October 2017



The Albany High Times' "NEWS & CLUES"!!!

We look back....we look forward!!!

130th Edition ~ 10/31/2017 (NOT PUBLISHED)

Website: http://www.albanyhightimes.com                Email: albanyhightimes@aol.com

. . .  just a small town in South Georgia that grew the best kids ever raised!!

October 31, 2017

A Letter to Dear Friends of AHS …

“News & Clues” was born January 21, 2007, and since then all except the June of 2007 issue, have been published. Issues resumed in July of 2007, and until this month, every issue has been produced.

May I share why the October issue will not be published?

For the Herrington family, there have been some highs and some lows. Let me start with the highs!!!

My 3 Calhoun children, Jim, age 60, Dianne, age 58 and Chuck age 57, planned a trip to Georgia to celebrate my 80th birthday! Living in Colorado since 1960, the children and I moved back to Albany in 1968. They all attended Sherwood Elementary. Jimmy went to McIntosh for 7th grade and AJHS on N. Jefferson for 8th grade – so they might have been in classes with some of you! Jimmy moved back to Colorado to be with his dad, and I moved to Dothan, AL with Dianne and Chuck. A year later we moved to Columbus GA, and both of them graduated from Hardaway High School. Both attended Columbus College. Later Chuck graduated from UGA, and was accepted at Candler School of Theology. They had different reasons, but both went back to Colorado, where they found their future mates, and they stayed. Honestly, it broke my heart … I had always hoped to be the “resident” grandmother of the Calhoun children!!! But all 5 grands and 1 great-grand were born in Colorado. So I became B-Ma, the Georgia grandmother.

You might imagine how excited I was about all 3 children (all born in Georgia) coming for my 80th birthday … it had been a while since I had seen them. Some of you also can understand … at 80, you begin to think there is less life ahead than behind … so I started thinking of things I wanted to share with them while they were here. There are things children don’t think to ask their parents until one day they’re gone and they think … “Oh, I wish I had asked? …” and realize the chance is gone. So I set about anticipating what these questions might be. And began to plan their time here as a sharing time … somewhat like a live event of the “Grandmother Book”, where someone interviews the grandmother about her childhood, etc. and a forever book is available!

I knew in order to complete my plans, I would have to start early in October … I began thinking of special things I did and thought of as a child. The children had graciously provided a stay at Amelia Island Plantation for us the first 5 days of October. And Tommy and I … both born in Jacksonville, FL, with grandmothers who owned property at Neptune Beach … drank in the memories of childhood and family ventures, and I thought of more things to share. While there, I did not open my laptop, as I had intended, but ideas continued to form about what I wanted to share with my children.

On our return trip to Lawrenceville, I drove most of the way, as Tommy was feeling weak. But as I drove, I was planning! I had bought a small 5 x 4 spiral notebook, where I placed daily tasks for the rest of the month in order to accomplish what I had hoped for their visit! That notebook saved me … I was a very focused and organized woman … day by day I accomplished or carried forward what needed to be done. On my list was creating our “News & Clues” the week of October 13th. That didn’t happen …

Instead, and this is the hard part … on October 13th my precious husband Tommy (Herrington) was admitted to Gwinnett Hospital with Heart Failure, as they call it these days. His heart was pumping @ 5%. Most pump around 50%. I knew I would be sitting in the hospital most of the time with him, so I brought my laptop to send out obituaries of the deaths of some of our Indians, and to start the newsletter. The room was infinitesimally small; but I set it up my laptop on the rolling tray. Of course with all that was going on with the good nurses and doctors trying to turn him around … what I was attempting to do was futile … I wanted to hear everything they said … so I stopped to listen …. and then it was time for lunch, etc. … and I had to clear the area for his food … and so it went … very little was accomplished that week ... Tommy was my priority. So I thought … I still have 2 weeks to “fit in” publishing the newsletter. BUT … those plans vanished.

Tommy and I have worked together at all things in our marriage … but suddenly … here I was with a precious, but very sick husband in the hospital who needed my attention with all my plans for the children. No question … he was my priority. So I started working on my plans after I came home from the hospital … I had decided, since the children and I had not celebrated Christmas together since 1979 … I would decorate our home for Christmas!!! But what about a tree? … I always had a fresh tree … but knowing there would be none available, nor would they last until Christmas … I did something I thought I’d never do … I bought a 7 ft faux tree! On the 17th, I began bringing in the 17 Christmas tubs about 5 or 6 each day when I returned home from the hospital. Then I started decorating the den, the living room, and the dining room where we had have our long-time traditional “Shrimp Pot” (now a Low Country Boil) always the night the tree went up. So I brought in and put up the tree, missing Tommy …. We always have done things together. Actually, I found some things I really liked about the tree … ornaments stay in their intended place … or you can bend a little branch to hold it in place!!! Finally the home decorations were finished and candles in the windows! And Tommy came home!!!

Still my priority, I fit in smaller, personal projects for my children … buying the food, making their favorite Coffee Mallow Pie, putting the cute little wrapped 2 x 2 gift boxes in gift bags once I added their names. They would hang those little boxes on the decorated tree (most of our ornaments are “year” related and these would be for 2017). I planned to ask them to save the gift bags … I had a surprise for them before they left! And so it went day by day … carrying forward tasks undone in my notebook, thinking I would never finish … and worrying about “News & Clues”. Then the children were here!!!!

That night, I had them put up my grandmother’s family Crčche. And I told them this story once they finished! As a small child, I picked up the baby Jesus while my grandmother was wrapping and putting up the characters. But she realized there was no “Baby Jesus in a Manger”! She asked … “Has anyone seen the Baby Jesus? Another relative noticed I was slow dancing with something held to my heart in the living room, and asked what I was doing … I replied, “I’m jukin’ with Jesus”!!! It was a word our family did not use … but apparently, the woman who kept me during the day had told me of her Saturday night adventures! Someday, I hope one of my children or grands will want this precious gift from long, long, ago!

I can say that truly, a dream is a wish your heart makes … my children (who are now more Coloradan than Georgians) and I had an incredible time together. Sadly, Tommy was unable to join us except for breakfast the day they were to leave. And I did not get everything done I had planned … but enough that the memories that were made those two days, will be forever memories!

As time drew nigh for them to leave, I thought of all the things I had wanted to do and share … but that kind of time was not available … so as time drew closer for them to leave, we sat around the kitchen table, and I told them I had something I wanted to share. Believe this or not … this happened!!! I was 8 or 9, and attended Junior Church during the 11:00 service each Sunday. The young man was studying to be a minister and at Christmas, he made the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus very real for me. So in my nightly prayers, I began to pray God would let me be the 2nd Mary for the 2nd Coming … in my innocent mind that would happen the same way it happened the first time! I don’t know how long that prayer was repeated, but when it dawned on me that God would choose another way, I began to think of being a mother on earth. At Halloween I usually put together a bride’s outfit … at least I was on the right path!!!!

So, tho' “I dreamed that dream in days gone by” … now at 80 it is clear my most passionate dream is that my children have the experience I see so many of you having with your children who live close enough to be a large extended family … and it appears THEY will have that … and I will be happy with the knowledge that they are truly blessed!

I shared this story with them … so they would always know how cherished they were and how cherished they are.

So, then I handed them the gift bags for the 2nd time … and you should have seen their faces as they pulled out the boiled peanuts!!!

Time with them went by at a reasonable speed, giving me time to soak in the pleasures of having them with me … still as always … it was hard saying goodbye. It is just never easy.

Please … will you keep my precious Tommy in your prayers … he can’t regain what he was … but pray for at least some relief from this weakness of his heart. That may come via surgery … it may not.

I will have the November issue of “News & Clues” published early … it usually takes 4 to 5 days … so please be patient! I honestly haven’t had time to read my birthday wishes on email or FaceBook!!! Tomorrow I can!!!

Also, my daughter Dianne, the web designer, is coming in January for the purpose of setting up a more workable website for us!!! Keep your fingers crossed!!!

My best to all of you …


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