Edna Noreen Higginbotham was born in 1915, the second of several children, and moved here when she was a girl. As a teen she married Bayley Gardner Higginbotham, and they had three boys: Erskine, Douglas, and Ray. The Higginbothams were farmers, and back in the day in our area, most farmers grew cotton and corn. Now Douglas raises hay at the family’s 40 acres in East Limestone. Erskine recalls a time when he and his cousins jumped out of the hayloft, which was strictly forbidden, and Edna and all the aunties, (Willie and Gladys), made sure their legs got “switched.” I asked him, “Was it worth it?” He just smiled. He also talked about what it was like, back in the day, to have your telephone be on the party line, and to have to get off right away if either your parents or someone else needed to use the phone. We laughed about the fact that “kids today have no idea what you’re talking about” when it comes to the technology of a bygone era. “Other things too,” I added. He agreed.
Miss Edna has been a woman of many talents. As a farm wife, there is no doubt she knew how to put in a hard day’s work. However, later on, after the boys were older, she and another woman had a business that included hanging dry wall, laying tile, painting, and refurbishing houses. And yes, they did the heavy lifting!
Miss Edna has also been a lifelong quilter. Erskine, and his wife, Mary, have slept for 62 years under a quilt made by Edna, and for those of you who appreciate quilting, theirs was made in the “double wedding ring” pattern. The kids and grandkids have all received handmade quilts, and many are in “Alabama or Auburn” motif. Only in this respect is the Higginbotham family a “house divided!” Other than that, they are very close.
Mary says that Edna was an excellent cook, and Mary’s favorite was “her chicken, dressing and cornbread.” She also loved Edna’s chocolate pie.
Erskine remembers that his mom loved to sit in the living room and play the piano when she had spare time. Edna has been a lifelong (and currently the oldest) member of Sardis Springs Baptist Church, which celebrated its 100th year anniversary the same weekend the Higginbothams and Athens Rehab celebrated hers.
An interesting additional fact about Miss Edna is that for several years she was the Executive Housekeeper at Athens Rehab and Senior Care. Erskine quipped, “She thought she still ran the place when we brought her here!” She has been at the facility for close to 10 years, and she loves all the activities. She has been a two-time contestant in the Beauty Pageant. and is especially fond of bingo.
The family has always been pleased with the care Edna has received at Athens Rehab, and over the years there have been so many excellent caregivers that they have lost count.
So now we are on to her “favorites.”
Favorite food? Breakfast, and they grew up eating the traditional farm breakfast everyday.
President? Jimmy Carter, and Miss Edna has been a lifelong Democrat.
Activity? Bingo, although other games caught her fancy as well.
Miss Edna is a beautiful woman, within and without, and we wish her a wonderful year as a Centenarian!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner