Remembering a Great Patriot

By: Tammy Andrews

Easter Sunday was everything you could have asked for weather-wise. The kind of day that was so beautiful, you just had to be outside doing something. The kind of day you look up and thank God for…

The Easter holiday is meant to be observed with family…but some people don’t have that option, so to them, this Easter weekend was a struggle. I would like to extend my sympathy to the Yates family for the tragic loss of one of their own, Patsy Yates Seale, on Saturday of Easter weekend.                 jason 4

Another family who needs your prayers are the Hendrix family, who lost their beloved son, Jason, to an aggressive form of leukemia just two months ago. Garry and Carol Hendrix have a very strong-willed family, but even the strongest of people struggle with the loss of a loved one. I know this because Jason’s mother, Carol, is a very good friend of mine, and even though she tries to put on a brave face every day, I can still see the pain in her eyes . You see, not only did she lose her youngest son, she also lost her traveling companion, her buddy, and her “wing-man”.

jason 17
Jason with his ever-faithful pet “Sweetie Pup”

Jason Hendrix was just a special person to everyone who knew him. He touched the lives of so many and that connection was never lost, no matter how many years had passed without contact. He held an unconditional love for people that was nothing short of astounding.   If he liked you, then you were his friend for life and he was fiercely loyal.

Just knowing Jason would change your entire outlook on life and make you appreciate the smaller things that many take for granted. He was like a breath of fresh air on a dark, stormy day and his enthusiasm for life was contagious.  But let me start at the beginning…

Jason was the youngest of the Hendrix children and he was always very close to his siblings, Amanda and Matt. When he was very young, Carol began to notice that Jason wasn’t progressing at the same level as her other children, but tried to reassure herself that every child is different. She spent extra time trying to help him develop skills, but this was a slow process.

When Jason started school, teachers noticed that Jason seemed to be having a hard time with learning concepts. They tested Jason and deemed him to be educably mentally retarded with their results. This was a label Carol refused to accept because she knew different in her heart. So, from the

Carol with her the Hendrix clan: Amanda, Matt and Jason
Carol with her the Hendrix clan: Amanda, Matt and Jason

time he was a young boy, Carol encouraged Jason to do the best he could at whatever he was doing and that’s just what he did.

The defining years for Jason came when he entered Oxford High School and was embraced by his fellow classmates. And as a result of being accepted for who he was, Jason really came out of his shell and really began to blossom. His personality took on a whole new route; he was happy and smiling all the time. He felt such love for people that it was nothing unusual for him to grab you and just swoop you into his big bear hug. Hence, the name “Huggins” was given to him.

jason oxford ballEverything Jason did, he pursued with such passion, that it inspired everyone around him. He found a great love for sports, most especially Alabama and Oxford High School football. Jason was never able to play sports in high school, but this didn’t stop him from being a part of it. He served as a manager for OHS, and upon graduating, he stayed with the Coaching Staff and was named an Honorary Coach. This was a position Jason took very seriously and it didn’t matter if you were his friend or not, he wasn’t going to let you slide with anything. So, if you made an error on the field, he was the first one to tell you about it. He was also the first one to go into the locker room for a pep talk before the game. In addition to football, Jason also coached the Girl’s Softball League with Oxford PARD and Upward Basketball at Grace Baptist Church.

Jason’s Uncle Bill Sprayberry, a retired U.S Air Force Chief Master Sgt had a profound effect on Jason’s life in a patriotic fashion. Every Memorial Day, Bill would take his nephew with him as he visited  the final resting place of friends and family who had served in the military. Bill  jason 20and Jason would say a few words at the headstone, place a flag, and then give a final salute. Because of his Uncle Bill’s tradition, Jason took on the heart of a true patriot, quite possibly one of best ones that ever walked the face of the Earth. It was a tradition that stuck with Jason long after his Uncle had moved away to Oklahoma. Each year,  his list of Veterans to honor grew longer, and he paid for the flags out of his own pocket. Jason has distributed these flags to numerous cemeteries that cover four counties, but most of them in Clay County.

Jason was a faithful employee of Oxford Walmart for almost 20 years and he made lots of friends there. If he saw you while working, he would always smile and come give you one of his signature bear hugs he was famous for.

this display was placed at each entrance of Oxford Walmart in honor of Jason
this display was placed at each entrance of Oxford Walmart in honor of Jason

I could go on for days and days about what a beautiful person Jason was, but unfortunately I don’t have enough room. He was just one of the most genuine people you would ever meet and because of that, he was loved and respected by all.

Jason was diagnosed with Leukemia in October 2013 and despite his brave and most valiant efforts, his Earthly body was  just not strong enough. He passed away on February 26, 2014 with his loving family by his side.

jason 3 A Celebration of Jason’s life was held and the church was bursting at the seams with those who loved him the most. Because of his patriotic service of distributing flags to those who had served in the military, his coffin was draped with an American Flag. At the head of Jason’s casket, lay the shadow box with the folded flag enclosed of his maternal grandfather, John F. Sprayberry, who also served in the military. This flag was also laid to rest with him. The following letter was read by Jason’s Uncle Bill at the ceremony:

Dear Carol,

I would like to respectfully return the enclosed American Flag in hopes you might consider letting it go with Jason. We all know Jason never had an opportunity to serve and wear the military uniform; however, he is none the less a Patriot in every aspect. His countless  jason 15hours of honoring our country, and those who served, by placing flags was his way of serving and offering remembrance.

As you know, this flag belonged to your father, mine and Jason’s Grandfather, a soldier and veteran, whom Jason loved and respected. It has been cleaned and pressed, and properly folded with respect and honor by two more family soldiers and veterans, myself and Caleb. 

I hope this token is received in the way intended, with love and respect.

Love, Bill

His favorite hymns were sang by his favorite group, Redemption Song and his Uncle Paul Sprayberry. Several spoke in his honor,

OHS team members serve as Honorary pallbearers
OHS team members serve as Honorary pallbearers

including his sister, Amanda, who gave a very courageous and touching eulogy that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. It was a remarkable service  that brought both laughter and tears as memories of Jason were lovingly shared.

Upon exiting, the Oxford Yellow jackets football team, who also served as Honorary Pallbearers, stood as an Honor Guard on both sides of the hallway as Jason’s casket was wheeled out and the crowd that followed. A Flag Folding ceremony was performed by his Uncle Bill and another US Air Force Chief Master Sgt Billy Evans at the burial site.

Jason’s life here on Earth was cut tragically short, but his time here with us was about as good as it gets. He was always surrounded by

Jason with Carolyn
Jason with Carolyn

family and friends, loved unconditionally, worked hard and played even harder. Jason may have had a learning disability, but it was not something that defined him, nor did it defeat him. He was respected, admired, loved, and even envied at times. The lives he touched are  too many to count, and in the end that’s all that really matter…

Jason’s story should remind us that cancer does not discriminate. Relay for Life was close to Jason’s heart and each year, he purchased numerous luminarias in memory of loved ones who had lost their battle with cancer. The last year of his life, he lovingly gave his entire donation in memory of his dear friend, Carolyn Alderson Jackson, who he referred to as his sister.  So get involved with Relay for Life because you never know how close to home it can hit, or whose life you might save…

jason birthday for page

Thursday, April 24, would have been Jason’s 42nd birthday. Please pray for the Hendrix family as they cope with this tremendous loss.

 

 

 

 

Ashland Head Start Needs Your Help

By: Tammy Andrews

Ashland Head Start
Ashland Head Start

As a parent, you want your child to have every opportunity that’s available for them to get a great education that will lay the foundation so that one day, they too, will be able to adequately provide for their children as well. It’s called living the American Dream. But sometimes what we want and what we can afford are two different things.

In 1965, lawmakers saw there were needs out there for pre-school children living below the poverty level and stepped up. The Head Start program was pushed through the Senate at a vote of 95-0. Since then, this program has helped more than 24 million children, including more than 900,000 currently enrolled at present day.

But in order for this program to exist in Clay County, a location first had to be found. So in 1965, our local VFW Chapter offered to lease their vacant building on County Rd 31 for a very low sum a year. And the Ashland Head Start program was born.

For 40 years now, this program has enriched the lives on MANY children and their families. And because they were only paying $100 a month rent for the building, they were able to make numerous improvements and renovations to this facility.

Unfortunately, time goes by and the original VFW members who made the deal on this property have since passed on. So now all of the sudden, the State VFW members have discovered they have this property and greed is in their eyes.

At first, the VFW said they only wanted to raise the monthly rent to a whopping $1000 for this federally funded program. However, the story changed completely after a VFW representative was sent out to view this property and what they thought was just a hollowed out building. After seeing all the improvements and renovations, the representative said they were no longer interested in renting anymore, they now wanted to sell and their tenants were given 60 days to evacuate the property. These 58 children were not even going to be allowed to finish out their school year and graduate in mid-May.

Keep in mind, this representative has been the only face the AHS Staff has seen since all of this has transpired….

To add insult to injury, the VFW’s sale price was $100,000 and the improvements/renovations made throughout the years to this property was valued to be approximately $90,000. Here are just a few of the improvements that have been made:

  • partitioning to build classrooms
  • additional office space construction
  • fencing in the area
  • a new roof
  • an outer building for storage
  • playground equipment (which they are allowed to take)

 

 

Eviction seemed imminent and without an adequate location, the Ashland Head Start (AHS) program was in danger of closing their doors forever. But sometimes what seems like a bad situation can actually be a blessing in disguise with a LOT of hard work and effort…

Just last week I received confirmation the AHS has been granted use of the former Ashland Primary Building permission by Superintendent Garey Reynolds and the CCBOE, for the 2014-15 calendar year for an undisclosed amount. The rent will most likely increase from the amount they were accustomed to paying and will stretch the allowance of their annual budget, but will still be achievable. I commend the BOE for making this decision.

Also, because they are moving to a much larger facility, there are endless possibilities for this program to grow and prosper in the future to benefit our children and their families. For example, the student enrollment could not exceed 60 students in their present location due to space restrictions. A larger facility could mean a big expansion in the program with student enrollment and even more job opportunities.

Despite what some may think, this program provides a vital service to our county with their extended care program that runs from 6:00am-4:00pm. Because of this part of the program, working parents who are TRYING to earn a living can have the reassurance their children are safe, healthy and happy in a positive environment, while building their educational skills as an added bonus.

The legalities of this move are now in the process with contracts and such. It is unknown at this time what kind of legal action the Head Start program will pursue.

Now, here is where the hard work comes in and you can help…

When it comes times for the move in mid-May, AHS staff will be in DESPERATE NEED of volunteers in many areas in order to have this facility ready in time for the 2014-15 school year.

They are asking businesses, high school students, organizations, and any citizens interested for donations of the following:

  • Paint
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Vehicles to help move equipment, etc:
  • Window replacement
  • People willing to help assist with heavy lifting
  • Window replacement (not up to code)

Not only are your services needed, you can also play an important role in building a greater program. Through donation of your time and/or needed items, but your public service will be documented as In-kind dollars- meaning the more volunteer services this center has, the more federal funds this center can get, which will benefit this local program tremendously. Volunteering your time and efforts could build a bigger budget for this program, therefore will result in an increase in student enrollment. Anyone interested in any type of donations can call AHS 256-354-2553.

Clay County citizens have ALWAYS stepped up in times of great need and I can’t think of a better need than this one. I urge all of our high school teachers who are in the position to organize a “field trip” with your students to perform this community service. And any other organization who would like to be a part of building this program, please don’t hesitate to extend a helping hand. After all, the children are our future, and you never know how this program could enhance their lives….

I would just like to state for the record that I am APPALLED with this turn of events and I don’t care if it sounds harsh or not just because an organization ran by Veterans are to blame. It’s still wrong to turn such a beneficial government program out on the streets and even more so when it involves children. I also can’t believe that none of your national media is not exposing this for the terrible injustice that it is.  Wrong is wrong and it shouldn’t matter whose toes you don’t want to step on.

I would also like to note the state VFW’s eviction decision has nothing to do with our local VFW Chapter. In fact, Lineville VFW Commander Lonnie Schlosser, was quite surprised to hear of this eviction since no one from the State Chapter had even bothered to contact him. Schlosser paid a visit to the Head Start Director Helen Simmons expressing his sincere apologies.

 

Move Over Superman and Make Room for “CodyMan”

By:Tammy Andrews

Some people see having a special needs child as a burden, but they don’t call these kids “special” for nothing. The thing that makes children so special is their honesty,  pureness, and unconditional love they have for others. A typical child will lose these qualities over time, but a special needs child won’t. But if they are born to the right person, it is amazing what obstacles they can overcome. And that’s where special parents come in…cody 1

When Felicia Hamlet gave birth to her second child, Cody, she was alerted that something was amiss when she was unable to see him for almost two hours. After some time, the doctor came in to speak with her and explained to her that Cody had all the signs of Downs Syndrome. She didn’t cry or get upset at this news, she just asked to see her baby.

When she was finally able to hold her precious newborn son in her arms, she swore right then that she would do whatever she had to do to make sure her son had everything in this world that he needed to lead a normal life. At the time he was actually diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, the doctor explained to her that Cody may never walk or even talk, depending on the severity of his condition. But Felicia clung to her faith in God that Cody would surpass these barriers in life.

cody 2Cody would turn out to have a moderate case of Down’s on a high-functioning level.

As the years went by, Felicia and her husband never treated Cody any different than they did his siblings, Justin and Amy. He had chores just like his brother and sister and was always encouraged to do things for himself. Cody is your typical boy who loves to deer hunt and has killed several deer.  He loves video games and Subway pizzas. But most of all, he loves his family, who adore him as well.

Cody has an enthusiasm for life that is contagious to all of those around him and he gets excited over the slightest things. “Cody can get a new pair of shoes and he will run around in the yard swearing no one can catch him.”

A few months ago, Cody came to Felicia one night and asked “Mama, what’s wrong with me?” Felicia replied “Nothing’s wrong with you, Cody, God just made you special.” Not quite satisfied with her answer, Cody began asking questions about why he wasn’t doing the same things (such as classwork)as everyone else. So, for the first time in his life as a teenager,

This was Cody's first score. Not a dry eye in the house...
This was Cody’s first score. Not a dry eye in the house…

Felicia explained to Cody what it meant to be a person with Down’s. Felicia gave him details about his limitations in life and Cody listened intently. Afterwards, he seemed happy with his mother’s answers and never became frustrated with himself after that.

All of his life, Cody has always been in a special needs classroom until last Fall, when Cody was enrolled at Clay County Christian Academy as a basic curriculum 10th grade  student.  Felicia was apprehensive about this making this move, but decided to support Cody’s decision because he wanted to go to the same school where his sister went. But never is her wildest dreams did she ever imagine this change would bring about what she can only refer to as “the work of the divine hand of God”. She has been in awe of the change it has made in her son and couldn’t be happier.

“This has been the biggest blessing for him. His entire personality has changed, he has gained confidence in himself and is no longer shy outside his family. He talks to everybody, even complete strangers. Cody has been embraced by the entire school for the person that he is and is not treated any differently”, she says “and this is all I have ever wanted for him”.

cody and doonebuggyWhen Cody’s older brother Justin turned 16, it was a big deal. So, that’s all Cody could think about from that moment on. He couldn’t wait to get a truck. Felicia didn’t want to let Cody down by telling him this would never be possible, because she always taught her kids that no was not an option. So, on his 16th birthday, she took him to the DMV and explained to the lady that she wanted an Identification Card.

The staff treated him the same as they would anyone by telling him the rules of safe driving. Cody said “Oh, I would never do that, I let my mama do the driving”. When Cody finished getting his “license”, he walked out and everyone in the place stood up and clapped, high-fived and congratulated him. Cody’s present was a beautiful new dune buggy all decked out, complete with a tag that read “Codyman”.

Cody’s biggest dream has always to play basketball, and now that dream has become a reality, with the help of CCCA Coach Ricky Morgan and his teammates. Cody is an excellent shooter and frequently makes shots from the 3-point line. His teammates even call this “Codytime”.

“He is one of the most sincere and loving people you will ever meet, and I’m not just saying this because he is my kid either. He amazes and inspires me every day to be a better person. I have found him many times on his knees in his room just talking to God and praying for someone” says Felicia.  cody 7

What effect has being the mother of a special needs child made on her life…nothing but pure joy and enrichment. “I feel very blessed. Out of every mother in this world, God chose me to be his mother and I take that job very seriously. I will fight for him and support him in every way possible. I love all of my children and I can honestly say that being a mother  has made me a much better person, but being Cody’s mother has given me courage. I couldn’t be the woman I am today if Cody had not been born and none of us can imagine life without him.”

cody 6Please join Cody and his family in observing World Down Syndrome Day on Friday, March 21.

Good news for Ashland Head Start

By: Tammy Andrews

This Head Start program were to be evicted from a building they have occupied for over 40 years in less than three weeks and closed permanently, without even allowing the 58 student enrolled to finish out the 2013-14 school year. But don’t count them out just yet…. this cowardly eviction might just turn out to be a blessing in disguise after A LOT of time and effort and most of all, hard work.

Ashland Head Start
Ashland Head Start

I have confirmed the Ashland Head Start program has been given permission by Superintendent Garey Reynolds and the CCBOE use of the former Ashland Primary Building for the 2014-15 calendar year for the price of $300 a month. This amount will be a 33% increase over the amount they had been paying, and will stretch the allowance of their annual budget, but will still be achievable.

The State VFW has agreed to allow the 58 students now enrolled to remain in their building until the 2013-14 school draws to a close in mid-May.

To my knowledge, the state VFW’s eviction decision has nothing to do with our local VFW members.

The Ashland Head Start has been leasing the VFW building for almost 40 years now. In the beginning, this one building was nothing more than hollow walls. Throughout the years, the improvements to this building included:

  • partitioning to build classrooms
  • additional office space construction
  • fencing in the area
  • a new roof
  • an outer building for storage
  • playground equipment (which they are allowed to take)

These improvements total somewhere in the vicinity of $90,000. The VFW is asking a selling price of $100,000.

Keep in mind that these VFW members were not even aware these improvements had even been made and were asking $1000 monthly rent from AHS. However, the entire story changed when they sent a representative out to view the property. After seeing these improvements, the AHS Director was informed by the representative they were no longer interested in renting, and had decided to sell. The students and staff were given 60 days to evacuate. This representative has been the only face they have seen, none of the state VFW members will come out to speak to anyone with this program.

The legalities of this move are now in the process with contracts and such. It is unknown at this time what kind of legal action the Head Start program will pursue.

Now, here is where the hard work comes in and you can help…

When it comes times for the move in mid-May, AHS staff will be in DESPERATE NEED of volunteers in many areas in order to have this facility ready in time for the 2014-15 school year.

They are asking businesses, high school students, organizations, and any citizens interested for donations of the following:

  • Paint
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Vehicles to help move equipment, etc:
  • Window replacement
  • People willing to help assist with heavy lifting
  • Window replacement (not up to code)

And the list goes on and on…

All of these people and items needed will not be a paid service, but your public service will be documented as in-kind dollars- meaning the more volunteer services this center has, the more federal funds this center can get, which will benefit this local program tremendously.

Volunteering your time and efforts could build a bigger budget for this program, therefore will result in an increase in student enrollment. With the current space they have now, the Head Start program is only allowed 60 students, but moving into a larger facility could mean a big expansion in the program with student enrollment and more job opportunities.

Clay County citizens has always stepped up in times of great need and I can’t think of a better need than this one. I urge all of our high school teachers who are in the position to organize a “field trip” with your students to perform this community service. And any other organization who would like to be a part of building this program, please don’t hesitate to extend a helping hand. So, all of you politicians and county officials, it’s time for you to step up…  After all, the children are our future, and you never know how this program could enhance their lives….

Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Ashland Head Start 256-354-2553 and speak with Helen Simmons.

Pet Peeves of the week

By: Tammy Andrewsspider with story

Several times this past week, I have had encounters with people and situations that truly frustrate me. So as a result, you get the pleasure of listening to me express my displeasure.:

  1. The One that got away– Where do spiders go when you accidently miss when trying to squash them into fragments? Do they scurry off to tell their friends and family? Perhaps take turns staking your every move in some hidden crack while plotting their revenge? Is your face plastered on the cover of the Spider’s Most Wanted list? These are just some of the thoughts that run through your mind at night while you are lying awake, paranoid that at any given moment they are coming for you, as you swipe at every imaginary brush against your skin. Where is this great spider kingdom located? Is it under your bed perhaps? Inquiring minds wanna know…
  1. Screaming Kids in Stores– How many of you have been to a department store and heard the ever present wailing of a small child echoing throughout the store? I think we’ve all been there…

obama-mask-scares-kidIt’s not the child’s cries that bother as much as the parent or guardian who is steadily doing one of the following:

A) Act like it’s not happening

B) Try to reason or negotiate with them. 

Seriously, what is wrong with you? Why are you afraid to discipline your child? Are you worried that someone might report you? Well, I promise you that someone  won’t be me. It’s your responsibility to raise this child into a decent human being with standards that are acceptable in today’s society.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you”. Well, this is all part of the parenting process, and unfortunately, kids don’t come with manuals so all you can do is your best.  Now, I am by no means an expert, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that a child should not rule the household.

So, the appropriate answer in this given situation is to tell your child: “Do you want me to give your something to cry about?”. No, I’m not saying to beat or abuse your child, but a hand across the back side never hurt anyone. Trust me, I know this firsthand and look how good I turned out…

  1. Napkins– Call me weird, but I require some method to dispose of my hand waste with my meal. Plus, the grease gets all over my cell phone when I am texting and     driving. So, if I am ordering my meal via drive-thru, please throw me a couple of napkins in the bag. I don’t feel I should have to specify that I would like a side of McNapkins with my McNuggets, please. It’s not rocket science.                                                                 ghetto car
  1. Mixed Priorities– I’m just going to make this one short and sweet. If you have a $10,000 stereo system in your $2,000 car and you don’t have the money to pay your bills, then you need to re-evaluate your life.
  1. Communication– There are many ways to communicate with one another these days, but please handle your correspondence accordingly. For instance, please do not send me a LONG text when all you had to do is pick up the phone or even just stop for a short visit. Social media is making a lot of people lazy. Please interact with your family and friends before you completely lose your social skills. Oh, and if you’re going to text or message me, please make sure you use good grammar or else I’m gonna call you out. That’s all folks!

Watts brings the American Pickers to Clay County

By Tammy Andrews

pickers 1 I spent all day Monday at Commissioner Wayne Watts’ “office space” in Lineville, better known on Facebook as “Wayne’s World of Watt-Nots ”, where the American Pickers had chosen to visit and film an upcoming show. This was a very interesting day for me and I thank Wayne for allowing me to be a part of it. I enjoyed meeting Mike and Frank, along with several other people who were along for the ride too. This was such a unique opportunity for our county and could possibly open doors along the way.

I’ve always said we have something special here that outsiders aren’t aware of unless they have had the chance to taste it for themselves. My favorite quote from the movie Doc Hollywood is “You don’t see a lot in town of Grady, but what you see you never forget”. Well, that’s the way I feel about Clay County, and so does Wayne Watts. This man loves everything about this county and goes above and beyond on a daily basis to promote growth and breathe new life into it. Not the kind of growth that would attract a large shopping mall, but the kind of life that would help us find our “niche” to promote tourism while preserving our small town heritage all at the same time. pickers 3

It wasn’t Wayne’s idea to bring the American Pickers here, but he wasn’t going to turn it down because he knew this could be a great thing for this county. Wayne is always searching for ways to put Clay County in the limelight in a positive fashion so he, too saw this as a unique opportunity. Wayne was all smiles all day long because he knew the citizens were really enjoying the national exposure. He made sure to tell everyone “This is not about me, this is for Clay County”.

Wayne’s lists of priorities runs like this: God first, family second, and Clay County third. He has served in law enforcement for many years, owns a successful construction company and is a County Commissioner. As a Commissioner, you won’t find anyone who works any harder. Wayne’s nose is to the grindstone every day. And in times of crisis, you will either find him somewhere extending a helping hand or at the EMA Office helping direct calls.

DSC_0186 Many days and weekends you will find him at his office space adorned with priceless treasures he has sought out and restored over the years and he can tell you specific details about every single item. Most of these items hold deep sentimental value to him as he does his best to preserve as much of Clay County history as he can.

You won’t find anyone else who has attained as much history knowledge of this county than Wayne. This is mostly due to Wayne paying special attention to some of the old timer’s stories when he was younger who have since passed on. watts klayCollecting and preserving these artifacts has become his passion and as his collections grow in numbers, he hopes to expand his “museum” of sorts one day, where visitors are always welcome.

Wayne Watts is one of the biggest assets Clay County has and I hope everyone here can see and appreciate that. So, next time you see him, be sure to thank him for everything he does for the betterment of our county. He will most likely blow it off as no big deal, but I know deep down, it would mean a lot to him. God Bless you, Wayne!

Victim is airlifted after two-vehicle accident on Hwy 48

store wreck 1This was the scene of a two-vehicle accident today on Hwy 48 just into Randolph County at the intersection of County Rd 57 and Hwy 48 right in front of the Mad Indian Quickie Mart. The sole occupant of the car was entrapped in the vehicle and the jaws of life had to used to free him. The victim was airlifted from a landing zone about a half a mile down the road. The victim, who suffered an extensive injury to his left leg, was the father of the owner of the Mad Indian Quickie Mart . He was alert at the time he was airlifted. One other victim in the other vehicle was also transported via ambulance to the hospital.

store wreck 2

store wreck 3store wreck 4store wreck 5

Military Personnel Lend Hand at Accident Scene

DSC_0057This was the scene of a one vehicle accident that occurred on Hwy 77 in Clay County just near the Talladega line. The sole occupant of the vehicle was one female who had to be airlifted from the landing zone just down the road. It just so happened members of the 128th Medical Unit out of Ashland were passing by, saw the accident and stopped the lend a hand. As an American citizen… I have to say these pictures warm my heart. I over heard one of them say ” This is why we were let out of drill early today.” Everything happens for a reason, right? So, there you go…Please scroll down for more pictures

DSC_0058

DSC_0060wreck 3DSC_0064DSC_0065DSC_0069DSC_0076

What Difference Does a Year Make?

Weekly article 12-30-2013

What difference does a year make? For me, 2013 was not the best friend I’ve ever had, but I’d like to call it a learning year.

Carolyn
Carolyn

The most memorable, yet heartbreaking lesson was January 3, 2013, when I visited my friend, Carolyn during her “bucket list” stay at Cheaha with her family. Carolyn had been battling cancer for three years, and she knew her time was near. We laughed and talked that night, and when the conversation turned serious, I was taken aback when she asked me to deliver her eulogy when the time came. Of course, I obliged, thinking that time would not come anytime soon. But I believe in my heart a person knows when their days are numbered, and in this case I would be right. Carolyn would pass within three weeks of this conversation. She and I weren’t lifelong best friends, but somehow we had managed to develop a strong bond over a short period of time. I miss her every day.

2013 had it good points though, like bringing two of my family members closer to home. My brother, Steven moved back here from Pennsylvania and my daughter, Ashley moved back to Clay County. It’s so good to know they are just right up the road when I get ready to visit my sweet grandchildren. My sister, Rhonda had a rough year and had to undergo two different surgeries, but she is on the mend now.

This last year was an emotional roller coaster for me, with bends, turns and dips in my path. I think it’s safe to say although I know this time was necessary, I won’t miss this year and I hope 2014 will be better to me. In fact, I’m going to make it happen. No more lying down on the job…it’s all or nothing from now on.

All in all, I can’t complain because I have it better than a lot of people, but sometimes it seems easier to dwell on the bad stuff. And believe me, I have wallowed enough for all of us. But I know there is a path for me and I am trying to find it. God does not shut one door without opening another, but that doesn’t mean He hands it to you on a silver platter, sometimes you have to work for it. And it’s not always easy to make out, sometimes it’s like finding the last missing piece of the puzzle. what-we-do-in-life-echoes-in-eternity-source

So, I will strive to find my place in life in the new coming year. To do the best I can do with the talents that God gave me. You see, God gives you these talents, but it’s up to you to develop them and learn how to use them for the benefit of others. And I believe you should always do your best to help others in need whenever possible.

Am I a Saint? No, not by any means…But I do believe in my heart that God is using me as a tool and I hope that 2014 will be the year I can make things happen. I hope all of you out there who are also trying to find your way can also find your path lit and don’t ever give up until you feel satisfied in your heart with what you are doing. That is my wish for you…

Joy
Joy, of Joy’s Journal facebook page lost her courageous battle on Dec. 10, 2013. Joy Elizabeth Nissa Kelly was born on October 2, 2012.She was born with a serious heart condition that required numerous surgeries. She also had Deletion 22q syndrome (aka DiGeorge Syndrome…She was only 14 months old.

So, what difference does a year make? Guess that’s a question only one person can answer, and the answers would vary. Let’s ask the mother lost her child in 2013, about how her grief tore at her soul every day of the year. How sometimes the smallest task seemed like a mountain she had to climb.

Or perhaps we should ask the mother that entered the 2013 year with a baby in her womb, and exited the year with small little replica of herself that has taught her a love unlike she has ever known. How looking at that sweet little face everyday makes her want to be a infant better person.

Maybe we should ask the widow of the fallen soldier who gave his life so that we could all experience freedom every day. About how she cries into her pillow every night with longing of feeling the strong arms of her true love to hold her just one more time, but at the same time holds a pride in her heart for her fallen hero who gave his life for a purpose.

Or even the elderly lady whose love of her life has gone on before her and she spends every day waiting on the day she will be reunited with him for eternity.

But last, the year of 2013 as seen through the eyes of a child who is full of life and hope for a better world. Who wakes up every day with a sparkle in her eye and a spring in her step of the endless possibilities of a bright future, of how one day she is going to be a doctor, lawyer, or maybe even a political leader who can make a difference in the world. These are our children of tomorrow…

So, say a prayer in your heart for all people in all the walks of life who are battling their own demons every day in hopes  new-year-2014that 2014 will be that defining year when it will all fall into place for them. Yes, I know this world is crazy and we are probably near the end of time, but if nothing else we are one year closer to the end of Obama’s reign of destruction on this nation. That alone should put a smile on your face. Happy New Year to you and yours! May your new year be joyful and prosperous in every sense of the word.

“The Nightmare before Christmas”

My Friday the 13th
friday-13th-funny-quotes-i6 Friday the 13th is supposed to be an unlucky day…a day where you should be prepared to have a Murphy’s Law type of day. Just a myth, right? Well, I was about to be made into a believer…
My Friday the 13th started shortly after midnight, when our wonderful internet service bottomed out on me just long enough to make me lose a large online order I was attempting to place.. So after having to re-enter everything, I practically fell into the bed about 2:00 am.
Somewhere around 5:00 am, I awoke to horrible aching in my little piggy that had roast beef. Dragging from my lack of sleep, I stumbled to the bathroom to take a look at what could possibly be causing my poor little toe so much pain. In my lethargic state, I managed to find the bathroom door closed in the dark with my nose first, drawing a few obscenities and tears to my eyes.
My middle toe was red and inflamed on the left side. I had managed to get my very first ingrown toenail at the age of 45. Yay me, right? I proceeded to fumble through the bathroom  friday the 13drawers until I found the toenail clippers for some homegrown surgery.
Operating on your toe at 5:00 am in a sluggish condition is not smart..but in this case, necessary. I said a few more swear words, and even invented a few, but I finally got to the root of the problem after hacking off over half of my toenail. After digging the culprit out, I went back to bed for a couple more hours sleep, because I had one busy day ahead.
When I returned to my warm bed, toe still throbbing, I had no sooner laid down when I heard a text message alert. I grabbed my phone and saw that I had a text from someone asking me to go check to see if one of my family members (who shall remain nameless) was awake, because they had been calling them and had gotten no answer. This person sending the text was at work and could not leave. I tried repeatedly to call them, but I couldn’t get an answer either.
Concerned, I got out of my very warm bed and began to throw on my clothes. My toe was still hurting, so I slipped on my house shoes. With no time to waste because I didn’t want this person to be late for work, I didn’t take the time to warm my car on this VERY COLD morning or defrost my windshield. So, I turned on my windshield washer and wipers that earned me just enough room to be able to see from a side view. The short friday dogride was a long one because I had to practically hang my head out of the window like a dog to be able to see anything and did I mention it was COLD?
When I arrived at my destination, I found this person to be asleep, so I helped them rush to get out of the door. I headed back to my house, toe still hurting, with a quick nap in mind. Looked down for a second while driving, and when I looked back up I saw about three deer surrounding me. I slammed on the brakes, throwing everything that was in my back seat to the front, and the front to the floor. Not sure who was shaken up more…me or the deer.
When I pulled into the driveway, my dog, Myrtle came out to greet me enthusiastically as usual, but I was in no mood to play. I got out of the car and hobbled my way back anxious to get back inside with Myrtle dancing all around me. Halfway up the front steps, I lost my shoe because apparently I suck at hobbling. Myrtle saw this and thought this was her cue to play. She grabs my shoe and takes off running, thinking I’m going to chase her to get it back…Well, I did and in the process, I stepped into a nice fresh pile of dog crap with my good foot.
Now, Myrtle is not the smartest dog in the world but she very quickly picked up on the tone of my thunderous screeching that maybe we weren’t playing a game after all, so she dropped the shoe and cowered. I picked up my shoe and felt bad that I had scolded her, so I attempted to lure her to me with soothing apologetic words. She was having no part of it and would not come near me. Cold and irritated, I headed back inside to the warmth and comfort of my home. It was an interesting walk back in the house.

My Myrtle
My Myrtle
 

Meet my demon cat, Zeus. Yes, this is a real picture, LOL. Much like his mother, Zeus gets into many predicaments :)
Meet my demon cat, Zeus. Yes, this is a real picture, LOL. Much like his mother, Zeus gets into many predicaments 🙂

Back indoors, I decided to check the tracking on a package that I needed by Christmas and was having a hard time getting. From the tracking numbers, I could see the estimated date of the arrival had been pushed back by three additional days. At this point, I was livid because this had been an ongoing problem for three weeks now. So, I sent Fed Ex a not so nice, maybe somewhat threatening email regarding certain body parts if my package didn’t make it here by Christmas. After hitting the Send button, I realized after re-reading the message that I would be lucky to get it by Valentine’s Day.

So, my toe is still killing me and I do a frantic search through my house to find anything that will ease the pain. With a good Epsom Salt soaking and two Tylenol later, the pain has lessened somewhat, so I decide to take a quick power nap before I get started.
 Before I lay down, I put some antibiotic ointment on my toe. I had just gotten settled when I realized my toe had started a strange cooling sensation that would not subside and it did not seem to be letting up. It was a little painful, but even more annoying. So, I get back up out of the bed and go into the bathroom drawer to see what cream I had rubbed on my toe. I was even more annoyed when I found out I had put hemorrhoid ointment on my ailing toe, although it did seem to help the swelling some. I began to really contemplate whether my balance would be affected much if I decided just to cut it off…I mean, it was the middle toe. How much could it really hurt anyway?
Thoroughly disgusted with the way my morning was going, I decided to a nice long nap was exactly what the doctor ordered for me, heavy workload or not. So, I piled back up in my 

Zeus doesn't take too kindly to cat hair...
Zeus doesn’t take too kindly to cat hair…

warm bed, only to hear the incessant crying of my cat, because he thinks the minute you are out of bed, you live to feed him. I tried to ignore him, but he was not to be overlooked easily.

Folks, you cannot starve a cat, period. They are the most resourceful creatures on the face of this Earth. A scorned woman ain’t got nothing on a hungry cat. So, if you have a cat, and you’re thinking of cutting back, don’t even try it. I promise you, they’ve already assessed you to see how you are going to digest in case of emergency. They will eat you even though they love you…it’s encoded in their DNA.
 

I don't even wanna talk about what he's doing here...
I don’t even wanna talk about what he’s doing here…

I drug myself out of the bed once again and fed the stupid cat, all the while looking over my shoulder for fear that Jason Vorhees was going to jump out and whack my head off. Maybe he didn’t feel lucky enough to mess with me after witnessing the scene in the front yard with my poor Myrtle, who by this time could not even be found.

By this time, I was curious what the rest of the day would hold, or maybe I just had a death wish, I’m not real sure. I ate, dressed, and was out the door to see if I could make the newspaper headlines in some crazy method before this fateful day was over. The rest of the day was busy, and quite uneventful…and believe it or not, I got through the day without going to jail or losing any limbs in a freak accident.
What did I learn about Friday the 13th from this experience? Next time…clip your toenails frequently and sleep through it…
friday-the-13th

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