• 68°
franklin county times

My favorite time of year highlights life’s bounties

Well, Thanksgiving is over; family came and went.

In our blended family, there are many requests for family get togethers, so we had everyone over the weekend before Thanksgiving’s official date. Eight adults and seven “children” were at the big house on Jackson Avenue. All the bedrooms were filled, and we set up air mattresses in the rec room and office. The house was full of noise, as I remember it growing up but have not been able to experience in quite some time.

It felt good to be Paw-Paw.

Linda’s mother passed earlier in the year, so this was our first Thanksgiving Day with just the two of us. We enjoyed having the day to ourselves, watching old TV shows, doing a little work around the house and just appreciating each other. I did not watch my beloved Saints go down to defeat; I just wanted to appreciate being alone with Linda.

That evening, with the TV on, fireplace burning, we were sitting on the love seat watching TikTok videos and sending them to each other. I’d hear Linda laughing out loud, and I knew there was another coming my way!

That made me miss the family sing-a-longs I had planned for the family Thanksgiving celebration that got pushed aside because of the presses of time.

The presses of time, the urgent need to defend freedom and the need to protect the American way of life require many to miss time with family. I did a hitch in the Army – Big Red One, Fort Riley, Kansas. In my three-plus years stationed at Fort Riley, I was on training exercises for a total of about 12 months – that’s two REFORGERS, one trip to the National Training Center and countless field training exercises in between. I was fortunate there were no hot wars at the time.

I was a cold war warrior, a chairborne ranger. I was a personnel clerk in a medical battalion. I was Radar O’Reilly.

I think about my daughter-in-law, Marine during the Gulf War. I think about my son-in-law, deployed to Afghanistan. She has the mental anguish of war; he has physical and mental scars of war.

I think of my oldest brother in Vietnam. He finally succumbed to the mental tortures of war some 20 years after returning. Two other brothers who served in Vietnam are dealing with that torture better.

Mom and Dad served in World War II; Dad’s brothers served as well. Linda’s dad also served in WWII. Mom’s brother fought in Korea. Mom’s dad was in WWI. Linda’s ancestors were in the Army of Virginia and spent time as POWs in Camp Drake, Illinois.

We can trace military service back through the civil war and to the revolutionary war.

Thinking of the sacrifices made by our family, and many other families, to serve and protect America and its way of life make me appreciate this favorite time of year. We can continue that tradition by the daily choices we make in our lives.

We can choose from local providers or external ones. Shopping close to home might be a little more expensive than ordering online or going to the big box stores; however, we should look at the consequences of not supporting local businesses.

I remember during one of Winn Dixie’s rounds of closings, the folks in Greenville were bemoaning the loss of their WD. A campaign was mounted to try to convince WD to remain open, but it was too little too late.

Local businesses employ local folks and generate local profits and investments. I was pleasantly surprised to find the number and quality of local businesses here. I would encourage everyone to patronize these businesses. To preserve our vibrant life here in Franklin County, we must support our local businesses.

Galleries

PHOTOS: RHS Musical Theatre presents ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Franklin County

Northwest Regional Library announces audiobooks by mail program

Franklin County

Republican primary run-off election for county commission seats takes place April 16

News

Historic Roxy Theatre celebrates 75th Anniversary with upcoming entertainment

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Mark Dunbar

Franklin County

Franklin County makes seven drug trafficking arrests

Galleries

Why Knot car show cruises into downtown Russellville

News

Get free weather radio at VFDs

Franklin County

PCHS FBLA hosts Little Miss Dream Girl Pageant

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Johnnie Pounders

Features

Sam Warf: From Tennessee to the White House and beyond

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Mousey Brown

News

Russellville First Baptist Church receives historical marker

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Meeting a higher standard – Russellville High School JROTC

News

RCS BOE announces new superintendent  

News

Miss Dream Girl Pageant names winners

Franklin County

First Metro Bank hosts FAME Girls’ Ranch donation drive

News

PCHS holds annual Shelby Grissom Memorial Fashion Show

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: VFW Post 5184 – ‘No One Does More For Veterans’

Features

Supporting students’ futures

Features

Red Bay Garden Club discusses amaryllis planting

Franklin County

UA announces local students for fall 2023 President’s, Dean’s, graduation lists

News

School news

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Troy Oliver

x