We have often said, live life so that you will have wonderful memories. How much fun it is for those of us to look back and smile at those memories? Some were great occasions, and some were just as simple as meeting a new friend. We are putting 2020 in the box that says, “Not to be opened.” So, we are starting 2021 with a new box of good memories. We want to start 2021 by telling you the news that Abby King and Greg Hippel were married last week. As a second mother to Abby, I wish her love, and she and Greg many years of happiness. 

Let’s start over. How did Abby and I end up with so many good memories? It was actually years ago when Abby was a freshman in FFA and it was time to elect their local chapter officers, and I was asked to be a judge. As each student spoke, Abby jumped out at me, and from that time forward I have felt that she has gifts galore. And I probably decided then that she was leadership material, and I didn’t plan to let it go.  

Through the years, ties have grown, but so have opportunities for Abby to be in numerous leadership roles. In our experiences, we have been to the mountain tops, but have also had our valleys. One mountain top was the birth of Abby’s daughter, Logan. She is the one that gave me my other name, BB. Due to the patience of Dr. Jeff Gubbels, I was in the delivery room with Abby. Dr. Gubbels held Logan up and said, “We have a girl.” She was just a minute old, but she won my heart, and she has become a beautiful young lady that I am so proud of.  

The first time I met Greg Hippel was at Abby’s house and as I was driving off, Greg walked out and asked me to roll the window down in the car, and he made the statement, “I believe you have a lot of influence on Abby.” I told him I certainly hope so. He has dropped in several times since then, and I have come to know Greg quite well. He is quite the expert with technology. I am sure I will get to know his sons, Dean and Van, as well.  

The City of Wharton appointed seven of us to come up with healthcare for Wharton. After meeting weekly, Dr. Bob Caraway suggested we replace him in the group. We wondered who would replace him? As I looked around the room, it dawned on me that we did not have anyone in the group to represent the younger generation. Of course, Abby was the first to come to my mind, and the rest of the group hardly agreed.  This was the best thing we could have done because Abby has turned out to be our work horse. She serves on the board of OakBend, and she continues to do an excellent job of representing Wharton well.   

As most of you know, I have been limited to my home and am not using the computer as near as much as I have in the past. On Monday afternoons, Abby and her laptop come over for a visit. Today is our 25th time to write together. These visits give us time to catch up, plan and have a glass of wine. Thanks to Abby, you’re reading this article. So, if you want to know our Monday afternoon schedule, this is it. In the future, Greg and Abby will live here, raise their family and continue to support our community. 

Another memory that lightens my heart is Jeanie Merka calling each year around Thanksgiving to remind me, to remind all of you, to save all of your ham bones from Thanksgiving and Christmas because the Pilot Club will be having their annual Chili Supper in January. The beans are always so delicious because of those ham bones. The Chili Supper is taking place today, January 27 between 5-7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall. We do not have to tell you how wonderful the meal will be, you don’t want to miss it! Tickets are $10, which includes desert and will be available at the door. Raffle tickets will also be available. If you want to get your tickets early, call the Wharton Chamber at 979-532-1862. 

Billie Jones is a longtime resident who writes a weekly column on items of interest in this community. She can be reached at bhjones6@sbcglobal.net

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