Is The New Dryer Use Less Electricity Than Old Dryer The Betty Jean Story

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The Betty Jean Story

Many years ago I knew a little girl named Betty Jean. One summer, something special happened to her. She discovered something about her mother that she had never known before.

First, let me tell you that Betty Jean lived near the Verdigris River in a house built before Oklahoma became a state.

Think about it…no electricity. no running water, no television, no electric iron, no toaster, no microwave, no hair dryer, no indoor bathroom….. You get the idea?

Why was their mailbox 2 miles away on the highway. Betty Jean lived two miles farther than the US Post Office could deliver mail!

When the rains came, as always, she was even more isolated. The school bus could not cross the bridge with low water. Sometimes weeks would go by and the only person Betty Jean would see was her mother, father or brother.

She was sometimes very lonely; especially since her mom was so quiet.

This summer mom seemed especially calm.

Betty Jean had been riding her motorcycle for days because it looked like there would be no ride.

Take most of the day to get there in the old truck, but that didn’t matter. Just because she was eight didn’t mean she didn’t understand. She understood well. They failed to go every year. Surely, Mom and Dad would decide they could pay the gas for the old red truck.

The dust kicked up as Betty Jean danced on the dusty road in front of the house. Mom said, “Keep your clothes on. We’re leaving for Arkansas in less than a week.”

Betty Jean knew how to get a few changes of clothes for herself, just like mom, dad and brother would. The older brother stayed at home and took care of “the place”. You could not get up and leave the cattle; someone had to stay behind. The old wooden wagon seat was placed in the bed of the truck, in the back of the cab. The middle brother would go back there as usual.

Finally morning came. Betty Jean had been so excited that she tossed and turned all night.

Before daylight, dad and mom loaded the truck. They even strapped a pack to the outside of the cabin, since there wasn’t enough room inside the cabin for one more thing. The old red truck groaned and screeched for about seven hours.

Betty Jean was very tired of hitting those roads. Dad called them “laundry roads”.

“Just cross one more stream and up the mountain and we’ll be there,” said Dad. Aunt and uncle lived in the mountain “apartment”. (Mountaintop) Betty Jean wondered if the “town kids” knew such things.

She saw several cabins scattered about. From time to time she caught glimpses of children and adults peering through broken window panes and from behind trees and the corners of buildings. By the time they arrived, the neighbors knew the strangers were on the mountain.

Mother was quiet… never talked much. The sister kind of raised him after their mom died. Mom stayed with her older sister many times after their mom died. Frankie was such a lonely little girl after mommy died…being the youngest and all. Mama told Betty Jean about her Mama’s beautiful long hair and how beautiful Mama was; but she fell ill and lay in bed for a long, long time. Her father even took her mother to the Mayo Clinic, but they could not help Margaret.

Betty Jean knew her mom had happy moments when she was a little girl. Mom told Betty Jean that she visited her older sister, Floy, or played with cousins ​​up and down the valley. Losing her mother was very sad, but going to school and church and playing up and down the valley with so many cousins ​​was so much fun; and sometimes, she even forgot, just for a little while, how much she missed her mom, Margaret Houston Casey. Betty Jean had seen pictures of her grandmother with hair so long she could sit on it.

At last! “Oh, sister!” Auntie was watching them and saw them coming.

Betty Jean thought her aunt looked so tired. But, this did not stop the aunt! She ran and threw her arms around Betty Jean’s mother. There were times when Betty Jean wondered what it would be like to have a sister. The two women held each other for several minutes, not saying a word. Were those tears on mom’s face…

Betty Jean’s mom said to her sister, “I brought something for you.”

Betty Jean couldn’t imagine what it would be. There was no money to buy anything they shouldn’t have… And, her mom had brought a “gift!”

Mother turned and walked proudly back to the old red truck and untied the package from the outside of the cab. What was going on?

It looked like a container! The mother had wrapped the newspaper around a glass jar before putting it in some brown grocery bags. There was string wrapped around and around the paper wrapped container.

They all went inside the log cabin. The mother was smiling so sweetly as she cut the string from the outside of the package, the mother said that the container held fresh milk. and she knew her sister could use it. She also knew the paper would keep her nice and cool on that long journey. It still felt good! She unfolded the kettle and opened the lid to find fresh butter…….churned! The back roads of Newton County, Arkansas had turned fresh mother’s milk into fresh country butter!

Betty Jean would remember the look of horror on her mother’s face as long as she lived.

WAIT! Aunt and Uncle vowed that the one thing they could use more of the fresh milk was fresh churned butter!

Betty Jean was so glad they had decided to come. She had already forgotten how tired she felt when she arrived. Everyone should be as lucky as Betty Jean to get into an old red narrow truck and drive over “washboard roads” to visit an “Aunt and Uncle from Arkansas.”

Morning came. They would leave the mountain. Betty Jean wondered about her mother…she had been different throughout their visit. Before she was calm. But when she came to Ark, mom was different. Mom and her sister talked all day. and Betty Jean doubted all night!

Suddenly, Betty Jean understood! She knew without telling him. Mother was at home. Maybe that’s why they didn’t appear often. The arrival was wonderful; it was leaving that was almost more than the mother could handle.

Yes, Frankie Casey Brown left for Oklahoma. Arkansas held such memories, and with no phone and little outside communication, she felt cut off from her family. Poor mother, would she ever be satisfied?

Betty Jean thought these things. Mom was happy, but something was missing; now Betty Jean thought she understood. Maybe mom would get better. Betty Jean hoped so. She thought about that summer from time to time, but she never mentioned it to her mother. She wondered if Mom ever missed her beautiful hometown.

Only mom knew the answer. Mom never mentioned it, and neither did Betty Jean.

After Betty Jean’s father retired; Mom and Dad were going to Arkansas. Mom would call Betty Jean and say we’re coming home in a few days.

Suddenly, Betty Jean realized that Mom called Oklahoma “home.”

Mama had found contentment… Mama knew she loved that tall Indian she had married so many years ago. Mom had come home to Oklahoma!

Some called them Frankie and Arthur; some called them Toots and Jum. They both called me Betty Jean.

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