Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Renewing my DL

I realized on Tuesday night that my Driver's License was going to expire this on Wednesday, I went and got my hair trimmed (those DL photos look bad enough without having bad hair!!) and then was off to Laurel.

I was pleasantly surprised that there were very few people in the waiting room. Did you know (if you don't wait until the last minute, like I did), you can go to a kiosk, fill out your info, take your own photo, pay with a debit or credit card, and have the DL mailed to you?? How uptown is that!! (And they call us backward!!!)

There wasn't enough time to have my renewal DL mailed, so the "Let Us Know When you got here" computer, gave me a wait-in-line number. While I sat and waited, I watched a woman doing her own DL.  She must have taken a dozen photos, until she got one that made her happy.

There were only two clerks behind the counter.....a friendly one at Station 1 and one who looked like she had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed and then eaten briers, for lunch, at Station 3.

The nice, happy clerk at Station 1 called my number!

I'm here to tell you that God does answer prayer,  'cause I had silently and fervently prayed that Station 1 would call my number. (People pray for parking spaces.....this was just as important!)

She asked "Do you want to renew for 4 years or 8 years?

I replied "Let's see, in 8 years I'll be 82 and probably shouldn't even be driving, I'll take 4." (Of course, there are those who think me, and my heavy foot, shouldn't be driving, now!!!)

She had me move to the blue wall, in front of the camera and she took Picture Number 1....and it was awful. I sorta' looked like the clerk at Station 3.....(wrong side of bed and briers for lunch). I was happy she let me see it, 'cause the clerk at Station 3 wasn't showing anything to anybody.

I asked "Can you take another, and I'll try smiling."

I smiled and she clicked......and we went with that.

As someone said, "I hate having my picture always looks like me."

Important Stuff

I think it's probably good that I'm too old to be embarrassed, or don't care. (I allow my daughters and grand kids to be embarrassed, on my behalf.)

A couple of years ago, I bought some tights and a long top to cover my booty. The ensemble required that I have boots, so boots I bought. They weren't the tall, to the knee, stylish leather boots. They were a suede type soft fabric, but they were boots and they were mine!

Today, I decided it was time for a pair of  stylish, leather, to-the-knee boots to go with the new jeans I was going to buy.

Got to the store and almost immediately I found the boots I wanted. They were black leather, with a huge zipper on the side with heels. (I don't usually wear heels.)  I asked for the size I needed and when the clerk brought them out, I began to try them on. I had a devil of a time getting the zipper to unzip and then to zip!

As I was walking around, trying them out, the clerk came back to check on me. I commented that they seemed big, on my legs. She said "you've got skinny legs."  (I really wasn't going for skinny on that part of my body!!)  Note to self: Quit exercising legs....skinny enough.

I took them off (still with zipper issues). As she was putting them away, and having difficulty ......with the zipper, she said......"Ma'am, these zippers are just for were supposed to  slide your foot in. You weren't supposed to unzip them."

Bless her heart, she finally quit struggling with the zipper and crammed them back into the box. Strange.....she didn't offer to help me find another pair........

Don't know where my daughters and granddaughters are when I need them .....for important stuff!!

A Mother’s Strength……passed down

Tonight, while watching the news on local channel WJTV, my attention was captured by the headline “Where is Luther Musselwhite?”

In the spring of 1950 Musselwhite, who was then 31, killed a 65 year old man with his bare fists outside Breakfield’s Fish Camp near Columbia, MS. He was assisted by a Luther Turnage, who held a gun on others, at the camp, to keep them from interfering.

Musselwhite was convicted and sentenced to die in Mississippi’s Portable Electric Chair. Rather than being sent to the State Penitentiary at Parchman, he was held in the Marion County Jail, in Columbia. The first execution was scheduled for December 21, 1951 but, for some reason, did not occur. In 1952, Governor Hugh White ordered that he be executed on October 31, 1952.

Even though Musselwhite had killed a man with his bare hands, and had served in the Marines on Iwo Jima during WW II; when it came to facing his own mortality he apparently wasn’t very brave. He began a hunger strike because of the fear of dying. Governor White declared that he would die “in the electric chair or by his own hands.” The Sheriff of Marion County didn’t want Musselwhite to die in his jail, of malnutrition, so he was moved to the State Hospital at Whitfield and force feeding began.

Per public records, Whitfield wasn’t very well-staffed, at that time. There were over 4,000 patients but only three doctors and three nurses. It was very easy for Musselwhite to gain strength and escape…….and that’s exactly what he did. He was tracked to Lauderdale County, Mississippi and that was his last known location sometime in 1952. He still remains at large, but Luther Musselwhite would be 94, if he were still alive. He was born about July, 1919 to John and Mandy Musselwhite in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. Where is Luther Musselwhite? Or maybe, where is Luther Musselwhite buried?

His wife, my third grade teacher, was just “Mrs. Musselwhite” to me. I was nine years old and she, in her early 30s, was “ancient” as far as I was concerned.

The next year, fourth grade wasn’t much better. I loved Miss Flossie Evans, but she soon had to leave, and we were taught by a substitute. On, there’s a photo of the marker, at her grave, erected by her students. At a young age, I learned how Breast Cancer takes those we love.

And then came fifth grade. I went to the newspaper, in Columbia a few years ago to research the Lawless family. The newspaper article headline stated “Entire Family Almost Wiped Out.”  One Saturday morning, in 1952, Mrs. Lawless and her daughter, Kathleen, were in the kitchen preparing breakfast. As usual her husband, an accountant, had gone to his lumber yard office just down the street, and he would come back and eat with the family. That morning, he came back…….with a gun……and killed his daughter and his wife. He critically wounded his mother-in-law, who lived with them, and his young son. He then went to his office and committed suicide. No reason was ever found. I had just been at their house, the night before, at a Girl Scout meeting. Mrs. Lawless was my Girl Scout leader. Kathleen was a 7th grader, and their young son, Billy, was younger than I.

After finding the article, I drove through the cemetery and found the grave. The  three had all been buried together. Somehow, that seemed wrong.

As the saying goes, “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”  All of this could have contributed to a traumatic childhood, but thankfully I was raised by a strong mother…..and her strength, she passed to me. Thanks, mom!