January Sisters Day


The first Sisters Day of the New Year has come and gone. The frigid weather on Jan. 16 didn’t deter any of us from showing up at the home of Shirely Huffman, our hostess for the day. Everyone was present: Lucy Branson, Mary Jo Crider, Shirley Huffman, Linda Crider, Pam Hale and Susie Kleffner. The weather did however, slow me down. The cut through from Wardsville to Highway 50 was partially covered with snow but highways 50 and 63 were clear sailing.

I was the last to arrive and found everyone in Shirley’s spacious eat-in kitchen. They were getting their coffee and Shirely was placing our breakfast repass on the table. It consisted of a homemade cinnamon roll coffee cake with a bowl of grapes and a plate of orange slices. All delicious and appreciated. Good job, sister dear.

The talk around the table started out with the weather of course. Stories of life on the farm when it was this cold. It was -2 when I left home. They talked about gathering eggs every couple of hours, so they didn’t freeze. Shirely slipped and fell coming back from the hen house. She was carrying a basket with 6 or so eggs in it. She hit the snow when she slipped. The first thing she did when she realized she was OK was to check the eggs; not a cracked or broken one in the bunch.

Feeding livestock is not fun either. Pam’s boys were 6 or 8 years old when they had a bad spell of weather with ice and cold. The boys wanted to wait to feed the hogs, but mean old mom said “No, do it now.” They skated to the shed, filled a bucket and crawled to the hog pen. Now there was just enough slop that the boys couldn’t stand up, so one got over the fence into the pen and the other set the bucket over the fence and let it slide down to the trough where the first one caught it and emptied it into the trough. The pigs slide up to eat. The boys crawled back up the hill to the house and warmed up and had their breakfast, made by mean old mom… Ha! Ha!

Shirely is very creative. This has one drawback: so are her boys. After a big snow, they found a hood off an old car and used it for a sled. They took turns driving the motorcycle that pulled it and riding on the car hood. As they got older, they pulled it with Old Blue, their dad’s truck, up and down the gravel road they lived on.

We talked about the state of the country. The world is getting more and more like the times in the Bible when God acted to make a clean start with His creation. Sodom, Gamora and Noah. We had better look at what happened to them and start shaping up.

We cleaned off the table and Shirley got out the quilt she’s trying to get started. It is a state bird quilt. Each block will be embroidered on a piece of fabric as big as the top of her bed. Our first project was to square the piece of fabric she purchased for this purpose. OMG, I’ve never seen a piece of fabric so out of square. Thank heaven our two best quilters were present. Between them, and after some debate, the fabric was trimmed into a perfect square. Remember the saying measure twice, cut once. Today it was more like measure a dozen times and cut once. Then there is “I’ve cut it off three times and it’s still too short.” This doesn’t happen when you have skilled help, which some of us are. The next project was to decide how the iron-on stencils should be placed to get all 50 in the space the size of the top if a queen size bed. This called for moving the operation into the bedroom.

We spread the squared fabric on top of the bed and started laying the stencils in place. The blocks are designed to be placed in the order they joined the Union. This of course meant putting the stencils in order. Shirley had this mostly done, but of course, she was not the one handing them to the placers, Lucy and Shirley.  After two or three fits and starts we finally got the job done. Some of us just stood back and watched and listened. Each stencil has the state bird, outline of the state with a star where the capital is, the state flower and the number of the state’s entry. Shirely has her work cut out for her. It was mentioned that we could all work on it when we have Sisters Day, not a bad idea.

I showed Pam some games on my phone that I love to play. Most of them are the ones they said were designed for old folks to help them keep their brains active. It worked for me. The draw back is that instead of doing housework or a project, I sit and play games on my phone. Oh well that’s how it goes.

We decided to start a game of Greed before lunch and finish it after. So, we did. That game is so much fun. We laugh and tease and fuss at each other, all in fun. There is always one player who has a hard time getting the 750 points it takes to get on the board. There is also someone who racks up point with no problem and winds up ready to go out but keeps rolling too many points because you have to go out with an even score of 10,000 points. We had both in this game. By the way, Lucy won the game after a fair struggle with the dice.

In the middle of the game, we stopped, and Shirley set out the lunch she had prepared for us. The fair was a pot of Stick to Your Ribs Soup with fresh from the oven dinner rolls, butter, molasses and jelly. We dug in and enjoyed this delicious meal. Miss Shirley never disappoints.

We finished the Greed game then had dessert. It was homemade apple and peach pie. I’d hate to have to pick between Lucy and Shirley on who makes the best pies. It shows they were taught by the same person, our mom. Not to make light of others in the group and their good cooking.

We talked about our Aunt Mame; she was married to mom’s brother John Sudheimer. She was a German lady who, shall we say, had her ways. We all have memories about her. She told Lois and me stories about when she was a girl. At least one of the 3 stages of the story was in German usually the middle or end. Back in those days you didn’t correct your elders, and we were so young she seemed very elder. She always had to pay for gas for the rides to church from one of the sisters, usually Shirley. Back in those days, it was a dime or a quarter. If you told her no, you would find it lying in her seat after she got out.

We talked about the problems with depending on GPS. Shirely and Bob used theirs to find a campground to spend the night at on one of their trips to Texas. They followed the GPS and wound up pulling into a farm-like setting. There were no campers in sight. The farmer’s wife came out and told them the campground had been closed for 10 years. She had called several times to have it removed from the GPS satellites, but they couldn’t get it done. One of my favorite cartoons was a picture of a car hanging in the air off the side of a mountain. The caption read “reprogramming, reprogramming.” Hopefully, they have improved by now.

Well, that’s about the end of this chapter of the Sisters Day Adventures. Thanks for sharing it with us. It is amazing to all us girls how much these little articles are appreciated. We still run into people, some we know and some we don’t, who say how much they love the articles about our special days. Thanks for letting us know you like this. This just adds another level to the joy these days bring us…

Thought: “Some people believe that holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and doing it.” -  Ann Landers

Fun Fact: Marie Curie was once denied admission to a university because she was a woman. She went on to become the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. Today she remains the only person in history to be awarded two Nobel Prizes in two different fields of science.