Sunday, May 03, 2009

Busy. Busy.

The martins are back to their apartment houses Gerald had all ready for them. As they create their nests and prepare to please us with a new generation, they are busy swooping and twirping and twittering . I am happy the barn swallows are back dirtying up our front porch with their annual mud and straw nest there. I cut dead branches off the rose bushes, which seemed to tall up over night and are green and healthy after their winter sleep.

Neighbors and our son-in-law are all busy getting ready for planting. Gerald has been tied up trying to get the sprayer he is modifying for Scott just right. He keeps redoing it but believes he has it correct now, so he repainted it and took it back down to Scott yesterday afternoon.

Friends and family are out on the lake fishing, and Gerald has planted the first of his garden after Scott tilled it. I urge him to make it small this year. I wonder if he will listen.

My spring took an unexpected turn when a reporter mentioned that I was looking for a photograph of Priscilla the Hollyhock Girl. Betty Baker read the story and dug into her box of ancient family photos to find a group picture of the Harrison family, which included Priscilla who had taken care of little orphan Laura Annear at the Silkwood Inn.

After the Silkwoods’ deaths, it was arranged for Priscilla to live with Laura, who was now married to Isham Harrison, the executor of Silkwood’s estate. (One of the tidbits I have learned is that the name Isham has a silent “h,” and the older generation pronounced it Isom. Proof of this is his son’s funeral notice, which Betty also shared that has the father’s named misspelled just as the local folks pronounced it.)

The photo of Priscilla is not as clear as we would like, but it is extremely significant that she is included in this family picture, which gives evidence that she was considered a family member. The picture was passed down to Betty by her grandmother, Effie Harrison Snyder Penrod, who looks about five in the photo. Effie was rocked by Priscilla just as Laura had been at Silkwood Inn.

I have had emails and phone calls from several who have their own Priscilla or hollyhock story to tell me. That has been delightful, but time consuming. I have talked by phone to two women over ninety years old, and on Wednesday I was able to interview Roma Craft at the Hurricane Memorial Assisted Living facility. It was an exciting interview, and Richard Kuenneke was there to make an audio recording of the visit.

Consequently, I still have one more flower bed to clean out a bit, and books I’d planned to read have been neglected while I have reread one book and perused numerous articles and notes refreshing my memory on various facts and legends.

Nevertheless, we still have taken time to watch softball games on game tracker often. Last night we were able to watch Erin on ESPN when Texas A&M played University of Texas. Today they were back on game tracker as they played a make-up game against Baylor. We had seriously talked of going to Arkansas to see University of Georgia play, but the weather predictions made us change those plans. Yesterday’s games were postponed, and they played a double header today. Our friend Bobby in Texas phoned rejoicing for all that rain down south.

Next weekend will be conference tournaments for both “our” teams. We want to be in both Knoxville and Oklahoma City, but are planning on going to Oklahoma since this is Erin’s last year and Gerry’s team can be watched next year. Our grandson Elijah is playing the role of Eugene in Brighton Beach Memoirs up at Freeport High School next weekend also, and I guess I have to face the fact that we cannot be there and Oklahoma at the same time. I like to be busy—but I wish things were spread out without conflicts, so we could do everything. Ah well.

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