Sunday, October 30, 2005

We lost to Kentucky today. That is humiliating.

Worse, I had another blow when I went to listen to the game on the computer. I had not yet done that this year for football games.

I have gotten several mailings from State about their new Maroon to the Max deal. I gives you many things new on the internet. You can watch the games, listen to the coach's Tuesday press conference, etc.

It is expensive, $200. I had not paid so much attention to it because I knew I would not be interested.

So tonight I go to the website to listen to the football game, just as I do in the spring to all the baseball games. You probably know what I am going to say. I could not get it because it is now in the M2M package.

It does offer access to the radio broadcasts for $25 but, as I said when I wrote about the new paid parking regulations, this is just another of a thousand little cuts.

And it hurts even more because now I will not be able to listen to the baseball broadcasts in the spring. That was one of the main reasons I got a better computer and subscribed to broadband.

Philosophically, I understand and accept these things. It is their content and they can do whatever they want with it. They get to set the price and I get to either accept or reject it. I understand free market economics.

Then I realized what a change this has made in my attitude. Mississippi State has always been "we" and "us," not "they" or "them."

This is very sad to me. And in the spring, what will I do? I don't know if I will be able to be strong enough not to pay the $25. I can take losing football, but to have Mississippi State baseball taken away from me? That is just cruel.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Rita report from my old friends, Ray and Linda Jones, who live in Texas

Thought I would fill in some of the details with Hurricane Rita.We left Port Neches (between Pt. Arthur and Beaumont, about 20 miles fromthe open Gulf) on Sept 14, our 41 anniversary and spent 2 nights at a casinoin Shreveport, LA. On Friday we went to Dallas for a Hallmark ornamentconvention. On Sunday we went to Jackson, MS. Seems like so long ago Idon't remember much, but all this was part of the plan.Then Rita, which as I recall started out for Corpus, started turning left.Linda suggested we go back home and I said I didn't like the idea of goingback into harms way. I think she has said that is the first correctdecision I have made in 40 years. LOL Our daughter was at our home.She had a good friend 2 hours north and we advised her to get out of Dodge.She left Wednesday. At one point in time Rita was forecast just west ofGalveston, which put it on path to our Son west of Houston (Katy). They letschool out Thursday and he drove all night on the back roads to Jackson.Then our daughters friend decided they would like to wait out the storm withrelatives, so on Friday, our daughter came to Jackson. She started earlyand well north of the traffic jams and had no problem. So, everyone beatthe traffic and everyone is safe.Watching the storm on TV, she continued to turn left and struck the coast2:30 AM, Saturday, Sept 24. It was like my house was in the cross hairs.We may be 20 miles from the open Gulf but that is all swamp and inland lake.For a week, I didn't know if the house was undamaged, blown away orsomewhere in between. Our son went back to Houston on Monday afterlandfall. The Interstate was open but they wouldn't let you get off. Aftera week, they began to let people in to check the damage, but you had toleave by 7PM curfew. On Sunday a week after land fall, our son came over tolook at the house. He was able to call us on the cell phone while he walkedthrough and around the house and took a picture which he emailed us. Lost afew shingles on the front corner of the roof over the garage. We also renta storage room which lost the roof and we haven't even gone to look at that.One suggestion, if you have to evacuate anytime, get your neighbors phonenumbers. Most of us have cell phones. Even so, many neighbors go torelatives and you can get those numbers. Having no information is theworst. I even got some wrong numbers on my cell phone and tried to talk tothe people and they wouldn't. When all else fails, call the hair dresser.Not as funny as it may sound. I saw on the web that they were gettingelectricity in the area of our hair dresser. I had the number so Saturday(two weeks after land fall) I called, and I know most of them anyway. Sosomeone answered and she filled me in on what was going on. I hadforgotten, but our hair dresser grew up across the street where her dadstill lives. A couple of more calls and I found out neither my house oracross the street had electricity. Our hair dresser was expected to work orat least come in on Tuesday, that's Oct 11. On Tuesday I called. She saidthey ran out of transformers and had to order one from Arkansas, should be acouple of days. Took my number and said she would call as soon as her dadgot power. That afternoon, she called back, power was on. I immediatelycalled home and glory be, my answering machine picked up.We came home Wednesday, Oct 12. Emptied the side by side fridge and thefreezer (garbage pick up on Thursday). That was not a fun job. Thankfully,the stuff was frozen again. Cleaned the fridge. Haven't touched thefreezer except for the contents. It's 30 years old, may just hose it downin the street and leave it for the trash.Somebody, somewhere mentioned all the trees were down. Of course, they arepiled up on the side of the road. But the first thing you notice is thereis something different about the neighborhood. Then you realize the treesare gone. Some broke off half way up. Others up rooted. Others lost allbranches on one side of the tree. But the appearance of the neighborhoodwas radically altered.It's now the weekend. We went to an open grocery store and they had plentyof food. Then we made Wal Mart. Had heard there was a line to get in, butit is now normal. Not only do we have electricity, but the boil waternotice has been lifted and the curfew is off. Linda has gotten her hairdone and I'm working on the roof. Inside the house, everything is normalbut I'm still shocked every time I step outside.We are ever grateful for everyone's prayers. We see blue FEMA plasticcovering whole houses. Houses with trees resting on them. Strip shoppingcenter that looks like it was blown apart from the inside. Roofs that looklike they were opened with a key like old Spam or Sardine cans. We werevery lucky.Ray and Linda Jones

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Uncle George and Aunt Donna Seaton from San Bernadino, California, is visiting Tennessee for the first time in several years. The Seaton family had a reunion at Friendship School Saturday night.

I hoped that Anne's family could come and it worked out that they were able. However at the Adam's soccer game on Saturday morning Emma threw up. Anne took her home and she seemed better so they left a little later but they had not gotten out of Nashville before she threw up again. Ken took Anne and Emma home and brought the boys to my house by himself. Isn't he a good son-in-law?

I was tickled to see the boys. They are so cute.

I took macaroni and cheese (from a Rachael Ray recipe), brownies, and cokes to the school. There was a tremendous amount of food, of course. These are the sort of occasions where I allow myself to eat my favorite food, banana pudding. However, I was so busy talking that I only ate a small plate of food and never got to the dessert table. And I know there was banana pudding because Charlotte brought some.

Aunt Donna and Uncle George are still looking good. I got to introduce the Ken and the children to them. I especially wanted George to meet Uncle George. Although he was primarily named after George Rodney, there are so many Georges on both sides of the family that when little George was born Anne declared that he had been named after them all.

I talked a long time separately to my cousins Lamar and Terry Seaton. Their father, Uncle FL, my mother's brother, has very recently been put into a nursing home. He was ruining the health of his children and they were not able to handle him.

Two of his daughters, Sue and Brenda, have been to the emergency room with stress-related heart problems.

They took him first to a doctor in Bolivar who found he was having bleeding into the brain. That is now stopped.

His behavior involved paranoia and lately some violence against the children. They have not been able to handle him and it has been very hurtful because this is so far from his normal behavior that they feel they have already lost their father.

Now he is in a nursing home in Jackson but he is on the waiting list for Henderson.

I did take Mother to the reunion. She always behaves well and enjoys it.

We did the Families-standing-on-the-stage thing. Each of the brothers and sisters stand on the stage with their families. A lot of flash bulbs go off.

We won for having the most people there, seventeen.

Here are the attendees:

Junior Seaton was getting married that day so Uncle Hubert, Aunt Tylene, Dwain, and Nona came late. Uncle Hubert looks very bad, like a straw would knock him over.

Aunt Velma was there with Eva Mae, Dyke, and spouses.

Mother was there with me, Ken, Adam, George, Julia, June, Harry, James, Rene, John, and Charlotte were there. Also John's daughter Jennifer with her husband and two boys.

Aunt Maurine Talley was there with Joan and Larry Marberry, their daughter Andrea and her son Jack. Jack has very long eyelashes.

Uncle FL was not able to go. Carolyn, Lamar and Margaret, Terry and Wanda, Brenda with her two daughters and her grandchildren were there.

Uncle George and Aunt Donna looked great.

Aunt Allene was there with Rita and Sheila and her family.

Aunt Melba was there with Billy Joe and Jackie and their wives.

After the reunion a group of the cousins got together and talked about going to Friendship School.

Earlier George had told me "When you went to school here, you didn't even have color television." I told him that when I went to school there I didn't have TV period.

Sunday morning the Ruckers, Julia, and I went out to Friendship to see the house that my cousin Billy Joe Seaton and his wife, Theresa, are building. I just love Theresa.

Bill was working but we got to see their home. It is a geodesic dome and they have a lot to go to finish but you can see how wonderful it is going to be. Ken was impressed with the pond outside.

Afterward we went to the cotton field across from Hattie Lee's house. They have already picked it with the mechanical picker but there is a lot of cotton left there.

When we were going over, Adam kept asking if picking cotton was going to hurt. I don't know where that mis-impression came from.

They enjoyed picking cotton and carried some back for themselves, Emma, and their mother.

There were seventy acres of cotton planted on Mother's land this year. When I was young, getting a bale to the acres was something desired but not often achieved. This year they got one and a half bale to the acre.

The Ruckers left around lunchtime because they had a church activity for that night and Ken needed to get home to cook chili for it, but Anne wound up being the cook.

James and Rene came over for lunch.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


I got off a little late Saturday morning, drove straight through, and was getting onto campus as I heard on the radio that we scored a touchdown for the first score of the game. I was so excited. I thought maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all. Actually it was so bad. That was our only score of the game. We missed a field goal later but that was our only threat.

It was very hot, 89 predicted. Clouds were sporadic. Then in the third quarter we got the first rain. Chances of rain were low so few people came prepared. By then LSU was running away with the game so many people, including me, left to find shelter underneath stadium.

When the rain stopped, I went back out to watch. Now the sun was shining, it was hot and positively steamy. Then another rain.

Joanne, the lady who sits in front of me at the game, was dissatisfied with the officiating. She often is, but unlike the rest of us she does something about it. She calls the SEC office on Monday and she also complains about other games. Not just SEC games either, she calls the PAC 10 office, or whomever she is mad about.

But the officiating had nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

The second team offense of MSU played the second half of the 4th quarter. Both Norwood and Conner had been hurt, but not seriously.

The freshman quarterback Henig did okay. He looks like a baby.

After the game I talked to the Sparrows under the stadium. Their new granddaughters are now two months old. Jennie's baby Rachael screamed during her entire hour-and-a half checkup at the doctor's. Chuck's baby Shelby is more placid.

I had been invited to go eat supper at Little Dooey's Saturday night. Beth even called me to ask me to get her a bottle of their barbecue sauce.

However the game ended an hour and a half before we were to meet. Going would put me home three hours later. But the main reason was that I felt so grimey and my hair was sticking to my head. So I came home and really enjoyed my bath.

I regret not being able to see the Andersons again who were to be at the dinner. Jim Anderson is from the Walter Anderson family. The family compound and pottery in Biloxi was extensively damaged. In fact I think only one house, not his, survived.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

My friends Carol and Richard Henderson were visiting his parents in DeRidder, Louisiana, and experienced Hurricane Rita. I thought you might enjoy her account.

To those of you who knew where Richard and I were headed last weekend,Thank you for your prayers. They were answered in a mighty way in myopinion for the family in Louisiana. We left on Thursday to go to thefarm to celebrate "Grandpas's" birthday. Richard's Dad was 91 that veryday. I had been watching the weather news and inquired of my husband ifwe had not better rethink the timing on this trip. He said, "Thehurricane is going to Houston, not De Ridder. Who are you going tobelieve, me or your own lying eyes?Okay, I confess, he did not say that. What he said verbatim is: "WellI'm going. You can do what you want." I took this to mean he feltconfident about the weather, so I did not back out. We landed in BatonRouge and immediately set out in our rented Camry for the farm, threehours away, under cloudy skies but no rain. All was well throughOpelousas. In Eunice, we planned to stop as we always did. We were goingto eat supper and go to the grocery. There seemed to be something goingon, maybe a football jamboree or a massive wreck as both lines of trafficgoing west were going at a snail's pace or stopped altogether. Wendy'swas closed, so we dined at Sonic. At the grocery a cop told us that thecars were evacuees from Lake Charles and that the store was closing infifteen minutes. We tried to call the farm to see if they neededanything, but all the circuits were tied up. So we bought ingredients forthe gumbo I planned to fix. There was no water or bread on the shelf.There was no catfish for the gumbo, so I planned to get some on Friday inDe Ridder. As we drove through town, I began to see that the line of carswas endless, probably extending 70 miles back to Lake Charles or maybe300 mules back to Houston. We were going in the opposite direction. Ibegan to have definite feelings of unease about now. Richard did the oldshortcut maneuver and changed our regular route. We hurried through thenight past lots of countryside, rice fields and the Baptist encampment atDry Creek. There was a traffic jam at the four way stop sign atSugartown. sually we are the only vehicle on the road there. We sped onto the farm. There we learned that all the schools had not met Thursdayand Walmart had closed at noon. KL was in Leesville buying a few lastminute things. Friday morning, Richard and I went in town to find allgroceries and gas stations closing. We bought a few paper goods at a tinyconvenience store that seemed to feature hairpieces as its main stock. Wewent home. I began to fix the gumbo and Richard nailed boards over thesouth facing windows. KL's friend, Keturah and her three boys came overto stay with us, as their house is town is frailer. Also they werelocated across the street from a local school where 1000 evacuees werebeing sent. The people were not the strict law and order kind. Oneoffered to buy Ket a beer if she would drive him to Leesville.(BeauregardParish is dry.) when she refused, he offered a lewd remark. These guyswere into drinking beer and smoking pot. There were eleven of us at the farm, Grandpa, Grandma, Richard and I, Harry and Noah, KL and the fourMillers. We finished the day by taking our last baths for a while andfilling the tubs with water. Later, Grandpa read the twenty seventh Psalmand we had prayer. Then we hunkered down in front of the TV, mesmerizedby the weather reports. The basic word was now that a hurricane washeaded for Lake Charles, moving very slowly, that we should get the eyein De Ridder about four the next afternoon. Winds began coming about ninethirty. At ten thirty, the electricity went out. We all retired to bed;to bed, but not to sleep. Bands or waves of wind came through along withthe ominous sound of roof parts clattering. At some point Richard wentout into the storm to pick up some of them. We gathered vessels to holdthe water that was leaking out of one of the tubs. About three in themorning, Richard and I moved downstairs with our mattress and oursuitcases, in case the roof should be attacked by a falling tree. Aroundeight or nine Harry said that the eye was passing, that Boni saw this onher T.V. in Sylva,NC. And that the storm was breaking up. I had beenpraying all night for protection, and for strength to deal with theaftermath, as well as for God to blow a breath of cold air in the windsand temper the fury at the storm. The winds died down about ten thirtySat. morning and we waited for the second part of the hurricane. It nevercame. It was over. We had phone service for a day until a tree must havefallen in a bad spot. Assessing the damage, we discovered that it is nottoo bad for such winds. The side of the barn is torn off, along withroofing on some of the out buildings, and part of the house. Not one treewas uprooted, though there were a lot of branches down. We had water allaround in containers and a hand pump at the well, since electricity runsthe water inside. There was a gas camp stove to cook on, and the biggesthelp, a small generator that Harry had. With this, Richard could hook uphis Mom's chair, the refrig., the micro, the water, the TV, fans, thoughnot all at the same time. Neighbors came over to get water and to reporton their situations. There were trees uprooted and garages flattened.There were 39 folks at the church with Brother and Mrs. Ott presiding, atree blocking them in and no water or electricity. The refugees numberedin age from 7 months to 92 years old. There were 41 people at MargeryEllen's house including her daughter Kathy who had been shot at afterKatrina when she was on the roof of University Hospital in NO. The menwere pressed into duty to haul water from the pond for flushing. Harrywanted to know if they delivered. One neighbor came over to report thatshe was hysterically praying on her knees during the storm until her aunthad enough of the drama and gave her valium to calm her down. Aunt O andJim at the nursing home had been sent on to a safer place. De Ridder andthe surrounding area homes were hit but not like Lake Charles. We onlyhad 7 inches of rain, no storm surge. De Ridder is located about 50 milesnorth of Lake Charles, the closest large town. Beaumont is about 90miles west I think. When we left on Monday, the main road was clear allthe way to Lafayette. There was no electricity anywhere until Lafayettewhere all was well. Gas prices there were $2.55 at Walmart. There was asmooth trip home. Richard's Mom, who has been know to get excited aboutstorms in the past rode this one out in high style. She slept better thanin months she said, and her leg swelling went down dramatically. Maybethe inky night and quiet lulled her to sleep, except that it was not atall quiet with the wind tossing around roof parts and branches. They gotthe phone back and we are looking into getting them a larger generatorsince LA seems to be sold out at the moment. Love, Carol

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