Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Jan. 20, 2009
I was sad to hear that Diana Smith Bilyeu passed away. She was a little older than me and I did not know her well. In high school she was friends with Betty and Dorothy Gobel. Whenever she would go out to visit them she would have to go by our house. We had a little cocker spaniel named ‘Butchie’ and she loved to chase cars. As everyone knows if your dogs chase cars he will catch one sooner or later and that will be the end of him. We lost a couple of dogs to the road. Sometimes people would stop and tell you that they had ran over our dog and sometimes they would drive on by. Well, Butchie caught Diana. I can remember this so clear- Diana's car was pulled off to the side of the road by the barn and she was holding and petting Butchie. She had cried and felt so bad. I do not know how long she had been there but I think that it must have been quite a while.I know that it ruined her day and her visit with her friends. The worst thing was that it did not kill the little car chaser- it paralyzed she from the lower back down. The dog did not learn her lesson she still tried to chase cars. Instead of running from the house to the road she stayed closer to the barn as it was by the road and she would pull her hiney and try to catch yet another car. Dad hated to put anything down- his theory of ‘where there is life there is hope’ but in this case, sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done. But I always had a soft spot for Diana - she could have left little ‘Butchie’ by the side of the road, but she stayed and comforted the little car chaser. We thought that Diana must have had a really kind and tender heart.
We lost Mary Pierce, a good family friend early Tuesday morning. Her husband, Bob, and my folks were friends. We had many good times with Bob and Mary. Mary liked more sophisticated music than our family. I always she added a little class where ever she went. She taught music in Wilmore my sixth grade year. We had 17 kids in school; it was 3rd thru 6th grade. She had me sing a solo in the spring program. She had a way of getting you to do what she needed you to do without any pressure. It was not until the time of the program that I realized that I had to sing by myself. I remember being really scared but all you had to do was to look at Mrs. Pierce and all of your fears went away. Then she talked me in to singing to a ladies group in our church called the ‘Dorcas Circle’. I will never forget it- I sang ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’. I was terrified but Mary got me through it. She gave piano lessons to many kids in the area.
Mary always had her hair fixed perfectly. Many of you remember the Wilmore Halloween Carnival. Everyone in the area came to the carnival it did not matter where you went to school - everyone that attended had a wonderful time. At the carnival you could buy little sacks of confetti. Dad loved to throw confetti on everyone he got near. Mary had just got her hair fixed at the beauty parlor. This was during the beehive hair style days. Mary’s hair was done just perfect-Dad dumped a whole bag over her. I thought that she might cry- there was confetti all over her and it went down in her hair. I bet she still had a few little pieces of confetti when she went back to the beauty parlor the next week. Needless to say that Mom had a talking to with dad. But if he had to do all over - he would have done it again. He loved getting reactions from people- Mary certainly gave him one.
Mary had Parkinson Disease-Parkinson’s is a cruel and awful illness, I guess most ailments are horrible. Mary was loved by many people, but we know that she is in a better place. I bet she is singing her heart out to the angels.
Country Gal by Vanita Blundell Jan 27, 2009
It is nice that the January weather has been kind to us considering it is in the middle of winter. I guess the Good Lord knew that we needed some sunshine. I appreciate that as we have to windmills to repair. I think that windmills must get a virus. It seems that once one mill has problems another one will quit working as well - it may not need the same repair but it will be needing some type of attention. Working on windmills in the extreme temperatures is not something I like to do. In the summer, the pipes and the wrenches get so hot that they are too hot to touch barehanded and you pray for a breeze to cool you down. As you pull a mill we normally get water on us which feels pretty good even though it may not be the kind of water you want poured all over you but when you are hot cranky you will take what you can get. I get really cranky when I get hot and I think that there are times that Jim either would like to drown me if he could find enough water or just hit me in the head with a hammer and tell God I died. There is not a jury in the world who would convict him as I am sure he could prove it was justifiable homicide.
Dad had almost every kind of you would need to pull a mill. He had a little set of pipe wrenches that we used for the jet rod. He was very particular about these tools- he just knew that I would drop one down in the well and that would not be a good thing. If Dad was worried about something like ruining a windmill he had his ways to letting you know that life would never be the same if you were responsible for dropping something down in the well. When we would get done with the well work he would make sure that all of his tools were accounted for and put in the ‘well bucket’. Dad was really organized in his own way- some might even say he had organized chaos- which was really the truth. But he did have some things that you would never even think about not putting away- His little well pipe wrenches were extra special so they were always in the well bucket.
In the winter the wind will not stop during the time you are in the process of pulling rope. Then when you unscrew the pipe -it is always full of water and you get soaked. The moisture that you get on you is not a blessing as it can freeze. Then your gloves freeze to the rope, the pipe, the wrenches and anything else that the devil thinks will make you cuss. Not to mention that your fingers and toes are so cold. Your eyes water, your nose runs, which is no help as it just adds to the freezing moisture on your face. and you are just flat out miserable. If it is at all possible we try to wait for a break in the weather. But I hate to haul water it is wet and cold and it is something that I would like to try to avoid. The strange thing is that all the while you are pulling the mill that there is a strong current of air - whether it is a scorching, burning, dry, chafing or bitter cold, frosty, and skin stinging wind. But as soon as you are finished and you want to see if you were successful in your efforts the wind stops. I mean it stops dead still and you cannot buy a breeze. It is just one to those things that make you go ‘huhhh’.