Monday, June 28, 2004

Day two

The kids swam most of the morning. Generally the adults took turns watching them. The non-watchers got to talk.

In the afternoon, we left to go to the zoo in Hattiesburg. On the way it started to rain heavily, so instead of going to the zoo we went to a place with homemade ice cream. Then I bought some lemon verbena scent and tried to pay for the ice cream. Another clerk said that someone else had paid for seven ice creams. It turned out to be Ken. so I paid for the scent and then left it at the counter. When I retrieved it, I commented to the clerk that they could really make a profit by charging twice for ice cream and then charging for merchandise but not relinquishing the item.

When we got to the zoo, we found out they close at 4:30. The kids were very disappointed because the zoo has a new jaguar. They were disappointed even though they have yearly passes to the Nashville zoo and go often.

Back to the house and back to the pool.

Day 3

The main order of the day was going to the reunion at sister-in-law Sue's.

The morning was spent swimming then we left for lunch at the reunion. Jay had gone to the store for something when we left. Carolyn wanted Jay to go the reunion; he didn't want to go. We all, including Carolyn, left in the Rucker's van. Carolyn left a note for Jay saying he didn't have to show up, so we were all surprised when he did come.

Sue has a lovely home, with a huge back porch overlooking a lake. About 70 people were there and I did not know a large proportion of them.

I talked to sister-in-law Bebie. She has Alzheimer's but seems to be doing well, but she is much, much quieter. I talked to her about the times she used to take all the little girls skinny-dipping. My girls loved that and love Aunt Bebie. She said to tell Beth she still skinny-dips in her pool.

Niece Patricia had some good news. She has had more on her plate than it would seem anyone could bear. Her father, husband, and daughter have been fighting life-threatening illnesses. Her father, the beloved Nelson, died last year. Her husband has colon cancer but seems to be doing well.

Her daughter Renee had a brain tumor. It is in remission but she needs a lot of rest and takes about 30 pills a day. She has three children, a boy about 6 and twin girls who are three.

Patricia said she decided she would take the children with her on Tuesday (they live two hours apart) and return them to Renee on Saturday so Renee could rest. She did that one time and when she got to Renee's on Saturday said "Now we go to plan B."

Deana and John are in Indonesia visiting Natalie and her family so weren't at the reunion.

The food and fellowship were great.

Back at the Mason's, we had fried catfish for supper. Adam surprisingly ate the catfish. Back in Nashville, Ken tried to buy some catfish in the supermarket but Adam said it was not like Papa Jay's. I think they will buy some catfish and not let him see it until it is cooked.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Trip to Mississippi and Florida

Day 1

Last Thursday I left here to go to Ellisville, Mississippi. The Jackson radio station was reporting on a Jackson policeman who had been shot in Jackson in the line of duty. He was in surgery the last I heard. I was sad to return and find that he had died.

When I got to my sister-in-law's house, the Ruckers had arrived just a bit earlier. Carolyn and Jay, known as Aunt Carolyn and Papa Jay to the kids, have a pool and the kids love it. They were wanting to go swimming so I went out and watched them in the pool. All three are getting to be good swimmers. Emma is just like a fish.

That night we cooked out. Jay and Carolyn have a large open pavilion behind their house where they entertain. We ate there, along with their granddaughter Mandy and her husband Chris.

Last year Emma asked Mandy where her parents were. When Mandy told
her she lived with her husband Chris. "I'm married." So Emma asked, "Where are your babies?"

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Review of Ike: Lead up to D-Day on A&E television.

This is showing on A&E and will be shown many times in the next few days. I urge you to see it.

Tom Selleck has been making the rounds of talk shows touting the movie. He mentioned that they thought it would be dishonest not to show the smoking. They certainly did not cover it up. Someone seems to be smoking all the time and a haze hangs over the deliberations. We now forget how much smoking people used to do.

But the crux of the show is the hard decisions these people, and especially Eisenhower, had to make. The casualty rate for the paratroopers and glider pilots was estimated to be 70%. They went with that and were delighted when it turned out to be "only" 20%.

Also if you ever get to New Orleans, please go to the D-Day museum there. Why is it there? Because they made the landing crafts there.

Jay and I spent 6 hours there in December and had to tear ourselves away to go to the bowl game. I want to go back and continue where I left off.

Memorial Day Reunion

The Seatons always get together on Memorial Day because that was Papa Seaton's birthday.

I committed a Southern faux pas by not carrying any food to the occasion. I was nervous all morning because the NCAA was announcing the field of 64 for the regionals of the baseball championship. MSU was a bubble team and I was so hoping they would get a bid. And furthermore I was hoping that they would be sent to East Carolina University for that regional. If that happened, Jay was going to meet me there.

He has become a semi-East Carolina fan. I say semi- because his heart is still with Memphis. Our terrific cousins Pat and Danny Brew live in Greenville and he visits them often.

The unveiling of the teams was to be broadcast from 11 to 12 on ESPN. Julia was coming to pick me up and then we were going to get Mother. I was in a quandary over what to do.

But luckily the bid to State was announced early. A bid, but to the regional in Atlanta at Georgia Tech.

Back to the food. I had meant to carry corn on the cob and Mississippi Mud cake. I never even got the corn on the stove and the Mississippi Mud cake was too hot to cut when we left. Julia came through though and had enough food to make a show.

We picked up Mother and drove to Friendship via Garland Bottom Road. Mifflin Road (highway 200) will be closed for months because they are reworking the bridges along Tull Levee.

Aunt Allene Frix from Memphis was at the reunion but she insisted that she be waited on because "I had a bad morning." Those who know her will understand that most of what she says is a joke, and if the situation was not a joke, she will still make an amusing story of it.

She says she had spent all morning wandering over Madison and Chester Counties hunting for the road to Friendship. She must have because she had gone past the new WalMart in Jackson even though she had come to Henderson by Highway 100.

I missed Helen Frix who died this year. She was Doris Carroll Plunk's sister and Aunt Allene's sister-in-law. Because Uncle Guy was not very sociable and then very ill for so long, it was Helen who accompanied Aunt Allene to functions in Chester County including all the Seaton get-togethers. At her funeral it was hard for me to realize that she was not technically family to me. I certainly felt that she was.

If Helen had been there, Aunt Allene would have first told the story of her wanderings and we would have all laughed. Then Helen would have told her version and we would all have laughed even more. Then Helen and I would have talked about Doris. I missed that very much.

My cousin Terry Seaton is fine but has been through a bad patch beginning several weeks ago when he went to the eye doctor who measured his blood pressure at 200/110. That started several weeks of going to doctors before being diagnosed with blocked kidneys. He said he had no problem with his kidneys and his doctor said he certainly did. It was a miracle he hadn't had a stroke. One kidney was 5%blocked and the other 95%. So they put stents in and he has felt much better.

Strangely one symptom of the kidney problem was severe headaches.

Sadly one characteristic of these reunions is the lack of children. There were no children at all. All the brothers and sisters still alive were there except, of course, Uncle George in California.

Many of the cousins were there but few of their children. My children and grandchildren are all in Florida at the moment.

In other family news:

Billy Joe and Theresa are building a geodesic dome house not far from Aunt Melba's on the old Peddy place. It has been delayed for several weeks after he broke his left wrist. And he is left handed. They are going to build this place themselves.

Sue Seaton Williams' house was broken into again and $3000 worth of things were taken. I think this must be being done by someone she knows, who knows what she has. She lives on Needmore Road, across from where Billy Joe is building his house but Billy Joe's house will not be visible from the road, I don't think.

I went in the kitchen, put my arms around Wanda Seaton and Aunt Velma who were washing dishes and thanked them. Wanda said that David Smith, Carolyn's late son, had once told her that that was the way he always thought of her. With her back to everyone washing dishes. I admire her for that as I am not that kind of person. Some people can just go into a strange kitchen and take over and do a lot of work. I can't. And my family and I are poorer for it.

Mother did very well at the reunion except that she ate absolutely nothing. She did drink two glasses of lemonade. Julia had thoughtfully brought that since she knew that Mother loved it.

On the way home, as we were going past where Aunt Catherine used to live, Mother asked Julia where she was going. When Julia said Henderson, Mother told her she didn't live in Henderson. Julia said something to that but I knew Julia would be panicking so I told Mother we were taking her where they cared for her since she was sick. She replied that she was not sick so I told her they needed to care for her anyway, and she said nothing else. Julia is always afraid that Mother will refuse to get out at the nursing home, but she always cooperates and she did yesterday.

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