Monday, March 21, 2016

Answers to questions and recipes for Peach Cobbler and Chocolate Gravy

I want to thank you to everyone who read my story and allowed me to share a little part of my life.  My sister even read my story to her 5th grade class! Below is the letter I sent to her class. Maybe it will answer some of your questions as well!  And below that you will find recipes!

Dear 5th grade class,

I want to thank you so much for the warm welcome you gave me when I visited your class!  Thank you for reading my story and letting me read a little to you. You are the first kids to read it and I enjoyed all your comments and your ideas!

The letters you sent me have given me many hours of enjoyment!  I got cute pictures of Bear the dog and Sam the alligator. I loved the pictures of Melly and her house and the beautiful pictures of the bunnies.

Many of you told me that your favorite parts of the story were about the animals.  Mine, too!  And the fact that there were mysteries in the story was interesting to you!
I want to answer some of your questions. 
There were several questions asking about Old Sam.  Well, Old Sam would eat anything we threw at him as long as it was meat….!  I wasn’t really afraid of him because I was too young to realize that he could climb up that hill from that ditch any time he wanted to!  And I didn’t realize that there were other alligators in that lake.  And Yes, when I went back to visit my old home and my friend, I went to the lake to look for Old Sam….but I knew he wouldn’t be there….it was too long ago, but I looked to see if I could see any of his offspring. But, alas, I didn’t see any alligators at all!
Did I break the paddle ball?   Oh, yes!  Then I hid the paddle part so I couldn’t get spanked with it!!
Is Irene still alive?  No, I have been told that she was kind of old when I was a child and she moved away to live with her sister.  We were the last children that she took care of.
Did we ever see Bear the dog again.  No, I always watched for her to come back down the road, but she never did. And, we moved away.
I received a lot of questions about my grandfather and if I believed that he healed Patty.  I’ve spent a lot of my life just trying to answer that question.  Is there really such a thing as magic?  Who knows?  Maybe.  I do know that there is lots of magic and healing in being kind and loving someone.  So next time someone is sick or hurt, give them a little extra love and kindness, touch them softly, say a few words quietly, and see if they get better quicker!
Thank you all so very much for letting me know that you enjoyed my story.  And to answer the last question of if I will write another one?  Well, I just might with all the enthusiasm you have given me!
Thank you!
Mia  ‘Melly’ Willoughby
Grandma's Peach Cobbler
Mix:  1 cup sugar with 1 cup self rising flour and 1 cup milk
Melt: 1 stick of butter in a 8 x8 pan
Pour: flour mixture into butter do not stir
Add:  2 cups fresh (or canned) peaches
Bake: at 350 for 45 minutes (Can substitute apples and cinnamon for peaches)

Hot Chocolate Gravy for Waffles
Heat :  1 can evaporated milk
1 can water
Mix together in a separate bowl:
½ c self-rising flour
½ c cornstarch
½ c Hersheys unsweetened cocoa
¾ c sugar
Add water slowly to make a thick paste
Add paste to milk on stove slowly... stirring until thick
Add 1 stick butter and vanilla


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 20... I never got to say goodbye

Summer of 1960... chapter 20...    I never got to say goodbye

I didn’t get to start school on time that year.  Daddy came home with a surprise. He had borrowed a truck and both of our parents were packing up everything.   My mother told us excitedly, “I’ve quit my job and we’re going to go be with Daddy!”  Life had gotten too hard for her and she was anxious to move to the town where my father was going to school.  He still had a year left, but he found an apartment for us.

  “What about Irene?  Momma, what about Irene?” I jumped up off the chair.

“Irene won’t be coming here anymore,” Momma said.

“What?!  I didn’t even get to say goodbye.” 

“She’s gone, Honey.  She went to live with her sister.”  I barely heard what she said as I raced out the back door and down the street.  Tears blurred in my eyes and streamed down my face. My breaths heaved in my chest as I passed Carolyn’s house, Scranton’s store, and the church.  I ran down the street while the people who lived on this side of town just stared at me, a little white girl slobbering with tears, as I ran by.  I turned down a road, trying to remember which house was Irene’s.  Then I saw it, the small, broken house but it didn’t have a rocking chair on it anymore.  I jumped the steps onto the porch and cried “Irene” as I banged on the door.  No answer.  I looked in the window and it was empty.  Momma drove up then and we sat on the steps.  Momma held me in her arms and let me cry. 

“She’s already gone to live with her sister.  You were the last children that she took care of. You will always be special to her.”

“Where is she?”  I asked.

“I don’t know, Honey.”

“I want to go see her.”

“No, we can’t, Sweetie, it’s just not done.”

I never got to say goodbye.

Fifty years later, I walk down that road again.  How does the saying go?  You can never go home?  But, I have returned.  There are changes but much is the same.   The pole barn is gone. Our little house is still there, with the same white siding, tin roof, and a faded, red concrete porch with a swing on it.  It seems smaller.  The fig tree is smaller too.  The pines are still towering.  The old dirt road is paved now and all the houses surrounding it are filled with black people.  The town still seems separated, but all of the homes and the lives are in much better shape than before.  I parked my car and re-trace my steps walking toward the little general store.  I draw a lot of attention as I am a blond, curly headed, old, white lady, still out of place in that part of town, but I smile and the smile is returned.   As I come up near to Carolyn’s old house, an older black lady looks out her screen door.  I smile at her as I wander on down the road caught up in my reminiscings.

            “Marilyn?”  I hear my name!  I look at her again as she opens the door and steps onto the porch.  “Melly!!  That IS you!” she exclaims.  Carolyn and I finally embrace as friends.

                                                                   The end
                                                 my house in 2006
                                My momma, Carolyn's mama, Carolyn and me
                                        cypress trees used for pole barn
                                        This is a waffle with hot chocolate gravy
                              me standing at the bottom....tall Georgia pine trees
Thank you for reading my story and allowing me to share this part of my life. I appreciate the support more than you can ever know.  Please drop me a line to let me know your thoughts and comments.  Tomorrow I will post recipes and answers to questions.  Thank you for being a part of my life today!   Mia (making up names still!)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 19... til the last scream faded

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 19... til the last scream faded

At what age do we realize that some of our food is from animals?  For most of us, we consciously choose to turn a blind eye to the previous steps in our food chain that comes before the grocery store.  My mother having lived on a farm had no such compunction.  She just did what she believed needed to be done.  But the impact on my young life was profound.                         

 “Todays the day….I’m going to have to do it.  Marva Rose come help me,” said Momma as she walked out the back door.  “Marilyn, stay in the house with Patty.”

“But, Momma….”  I started out the door.

“No!  You stay in the house with Patty and the baby.”

 Momma went outside carrying a large knife and a bucket.  She went to the rabbit cages and put the rabbits in a large cardboard box and brought them out by the clothesline.  The rabbits were three months old now and as big as their mama.    Patty and the baby were sleeping so I stood at the back door watching, wondering what Momma was going to do.  Moonrose was petting the rabbits.  I looked for Carolyn, but she wasn’t out in the yard.  I wanted to go out and pet the rabbits, too, but I had to stay in the house with Patty.

Momma picked up a rabbit and held it like I had learned to do.  It had to be held close so it wouldn’t kick and scratch your arms.  She held it close and cooed into the pink ear while it twitched.  Then Momma had tied a string to the clothesline and held the bunny upside down and wrapped the string around its legs, like tobacco tied to a pole.  Upside down the bunny started to wriggle and squirm, but Momma held its head while petting its ears flat and murmuring to keep it calm.  Then she brought out the knife and ran it along the back of its head faster than I could even see.  The rabbit let out a loud scream and I ran into the bathroom, sat on the floor with my back to Daddy’s toilet and cried.  Moonrose came in and put her arms around me and we both sat on the bathroom floor until the last scream faded. 
                                                             to be continued.....


Friday, March 18, 2016

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 18... nothing left but an old towel

Summer of 1960... chapter 18...  nothing left but an old towel

            Later that summer my mother gave birth to a fat, baby boy.  He kept us all busy.  He was almost too big for me to hold. He was so squirmy, I even dropped him once.  Not far.  I was sitting on the floor and he jumped out of my arms, but I caught his head.  That’s the most important, right? 

 My mother stayed home a little while, but she struggled with needing to get back to work and caring for her new baby.   She was away at work so much that her milk dried up.  He was allergic to cow’s milk so the doctor put him on soy milk which was expensive.  So that just made it harder.  Between Momma, Grandma, and us three girls, we took care of our new brother, Kevin.

  A few weeks later, in August, my birthday came and went without much fanfare; a cake, a blowing out of candles and I turned 8.  I got a small doll with blond curly hair as a present. 

About that same time, Bear just up and left and took all her puppies.  I had run out to get a puppy to hold and they were gone.  I ran to her place under the porch and there was nothing there but an old towel.  “I guess she had to keep moving,” my mother explained.  She said we needed to just be glad we got to be with them for a while.   I remember saying, “I didn’t get to say goodbye.”  Then I forgot the doll. I went out to get the bunny that I had secretly named Pinky and cried sad, quiet, goodbye tears.

.  Since it was the end of summer, I knew school would be starting soon and I would be going into third grade.  Marva Rose knew the teacher I was going to have and told me that she was very nice.  I didn’t want to think about starting school but it was hard not to because our mother was sewing us new dresses for school.  Occasionally the sewing machine would stop and she would call one of us in to try on a dress or to get measured. 

 “Oh, my, you’re getting tall,” she said as she measured me.

“I don’t even have my shoes on,” I giggled.   There was a big hole in one of my shoes.  Momma had gotten an empty cereal box, placed the shoe on it and drew around it.  Then she cut it out and put it inside my shoe to cover the hole. Tony the tiger would peek out at me when I put them on.  They were my favorite Butterscotch shoes.  They had been Moonrose’s but when she outgrew them, they were mine.  I had waited for two years to get them.  They had been a light yellow and were now more of a brown, but they were still my Butterscotch shoes. 

The next morning the first thing I saw when I woke up was my new dress hanging in my doorway.  It was pale yellow and so very soft.  I grabbed it and ran into my mother’s room.

“Can I wear it today?”

“You can try it on,” she said.  I pulled it over my head; Momma helped me with the zipper.  I put on my Butterscotch shoes and I would spin around and around, the dress flaring wildly around me higher and higher.   Momma smiled, “It’s made out of the parachute material that your Daddy brought home.”  It was soft and silky.

 I remember that I loved that special dress and when I’d wear it, the bottom of the hem would hit just below the knee on the back of my calf when I’d walk.  I felt grown up and pretty; and every once in a while, Tony the Tiger and I would just take a spin.
                                        to be continued......




Thursday, March 17, 2016

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7.... chapter 17... Talking to fire


Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 17...   Talking to fire

We were going to visit my Daddy and we had spent the day getting ready to go. We had packed our clothes for the weekend and Momma was making potato salad for the trip, boiling eggs and potatoes.  My grandparents came over to give us some presents to take with us.  They had one for each of us.  Marva Rose got a jumprope, I got a paddle with a ball tied to it with a string, and Patty got a color book.

            I want that,” Patty whined.  She wanted the jumprope.  She didn’t know how to use it, so she just threw it over her head and then over again back and forth while she was walking around the living room.  I was banging that ball against the paddle over and over.  We were making so much noise that Momma had trouble talking with Grandma and Grandpa. 

            “Girls go into the other room,” Momma pleaded.

            We wandered into the kitchen, me banging my paddle and Patty throwing that rope over her head while she walked.  “One, two…, two….,” Patty counted.  The rope smacked down over the handle of the boiling eggs.  The boiling water poured over Patty’s back.  Patty screamed.  Moonrose and I stayed out of the way as Momma and my grandparents ran into the kitchen.  Momma pulled off Patty’s shirt and we could see lots of blisters where the boiling water burned her back.  Momma held her in her lap cooing to her. 

            “Let me talk the fire out of it,” said Grandpa.  He was well known in the family to be able to heal away pain, but he knew that Momma didn’t believe in that kind of superstition.  Momma nodded and ran to the phone to call the pharmacy to get some ointment.  Patty was still crying as Grandpa held her.  He leaned down and whispered into her ear holding his hands near her burns but not touching her back at all.  After a minute or so, Patty quit crying.  Her whimpers almost immediately calmed down into hiccups and Grandpa still held her close and whispered while Momma drove to the pharmacy and got some ointment. 

Our mother said that she never knew if it was the ointment or if my grandfather actually could talk the fire out of a burn, but Patty’s back healed up quickly and never scarred.  She had considered it to be a superstition, but still when she told the story years later she always wondered if he really could.  She says that he offered to teach her the secret.  He said he could only tell one person and that person could not be blood related and he was offering it to her.   She told him no that he needed to tell someone who totally believed in it.  We don’t know if he ever got to tell anyone before he died.  But, when I see someone burned, I will look up to heaven and ask Grandpa to help me and together we talk the fire out of it.
                                                           to be continued....

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 16... Eww.... I wouldn't want to drink cigarette butts water

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 16...  Eww.... I wouldn't want to drink cigarette butts water

  This is the dolly that I like best
This is the way she likes to rest
Here in my arms in her best gown dress
My sweet dolly baby.”

 The next Saturday, Patty and I sat at the kitchen table eating a tomato sandwich, the soft, white bread wet with mayonnaise and tomatoes.   Moonrose was singing to our doll.  We had to share Betsy.  She was a big doll, almost 2 feet tall, with blonde hair with legs and arms that didn’t bend.  Santa had given her to the both of us so we had to share.  We had to take turns, which was okay with me; I’d rather have a bunny.
We were all trying to glue Cheerios on a piece of paper using egg whites as glue when the phone rang.    I answered.  It was Irene.
 “I’ll get Momma,” I answered.  “Momma! Phone!”
            Momma spoke to Irene then told me to get my sisters; we had to go get Irene to take her to the hospital.
            “Is she sick?”  I asked
            “Oh, no dear, she just needs to visit someone who is in the hospital and she needs a ride.”
 “Girls come in and get washed up.  And don’t forget to wash your feet. We all got ready and ran out to the car.   Patty stood in the front seat beside Momma so Momma could throw her arm out to hold Patty when she stopped the car. Moonrose and I pushed into the back.  Moonrose stuck her hand behind the seat looking for coins.  Nothing.
            “Come on, girls.  Irene’s waiting.”  We drove down the dirt road, passed Carolyn’s house, passed Scranton’s store, passed the church, right down into the colored part of town.  There were lots of colored people walking and shopping and talking to each other.   We were the only white people there.  I stared at the houses.  Most were little more than old shacks.   I saw boys with no shirts or shoes playing right by the road, throwing rocks into circles drawn into the dirt.  I wondered what their names were and where their school was.  I knew where everything was in my part of town.  But I hardly knew all of this was even here. 
Then I saw a colored man, really only half of a man, as he had no legs.  He was sitting on a square piece of dirty wood which had small wheels on it.  He was pushing himself along the side of the road his hands in the dirt.   I looked at Momma but she acted like she didn’t see anything and I knew not to say anything either.  I just looked at my nice clean feet.
  I was taught that it was not polite to stare but the lessons to be learned were lost in the immediacy of the moment.   It was a shock for me to see that man, but his self-reliance and resilience was stamped into my memory.  Was he hurt in the war?  Was he a hero?  I had lots of questions. And I still do.  Why do we as people in the same community as others with disabilities look away instead of reaching a hand to someone in need?  I still see it time and again, people sometimes avert their eyes believing themselves to be polite when a simple “Hello” would be infinitely nicer.  And support, encouragement, and a helping hand so much wiser. 
It felt odd to be the only white people in an area of town that I had never seen and didn’t know existed.  But the odd feeling of being a white person driving in the black part of town is nothing compared to what a black man would encounter if he had to drive in a white neighborhood.  He would risk arrest or worse.  It was just not done. To me, even at a young age, it seemed like grownups were mixed up about a lot of things.

Soon we pulled up in front of a small house which looked like it had been in a fire and was partially burned.  All the houses were very small, unpainted shacks with a crude outhouse out back.  Irene’s house looked much like the others but it had a weathered, wooden rocking chair on the front porch.  The front porch leaned and steps were bowed from much use.  The crawl space under the house was open.  If Bear lived under our house, I wondered… what lived under this one?  The yard had no grass and we parked in the dirt.  Her whole house seemed to be only big enough for living room and kitchen. I wondered where she slept.  Irene stepped out of the house and walked down the sagging steps as we pulled up.  She slowly climbed into the car beside Patty.
            “Wanna sit on ole Irene’s lap, honey?” Patty shook her head and stayed standing right beside Momma. 
            We drove into the next town over where the hospital was.   Momma parked the car and got out, “I’ll go in and see.”
            “What’s she gonna go see?”  I asked.
            “She gotta see where the colored entrance is.” explained Irene.
            “Why cain’t you go in this door?” There was no answer.  We just sat in the hot car and waited for Momma.  The windows were down and Moonrose stuck her head out of one window and I stuck mine out of the other.  There was a stand with a man selling boiled peanuts. They are one of my favorite things to eat.  I thought I would ask Momma for some when she got back.  Then I saw a colored boy standing looking at a water fountain.
            Irene spoke to him from her open car window. “Boy, you go on and jus git that co-cola bottle to get some water.  Yo know yo cain’t drink out of that foun’en.”   He picked up the cola bottle off the ground and dumped out a couple of cigarette butts.  He then got a little water in it and poured it out on the ground making muddy drops splash onto his feet and then he put some water in it so he could get a drink.  Eww….  I wouldn’t want to drink cigarette butts water.     I read the sign….’whites only’ and I figured he wasn’t allowed to drink out of the fountain, but I guess it was okay for him to get some water in the bottle from it.
            “Now go on and throw that bottle in the trash.”  Irene told him. He tossed the bottle into the trashcan and walked on. “Don’ even have half the brain the Good Lord gave a flea…”  she muttered to herself.
            Momma came out of the hospital and said, “I’m glad I asked, it’s on the other side of the hospital.  This way I can drive you and you don’t have to walk around.”  Momma drove to the other side of the hospital and as Irene climbed out of the car, she said, “I’ll get a ride home, thank ya, Ma’am.”
            “Are you sure? We can wait.”
            “Yes’m. Someone’ll come along to take me home.”
            “Okay, see you Monday.”  Momma waved.
            “Bye, Irene.” As we drove away, I saw that little colored boy walking down the road. And, I felt sad. 
                                                    to be continued....           

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 15... The Birds Are Wet

Summer of 1960 When I Was 7... chapter 15...   The Birds Are Wet
There’s something soothing about rain; the quiet, rhythmic patter of the raindrops as they hit the Earth, cleansing, refreshing.  I loved to sit at the window or sit on the porch and just watch the rain.  I loved the Earthiness smell; the musty dirt, the pine, the smell of ozone as the lightning strikes.  It tapped, tapped on our tin roof and it smelled of the earth and of the pine trees that would ooze more sticky sap that would smell stronger with the rain.  Sometimes all the birds would suddenly disappear when the rain starts.   If the birds stayed hiding, I knew it would be a short rain and the sun would be out soon, but if the birds continued to fly and hunt for worms then I knew that it would be a long, hard rain.   
I was sitting on the porch watching the wet birds.  The sky turned blue then gray as the clouds were getting dark. The sky felt heavy, like it was pushing the clouds down into the tops of the pine trees.   When I went inside, the house was still, the quiet felt sticky all over me.    This was one time that Momma didn’t have her records on, but was watching the television, hoping to hear something about the weather.
Moonrose and Patty were sitting on the floor playing jacks.  Moonrose was bouncing the ball high because she was on tens. She was trying to pick up 10 jacks at the same time, which is hard to do.  Sometimes the ball would go flying off, rolling away on the wood floor.  Then Patty would go running off to chase it.  I watched them for a minute and was only half listening to the television where Mama was sitting sewing on a quilt. 
 “What’s going on?”  I whispered to Moonrose.  I didn’t want to bother Momma.  I could feel the tension in the air and I was worried about the bunnies and the puppies out in the rain.     The wind was blowing and moaning through the tall pine trees and the rain got very loud as the huge drops pinged on the tin roof.  Occasionally we could hear small pieces of ice hitting the windows and roof.  Patty didn’t know what was going on.  She didn’t like the noise and she moved over to sit whimpering in Momma’s lap.
“It’s beginning to rain cats and dogs,” murmured Momma.  I’d always wondered about that expression, I’d heard my father say that he’s seen it rain frogs and worms. He explained that a twister over the water is called a waterspout and it can pick up water and with it frogs and drop them a mile on down the road.  And worms…. well, I think they just crawl up out of the wet ground. 
“I wish Daddy was home,” I whispered.
“Me, too.”
“Is it a hurricane, Momma?”
“No, I don’t think so….just lots of rain.”  I looked out of the window; the birds had stopped flying a long time ago.  The sky was a grayish black and I couldn’t tell if it was night or day.  Thick walls of rain were going sideways to the window.  As I watched a branch snapped off a tree and crashed to the ground. 
Momma jammed a towel under the door.  Then she turned toward us.  “Marva Rose, go get that rope that’s on the back porch,” she said as she turned back to the TV.  I watched the television as the newsman broke into ‘The Rifleman’ with another report but I couldn’t understand what he was saying, the rain on the roof was too loud.   Moonrose came back into the living room and said, “I couldn’t find it.”
“Oh, for crying out loud.” Momma deposited Patty on the floor which elicited another loud howl.  Momma got on her overcoat and tied a scarf on her head and went out the back door.  I knew she was going to the shed under the pole barn to find a rope.  Moonrose picked Patty up off the floor and held her in the rocking chair.  I sat on the sofa holding the baby’s blanket.  The edges were covered in satin and I rubbed the silky fabric between my fingers.  I didn’t realize I was cold but the little blanket covering my bare legs gave me warmth and comfort stopping some of my trembling. I knew better than to cry.  I had to swallow my fear.  My eyes were glued on the backdoor with just the sounds of the wind howling, the thunder booming and the rain pounding for what seemed like a long time.  Finally Momma came in drenched with rain carrying a dirty white rope.
“What’s that for, Momma?” Moonrose asked.  We were all scared.
“We may need to evacuate.”
“What’s that mean?” I asked Moonrose in a whisper. 
Momma heard my whisper and answered, “We might need to leave in the middle of the night if the water gets too high. I might have to tie you girls to me so I don’t lose anybody.”
Patty started to cry quietly.  I just sat there.
“I can swim now,” I told Momma.
“I know you can, honey.” Momma hugged me.  Momma put the rope by the front door and went back to the TV. 
There was a loud boom and a crash and the lights went out.  We sat in the dark.  Momma lit a candle that I didn’t even know she had.  Momma gathered up some blankets and pillows and we all laid down on the floor. We didn’t even have to go to bed.  We fell asleep in the living room listening to Momma hum softly while she rocked Patty, the storm pounding on the roof trying to get in. The rope sat by the door.
I remember being woken up the next morning by rolling thunder.  The thunder booms the night before would crack in the air with the sound of splitting trees.  No, this thunder sounded like a big truck starting up nearby then rolling away down the road and you could hear it as it slowly rumbled past the next house... the next street, rumbling farther past another block then still rumbling as it got softer and farther away.  Then just as you could barely hear it, another started up.  I counted slowly as it continued on the same path as the one before it, slowly rumbling out of town.  One after another they rolled through the low land softly grumbling.  Then just as I was letting the grumbling soothe me back to sleep the rain started again, just the dripping kind as it rat-a-tat-tatted on the roof.  Another soothing sound that tapped away all the thoughts that nag at the edges of sleep.
 I found the peace of childhood – resting secure in the comfort and safety of my home. When I awoke later I laid there in my bed with the drugged feeling of sleep still in my limbs not even opening my eyes, listening to the sounds of nothing, amazed at the quietness of everything.  Just as the sounds of thunder and rain had filled the air completely, I marveled at how the emptiness could fill the air just as much.  The silence intrigued me.  The non- movement in my body was echoed in the non-movement of life around me.  Then I slowly noticed the slightest sensation of light slipping around the edges of the blanket of nighttime that had tucked around me in the safety of slumber.  The pink beginning of morning brought with it the realization that all was well.
 Later that day the sun came out nice and hot and it didn’t take long before we were asking Momma if it was dry enough to go outside.     We wanted to go swimming but I remember Momma saying, “Oh, for heaven’s sake, no! No telling what the rain’s washed up.” 
We hadn’t realized just how dangerous that storm was.  It became Hurricane Brenda and it caused over $5 million worth of damage as it went across Georgia and moved on up the coast before it was done.  Our town, being near the Okefenokee Swamp, can flood easily. We were lucky. 
                                                                        to be continued.....