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Remembering Cookie and Her Tree

By Linda~Lavender Armstead

I miss Cookie so much. It was always this time of the year when she and I went out and explored the joys of New Life called Springtime. When I would see a beautiful tree blooming I would write her and tell her and most of the time her chauffeur, Bub Taylor, would take her and sometimes Betsy, her daughter would take her for a drive. After returning home Cookie would write me and let me know that she had seen the beauty of nature and if I hadn’t already seen what she saw I would go look in a day or two and report back to her.

I miss Cookie and her little helper, Parallel. The cat was a good little writer. Cookie’s mother, Irene Ambler had a helper by the name of Marmalade. Anyone remember the cat? Both cats came from the Ambler Family and were great to dictate to their “Mother’s” with ideas for their columns. I really miss Cookie and Irene. I was hoping that one of the pets would get Betsy inspired to write columns – maybe in time they will. I know that Betsy and Ron miss Cookie terribly, too.

Cookie and I discussed “our dream” farm aka as the Woodworth Farm on Main Street in Hurricane. We kinda held our breath hoping it wouldn’t be sold and cut up into subdivisions for cracker box houses or something worse because it is the last large acreage of beautiful flat land in the Hurricane area. When we would see the grass being cut, raked and baled for hay in the beginning of spring we thought it might not be sold “that” year. The field is greening up this year and hopefully it will be used for hay another year. Hopefully I will get to see it being farmed another year, but Cookie won’t.

Cookie used to urge me to write columns for The Hurricane Breeze. I do write a column every now and then but I told her I didn’t have the events and happenings in my life as she did. I do my fillers column every week and I didn’t want to try to take up too much space in the newspaper.

Cookie was very generous with me on holidays and on my birthday with gifts and cards. Lots of hummingbird gifts. She played Cupid one year for Valentine’s Day, almost always brought or sent homemade Easter eggs, usually flowers for my birthday and lots of gifts at Christmas from she and Betsy. She loved to give and let me know that I was appreciated and her good friend. One time Cookie told me that I was the only friend she had since her best girlfriend in her school graduation class had died.

Speaking of hummingbirds, in 2-3 weeks they should be scouting around and looking for a special delicatessen. When I would see the first one in April, I would call my mom Eva Fisher and tell her and then I would tell my husband George – if he hadn’t already heard me screaming with excitement. Then I would call Ron and tell him. I reminded him to be sure and tell Cookie. And then Ron knew he had better get the bird food ready to fill a feeder or two to hang up at The Ranch or Cookie would give him a piece of her mind. Sometimes Cookie would get one of her chauffeurs to drive her here to The Armstead Ranch to watch the handfuls of hummers that I had.

Cookie wasn’t able to walk but several years ago she had the wheelchair called “The Rascal” and she went up the hollow and explored the woods often. She wrote letters to me about that and shared her experiences in The Hurricane Breeze. She got out and enjoyed new adventures more than some people did who were able to walk. I always admired her for not sitting at home and feeling sorry for herself. She told me when her health started to decline that she made up her mind not to do just that – she decided to go ahead and live her life as full as she could and not house herself up and be even more miserable. And she did just that!

Cookie would have been 79 on February 1st. It was hard not to get a card ready and send it to her. When you had a good friend as long as I did with Cookie, old habits die hard.

Cookie’s Magnolia tree is blooming but there is no Cookie to admire it.

I miss you, Cookie and I loved you!

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