To South Mississippi for Family Visit - 2009
- Updated Jan. 12, 2009
Aug. 14-17, 2009 – To Harvey Trapp farm near Newton, MS & SuAnne Turnage visit at Pearl, MS
Betty and I arose fairly early in our Memphis home on Friday, had one of her excellent breakfasts (at least I did) and drove our Ford Taurus station wagon loaded with Fiona, our pet greyhound, to the dog kennel at the Southland Park race track in West Memphis. There we had a delightful but short visit with Vicki Cohen, the vivacious director of Mid-South Greyhound Adoption and its boarding kennel. We left Fiona in her capable hands along with a supply of the dry food she is accustomed to and a few toys and other items.
We dropped the Taurus off at our home in geographic center of Memphis and switched cars about 10 a.m. to Betty’s pre-packed, Ford Focus station wagon for the about 330-mile trip to her older brother Harvey Trapp’s big farm near Newton in South Mississippi. The day was warm but delightfully dry for the drive. Betty handled all the driving due to my physician’s advice for me to steer clear of driving when possible to minimize the slight chance of another brain aneurysm rendering me unconscious like the one I suffered in March, 2006.
Interstate 59 South to Jackson, MS was fairly heavy. Betty had pre-packed a
fresh salad of lettuce and other trimmings including leftover chicken for me to
have for lunch. It was good. I reserved a patty of leftover grilled hamburger
steak for my mid-afternoon snack. Both Betty and I have been fairly faithful to
South Beach, low-carbohydrate diets for two months and I wasn’t about to abandon the moderate weight loss program for this trip.
With a full tank of gasoline, we stopped at a rest area about 120 miles south of Memphis and then again at a filling station at Newton, MS, arriving at Harvey’s farm just before 2 p.m. The total driving time was just under 5 hours, quicker than we had expected.
The primary purpose of the trip was so Betty could visit her older brother, Harvey Trapp, at his 450-acre farm at the beginning of his treatment of chemo and radiation therapy to be followed by surgery for a serious illness; her fear was that over time the intensive therapies could possibly make him less than his usually delightful self. We also enjoyed being with his wife, Ann Rushing Trapp, and their granddaughter, Maggie Nowell, their beautiful, 7-year-old granddaughter. (Maggie, with blonde hair and resembling Betty in her very early pictures, is the only child of Harvey and Ann’s daughter, Tonya Newell, and her husband, Jimmie Nowell, of nearby Decatur, MS).
Predictably tired after the long drive, I soon repaired to bed for a nap in the Trapp’s guest room after our arrival. But I first had a chance to say hello to the brother of Betty and Harvey, Lamar Trapp. Lamar, a retired union plumber, was installing a new water heater in the farmhouse he helped Harvey build some years ago. The modest gifts Betty presented to Harvey, Ann and Maggie (including children’s books and a nifty “cage” for captured insects) seemed to be a hit.
That evening, Betty performed her usual magic on the stove and prepared for the family a delicious, low-carb meal of baked chicken, fresh butter (Lima) beans, green beans and sliced tomatoes, followed by slices of her home-baked Angel Food cake served with cool whip and fresh strawberries.
I retired about 9 p.m. while Betty stayed up to visit with Harvey and also longtime friend Ann. We were up about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday to continue the visiting. After another lunch of chef’s salads prepared by Betty, we all drove to a rendezvous point on the highway near Decatur, where Tonya joined us for the drive to nearby Meridian, MS and visits to TJ Max and Sam’s Stores so the ladies could shop.
We had a nice family dinner at the Olive Garden branch in Meridian. Betty and I went for our usual meals of soup and unlimited salad at the chain restaurant. Later, we took a detour on the way back to swing by a modern education complex in Decatur that provides Elementary, Middle and High School education to children of Newton County. Tonya, a special education teacher in the Middle School, impressed us with her pride in teaching at the school. We admired its snazzy-looking buildings and the elementary school Maggie attends with most windows decorated with student artwork.
After watching TV for a while with Harvey and his family, I went to bed about 9:30 p.m. and slept pretty well on a queen-size bed in their guestroom while Betty stayed up to visit.
On Sunday morning, Betty again cooked me (and Harvey) a great breakfast of scrambled eggs and sliced ham. We loaded our bags into her car and said our goodbyes. The Trapp’s were soon on their way to the Methodist Church in Decatur and promised they would visit us in Memphis before too long.
Our drive from the Trapp farm to the home of SuAnne Turnage, Betty’s long-ago suitemate at East Central Junior College at Decatur (where we met and brother Harvey served later as Business Manager for some years before retiring took a little over an hour. SuAnne lives in a nice home she purchased in Pearl, a suburb on the outskirts of Mississippi’s State Capital, Jackson. She had recently changed jobs at the University of Mississippi’s Medical School in Jackson and was under a bit of stress due to the new nature of her work and surroundings.
We treated SuAnne to a lunch at the restaurant of her choice, an outlet of Newk’s Express Café chain in the adjacent town of Brandon. We all enjoyed the enormous, specialty salads of mixed greens and grilled chicken with small portions of gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries, grapes, artichoke hearts, pecans and croutons served with sherry vinaigrette and breadsticks. After eating, we repaired back to SuAnne’s home where she and Betty continued their visit and mutual progress reports while I checked my email on her computer.
With Betty again handled the driving, I tried to snooze off-and-on as we drove north on Interstate 55 on a cloudy and warm afternoon to Memphis, arriving home just after 5 p.m., making good time of a little over 3 hours.