All smiles at Widows Breakfast
The sun was already baking Caldwell County and the fields of tall, green stalks of corn Monday morning before the start of the monthly Widows Breakfast at Johnny Wilson Farm, and the sun glimmered off the lake. Inside the small building on the lakefront, a group of women gathered for a hearty breakfast.
Even before entering the building, you could smell and almost taste the food being prepared inside. Dean Wilson, Olivia Wilson Ford and Mallory Dickson were hard at work tending to bacon, scrambling eggs and pulling warm biscuits from the small oven in the kitchen. In the main room, the ladies sat down along two stretches of white tables decorated with green Mason jars filled with cheerful flowers. The ladies chatted excitedly, catching up on news and sharing stories. Many come to the farm every month for this special breakfast, a breakfast that honors and recognizes local widows.
Nancy Ramsey said the Widows Breakfast started on Sept. 28, 2009.
“Johnny Wilson was coming down out of my hay field, and I was in my yard. He stopped and he said, ‘I feel like I need to do something for the widows. The Bible tells us to take care of the widows and the orphans.’ He’s been doing it ever since,” Ramsey said.
The Widows Breakfast is held the first Monday of every month, drawing up to 60 widows.
“Everything is open to widows in the surrounding community,” Ramsey said. “I think it’s just a great gathering and blessing that they provide these meals and they will not take any money for it. Sometimes, we will give a love offering in the name of the Wilson family.”
Before the breakfast began, Ford led the ladies in singing “Happy Birthday” to the women who were born in August, then in a short prayer. Immediately, the women eagerly headed to the breakfast line to be served by Clay Wilson, Dean Wilson, Olivia Ford, her husband Devin Ford and Dickson. They piled plates with bacon, sausage, chicken, scrambled eggs, grits, biscuits with gravy, watermelon, cantaloupe and tomato slices.
Dottie Almond from Hudson said, “It’s just marvelous. This is one of those things that I look forward to every month.”
Beatrice Allen of Hudson said, “All I can day is they’re doing a wonderful thing. It shows how many widowed women there are in the county, and this is probably just part of them, right? I get out of the house for breakfast, which I don’t get a lot, and fellowship with other people.”
The women were all smiles. They all shared the same terrible loss, but their hearts were glad to be in each other’s company, exemplified by Shirley Starnes from Granite Falls as she did a little dance in the breakfast line.
“Breakfast is here,” Starnes sang. “Breakfast is here. That’s good!”