Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of . . . .

When you read about blogging, they tell you the worst thing you can do is send your readers off site. (‘Cause they might not come back.) Leave it to me . . . I’m going to break that rule.

I went to a blog this morning that made me laugh till I cried. Friend Kari Ferguson Watson put a link of Facebook, and since it had a picture of a rooster (I’m into roosters right now)

My knitted blind rooster/chicken/fowl thing.

I clicked on it.

And I laughed out loud. G-Man probably thought I’d lost my mind until I told him about the rooster in the story. (If I can find that store, I’m gonna score me a rooster.)

But before you click on the link, there’s a potty-mouth warning. If you can ignore the bad words, though, it’s hilarious.

Check it out.

*  *  *

Pinky update: I went to the pink specialist last week.

He was so proud because when he took my brace off, my pinky stood up on his own. Only it didn’t last. Poor pink was soon swollen, and droopy and really sad looking. (And it hurt.) Not as sad as it was when it first gilflirted, but still ugly.

 So I’m visiting the pinky doc again today.

*  *  *

There’s a guy “trespassing” on some high “communications tower” in T-Town. The officials have his name and age and have been giving him food and water while he’s up there. This is the fifth day, and he’s been through two big boomer storms.

I can’t figure how he’s staying up there without falling asleep. I’d have been flat out by nine o’clock the first night, but he’s up there for five straight days? (Does this remind anyone of the pole sitting college students are reported to have done back in the nineteen twenties?)

I’m sure this is a serious situation (I might have to drive by and wave at him while I’m in T-
Town visiting the pinky doc) but I keep wondering why they don’t withhold cigarettes. Everyone knows smokers can’t last that long without burning one.

G-Man wondered how he goes to the bathroom. Ewwww. I don’t think I want to know.

*  *  *

And finally . . .

There’s a great new group on Facebook. It’s called, “You Might Be From C-Town, Ok . . . ” (or something close to that.)

I’m loving it. It has all kinds of remembrances from school days, a few pictures and lots of names I haven’t heard in years. One guy mentioned there should probably be two groups because of the extreme difference in ages in the group. There are kids who were in school in the ’90’s as well as kids who were there back in the ’40’s.

Lots of fun. Great pictures. Happy, happy memories. What’s not to love?


An Old Ford Tale

I love to get my dad and uncle talking about “the day”. When they tell stories about the Ford, the original one that is no more, I find my own memories of a town (gone for years and years) waking up. I don’t remember houses so much as the road and trees that lined it.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m reading “Cherokee Strip Fever”  by Zola Sample, which is written about the Ford area before the opening of the Cherokee Strip (at least so far in the book).

Zola was born a Bellis. The story tells of her mother, Charity, coming out to Oklahoma territory alone with three children, before Zola was born. When she arrives, she goes to the town of Sinnett (the book says, “Just down the road from C-Town.” Cool, huh?)

So I wondered, just where was the town of Sinnett? I’d love to go there to explore and see if I can find any remains of buildings. Maybe the post office.

Turns out, it’s very near the place I live right now. First day off I have, I’m heading that way. I want to  explore the old cemetery and see if there are names I recognize from the book. Look around and see . . . what I can see. I’ll take a few pictures and share them here. Next time I have a free day, that is. 🙂

Dad tells me he knew Charity. Remembered her well, in fact, and much of their family.

He said Zola and her husband lived next door to his aunt and uncle, Lena and Cecil Shoemaker, when their daughter, Judy, was just a little girl.

“Where did they live?” I asked.

“You know where Nola lived?”

“Past us on the highway?” That’s the only house I remembered for the Fishers.

Dad laughed. “The house before that. Next door to the grocery store, the house with the big lot.”

I remembered that house because I used to trick-or-treat the Vaughts there.

“I used to mow that big lot for fifty cents!” He chuckled at the memory. “Lena and Cecil lived on past them on the other side of the street.”

Memories surfaced from the fog in my brain. “Did someone else I know live down that street?”

“Yes. Mr. and Mrs. Lambertson lived down there, and the Wards–Uncle Joe’s in laws.”

A memory of my mom getting her hand smashed in a car door at the Ward’s house popped in. Dad didn’t remember it, but I remember Mom lying on the bed in their house with ice on her hand. Funny what we remember.

“Was the Christian Church on down that street?”

“Yes, it was.” I used to walk home from church with my cousin Kathy on that street when I was little.

Finally, he got to tell me the story. “One day, Cecil decided to put up a clothes line for Lena.” (Early day clothes dryer as well as a kid’s “tent” superstructure.)

“While he dug the first hole, Lena and Judy, who was a cute, tiny little girl, left to run some errands. They were gone a little while, and when they got back, Judy ran into the back yard to see how her daddy was getting along. Cecil had just finished digging the second hole.

“Judy saw that hole and was just amazed. She ran back to her mom. ‘Mama, did Daddy carry that big hole all the way over there by himself or did Dex help him?'”

The only problem with the story is that when Dad told it, he called Dex Deb. According to Zola’s obituary, Deb was Zola’s brother name, not her her husband, Dexter’s.

I need a little help from the Shoemaker girls to find out which one lived next door.


What We Treasure

How have you spent your morning?

I’ve spent mine praying.

“Thank you, Jesus for the thunder. Bring on the rain! Thank you, Jesus, for controlling the fires with the rain You sent. Send more!

“Thank you, Jesus, that no lives were lost in those atrocious fires. Be with those who lost their property. Those who lost their buildings. Their homes.

“Father, be with those who lost everything.  My heart breaks for them.”

I talked to so many people yesterday as we ran around town, getting ready for our monthly birthday party at work. Conversations were all about the fires. The people who’d had to pack up and leave their homes and most of what they owned behind.

Many I talked to said they couldn’t have done it. Others said they would have to take their pictures. (I totally understand that one! Of course, it would take an entire moving van to get all of mine, but I understand where they’re coming from.) Or the treasures they’d saved over the years.

One woman told of her friend who’d been evacuated, but went back to her home time and again for things she remembered and couldn’t live without. Happily, she had a home to go back to and was able to get out safely.

My sister, who works at one of the stores I hit in preparation for the party, gently reminded me (and the other woman who happened to be there) of the people in Joplin. They had almost no warning. No time to gather things to take with them. They were so lucky to get themselves and their children underground before the F-5 tornado wiped a clean path through their town.

They know how lucky they are to have their loved ones.

Brings a scripture to mind, doesn’t it?

Matthew 6:19-21– “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Donations of money and clothes are being taken for those who lost everything in the fires. Let me know if you’d like to donate and I’ll get the specifics for you.


Fire. Proof.

My sister called me yesterday afternoon when I was in Stillwater. “Are you at home?”

“No. We’re working on the boy’s house, just getting ready to leave. What’s up?”

“We’re on our way home from Tulsa. There’s a big fire–smoke everywhere. I talked to a friend whose house is in a neighborhood nears yours and they’re being evacuated.”

Wow. Those words put a little extra length in my stride as I carried things to the car. I wasn’t really worried, but my heart beat a little bit faster and I couldn’t quite fill my lungs when I breathed. We headed home pretty quickly.

We take the turnpike because once we get on it, it’s pretty much a straight shot to our house. Yesterday, when we got to the end, cars were backed up about for about a half mile. The highway to take us on home was closed.

As we went through the only open lane, a man told me to take the road to 51 and go into Tulsa.

“Can I go to C-Town instead?”


“Can I get back on the highway from C-Town?”

“Once you’re past forty-eight, you’re fine.” The man was so nice. And it was so hot! I wish I’d given him something to drink, but in my excitement I forgot I had Gatorade in the car with me. 😦

Thank God for cell phones. G-Man isn’t as prone to ask questions as I am, so I called him and told him what I’d learned.

“He didn’t tell me that.”

“He didn’t tell me, either. I had to ask.”

We headed toward C-Town and kept meeting long lines of cars–people being routed off the highway because of fire. As we got nearer the house, we could see huge clouds of dark blue, nearly purple smoke. It looked like a bruise.

Of course, I imagined one of those fires being my house. It wasn’t. (Thank you, Jesus!) We passed a convenience store whose parking lot was filled with emergency vehicles. Two ambulances were there on stand-by. On the back bumper of one sat a fire fighter who looked exhausted. Sick. Really beat up.

I wasn’t close enough to recognize him, but I prayed for the man and all the  men who put their lives on the line to stop fires.

As I drove, I listened to a preacher on Bott Radio (95.1 FM).

He talked about David and Goliath, comparing Goliath to the giant problems and worries in our lives.

David was very young and a shepherd, not a soldier. Goliath was nine feet tall and wore armour that weighed as much as David. He had huge sword and spear.

David told the king he would take on Goliath in combat, even though the entire Israel army was afraid of him. David wasn’t afraid. He knew God would handle Goliath, he told the king he’d killed a lion and a bear, and he told the king that God had done that. He’d take care of this giant, too.

So the king allowed David (and God) to take Goliath on.

David had a sling and five stones. Goliath laughed at him, but David just fit the first stone into his sling, swung it around and let it fly. God gave it the speed and accuracy it needed to plow right into the only unprotected spot on Goliath–his forehead. And it took him down.

All our giants aren’t named Goliath. Sometimes they’re called Debt. Or Substance Abuse. Or Unplanned Pregnancy. Or Illness. (From me–sometimes they’re called Fire!)

“The fire of God burns so hot, no Goliath can stand against it.”

I was amazed! Here I was, worried about fire and it’s like God spoke to me out of that radio. “My fire is hotter than that stuff you’re worried about. Stop worrying. Put it in My hands. They’re fire-proof.”

I’m so glad they are!


I Hope You Dance.

A friend of my newest DIL posted on Facebook a couple of pictures of #2 son and me, dancing at his wedding.

I LOVED dancing with my Matt. He’s a great kid (Okay, I know he’s not a kid anymore, but he’ll always be my baby. Sniff!) and someone I’d want to know even if I weren’t related to him.

He made me laugh as we danced. We chatted and had a great time. I don’t know how much fun it is to have daughters (my siblings have some great daughters) but boys are a blast to raise! (Being a natural-born tomboy didn’t hurt.)

Near the end of the song I told Matt what a pleasure it had been to be his Mama. One of the four best gifts in my entire life that God gave me was him.

I shouldn’t have said it. I knew better. But, hey! He needed to know.

Guess who I made cry. (Again.)