News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today
SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2006

Wendy N. McDougal

Eggs, hamburgers and hotdogs combined for a fun day April 15 at Country Cottage, where residents and children from Big Brothers Big Sisters participated in an egg hunt and cookout.
Courtesy Photo
Eggs, hamburgers and hotdogs combined for a fun day April 15 at Country Cottage, where residents and children from Big Brothers Big Sisters participated in an egg hunt and cookout.

Time to pull up the old and plant something new

Wendy's word

With warmer weather setting in, it is time to pull up those old plants and refurbish with some things that can stand the heat. I was taking note of my pansies, their wilted leaves and blooms trying to hang on a bit longer, and a thought sparked for today's word.

Although it seems like yesterday we were purchasing those pansies and bulbs to take root during the fall, now the time has come to clean up the wilted things, pull the weeds, till the soil and get ready to plant something new. Seasons of life change and we have to start over again.

So we may wonder, what was the purpose if they were only here for a brief moment? If only for a short time, everything has a reason for being. It may be we have those "perennial" moments that seem to last forever, coming back each year. On the other hand, we also have those "annuals" that only last for a brief time.

Even though something is now gone and the time has come to move on, rejoice in what was. Appreciate the beauty it brought, if only for a moment. Remember, there is a season for everything, and some of the most special gifts seem to come and go with the wind.

Now let's see what the "chatter" is around town ...

Easter Cookout

Saturday, April 15, was the perfect day for a cookout, and that's just what the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program enjoyed, along with residents from Country Cottage. Organized by Leah Brown, administrator with Big Brothers Big Sisters and granddaughter-in-law of Country Cottage resident Etoille Brown, and her staff, an Easter cookout was held for the children and residents.

With approximately 40 children and 25 adults in attendance, the day was considered a huge success. Everyone enjoyed hotdogs and hamburgers cooked by Brown's husband, complemented by potato chips and pudding cookies. Pepsi donated soft drinks and the Cottage served homemade lemonade. Girl Scout Troop No. 165 helped serve.

The children enjoyed decorating sidewalks with chalk, and a bouncy slide entertained them throughout the day. They also signed a giant card for the Cottage residents.

"It was a beautiful day for a cookout and the residents enjoyed having the children there for the day," said Anna Mavromat of Country Cottage. "We are going to continue working with Big Brothers Big Sisters and are planning an 'Adopt a Grandparent Program' and big fall event."

T-shirts were sold in an effort to raise money for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program.

Sounds like a super partnership is under way. Look forward to hearing more about the fall event as preparations fall into place.

85th Birthday Party

What began with a breakfast with a special friend ended in a weekend full of sweet surprises. Jean Sanders, a hostess at Chick-fil-A, turned 85 on April 4, but received much more than just a chicken sandwich.

Joined by her daughter's mother-in-law, Evelyn Free, Sanders enjoyed a special meal at Decatur's City Café. "The two are the best of friends," said daughter Pat Free.

Organized by Free, along with sister Ann Heath and husband Lou, a birthday sleepover completely surprised Sanders. Held at the Decatur home of Free and husband Waylon, another gift was the arrival of Sanders' only sibling, Roy Lamon, and wife Grace from Tuscaloosa.

For dinner guests dined on favorites of Sanders including pot roast and veggies, with chocolate cake and peach pie for dessert. The next morning a splendid brunch of sausage balls, fruit, scrambled eggs and coffee cake was enjoyed by all.

"We had a ball sharing memories and days gone by," said Free. "Of course, it was a great birthday gift for us all to hear from our children and Mom's grandchildren. There were four phone calls from Michael Free and family in North Carolina, Michelle Heath Wells and family in Ohio, Jenny Heath Lands and family in West Virginia and Cindy Free Logan and family, missionaries in Romania. This was truly the icing on the cake for my mom."

As a culmination to the weekend, Sanders was presented with a scrapbook of cards and well wishes from other family and friends.

Happy 85th birthday! Sounds like you truly had a weekend to remember. May you be blessed with many more.

Brown/Roberts Reunion

The 31st annual family reunion for descendants of Martin Brown and Walter Roberts is planned for Saturday, May 13, at the picnic pavilion at Delano Park. There will be a covered dish lunch, so bring your favorites to share. Activities will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Last year's reunion brought more than 100 family members together, and a special thank you is extended to B.B. Franklin and Orval Roberts for all of their help in organizing the 2005 event.

Hope to see you all there. Don't forget to bring games and your chairs, and come join the fun visiting and catching up with everyone. For information, call Ilva Defenthaler, 351-7296, or Charles Brown, 820-4836.


The Real Great-Granddaughters of Joe Wheeler Chapter 291 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy met recently for the annual meeting at McCollum's Catfish Restaurant in Decatur.

New officers selected for 2006-08 are Dorris Chitwood, president; Mavis Kimbrell, vice president; Kay McCarley, secretary; Judy Blackwell, treasurer; and Virginia Watkins, chaplain.

The club voted to donate money to the restoration project for Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Christian Women's Club

Join others at the May meeting of the Decatur Christian Women's Club on Friday at 11 a.m. at the Decatur Country Club.

Featured guest Pam Montgomery will show everyone how to go from gourd to gorgeous with her gourd transformations. From Trinity, she has grown gourds and turned them into purses, candleholders and seasonal decorations.

Janet McGraw of Roswell, Ga., will be the guest speaker. An avid music lover and hiker, she has traveled internationally, volunteering her time and efforts. She will speak on, "Finally, I got what I wanted and much more."

For reservations and complimentary childcare, call Clarice Kessinger, 301-9196 or, or Jean Holmes, 353-3336 or fh2312

That's all for now. It's been great "chattin" with ya!

Let me know what is going on in your little corner of the world. If it's special to you and features any of the great people who live in our community, then it will make a great Chatterbox item. Just e-mail me at, or call me at 350-5730.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wendy N. McDougal Wendy N. McDougal
DAILY Staff Writer

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