(Ed. Note: Dorothy Milligan's column was inadvertantly left out in Wednesday's edition.)

Writing this on Sunday afternoon, November 25—just one month before Christmas. I daresay it will be the fastest 30 days of the year. Actually, most of us aren’t quite through with Thanksgiving yet.

Several families in church had guests—family members who had come for Thanksgiving and had stayed for the entire weekend. It was good to have those people. It helped make up for some of ours who had gone visiting and were still gone.

I spent Thanksgiving Day and that night visiting in Ardmore with friends of my son, Ralph. As we have done for the past several years I ate Thanksgiving dinner with Scott and Linda McKinnie. Linda is the sister of Ralph’s best friend, Darla Herndon, and they’re all dear, hospitable people.

It was a special treat to be in the McKinnie home this time, for they have spent the past six months re-modeling their house, and getting it in shape to host 17 people for dinner on Thursday was a real Herculean effort. (For the past several months they have lived in their pool house and many of their essentials are still there.)

I met Lisa Wright, the contractor-interior decorator for the job, and was impressed. She’s a young, attractive blond who takes her work seriously enough that she worked until 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day helping Scott and Linda get the place in shape.

This contractor is not one who takes on a job then sub-lets various parts to other contractors. She has her own specialists and appears to be a master craftsman at a variety of skills. For example, the night before Thanksgiving she personally finished grouting the travertine stone of the kitchen floor. She also supervised the placement of all the furniture and accessories, and she personally hung all the pictures on the walls. The end result was a home that looked as if it belonged in “Better Homes” or some such magazine, yet it seemed very home-like and livable. Lisa and her husband, Jimmy, are owners of Creative Consultants in Ardmore.

Petey, my pup, and I spent the night with Darla and we were among those who did some pre-dawn shopping. Many of the Ardmore stores opened at 4 a.m., and I think all of them were open at 6 a.m. when we made our appearance. There must be a lot of people in this area who, like me, are morning people. Everybody appeared cheerful and upbeat. I didn’t see a single person who was grumpy or pushy.

I, personally, was more of an on-looker. I bought only one present; I’ll wait and do my little bit of shopping at home. Darla, of course, was at home and when she was finally finished and we grabbed a quick breakfast she said, “If I think of anything else we’ll have to go home and unload and come back.” Fortunately, breakfast slowed down the gray cell activity, and she didn’t remember anything else she “needed”

I paid an early morning visit Thursday in Wynnewood to my former neighbor and long-time friend, June McKelroy. June is at home now after undergoing surgery for lung cancer. She had breast cancer 10 years ago and had thought she was cancer-free, but since the lung cancer is of the same variety, apparently that cancer had metasized. She has spots on her other lung, but doctors think they may be able to use laser, or the gamma knife, to remove them. She will then have four doses of chemo over several weeks.

Unfortunately, the chemo she will have is the kind that will cause her to lose her hair, according to the doctor. June hates that, of course, but she plans to pick out a perky wig ahead of time, so she’ll not have to worry about frostbite during the winter months. June, like many cancer patients, has a wonderful attitude which will help her toward recovery.

After spending many near sleepless nights in study and missing numerous ball games and other events in the lives of her husband, Jasper, and their four sons, Holly Ligon has accomplished her goal. She will receive her Masters’ degree in Education on Saturday, December 15 at 10 a.m. The men in her life issued an invitation to all of us at New Bethel Church to attend the graduation services.

It’s been many a moon since I received my Masters’ degree, but I can identify with Holly to a large extent. We had three small boys, two of whom were in school at Byng, and one of whom spent his days with ‘Aunt Bessie’ across the street. I still remember the many hikes my men took on Sunday afternoons when I absolutely had to get a paper finished. I’m sure Holly feels as I did: If it weren’t for a good, cooperative family, she’d never have made it.

Holly is repeating a refrain that sounds very familiar. “I won’t be taking any more classes for a l-o-n-g time.” I said the same thing, but the next semester found me in something I really needed. When I told Holly that, she thought a minute, than said, “I do need to take a class in budget planning.” Since her Masters’ is in counseling, I’ll bet she’ll be in a lot more classes henceforth. However, I believe I heard Jasper saying he’ll be enrolling in some classes at ECU in January. Face it, education is habit-forming.

Normally, I’m not enthusiastic about checking other people’s blogs or web sites. (Richard Barron’s is an exception, but he’s kinda family.) However, I’ve added another to my list and recommend it highly. I’ve mentioned before the Cantrell family that lived next door to us more than 40 years ago. (They included parents, Edward and Iva , daughters, Retha, Pokey, and Lou Ann and Tim’s good friend, Joe.) The parents are now deceased, but the kids are still Milligan friends. Lou Ann became McVay, lived a long time in California, then she and her husband retired and came back to live at Lake Eufaula. She asked me ‘way back when to forward her a copy of my column, and I’ve done so for quite a while. Recently, she called my attention to the blog of her son, whom they call Skeet.

Skeet is disabled by a degenerative disease of his back vertebrae. He and his wife, Char, decided that while he can still drive without extreme discomfort they would undertake to visit as much of the USA as possible. He wanted to record his thoughts and impressions, and he has done so on his blog. You can find him at www.time4wine.net.

I was most interested in what Skeet has to say. He has a way of making me feel like I’m right there with them. His most recent visit to the Murrah Memorial in OKC is really outstanding. Check it out.

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