Monday, March 28, 2011

An Elopement Tale!

Bob and Charlotte then
That tornado went through Jackson Tennessee sounding like a huge freight train. On the third floor of Lovelace Hall, one of the woman's dorms at Union University, we were rounded up and pushed to the ground floor. We couldn't hide in the basement it was unusable. That old dorm made it, and morning dawned bright and clear. There is no place like Tennessee after a storm. Our trees were not down and the grass was so green and the mud! Oh, my! The mud!

Friday is a good day on college campuses I think. I went to two schools and we all loved Friday. I was in my room after lunch, and the monitor called upstairs [no such a thing as an intercom system in 1952] that I had a gentleman caller. I grabbed a scarf and flew down the stairs because I did not want to keep him waiting.....there were too many pretty Baptist girls looking for a Preacher-boy.

We went to the movies and walked slowly back to campus. We had already taken our pennies, nickels, and dimes and purchased our wedding rings. Plans for a Christmas wedding had been cancelled, and now it was spring, and my name was still Younger.

After spending a couple of hours in the Library, where I could go without permission, we slipped out the back door and left campus [without permission; a big no-no] and made our way, half a block to Pat and Mike's! All college kids should know a Pat and Mike...they were the best. [And could they make Boston Cream Pie!]

As we walked in Mike said: "How long are you two going to wait?" I really don't know what Bobbie said...I just walked to our favorite booth. After a few minutes we had our Boston Cream Pie and an Orange Crush. Jerry Green joined us. After some joking around, Jerry said, "If you don't marry that gal, I am going to give her a try!" Now, I am sure Jerry was just joking, but on the way back to the dorm, Bob asked me if I would like to go to Mississippi and get married…TOMORROW!!!!! I think I jumped into his arms, and hang the rules, I kissed him. For once, I was speechless!

We agreed to meet at the cafeteria at breakfast and finalize plans. You see, it was past time to be in the dorm, and I was always late and pushing the line. I sure did not want trouble now.

I thought that morning would never come. No sleep for this little eighteen year old girl. I never gave a thought to the ramifications. We were throwing caution to the wind. We were getting M-a-r-r-i-e-d! Married! That's all I really wanted.

That night, another tornado made its way across northern Mississippi, uprooting trees and laying down fences.   Saturday dawned and I was ready!

We met at breakfast. Bob had the Greyhound schedule. I had standing permission to go to Memphis to see relatives. No problem there. I had to get my white suit cleaned and there was time. Where was that Navy blouse? Need a purse to look somewhat like it belongs....details, details, details. They were not a problem...I was running on excitement!

So we boarded the bus. Oh, that bus-ride! There were folks with cages containing live chickens and hoes and rakes, and groceries of all kinds with boxes of undetermined things. It was strange to Bob but, I was born in Tennessee and lived in Oakland when it was a little country town, used to ride the bus to go to the movies on Saturday afternoon. Of course I rode the train mostly...but it contained the same sort of things.

Keep in mind a bus ride through West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi in 1952 was not even remotely as it is now. We stopped at cross roads, at lanes, at driveways, and even just on the side of road to let folks off and on. In those days, one rode the bus to grocery shop or to the doctor or just to visit because there were not so many cars. The tornado had flattened barns and out buildings and the most incredible thing.....took the feathers off chickens. It was a funny ride, and I mean "ha-ha" funny. We laughed and simply enjoyed the trip.

As we drove into Corinth we passed a beautiful columned Southern Baptist Church, I suggested we get married there. There was a big hotel on the square and we checked in. The town was FULL of folks, all the stores doing booming business and the Court House was open for business (on a Saturday!). That was a good thing!

We walked up the steps to the Court House, and some old men, "The Spit and Whittle Club" simply looked up and pointed the way to the license office. I wondered how on earth they knew what we were there for. Corinth Mississippi was known as the "marriage capitol" of the south.

Bob got a taxi to take us to the church, at 2:00 P.M. after lunch at a little hole in the wall place on the square, and change of clothes we were on our way. Did not go to the pretty brick church we saw, instead we went to the parsonage of a smaller church in town, where the taxi driver went to church. Rev. Smith performed the ceremony, with no witnesses, and in a few minutes, maybe 15, I was at last Mrs. Bobbie Buster!!

And then there was more. Eloping has its good side and then there is the other, not so good side. My Daddy had to be told, my mother had to cry. We had to tell Bob's folks, too. We couldn't tell it till we could get a room in the Married Wing of Adams Hall. That was two or three weeks later...and I cried myself out of tears, almost.

That is Part of the Story........the rest to be played out in family, and now here we are 59 years later. Those that said "It will never last" and "that Charlotte is too flighty" were just blowing in the wind. The songs of our courtship are still sweet to us. We would sing "To Each His Own", "My Happiness", but most of all we loved the song "I'd Rather Have Jesus".

I would not change a thing. The hard times, and we had some, only make the good times "gooder". At the time, what I thought was love, and it was, is absolutely nothing compared to what we have now. God has blessed us over and over. I am so thankful and grateful and full of praise at his continuous love and guidance.

Wonder what the next years hold? Cannot tell but I can guarantee that there will be love aplenty and some hard times and good times and laughter and tears and there will be Bobbie and Charlotte Buster!

Bob and Charlotte now


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Island

Have you ever lived on an island?

I never had until January of this year.

At that time we inhabited a very nice little
island located on Sunset Strip in Eldon Missouri.
Bet ya' didn't know there is an island in Eldon.
We came to this "Island" when Bob begin a time
of weakness, virtigo, and illness.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in February.
 'Nuff said about our reasons for being on our Island.

Island living is not bad. Our island is inhabited by "The Man"
and yours truly.   We have running water, TV, Cell phone
and Land line, and a PC all connected to the "main land"
and our family. That is a real plus to" Island" living.
The best part of "Island" living is
the time we have with each other...
time for "remembering" and for watching TV together,
for laughter, for Bible Reading and
prayer with lot of sleep. You would not believe how
we have solved all the world's problems.
We have access to fresh food, grocery stores
as well as the Drug Store [this is important] and Doctor's Office.

Food, you ask???? Goodness, I have baked bread, biscuits,
cornbread, cinnamon rolls, and made dressing several times.
I read my cookbooks and been on Web sites, then made lots
of new things. We have eaten well, believe me.
Course there have been breaks, like KFC
and McDonalds and Subway.
That necitates a quick trip to the "mainland"

We have had some visitors. I will admit they have been few
 and somewhat far between,however we love it when they happen in.
Our Children come when they can get their "boats" headed this way.
Since they all live on the "main land" and have jobs
and children, they are not "docking" often.
They are in daily communication,
and would be here if we needed them.

Island Living is best described as being isolated --- in some ways.
Unless we have visitors "sail in" we really
do not know what was happening in our "home town".
That is the reason I renewed our weekly "rag" a couple of weeks ago.

All our active lives, [before "real retirement"] revolved
around our Church. Bob was a Pastor/Preacher,
and I might add an excellent one!
That was completely candid,
I would not be prejudiced.
We loved our " Calling".
Seems strange to not know what is happening
down at the Church-house.
We get the weekly bulletin on the
Web, and sometimes hear from our friends, certainly is not the same.

Just a part of "Island" living.

Our goal is to make it to the "Main Land"
for more than Doctor's Visits.
Our hope and plan is to be back in Sunday School
and Church. To go out to dinner with friends.
To take rides to the places around here that we love:
Eugene, Mary's Home,
Down along the Saline,
Lake of the Ozarks, Out to "C"
and Weaver' name a few.

To go to our see our friends who are "shut-in"
and we love to visit.

Those things will come.
 And when they do----

We will leave our Island Home and once again,
live on the Main Land.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Good News from Home

We are walking down a new path in our family.  My Sweet Daddy has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.  As we are collectively figuring out exactly what this means, praying from distances and often feeling every inch of the miles that separate the miles between us...Mother continues to be the glue that holds us all together. 

Daddy is not the first in our family to receive this diagnosis.  His mother, Grandma Buster, suffered with Parkinson's.  As his health declined in recent months, our concerns grew.  I was there for a week after Christmas and left with a heavy heart.  Something was wrong!.  It was more than simple aging or rebounding from radiation he received 18 months ago. 

As I talked to Mother, almost daily, and kept in close sommunication via email, my concerns grew.  Their winter was long and dreadful.  They were snowed in for days on end.  Daddy wasn't himself.  When I talked to him on the phone, he wasn't cutting up or teasing me.  Something was wrong.  And I felt and feel so powerless to do anything.

In February, I had a bit of minor surgery on my finger and as I was talking to Mother on the way home from the process, I sensed that things really were not good at all.  The next morning, I got a call to say that they had gone to see their Doctor.  Dr. Carr sent them straight to the hospital for testing. 

The initial diagnosis was Parkinson's.  Something was wrong.  But now we could arm ourselves.  Daddy with medications and the rest of us with information.  He has improved with meds and under Mother's ever vigilant care. 

This morning, something wonderful happened.  For the first time in 2 months, my Sweet Daddy went to church.  Maybe your Daddy doesn't go to church every Sunday, but my Sweet Daddy is a preacher and has spent his life in the service of the pulpit.  Not just going to worship, but leading worship.  In the past 13 years, during his retirement, he has been on staff part time at a local church.  He retired from that back in October.  And until he felt too bad to do it, he was still preaching the Word on Sundays, filling in around their town when needed.

Today, the sunshine is just a bit brighter and the songs of praise in my own church just a bit more joyful to me.  I didn't know for sure until this afternoon, but I had a sneaking suspicion that my Sweet Daddy was going to be in His Father's house for Sunday Worship.  And he was.

Here is the note that was sent from Mother, the Matriarch of us, to let us know that he had once again gone to the House of the Lord on Sunday.

This day dawned beautifully but cold. 
 But there was nothing this morning to keep us from Worship at our Church with our Friends together. Bob was in Worship this morning at First Baptist  for the first time since January 9!

 I could not keep from smiling....Folks seemed so glad to see him. When most of your life has been spent in the Meeting House" or living in close proximity, it was THE place to rejoice.

Big Daddy/ Papa/Bob is doing much better..Today marks the fifth day---in a row of feeling good. Been months since that could be said.  Still has some back problems, get another shot on Friday. The meds for that "ol Parkinsons" [Grandma Busters term] are working. Bob can tell his stories and talk without hesitation, most of the time. The Doctor has upped the med for that and it should get even better. All this is good!

God bless you and yours.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Confirmation Sunday, 2011

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A Blessing

As is often the case, crisis situations bring along with them blessings.  The crisis involved this week was not of my own.  Not my blood.  Not my niece.  Not really my family.  The crisis is in a family of my family. 

A little girl, fighting for her life in CICU at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.  Who happens to be my niece's-husband's-brother's-daughter.  Clear as mud, right? If you are not already praying for Greer Underwood, please do so.  She is very ill.

The blessing to us was time.  Time spent with our great-niece, Casiday.  Greer is her cousin and Casiday came with her mother (Teri Lynne) and daddy (Scott) to Birmingham from Georgia to be with Greer and her family. 

But a hospital waiting room isn't really a fun place to be, and I asked Teri Lynne if we could come and get Casiday and bring her home with us for a few days.  Huntsville is just 90 minutes from Birmingham and we thought she might enjoy being with us rather than just hanging out in the hospital.

I will say that I think she enjoys herself wherever she is.  What a delightful young lady!  Vibrant and full of life.  Just a little bit sassy, friendly and a joy to have in our home.  She has a dear heart and a  pleasing personality, is creative and very funny.

I looked at her and saw pieces of people I love.  She is in many ways her Mother's child.  And I have loved Teri Lynne since the moment I knew of her existence.  Before she was born, before we knew she was a girl...I loved the baby for whom I was going to be 'Aunt Mollianne' for the very first time.  A role I cherish and share with 12 nieces and nephews, ranging from age 5 to well...however old Teri Lynne is!  Not to mention the plethora of great-nieces and nephews.

She has a sweet tooth that has come down through our family from Neenie to Bigmama to Mollianne to Teri Lynne (the line gets crooked here) to Casiday.  I learned to love a Sugar Sandwich-white bread, spread with butter and sprinked (or dumped) with white sugar and eaten quickly in hopes of making another-as a small child when Mother would make them for me.  Teri Lynne says she learned to love the same treat made by the same hands. 

She has hazel eyes.  Not as dark as mine, but hazel nonetheless.  We looked at each other and talked about our eyes.  Many in our family...most, probably, have blue eyes.  I always thought my eyes made me different and I wished for blue eyes. As an adult, I have come to love my eyes, because they are very like my Mother's in color and size.  Looking at hers and knowing that those eyes go on to another generation was a wonderful feeling. 

She has a tender heart.  She loves the outside and the world God made.  She adores dogs and cats and even likes lizards.  She giggles.  She teases.  She has her Uncle Ed's number and plays him like a violin on occasion.

She said thank you for each meal, each treat and for the time she spent with us.  We have grown up daughters, so having an eleven year old girl was not out of our experience.  It has been awhile, however, since we listened to that sort of silliness and wisdom wrapped up in one. We are used to boys of the same age, and they are different creatures.  Very different.

One night, as we had a lively discussion about teeth brushing, her Uncle Ed looked at me and said, "This is a different sort of stimulation than I'm used to."  Absolutely, Uncle Ed.  Absolutely!

That night, as she laid snuggled up next to me watching a movie, I felt a wonderful sense of time and space.  I was holding my brother's grandchild close.  My beloved niece's daughter.  My great-niece.  Part of the next generation of my family.  And I prayed that she will have good memories of her time with us.  And carry a small part of us in her heart through the years. 

Thank you, Scott and Teri Lynne, for trusting us with your girl in your time of crisis.  What a blessing she was to us. Her laughter still rings in my ears.  Her art-work signs (my favorite being the one that says, 'Edmund likes Pink') are where she left them for us.  We have laughed over Casiday-isms all week long and hope that our next visit will be soon.