What Was The Package Weight Limit At Ups Years Ago The Betty Jean Story

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The Betty Jean Story

Many years ago, I knew a little girl named Betty Jane. One summer, something special happened to her. She discovers something about her mom that she never knew before.

First, let me tell you that Betty Jean lived near the Verdigris River in a house that was built before Oklahoma became a state.

Come to think of it… no electricity. No running water, no TV, no iron, no toaster, no microwave, no hair dryer, no indoor bathroom… get it?

Why is their mailbox even 2 miles away on the highway. Betty Jean lives two miles further than the USPS can deliver mail!

As usual, when it rained, she was even more isolated. School buses cannot pass over low water bridges. Sometimes weeks passed and the only people Betty Jane saw were her mom, dad or brother.

She is lonely at times; especially her mom is quiet.

My mother has been very quiet this summer.

Betty Jean rode her motorcycle for days because it looked like she wasn’t traveling.

It took the better part of a day to get there in that old truck, but that didn’t matter. She is only eight years old, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand. She totally understands. They don’t go every year. Of course, Mom and Dad will decide they can pay for the gas in that old red truck.

Betty Jean dances on the dusty road in front of the house, dusty. Mom said, “Pack up your clothes. We’re leaving for Arkansas in less than a week.”

Betty Jane knows how to change clothes for herself, just like dad, mom and brother. The eldest brother stayed at home to take care of the “place”. You can’t just leave the livestock like that; someone has to stay. Old wooden carriage seats sit in the truck bed against the back of the cab. The second brother rode back as usual.

Morning finally arrived. Betty Jean tossed and turned with excitement all night.

Before dawn, Mom and Dad loaded up the truck. They even strapped a wrap around the outside of the cab because there wasn’t enough room in the cab for one more thing. The old red truck groaned and creaked for nearly seven hours.

Betty Jean was tired of being jostled on those roads. Dad called them “washboard roads.”

Dad said: “Just cross another stream and you will be there.” My aunt and uncle live on the “flat land” on the mountain. (Hilltop) Betty Jane wonders if the “town kids” know about such things.

She saw a few scattered cabins. Occasionally, she caught glimpses of children and adults peeking around the edges of broken window panes, behind trees and around the corners of buildings. When they arrived, the neighbors knew there were strangers on the hill.

Mother was quiet…never talked much. After their mom died, the older sister sort of raised her. After my mother died, my mother often lived with my sister. After her mother died, Frankie was a lonely little girl… the youngest. Mother told Betty Jane how beautiful her mother was with her beautiful long hair; but she was sick and lay in bed for a long time. Her dad even took Mom to the Mayo Clinic, but they couldn’t help Margaret.

Betty Jane knew her mom had a good time when she was a little girl. Mom told Betty Jane she went to visit her older sister Floy, or play in the valley with her cousins. Losing her mom is so sad, but it’s still fun to go to school and church and play in the valley with so many cousins; sometimes, she even temporarily forgets how much she misses her mom Margaret Houston Kay oo. Betty Jane has seen pictures of her grandmother with hair long enough to sit on.

At last! “Oh, sister!” The aunt was waiting for them and saw them coming.

Betty Jane thought her aunt looked tired. But that didn’t stop Auntie! She ran over and put her arms around Betty Jane’s mother. Betty Jean has wondered many times what it would be like to have a sister. The two women hugged each other for several minutes without saying a word. Did those tears run down Mommy’s face…

Betty Jean’s mom tells her sister: “I brought you something.”

Betty Jane couldn’t imagine what that would be. No money for things they don’t need…and, her mom brought a “gift!”

Mom turned and walked proudly back to the old red truck, unpacking from outside the cab. What happened?

It looks like a kettle! Mom first wrapped the newspaper in a glass jar and put it into several brown grocery bags. Paper-wrapped jars with string wrapped around them.

They all went into the cabin. Mom cut the string on the outside of the package and smiled so sweetly. Mom said that the jar contained fresh milk. And knowing her sister could use it. She also knew the paper would stay cool on that long trip. It still feels great! She opened the jar, unscrewed the lid, and found fresh… churned butter! Back roads in Newton County, Arkansas churned mother’s fresh milk into fresh country butter!

Betty Jean will remember the look of frustration on her mother’s face all her life.

wait! Aunts and uncles swear the one thing they could do with more fresh milk is freshly churned butter!

Betty Jane is glad they decided to come. She had forgotten how tired she was when she first came here. Everyone should be as lucky as Betty Jean to be able to ride a narrow old red truck across the “washboard road” to visit “Aunts and Uncles in Arkansas”.

It’s morning. They are leaving the mountain. Betty Jean wonders about her mother…she’s been different during their visit. Before she quiets down. However, when she came to the ark, her mother was different. Mom and her sister talk all day long. A night of doubts with Betty Jean!

All of a sudden, Betty Jane knew! She knew it without saying it. Mom is home. Maybe that’s why they don’t appear as often. Arriving is wonderful; leaving is almost beyond what a mother can do.

Yes, Frankie Casey Brown moved to Oklahoma. Arkansas has such memories, and without a phone and little contact with the outside world, she felt cut off from her family. Poor mother, will she be content?

Betty Jane pondered these things. Mom was happy, but something was missing; now Betty Jane thinks she understands. Maybe mom will be fine. Betty Jane hopes so. She occasionally thought about that summer, but she never mentioned it to her mother. She wonders if mom doesn’t miss her beautiful birthplace anymore.

Only mom knows the answer. Mom never mentioned it, and neither did Betty Jane.

When Betty Jean’s dad retires; mom and dad will go to Arkansas. Mom would call Betty Jane and say we’d be home in a few days.

Suddenly, Betty Jane realized… Mom called Oklahoma “home.”

Mom finds contentment… Mom knows she loves the tall Indian she married all those years ago. Mom is back in Oklahoma!

Some call them Frankie and Arthur; others call them Toots and Jum. They all call me Betty Jane.

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