Fall 1994


Fall is definitely in the air. Though most of the leaves are still green, they are beginning to rustle. I enjoy watching the season come bit by bit. "This Is My Father’s World," committed to memory during years of hymn singing, spins around in my head-beautiful and loved.

On the back of one of my favorite photographs, made about ten years ago from the back porch looking west just as the sun went down behind the trees around the lake, I wrote "The sun goes down on my world." Two things about this caption bother me. One, though the land records may show this to be our property, I know that "This Is My Father’s World." As many have gone before us, so many shall come after us to occupy this particular spot of ground. Also, I am bothered to think I could view this as the limit of my world. Many places and people lie far beyond this view.

We do not have to travel away from home to see things of interest and beauty. Many of my favorite places are on the back roads near home-although the ice storm and harvesting of timber have taken their toll in many areas. I enjoy riding these roads time after time. On some of these I have stopping places where the views are breathtaking and the solitude is refreshing. I like being alone with God, just letting the beauty of nature flood my being. I can spend little or much time with Him and feel cleansed of anxieties, frustrations, disappointments, and limitations I may be experiencing.

Many of the roads, though now numbered, are unnamed, unidentified to strangers and identified to those in the area by the names of some feature, some family, or some event on that road. (My children were fascinated by the story of how Peddlers Field Road got its name and loved to take friends from town there—the closer to dark it was, the better they liked it.)

Another of the children’s favorite spots was the "road with the barn hanging over it." Actually through the years the embankment of the road had washed away, leaving a part of the barn almost extending over a bit of the road. This was located at the home of Mr. Will and Mr. Fred Turpin. When I think of the Turpins, I think also of Mr. Harry Turpin and the tall tales he told, making real-life occurrences sound like tales handed down by generations. I think too of how he was known for holding court while he was Beat Four Justice of the Peace sitting in the janitor’s closet at the courthouse on an upturned bucket with his court docket on his knees.

When Bob and Beth lived away, each time they came for a visit Beth took a ride over her favorite roads. She especially liked the fall, and, when she was away. I could hardly enjoy this season without missing her sorely In Houma, Louisiana, where they were living, there were no hills and very few pretty trees.

On a visit before Bob and Beth moved here, I realized Bob had gone out the front door and lingered outside. I went to the door and inquired if there was a problem. He replied, "No, I’m just listening to the quiet. And you know, the stars are even brighter out here." The quiet can be profound.

I take special pleasure in the common-place beauty of our rural countryside. Once, as I was admiring a thicket of thistles, I thought how lovely they were and what a beautiful arrangement they would make. I prevailed upon Don to help me gather these. As he was cutting them with the long-handled pruning shears, he was mumbling something. I asked what he was saying. He replied, "I have fought thistles all my life. I never dreamed I would ever be cutting them for a bouquet." My arrangement of thistles caused quite a stir at church that Sunday. "What! thistles in the sanctuary of the Clear Creek Church!" Even in a pestering plant, one which defies being touched, God has placed beauty for us to capture.

A few years ago I discovered oak leaf hydrangeas on one of the gravel roads. These are gorgeous in their first white bloom and then as they mature and dry into hues of mauve and brown. When I filled the fire place with a massive arrangement of these, I got an excellent photograph and exclamations of admiration from family and friends, many of whom wanted to gather bouquets for their own homes. My cousin Betty Johnson and her friend Bonnie Curtis, my sister Ava, and Beth made trips to the Hydrangeas with me, and with each trip the flowers got harder and harder to reach. 

Queen Anne's lace is another one of my favorite wild plants. Many lovely arrangements of roses have been enhanced by their lacy beauty. Occasionally I am disappointed by the appearance of a wildflower after I get it inside. Don tells me they are not intended for inside. They need to be surrounded by other wild plants and in their natural element. 

Many years ago after we built our house I wanted a mural on a dining room wall. The necessary lighting was roughed in. The artist I had spoken with came and we rode about over the farm as I showed her some of my favorite spots. She was kind and looked at everything. As I talked, she deduced I wanted almost all of creation. She then explained that when I saw a spot which tugged at me I was seeing acres and acres all blending. She felt I would be disappointed if we attempted to narrow it down to one wall.

I seems to me the moon rises and glows more gloriously in the country. I stand and look at it in amazement realizing God has permitted men to walk there. I am touched by the beauty of our world in the night time. I would like to be able to identify all of the creatures that make sounds only for one night. The frogs on the lake call out then they are answered. The tree frogs seem to literally fill the air. The crickets chime in. The whippoorwill, speaking his own name, calls out and lets us know it is cotton-planting time. 

The country landscape is dotted with signs of activity. When we built our house on the spot of Don's grandparent's home, we were asked why we did not tear down the barn on the north side and the broiler house just to the south of the garden. (I think now time will take care of removing these.) Don's reply was to the effect that without the barn and the chicken house our house would not be here.

When I realized recently that Don was putting his long-needed equipment shed on the right side of the road where it would come into view as you round the curve, I tried in vain to persuade him to put it back some and over into the pasture. He said surely there was no reason to put equipment out of sight. It is part of the landscape. Like the barn and the chicken house, it belongs just where it is. The equipment shed, along with those of our neighbors the Crowes and Bobby Gene Briscoe, stand as symbols of the profession of farming, reaffirming to all that pass that people are continuing to till the soil, still providing for needs through the use of God's world. He permits us to be his stewards. What an awesome responsibility.

In a conspicuous spot in my kitchen I have a piece of needlework chosen from a beautiful selection offered to me by Susie James when she was employed by the Oxford Eagle, which says: "Who plants the sod and waits to see believes in God." How can we not believe with the beauty and miracles of nature?

Another reminder of the beauty of God's world is the children's chorus: "God's beautiful world, God's beautiful world. I love god's beautiful world. He made it for you. He made it for me. I love God's beautiful world." I don't believe I will ever get too old to enjoy the singing of this little verse.

Nostalgia come to me with the fall—especially late in the afternoons. I remember the people, places, and activities that have been important to me. When I was a child, doing the "night work" brought our day to a close. I usually brought in the wood fore the cook stove and brother Jim, who was older than I, got the fireplace wood and kindling during the fall and winter. We had other chores too, depending upon the season of the year.

Jim always whistled as we worked. The neighbors several hills over, the Macus James family, told how they knew when "jimmy Houston" was doing his chores because they could hear his loud clear whistling. . I always thought his whistling skill was developed to such excellence during the years when, after suffering a severe case of whooping cough as a child, he could barely be heard when he tried to talk. Dr. Guyton said that nothing could be done and that Jim would recover his voice to some extent as year went on. He did, though as a an adult he still had a slight hoarseness.

The beauty of the sights and sounds may be obscured to those working their way through grief, and we at the funeral home try to be ever mindful of this walk through the shadows. We want to be ever so sensitive to the hurt in our contacts with those who have lost loved ones.

As Don and I ride over the state, I am impressed with the very diverse geographic makeup of the state. From the shores of the Gulf, through the rich black soil of the delta, into the hills, then the prairie land and the hills, we find it all beautiful and never more so than in the fall. I watch for the churches (I can often tell the denomination before I see the sign.) and for the cemeteries. I think of how people throughout the countryside live now and of how people have lived in the past, and I also think of what is happening back at home. Sometimes, especially late in the fall afternoons, I feel that same homesickness I felt late in the afternoon as a child when far away from home. I have a small album of favorite photos of each family member, group photos, and favorite around-home scenes that I keep with me always that gives me some comfort.

I also find comfort in the words of the hymn ("I rest me in the thought") "That though the wrong seems oft so strong God is the ruler yet."

Writing about God's world--my own spots, home sites and plants--brings the urge to again drive slowly over each road and once more to receive that blessing only my heavenly father can give as he and I go together. I read today the Psalms of Praise and I think again of my favorite line from the Hymn about my father's world, "in the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere."

I am indeed thankful for the beauty of God's world, for his presence in all of nature, and for the friends and family who share this beautiful world.



Those homelier wildflowers, which we call weeds; yellow japanned buttercups and star-disked dandelions, lying in the grass, like sparks that have leaped from the kindling sun of summer; the profuse daisy-like flower which whitens the fields, to the great disgust of liberal shepherds, yet seems fair to loving eyes, with its button-like mound of gold set round with milk-white rays; the tall-stemmed succory, setting its pale blue flowers aflame one after another; the red and white clovers; the broad flat leaves of the plantain--the white man’s foot," as the Indians called it--those common growths which fling themselves to be crushed under our feet and our wheels, making themselves so cheap in this perpetual martyrdom that we forget, each of them is a ray of the divine beauty.

—Oliver Wendell Holmes

The staunchest tree is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds from every quarter beat upon it and bend and twist it until it becomes a giant in stature--this is the tree which the mechanic wants his tools made of, and the wagon-maker seeks.

So in the spiritual world, when you see a giant, remember the road you must travel to come to his side is not along the sunny lane where wildflowers ever bloom; but a steep, rocky, narrow pathway where the blasts of hell will almost blow you off your feet; where the sharp rocks cut the flesh, where the projecting thorns scratch the brow, and the venomous beasts hiss on every side.

—E. A. Kilbourne

From: Streams in the Desert, Vol. 1
by: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

Several cotton farmers were whiling away a winter afternoon around the cannonball stove, when they became entangled in a heated discussion on the merits of their respective religions.

One of the farmers had been sitting quietly, just listening, and the group turned on him and demanded, "Who’s right, Old Jim? Which one of these religions is the right one?"

"Well," said Jim thoughtfully, "you know there are three ways to get from here to the cotton gin. You can go over the big hill. That’s shorter, but it’s a powerful climb. You can go around the east side of the hill. That’s not too far, but the road is rougher’n tarnation. Then, you can go around the west side of the hill, which is the longest way, but the easiest."

"But you know,’ he pronounced, looking them squarely in the eyes, "When you get there, the gin man don’t ask you how you come. He just asks you, ‘Man, how good is your cotton?"’

—Source unknown


We invite you to visit us at the Funeral Home. We would like to show you our improved facilities and to talk with you about our services.

If you would like to talk about preplanning or pre-arrangement, we will help you consider plans available and suitability for your particular circumstances. Preplanning can consist of specifying a few of your wishes or of making detailed plans about funeral services and does not always include any prepayment. Flexible pre-arrangement plans are available with options for payment in full, time-payment, and insurance-funded payment. Preplanning and pre-arrangement free your loved ones from making decisions and payment in difficult circumstances, ensure that your wishes will be known at the time of your death, and hedge against inflation by locking in costs. There will be no high pressure or obligation--just a chat about how thoughtful consideration of the future can provide peace of mind to you and your family.

The addition we made to the Funeral Home last year has provided more privacy and comfort for those we serve. The new arrangements room is attractive and spacious, some offices have been extended, and the selection of burial supplies and equipment has been enlarged and arranged in a more organized way.

You are invited to look over the library which we have assembled and to borrow any of the books there. Many of the books deal with death and grief, some with special application for circumstances such as suicide, the death of an infant, the death of a spouse. Some offer help in dealing with critical illness and with guilt and loneliness. Special attention is given in several of the books to helping children and young people deal with death and grief. A few of the books are simply books of prayers and meditations.

We try to maintain a home-like atmosphere at the Funeral Home, and we would welcome a visit from you. Please give us a call (662-234-7971) to make sure the facilities and personnel will be available at the time you plan to come.

Chinese Proverb
(2500 BC)

When the sun rises,
I go to work,
When the sun goes down,
I take my rest
I farm the soil
Which yields my food.
I share Creation;
Kings can do no more.

Staff Changes

Eyon Alan Brownlee joined the staff at Waller Funeral Home in September. He successfully completed the National Board exam and earned a degree in Mortuary Science from Northwest Community College in 1994. He is involved in all aspects of funeral service at the Funeral Home as he completes the required one-year internship under licensed supervision in preparation for appearing before the State Board of Funeral Service for licensing in Funeral Service.

Evon is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Brownlee, of Senatobia. He graduated from Magnolia Heights High School, in Senatobia, in 1992. He is a member of the Looxahoma Church of Christ in Senatobia. Eyon says he chose to work in funeral service because he wants to serve the public, to be helpful in the community, and to help people through their hardest times.

We welcome Eyon into the Waller Funeral Home "Family." Sid Wolfe has retired from full-time work at the Funeral Home although he will still work on a part-time and on-call basis. Sid has worked at the Funeral Home since February of 1990. We will miss seeing him regularly. We extend our best wishes to him and Bonnie as they have more time for visiting with the grandchildren and enjoying other activities and leisure.


We dedicate this issue of Seasons to those who died and whose families we served from July 9 through October 22, 1994.

Mr. Neil Lloyd Coleman 07/09/94 

Mrs. Glennys Marr Davis 07/15/94

Mr. David Lynwood Hudson 07/15/94

Mrs. Ressie Cearley Malone 07/18/94

Mrs. Edna May "Susie" Gerred 07/18/94

Mrs. Mary Ann Kesler 07/22/94

Mr. Henry Horace Tuttle 07/23/94

Mrs. Lillie Mae Moore 07/26/94

Mrs. Alice Marie Coaten 07/26/94

Mrs. Dorothy Elizabeth "Betsy" Bailey 07/27/94

Mrs. Jessie Rea Ledbetter 07/28/94

Mrs. Geraldine Pankratz "Gerry" Duvall 08/04/94

Mr. Raymond Jerome Vechinski 08/06/94

Mrs. Mildred Patterson Cavanaugh 08/06/94

Mrs. Margaret Fox Brown 08/11/94

Mr. Boyce Garlon Bratton 08/15/94

Mrs. Marlene Cost Champion 08/16/94

Mrs. Carmen Roberts Frazier 08/18/94

Mr. Burlan Mathew Sanders 08/20/94

Miss Mary Nell Roberts 08/23/94

Mr. Jack Lester Moore 08/25/94 

Mrs. Oma Starnes Lauderdale 08/29/94

Mrs. Katie Estell Sessions 08/30/94

Mr. Joe Oliver Nicholas 09/01/94

Mr. James Flemon Cook 09/06/94

Dr. Richard Chester Shivers 09/07/94

Mr. John Hiram Cooper 09/11/94

Josie LeighAnn Smith 09/12/94

Mr. Leland Ellis Addington 09/13/94

Mrs. Allie Turpin Hensley 09/13/94

Mr. James Robert Chapman 09/14/94

Mrs. Eunice Davis Hipp 09/14/94

Miss Irene Walker 09/15/94

Charles Jacob McKinney 09/15/94

Mrs. Lelia Cook Mahan 09/18/94

Mr. Joseph Cerny 09/21/94

Mrs. Hilda Perkins Greene 09/23/94

Mrs. Serena Starnes Daniels 09/25/94

Mr. Robert Lynn Frierson, Jr. 09/25/94

Mrs. Linda Faye Alexander 09/27/94

Mrs. Loche Ferrell White 09/27/94

Mr. Harvey Tyler Sandefer 10/06/94

Mr. Samuel Ora "OB." Watts 10/14/94

Mr. Leland Watson 10/15/94

Dr. Alfred Eugene "Gene" Lee 10/15/94

Mrs. Audrey Palmer Mize 10/16/94

Miss Sudie Mayfield 10/16/94

Mr. James Arthur "Scrap" McCain 10/21/94

Mr. Hollis Franklin 10/22/94

The Double Gift

The African boy listened carefully as the teacher explained why it is that Christians give presents to each other on Christmas day. "The gift is an expression of our joy over the birth of Jesus and our friendship for each other," she said.

When Christmas day came, the boy brought the teacher a sea shell of lustrous beauty. "Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell?" the teacher asked as she gently fingered the gift.

The youth told her that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found. When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was left speechless.

"Why... why, it’s gorgeous... wonderful, but you shouldn’t have gone all that way to get a gift for me."

His eyes brightening, the boy answered, "Long walk part of gift."

—Gerald Horton Bath


Too soon for holiday greetings? Perhaps-- but this is the last issue of Seasons before next year and we do not want this special time of the year to pass without sending our heart-felt holiday greetings. We hope this season will be one of joy and peace for you and your family.

We are always mindful at this time of the year of those who are experiencing sorrow because of the death of a loved one. We will send a pamphlet. After the Loss... Coving with the Holidays, and an article relating to the first Christmas since the death of a loved one to members of families we have served since last Christmas. If you know of someone else you think might benefit from these, please let us know.

Our wish for each of you is God’s presence in your heart and life in these days. Truly, God is good and blesses us by His presence whatever our circumstances. 



This is my Father's world,
And to my list'ning ears,
All nature sings,
and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and frees,
of skies and seas:
His hand the wonders wrought.
This is mv Father’s world,
The birds their carols raise;
The morning light,
the lily white
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world,.
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass
I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world,
0 let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong
seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done,
Jesus who died
s/tall be satisfied.
And earth and heaven be one.

—Maltbie D. Babcock (copyright 1901 by Charles Scribners Sons)

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