a bout panicked myselfs when of all thangs my water broke. not a good thang at all. i immediately kicked into general patton mode. i couldnt git a hold of everett on the phone so i called ole doc sampson n he telled me to high tail it on over to his office but not to drives myselfs so i asked "peachie" to drive me (cuz "peachie" is the real level headed one of the bunch). i called alvernie lou n asked ifn kouter could run on over to the farm n tells everett what all was a going on n she asked me bout where is my babys n i telled her that i had eliza mae with me n everett had jameson with him n she sayed that she would meet us all at ole doc sampsons office n that she would keep my babys whilest i was in the hospital (ooohhhhh that alvernie lou. such a special friend!!!). i asked "flo jo" to please hold down the fort there at the diner n off we flyed back into town . . .when "peachie" drived the car on up to doc's office, there was a standin everett talkin to ole doc sampson n alvernie lou was all ready there a holdin jameson. she camed a runnin up to the car a fore any buddy else had a chance n telled me not to worry none a bout my babys n jist to take care of myselfs n my new baby n that kouter would look after the farm for everett.
doc had all ready called the ambulance from bigg city for to come pick me up n take me on over to the hospital.
everett telled me that alvernie lou had stopped by the farm for to tell him all the news (he had been a workin out in the shop so he never heared the phone a ringin).
i has all ways counted my lucky stars to has such a blessed friend as my alvernie lou.
doc gentled me into his office n bout the time he finished up checkin everthang out, the ambulance showed up. i declare!!! i never in all my life experienced such a ride as that ambulance driver gived me that day!!! with the sireens a whailin n the medical technician hookin me all up with a bunch of electrical wires n such . . . the hospital staff was all ready a waitin on us when we arrived n helped me onto a stretcher n whisked me away into a private exam room where all these doctors n nurses were a hookin up all these monitors n such n everbuddy was explainin all these thangs to me all at the same time n it was all jest a hustle n a bustle n i surely didnt know what all to think a bout it. finally everett camed thru the door (he had drived up in our car) n he rushed on over to me n held my face in his big strong hands n telled me that everthang would be all right n then finally i could let down my guard n big ole tears jest started streamin down my face n everett jest kept repeatin that everthang would be all right . . .
once all them doctors n nurses got done with all their examinations, this one yung doc was explainin to us that the babys heart was beatin strong, fast but strong, n he handed his stethoscope to me for to listen to the babys heart beat. then everett took a turn. this yung doc telled us that they usually try to hold off any early births with medications n such to halt any kinda labor contractions but that it appears that this here baby was determined to make a entrance into this world now n that they has delivered babys this early afore n that they would do everthang in their medical ability for a safe n successfull delivery for both me n the baby n he really helped to put our minds at ease.
they wheeled me into some kinda special delivery room n when everett walked thru the doorway he was all suited up in a doctors uniform n a mask n all n the yung doc sayed that he thought it would be better for me to have everetts support there in the room. that mitey impressed me considerin that we hadnt never met this yung doc afore n he all ready recognized everetts calmin affect on my well being. so i telled that yung doc how much i appreciated his thoughfullness n all his encouragement n everett taked a hold of my hand n i realized that, come what may, everthang really would be all right.n the hole time that all this was a takin place, i was havin steady labor contractions n the nurses kept checkin on all the progression of this here birthin that was a bout to take place n then camed a time when i was told that they was gonna give me some kinda medication that would put me to sleep for to make it easier on me (ha, i thoughts to myselfs, more like for to make it easier on all them) n i telled them all that there was no way that i was gonna miss the birthin of this here baby. i made it thru the other two without any such doings, especially with that big baby jameson, n i would make it thru jest fine with such a lil baby that i was a bout to bring into this here world. i was gonna be conscious for to welcome this lil soul into this here world. so they reluctantly accepted my decision.that yung doc, his name was doctor steven kiley, examined me again n sayed that everthang was progressin rite along n asked ifn there was anythang that i needed to git more comfortable n i telled him that between his doctorin n everetts support that the only thang that i needed was a healthy lil baby.
so doc kiley took to explainin some of the procedures that would be necessary once the baby was borned n that he would keep me n everett informed ever step of the way.
n i telled him that when this was all done n over with that i wanted his mommas name n phone number so that i could call her up on the phone n thank her for raisin such a fine yung man who took such good care of me n my baby.
n yung doc kiley n my man everett took to chucklin bout such a sayin n yung doc sayed that i could definitely hold him to such a deal.
by this time, the labor contractions were a comin along fast n furious n afore i hardly knew what was a happenin, i heared this lil tiny squeak of a baby cry n i only had time to say "i loves ya baby" n catch a quick glimpse of that lil one afore all them doctors n nurses whisked him away to check all his vital signs n determine his developmental stage n git him hooked up to all them monitors n such. thru this hole time, everett had been standin to the head of the bed a holdin my hand. he turned to look me eye to eye n we was both all teary eyed. n he squeezed my hand real tight n sayed: ya done real good my lil darlin bettie mae.

so on december 16th,

about 7 weeks earlier than

any of us ever expected,

our lil baby boy

who jist couldnt wait any longer

to join us here in this world,

was borned at jest 4pounds n 12ounces

n merely 15inches long.

everett n me hadnt even picked out any names yet so we spent some time talkin bout that such a lil tiny boy needed a big manly name. we decided on marchal joseph. that was the name of one of my grate uncles who i had heard stories a bout all my life n he was one big burly mountain man who made a livin as a french canadian frontier fur trapper.

after what seemed like an eternity, but was actually only a bout half an hour, yung doc kiley camed into the room to give everett n me a status report on our new lil boy. they all was real surprised that our lil baby boy was a breathin on his own rite from the start. they did have to place him in a incubator for warmth and observation. yung doc kiley explained to us that babys who is borned so early usually has to learn hows to eat. that lil boy of ours sure nuff needed to put on some weight so the nurses would have to be feedin him with a tube, which was okay cuz my milk hadnt yet come in since all this happened so early n unexpected like.
i telled doc kiley that we really needed to see our baby, even if jest to talk softly to him for to start the bondin process. so doc n everett helped me outta bed n to suit up in some kinda sterile outfit n mask n when we entered that special nursery room it was all dark n still exceptin for the beep beep beepin of some kinda monitor. when we peered into that incubatin machine, there lil marchal was all swaddled up with wires n tubes runnin ever which a way a round him n he jest looked like the most littlest being ya could ever imagine. we never did say any word for to wake him from his much needed rest but he soon opened his tiny lil eyes n starred rite at everett n me whilest we hovered over him. so everett jest ever sooo softly sayed to the baby: hey there our lil man. guess ya jest couldnt wait to git your lifes started as fast as possible. well, you is here now n you jist know that your momma n daddy is rite here with ya now n that we loves ya lil boy.
n i sayed: we loves ya sooo much lil son . . . marchal joseph turley . . . thats your big name . . .
n he jest starred up at us for a lil bit longer n then slowly closed his eyes to sleep . . .

when i got back to my hospital room, i called alvernie lou to check on eliza mae n jameson n for to let her know all the goings on. she telled me that she had called all our mommas n daddys to let them know that i was in the hospital havin this baby. i thanked her for all ways being sooo thoughtful cuz in all the commotion, neither me nor everett had yet thought to call them.

later that afternoon, everetts momma n daddy came for to visit. everett took them over to the observin window in the hallway outside the special nursery that marchal was in n the attendin nurse was ever sooo kind to move the incubatin machine over to the window so that they could git a good look at their new granson.

by early evening, yung doc kiley camed to check on me n for to tells us that marchal seemed amazingly stable for being such a premie n that he thought that it would be all rite for me to hold him in my arms for a lil bit. so i got all suited up again in some sterile outfit n mask n the nurse ever so gentle like picked that tiny baby up and placed him in my arms. why . . . he was jist as lite as a feather . . . i had to be all carefull like with so many tubes n wires attached to him but at least i could hold my son. i was fixin to ask the nurse that everett needed to git in here too when up to that observin window comes a walkin everett with my momma n daddy. the nurse helped move the incubatin machine whilest i slowly walked that baby over to the window so that they all could get a look at their granson n when momma layed eyes on that tiny baby, her eyes got all huge n she turned white as a ghost n sure nuff she fainted dead away. fortunately daddy was standin rite behind her n he caught her so that she didnt crack her head on the floor (or crack the floor with her head. lol). that momma of mine . . . all ways makin a big scene to be the center of attention . . .

those first few days was real tuff on everett n me, all that not knowin. but lil marchal seemed strong for such a lil guy, even tho he hadnt taken to eatin much yet. but at least everett n me could hold him close n lil by lil he kept improvin. yung doc kiley kept checkin on us all the time n encouragin us that marchal was doing better than most lil premies that he has worked with in the past. n all them nurses that took turns takin care of our lil man were the most specialist heaven-sent angels - it sure nuff takes a very special person to perform all the duties that they does a workin there in that hospital nursery.knowin that lil marchal was in such good hands only made it a lil bit easier when i was discharged from the hospital. everett n me stood outside the observin window for the longest time jest a watchin them nurses buzz a round makin sure that everthang was taken care of. our baby boy was spendin the majority of his time jest a growin in his sleep so we very reluctantly walked out to the car knowing that we had two other lil babys that needed us too.the next morning, everett n me decided to take eliza mae n jameson on up to the hospital for to meet their new lil brother. jameson was way too yung still to really understand what all was a going on n after spendin those three days with alvernie lou, all he wanted to do was to cling to his daddy. but eliza mae was a sharp lil thang n nothang much ever got past her attention. when she first seen me the day afore, she knew rite off that i no longer had a baby in my "stomach" so we explained as best a two year old would understand a bout her new baby brother got here early n had to stay in the hospital for a spell longer for to grow some bigger n it was eliza mae who immediately started insistin that we take her to her new lil brother. so we all piled into the car n on the road we was again . . .jameson slept the hole way there (that boy all ways did jest love sleepin restfull like while ridin in the car) n he slept in his daddys arms during the hole hospital visit. but when i picked up lil eliza mae so that she could see thru that there observation window outside the special nursery, her eyes jest lite up with curiousity. the charge nurse on duty wheeled marchals incubatin machine on over to the window n eliza mae reached her hand out n pressed her palm against the glass. the nurse gently picked up lil bitty marchal n craddled him in her arms near the window so thats we could all git a good look. n eliza mae sayed: baby name?
n everett n me jest starred at each other in disbelief n chuckled.
i telled eliza mae: your lil brothers name is marchal joseph.
her reply was: jo-jo.
n again everett n me jest starred in disbelief cuz thats what eliza mae all ways calls "flo jo" - thats the only way that she had yet learned how to pronounce that name.
n i sayed: oh wait until i tells "flo jo" this one. she'll git a real kick outta it.
during all this conversation, here comes a walkin down the hallway everetts momma n daddy. they camed to check on marchal not knowin that we was a gonna be there n after a nice visit for a spell or so, everetts momma says to us: why dont y'all jest stay a while n we wills take these two lil ones along with us n you can jest pick them up on your way home.
"oh momma turley. thank you. but we didnt brang nothang for to stay that long."
"now you jest never mind bout all that. we'll manage jest fine."
n her words jest brought tears to my eyes. "oh momma turley . . . your kindness jest never ceases to amaze me . . . thank ya. we wont be all that long."
"y'all jest git yourselfs all suited up n git on in there n hold that new baby some."
so we did jest that . . .
during the next week, lil jo-jo made steady progress but i is a tellin ya now, dealin with such a tentative situation as this with all the unknowin n uncertainty can really work on a persons last nerve. when hopes for a new baby are sooo high n then suddenly dashed sooo low, it all jest makes a body wonder where the strength to carry on comes from. but everett n me had each other to rely on n to help encourage the other forward n all we had was time n a waitin. but ooohhhhh the time dragged by sooo painfully slow . . . the seconds seemed like hours n the days each seemed like weeks . . . but all we could do was wait . . . n hope . . . n pray . . . that our lil jo-jo would come out of all this all rite . . . n he jest a kept a makin steady progress . . .after three weeks lil jo-jo was finally gettin strong a nuff to be able to nurse. oh that WAS a special day!!! it was like his SECOND birth day!!! after that he really started puttin on some weight n not sleepin all the time n actin more like a regular newborn baby.

in all, he spent 8 weeks in the hospital. i surely dont know what we would have done with out alvernie lou n everetts momma helpin out with takin such good care of eliza mae n jameson whilest we spent time at the hospital with lil jo-jo. n kouter keepin up with all the farm chores. n "flo-jo" n "peachie" managin everthang so well at the diner. we sure a nuff has some good peoples to depend on.
n during all that waitin time, everett n me had a chance to spend some real quality time together, especially on those long drives back n forth from the farm to the hospital. n we talked n planned together a bout our family of five. n we both agreed that three babies in three years was more than a nuff n that from now on we would go back to being real carefull with the timing of the deed jest like when we was teenagers. we even stopped at the 5 n dime store n bought us this lil calendar notebook for to keep track of the days "when to" n the days "when not to" jest to be on the safer side.when lil jo-jo finally was allowed to come on home, everett n me decided that we all needed to jest stay home a spell jest the five of us n be a family all together. well as much as we could anyways. cuz lil jo-jo had to still visit all the specialist doctors in bigg city a bout three times a week for the first three weeks. n then that graduated down to two times a week for two more weeks. n then they all declared him healthy as can be so we could jest go on into town n visit with ole doc sampson once a week for four weeks. but as much as we could, we strived for the five of us to spend time at home being a family.by this time lil jo-jo had growed to be a bout the normal size of a two month old n seemed to be developin in a natural course of events so him n me started in to takin regular trips on out to the diner. it had jest been way too long to be a way from all them good gals n they took to my new lil boy jest as if they had never ever seen a baby ever a fore in their hole lifes. of course, they had been a missin their lil eliza mae n jameson also so everett n me took up our previous course of action where he would keep one of the older yung-uns with him n i would take one with me n lil jo-jo so that all them diner gals could spend some time with all "their" babys.sooo . . . life was good n we all five settled into our regular routines n carried on as best as we could. jest like we had all ways done a fore . . .

long a bout the time that eliza mae was gonna be a startin to kindergarten, everett n me got to talkin some a bout havin us a "planned" baby this time. n the more we talked a bout it the more it seemed like the rite time. jameson n lil jo-jo were growin into the funnyest lil characters all ways a ruff housin round n jest being lil boys n eliza mae was all the time being the watchful eye over them boys so much to the point that everett n me started in to callin her "mini-mom" as a kinda nickname. so we figgered a nother baby would a fit in rite nice.
there at the beginning of this tryin time everett n me had sooo much fun with all that freedom of not havin to be carefull n all. we was liberated n care free. n sure nuff in no time at all i was a knowin that knowin feelin again n everett n me jest rejoiced a bout the new expected addition to our lil family.
this time a round tho i did take thangs
a hole lot easier for to make sure
that the baby would be all rite.
n the pregnancy progressed rite
a long without a hitch n

on april 29th
we had us the cutest lil baby girl.

she only weighed 9 pounds n 3 ounces
but was 21 inches long
so she was jest all arms n legs.

everett had decided early on that
ifn we was to have us a nother baby girl
that he would like for her to be named

nicollette jeanne

which i thought was jest the
most beautifulest girly name ever!!!
nicollette jeanne turley.

my oh my that name does has a ring to it. n we all ways called her by the shortened up version of nikki jeanne.

nikki jeanne took rite off a growin all thin n tall like a bean pole with the most silkyest long blonde hair n her daddys sparklin blue eyes. so now we had us four yung-uns: eliza mae n jameson with their daddys dark hair n dark complexion n their grate-grammas dark eyes n lil jo-jo (actually by this time we was jest a callin him "lil joe" likes in that bonanza western show), lil joe n nikki jeanne with my blonde hair n fair complexion n their daddys blue eyes. quite the nice variety . . .then when nikki jeanne was a bout to start to kindergarten everett n me decided that we would do it all jest one more time. everett jest a kept a teasin at me that this fifth baby would be the tie breaker - to see ifn this baby would look more like him n eliza mae n jameson or look more like me n lil joe n nikki jeanne.

all thru this baby makin time

everthang went real easy like again

n on june 19th

we had us a nother lil boy

weighin in at 9 pounds n 11 ounces

n measurin 19 inches long.

we named this boy michael christian.

n everett n me declared our family complete . . .

as a toddler we all ways did call this son "mikey" but when he started to school he declared that his "grown up name" was "chris" (he was all of 6 years old. lol. he all ways has had the funniest sense of humor n is all the time catchin us off guard n jest a crackin us rite up).

i bet ya all is wonderin a bout the tie breaker??? well . . . rite off everbuddy would exclaim how oh sooo much that baby "mikey" looked jest like me - more than any of the others. when his hair comed in it was blonde jest like mine. he had my fair complexion. n he EVEN had my chocolate brown eyes!!! n as "chris" growed up he got ALL his daddys sweetness n gentleness n kindness n ALL his daddys logical thinkin n intelligence n ALL his daddys sense of humor!!! he got all my looks, even down to the short stature (which he has constantly joked a bout sayin "thanks a lot momma." jameson, lil joe n nikki jeanne is all tall like their daddy but eliza mae n chris is short like me. sorry son, genetics is what they is. i caint help it none) BUT chris got ALL his daddys BIG personality!!!

13. it IS a wonderful life

everett was jest the most special daddy to all our yung-uns. why i could never have hoped for any more of a special daddy. he wanted to make sure that all our babys had ever advantage that he could provide.
long a bout the time when eliza mae was 3 years old, everett got to thinkin a head to the future n wantin all the yung-uns to share in his love of learnin. so he started what he called "family time." in the evenings when all the chores was done n all the supper thangs cleaned n put up, we all would sit a round the kitchen table n read books a gether. got so that them yung-uns could recite hole stories word for word verbatim long a fore they ever learned how to actually read any words.
then when the yung-uns started on to school we would spend this time doing their studies all together n that way the yung-er ones would all so be a learnin from the old-er ones (n me n everett was a learnin more n more from all them. lol).

everett all so teached all them yung-uns everthang a bout gardens n orchards n raisin cattle n they all growed up ridin horses with him all the time.
he teached them all a bout huntin n fishin n trainin dogs.
he all ways was plannin a nother campin trip all the time where he teached them all a bout livin off the land n
respectin this planet earth n enjoyin the fresh air n clean water n
hikin in the woods n knowin a sense of direction n
sleepin out under the stars n listenin to all the quietness of the nite
(my how we all did jest love all those many campin trips singin round the camp fires n tellin stories).
he joined all the yung-uns up into the boys scouts n girls scouts n
made sure that they each took lessons for to know how to play at least one musical instrument of their own choosin n
how to talk one foreign language of their own choosin.
he had them all involved in 4H n FFA n
showin animals at the kountee fare.

ever morning when everett n me would have our regular early mornin coffee chat we both would jest marvel with pride a bout all the activities that our yung-uns was succeedin at. not that we didnt encounter a bump in the road a many a time or two but like everett all ways sayed: without them tuff times comin along ever now n again, a body jest dont fully appreciates the good times.

n as all ways happens with yung-uns growin up, the time jest flys on by sooo fast that it seems jest like a blink.
n evertime one of the yung-uns would be finishin up with high school, everett would start in to talkin with them privately a bout
that their momma n daddy has tried their bestest to prepare them to live the best lifes that they could lives
n to know that their momma n daddy would all ways be there for them
n to go on out there n live THEIR lifes to the fullest.
those transitions was all ways the tuffest times for me all filled with big hopes n dreams n a momma's worrys. but everetts words was all ways a constant healin to my heart n i too knowed that everett n me had done all the best that we knowed how to do n that our five yung-uns would live a good lifes jest likes we did n jest like everbuddy else all ways does.

i could go on n on but i will rite more a bout our five special yung-uns n their growin up times in extra separate stories a bout each of them . . .

14. OUR
nest is empty

so afore we hardly knew it the yung-uns was all growed. n everett n me was back to it being jest the two of us again. so we did what we all ways knowed to do n jest kept a movin forward n enjoyin all that lifes had to offer cuz we had each other. we was still livin OUR life to the fullest.
n we had a hole lotta life left to lives!!! shoot, when our yungest chris graduated from high school everett was only 62 n i was merely 57 n we realized: that aint old!!! at least we was real shocked at how we sure nuff didnt FEEL like we was old yet. we had come full circle n was back to the beginning when everett n me would start each day with our early mornin coffee chat n end each evenin with our porch sittin watchin the sun settin - jest the two of us. we had come full circle but somewheres a round the bend we had left behind some of our youthfullness. lol. everett n me was all ways a teasin each other that our bodys may have aged a bit in all them years gone by BUT we was still yung at heart. so we took to going out dancin again ever saturday nite.

we filled our days with all the activitys that we all ways had minus the yung-uns. everett had his longhorn cattle n horses n carpentry n leather work. n he all ways had some new project that he was thinkin out n then makin it all happen.

the diner was a all ways constant. back a fore chris was born,
"flo-jo" n "peachie" convinced me that we should add a supper menu cuz sooo many customers kept requestin such. so "flo-jo" becamed the day manager n "peachie" was the acting nite manager n they handled thangs so expertly that it hardly left anythang for me to do exceptin all the paperwork. i was glad for all this when the yung-uns was still small but now it jest didnt leave me much to occupy my time.one day everett announced to me that his brother victor n sister-in-law maxine was a comin for to visit. oh it had jest been way too long since we all had seen each other. victor was a well-to-do corporate attorney up in chicago. n one mornin at breakfast he stated that i should consider expandin my busyness by addin diners into other towns in the surroundin areas. he telled me that he would help with all the documentation n such n set it all up as a new corporation for a tax shelter n liability protection some such or a nother.i really didnt know nothin about all that high-faluten finance kinda stuff so i looked at everett n he looked at me n shrugged his shoulders so i sayed to victor: i thinks that i would very much likes to own a incorporation. so let me talk all this over with everett some n also "flo-jo" n "peachie" n we will take into some serious consideration about your proposal.

i will write more about all the details in a separate story named "the diner days" but long story short version . . . everett n me agreed that we sure nuff could be trustin victors advice. "flo-jo" n "peachie" was all gung ho about growin up the busyness more. victor set up all the incorporation papers to state that the board of directors consisted of: me as the COO, everett as the CFO (cuz he was all ways sooo logical when it camed to money matters), "flo-jo" n "peachie" was both VPs of operations n victor was the legal counsel.

"peachie" got all excited

in creatin the corporate logo

for our new incorporation.

she all ways was sooo artistic n creative with them kinda designin thangs.

the original diner that we had for all these years is down by wyattsville in the southeast corner of kalhoun kountee. over time we added a diner over in the west central part of the kountee in the twin towns of jefferson/davis. n a while later we added a third diner near T-town which is in the north central part of the kountee.

as all ways was the case, everett was jest indispensable in huntin out them proper locations for expansion n all logical when it came to the financin arrangements to git it all done. n as soon as each deal was signed n sealed n delivered he would becomed the best danged carpenter n handy man a fixin everthang all up n keepin thangs runnin n ready for operation. there is jest no way on gods green earth that we coulda ever accomplished all that we done without my everett.

so we jest kept on a keptin on doing all our different works n havin fun n livin up our lifes . . .

n the years jest a kept on tickin by faster than the second hand on that ole wall clock . . .

i got home to the farm late one afternoon for to make some supper for everett n me n same as everday here comes a runnin down the driveway to greet me was our ole herdin dog. we jest could never ever break that dog of a chasin cars. everday he would a run along side my car jest a barkin his fool head off jest like he had never seen me afore. but that was jest his way a bout him . . .when i got outta my car that dog kept on a barkin n a barkin at me which was kinda unusual so i sayed to him: well ole shep. what is it that you is a tryin to tells me? did timmy fall in that there well again? (i all ways did joke a round a bunch with that ole dog about that tv lassie dog).
but ole shep jest would not let me be. he would run up to me n then down to the end of the walk n bark n then whimper at me some n then run back to me again n then back on down to the end of the walk so i figgered that he knew somethang that i didnt yet know - like he was a tryin to git me to foller him some place.
so without even changin outta my heels or nothin i let ole shep show me what he found . . . figgerin that we'd jest be a going down to everetts work shop or out to the barnyard or somethang.

but ooohhhhh no . . . that ole dog headed on out to the north pasture so i got to thinkin that maybe one of them momma cows must be down n everett was a needin some help with her.

once ole shep knew that he had my attention n i was a headed into the right direction that he wanted, he high tailed it on over them hills . . .
when i crested that first hill i could see off in the distance ruby lou,
everetts favorite red roan longhorn cow, a standin with her head down . . .
then i noticed that king solomon, everetts favorite appaloosa ridin horse, was a standin rite next to her which i thoughts was kinda peculiar . . .
as i got closer i realized that king solomon was still a saddled up . . .
n then i seen a layin on the ground betwixt them . . . EVERETT . . . i took off to runnin like the wind . . . n i flunged myselfs down on the ground next to him n checked for a pulse . . . none . . . he had no wind left in him . . .
n i cryed n i wailed n i sobbed n i hollered to the high heavens . . . NNNOOOOO . . . this caint be a happenin . . . but it really did happen . . . n my dearest sweetest everett was done gone on off to glory . . .

so when i was all cryed out, i sayed to ole shep n ruby lou n king solomon: well, at least he breathed his last breath amongst his favorites . . .
tragedy sure a nuff has striked too soon . . .
n then i cryed some more . . .
my man everett . . . i will love ya forever mister husband . . .

then i woke up as ifn from a dream, wishin it was all jist a bad dream, n i realized that i needed to git a hold of yung doc sampson juniour (ole doc sampson had long since retired n his grandson had taked over the practice). so i left everett in the company of his three guards n ranned on up to the house n called the yung doc."this is robert speaking."

"robbie . . ."

"well hey hey bettie mae!!! what's up??? liza isn't here right now. she has taken the kids on over to the park to run off all their excess energy before bath and bed time. but i'll have her give ya a holler when they get back home" (thats another long story that i will tells later: our eldest daughter eliza mae was married up to the yung doc n they had four yung-uns of their own, 3 girls n the yungest a boy named EJ, as in everett
juniour, but we all ways jest a called him "rett")."robbie . . . its everett. he is gone . . ."

"ooohhhhh momma turley!!! i'll be right there!!! you hold tight right there!!! i'll bring along eliza mae. we'll drop the kids off at my mom's. we're on our way!!!"

"robbie . . . we is in the north pasture. ole shep will show ya the way . . ."

we're on our way!!!"n i ranned back on out to the pasture for to wait with my everett . . .

when they arrived, they jest drived rite on out there thru the pasture a follerin ole sheps lead. eliza mae hopped out n we jest hugged on each other n cryed some together whilest robbie checked everetts vitals but we all knew there weren't none.
afore he had left town, robbie had all ready called gus johnson, the funeral home director, for to carry everetts body on into town. when ole shep ranned back up to the yard, we figgered gus had pulled into the drive n ole shep took the lead of his own accord. n it WAS gus that had showed up all rite BUT here comes kouter's ole pickup truck a flyin over them hills n alvernie lou a jumps out n a runs on over to me n eliza mae n then we all three hugged n cryed some more all together . . .". . . but alvernie, how did ya knows all ready???"

"well now, i was headed on into town when i sawed gus pull into your driveway so i figgered what mite a been a happenin . . ."

"ooohhhhh alvernie lou . . . you is jest the most specialest friend to me . . . all my lifes ya has all ways been rite here by my side . . ."

"same as you all ways for me . . . when my kouter passed on all them years ago, it was you who was there the hole time for me . . ."
so now it was my turn for alvernie lou to help me thru the heart break . . .

i unsaddled ole
king solomon n kissed his forehead as a thank you n put all the tack in the back of kouters truck.
i scratched behind ruby lou's ears the way she all ways liked.
n hugged ole sheps neck.
"thank y'all for being here for OUR everett."
i rode back up to the house with alvernie lou n called our eldest son jameson. he had hisselfs his own cattle operation to the northeast of us near the rivers of hickory fork. his wife kerry kim answered the phone n she sayed that they would git the sitter for their yung-uns n be rite over quick as they could.
our other three
yung-uns was scattered all about the united states so i called all them for to tell them the sad news n they all made travelin arrangements n arrived the next day.jameson n alvernie lou made all the preparations for everetts finals . . . i was jest sorta at a loss . . .
this was a tuff one for to wrap my brain around, my everett being gone n all. some shocks are jest too big to take in all at one time. one thang that i has all ways believed is that god never does allow more than ya can handle. but this one . . . i didnt want to handle it . . .
now our nest was TOO empty . . . my dearest sweetest everett . . . gone . . . yet all around me was his presence . . . ever book in his library . . . ever piece of furniture that he had built with his own two hands . . . all the memorys of OUR lifes together here . . . in the very house that we had lived in all these long years together . . . OUR home that everett had built for us . . . n now . . . alone . . . without my everett . . .but after about three days of being too sad for words, i decided that life is best lived by livin it n i was still alive n had a life to still live n that i would honour everett the most by livin up a good life jest like him n me all ways did.

jameson took over the everday responsibilitys of tendin to all the livestocks here at the home place so i got to spend a lot more time with him . . . i declare there was times when i would see him a walkin across the farm yard n it would seem jest like everett all them years back when jameson was a lil baby . . . them two all ways did look n act sooo much a like . . . jest like carbon copys . . .15. golden memorys

alls i can say is: thank you my dearest sweetest everett for all these here reminiscin memorys. we sure a nuff did live us a good lifes together. n i is not sure how much longer i is a gonna still be a round this here earth til i gits to spend all the rest of eternity with you in glory but til that time does come a round, i will jest keep a kickin up some dust likes i all ways does.
with everetts passin, we missed our golden weddin anniversary by just 5 years, one month and 11 days. but i has jest had to kept remindin myselfs of all the memorys of the 44 years of being married to my man everett.all these years that everetts been gone, i has still maintained to this day the habit of gettin myselfs up out of bed early n makin a pot of coffee n sittin by that kitchen window (out on the back porch when weather is permittin) n watchin the sun come on up over the horizon to start a new day. n everett n me still has our early mornin coffee chat jest likes we all ways has but it jest aint quite the same as when he was here n not in heaven.
one of the thangs that i have missed the most of my dearest everett was his ability to communicate. he was jest sooo smart when it came to thinkin thangs out all logical like. n he all ways included me in those plannin conversations whether it pertained to the farm or the yung-uns or votin or inventin or whatever. we talked about everthang. i really do miss our talks.n he all ways had his opinions about everthang too. but not high-n-mitey lord-it-over-others kinda opinions. he really did think thangs thru a fore he ever spoke anythang out loud. he was real thoughtfull that way towards everbuddy. thats what made folks like him so much. i sure do wish y'all could have met him n knowed him fer yerselfs.one of the thangs that everett jest could not ever understand was how people would take to fussin n fuedin with each other. especially couples that was supposed to be in love with each other. he was jest sooo amazed when he would hear of folks cussin n bad-mouthin n spittin hatefull words at each other. he would all ways jest shake his head n say to me: bettie mae, there wont never be no reason why you n me caint have a conversation with each other like two growed adults who can talk thangs thru to the end. i respects what you has to say n i has a feelin that ya thinks the same a bout me. we will all ways keeps the positive energy growin betwixt us n live a happy life filled with joy. positive thinkin n talkin creates that positive energy that we enjoys. them other folks jest dont realize that they is creatin their own kinda energy. all their negative thinkin n talkin creates for them all that negative energy. LIFE IS JEST TOO SHORT for such carryin on. life jest passes by in a blink n a hurry up. so much so that a body jest has to find some kinda enjoyment in everday. to me, it jest seems like such a simple idea fer anybuddy to understand. my thinkin about this mite be kinda idealistic but i thinks that it seems to be a real simple philosophy for a happier life. n aint that what everbuddy is a strivin for?aint that jest somethang now? my everett . . . the best gift that god could of ever gived to me . . . n he all ways did see to it that we made the most outta each n ever day n all ways found some kinda enjoyment in all that we was a doing.

oh my now. i didnt realize the time. here i has jest gone on n on a savorin all these glorious memorys about my dearest everett but i is a guessin there was some important thangs to say here. maybe important jest for me but thats important a nuff. i hope y'all got some good out of it all too.

i need to be gettin myself all gussied up n get on off to the church meetin. ya knows, back when i was a yung-un helpin momma cook up big meals for the family n then when i had the diner, i only knowed how to cook in mass quantitys.since all my yung-uns is all growed n dear everett has been gone all this long time, i has had to learned in my old age how to cook on a smaller scale as a single wid-der woman.exceptin on wednesday nites - we all has a grate big church social pot luck supper a fore bible study down there at the calvary community chapple n thats my chance to still cooks up a storm - it is jest sooo much fun.

so i guess i better get on n git. y'all take care now. n remember the recipe for life:
the very best ingredient is LOVE. 


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