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Howard and Virginia Plaster enjoyed a week of out-of-town company in late April. Sarah McColgan, a former neighbor, and a friend first came to visit for three days. They were followed by the Plasters’ nephew, Leroy and wife Sally who live in Anchorage, Alaska. Leroy is the son of the late Floyd Plaster, Howard’s brother, who also once lived in Almartha.
Leroy and Sally spent a month in Old Mexico before heading back north through Texas and on to Missouri. From here they went to Minneapolis to visit more relatives and then headed home via Montana and other western U.S. states. Leroy and Sally put several thousand miles on their car during their long trip.
Happy birthday to Howard Plaster who celebrates on Friday, May 20! Perhaps his special treat will be strawberry shortcake? Virginia has been picking enough berries from her garden patch that she was able to make a batch of strawberry jam last Saturday.
Phyllis Bentley says she finally got most of her garden planted last week. She had lots of help from two grandchildren, Shannessy, age 15 months, and Grant, age 3, who seem to love to help dig in the dirt. The Bentleys’ daughter, Suzanne and husband Dirk Tempe, who live at Souder, are beginning gardeners and are constructing a raised bed. Dirk has been reading books about how to do it just right, and Phyllis enjoys seeing their enthusiasm for the new project.
Iris, which have been blooming beautifully in the last week or so, are Tom’s mom, Paula Bentley’s, favorite flower so Phyllis has planted some of the old-time ones for her. She recalled how her mother, the late Neva James, and aunt Eska Shindler loved iris, too, and were always ready to share starts with friends and neighbors.
Phyllis and I also reminisced about our dear neighbor, Earlene Oxley, who was another Almartha resident known for her green thumb and gorgeous flowers. Earlene had a way with dahlias and could coax enormous blooms from hers that would have rivaled any prize-winning gardener. Phyllis commented that a few generations ago, women didn’t have money to buy flowers but could always have a beautiful garden with the flower starts passed along to them from others. Thankfully, it is a tradition that continues.
Julia Taber had a happy houseful of company Sunday afternoon. Granddaughter Julie and Jeffrey Gower, with three-year-old Ella Grace and three-week-old William Andrew, of Springfield, and grandson Andrew and Emily Peters, with 9-month-old Ava Jane, of West Plains filled Julia’s home with love and laughter for several hours. The family also enjoyed a delicious lunch at Rockbridge.
Deanna Fox was happy to go back to Athel Jackson’s Jamboree last Friday night after missing several weeks. She said she would have to introduce herself to all her old friends again after such a long absence.
Norma Eslinger reported an enjoyable Mother’s Day last weekend. Both of her daughters come to spend the day on Saturday. Kathy Logan of Monett and Karen Warren of Springfield wanted to go to Ava, a town where they went shopping when they were growing up. The three women visited the antique shops around the square and had a drink at the soda fountain in Ava Drug. On Sunday, Dave and his family called on Norma, and son Steve called from his home in St. Louis.
The return of sunshine this week has local farmers thinking thoughts of hay. Glen Plaster has already managed to put up one cutting, in between the bouts of bad weather. We have gotten one field of alfalfa made into silage. It’s one of the pleasures of late spring to inhale the sweet scent of freshly-mown hay in the evening, when the air is still and the day’s work is done. There will be lots of making hay while the sun shines in the coming weeks, after all the wet weather we’ve had.