Get the picture? by Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 27, 2007

Get the picture? by Sherry Hopkins
Remodeling finished, cat named Gabby — loose ends attended

Tying Up Loose Ends
When I am out and about you are always asking me questions about different stories. I thought I would take this chance to tie up a few loose ends.
Yes, we finally finished our remodeling project. Everything turned out nicely with only one surprise we hadn’t planned for. It was my job to remove the old vinyl from the laundry room floor to prepare for new flooring. The old covering had been on for over 30 years and it was stuck down good. I was using a screwdriver, butter knife and hammer to remove the flooring, usually getting pieces no bigger than a quarter at a time.
It was a tedious process. A couple of days of sitting on my 55-year-old behind really wore me out. I was stiff for days. About a third of the way through, I realized that we had a spot that was rotten due to water damage.  Dear Don said just leave the remainder of the vinyl because now the whole floor (subfloor) would need to be replaced. That was the only snag we hit. I did all the painting and caulking, and, if I do say so myself, I did a pretty good job. We are all tidied up now and anticipating our next project.
Yes, we did get a cat. You would not believe the number of people who had cats or kittens to give away following that story. We settled on Brother Wes Sherman’s cat, Gabby. Brother Wes, the now former pastor of Pilgrim’s Rest church, was leaving the state after many years here and needed a home for Gabby. She is settling in nicely although we don’t see much of her. I guess she is roaming the woods checking out her new surroundings.
Gabby and I have a lot in common it seems. We have both been spayed, have gray hair, we are both bigger than the average girl and we seem to have similar “aloof” personalities. We should get along just fine. We will give her her space and wait for her to come around to check out us humans.
I got lots of response to my anniversary story. Thank you for the kind words and the appreciation you expressed. One gentleman said that he circled my story and put the paper in a conspicuous place so that his wife would be sure and read it. I gather he was trying to be subtle and hint to her that perhaps she should feel about him as I do about Dear Don. I’m sure that she does feel as I do, she just doesn’t feel compelled to share it with the whole world via the newspaper. He said that he knew she had read the story because the paper had been moved from where he left it, but so far he had seen no evidence of that in her behavior.
He was a funny man. When we first met he told me right away that he recognized me but that he really wanted to meet Dear Don. Don was flattered and probably slightly embarrassed by the attention.
One lady e-mailed me that she cried when she read my story and knew that Don would have similar things to say about me. He would, he says, and maybe he will some day.
Our vacation/anniversary trip was lovely. It started on a bad note and ended on a bad note but the middle was heavenly. Our trip started out heading south to the Gulf Coast. The storms were so bad the whole trip that it took two and one half-hours longer than usual to make the drive. We were forced to pull off the road at least three times due to heavy rain, winds and a hailstorm.
After an exhausting day we finally made it to U. S. 90, the beach highway. The destruction after almost two years is difficult to put into words. It looks like a war zone with homes and businesses obliterated. Trees have lost all their branches and leaves, and most stand at a 45-degree angle.
You can’t tell whether you are in Biloxi, Gulfport or Pass Christian. All landmarks are gone, the highway is in poor condition due to the debris that landed there and at night it is eerily dark and quiet. It was a depressing trip and I pray that the coast can rally eventually to their pre-storm beauty and wonder.
We soon headed north and made it to Memphis on Tuesday. We parked our car and did not move it until time to head back to Plum Point. We walked everywhere and had a glorious time. We made all the tourist stops and met a couple from England who were celebrating their 25th anniversary the day before ours. We ate great food, laughed a lot and relaxed too.
On Wednesday, our actual anniversary, we dressed up in our best and went to a Broadway play. Afterwards we took a long carriage ride down to the river and all through downtown. It was a perfect end to a perfect day. After we returned to our room, we had a small ceremony reaffirming our wedding vows and our covenant to one another. We exchanged the rings that we had bought and eventually fell asleep and slept like “bald-headed babies” as Don says.
We returned home comfortable that we had done everything we set out to do in grand fashion.
Our first morning at home we lingered on the porch with coffee for longer than usual, not wanting to give up a minute to anything other than that.
Sunday morning I got a call that my older sister’s husband had died unexpectedly the night before. Frank Sullivan was a wonderful generous man. He always had something funny to say and would give you the shirt off his back, literally. My heart goes out to my sister having lost her mother and husband in such a short period of time. But she’s a trooper and she will be fine. We will all miss Frank a lot. He was quite a man. You would have been better for having known him.
All good things must come to an end, however. Vacations and life itself. Reality has set in firmly at Plum Point, and the everyday things of this life are all beckoning to me even as I write.
I have laundry to do, a cat to feed and a sad funeral to attend. This will be my fourth funeral in seven months. I hope this trend soon ends. However, life as I know it is beautiful and I am blessed beyond measure. You get the picture.
(Contact Sherry at

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox