Wineka column: Winter comes early for one; summer hanging on for another

  • Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, September 28, 2012 7:33 a.m.

SALISBURY - Let's talk about toilet paper and tomatoes. First the TP. Rather than reveal how old she is, Betsy Rabon celebrated what she insists on calling a "milestone birthday" Wednesday. "I don't need the whole town of Salisbury to know," said Rabon, who works at Rowan Regional Medical Center. Betsy and her husband, Eddie, left their home on East Ridge Road about 5:50 p.m. Wednesday for a celebratory birthday dinner at Outback. When they returned about 7:30 p.m., they first thought winter had arrived early to Rowan County. Their whole yard, much of their house and inside and outside Betsy's car were covered with toilet paper. Streamers of the white stuff were draping off the power lines along East Ridge Road. All the trees in her front yard were white, as were an old well house, bushes, potted plants, the front porch and shutters. The roof was even rolled. "I just started laughing and laughing," Betsy said Thursday as she started the task of cleaning up. "I said, 'I'm going to kill them.'" Rabon knew the folks to blame, and she named Lisa Mays and Mitzi Ross, though other "culprits" surely were involved. Mays had been talking with Rabon, before the birthday girl left for dinner Wednesday, and she cunningly asked about her friend's plans, when she was leaving, where she was going and the like - all the details Mays needed to execute the TP attack. It's a group of friends "who always pick on me," Rabon said, but no one was really feeling sorry for her. She apparently had rolled Mays' house last year. "I'm going to get them back, when they least suspect it," Rabon said. All summer long, Rabon's friends promised to celebrate her "milestone birthday" in style. Her brother, Bob Kennerly, lives next door. "I'm just glad they got the right yard and not mine," Kennerly said. Now about the tomatoes. A nice lady on Stokes Ferry Road called me the other day to tell me about her tomato plant. This is not stuff you stop the presses for and, believe me, the chances are not good the Post will do many more stories about regular old tomato plants - or TP'd yards, for that matter. But my new lady friend's tomato plant had been such a source of wonder and pride for her all season. Earlier this summer, she had attended a Friday Night Out in the downtown, and someone offered to her - for free - a tomato plant in an 8-ounce plastic cup. The stem was so spindly, but she thought, what the heck, why not take it home and put it in the soil where she had planted tomatoes last year without much success? "I had no idea it would do anything," she said. Plus, it was July, sort of late in the season. She added some extra-rich soil and a few doses of Miracle-Gro and allowed nature to take care of the rest. The tomato plant seemed to thrive in its spot next to her house, where most of the sun seeps through in the afternoon, not the morning. As it grew - and grew - the woman had to tie it to two different stakes to keep it from falling over. Still, the weight of all its tomatoes keeps pulling it down. "Really, I was just fascinated with it," the lady said, "and how it had grown from a little stem." Her tomato plant is more than 6 feet high now and remains flush with the fruit for one of her favorite meals - a tomato sandwich with mayonnaise and a slice of onion. Life is full of these little surprises: friends who TP your yard, and tomatoes that become your friend, without even knowing it. Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263,or mwineka@salisburypost.com.

Commenting is not allowed on this article.