Residents thankful for family this Thanksgiving 

Published 10:29 am Tuesday, November 20, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Many Chilton County residents are taking time to relax and truly be thankful this Thanksgiving.

For several, what they are most thankful for was related to their family.

Cheryl Holmes said she is thankful that she will be getting to spend Thanksgiving with her children this year.

“We will be going to my sister’s house, and all the cousins will be there,” Holmes said.  “My sister and I have held the ‘stuff’ from our parents’ house, and they will be going through it to pick what they want to keep.”

Jason Griffin, Chilton County Schools superintendent, said he was “most thankful for my relationship with God, family and friends.”

“This year, what I am most thankful for is an improvement in my wife’s health,” Bobby Windham said. “Last October, at age 33, she had a hip replacement. This was due to a congenital hip defect, and a resulting condition which left her disabled. She still has some complications from time-to-time, but overall, I think she’s much happier and more able to do things she enjoys. I am supremely thankful for that.”

Chilton County Chamber of Commerce Director Francine Wasden said she was thankful for “my wonderful family and for good health” and the opportunity to come work in Clanton.
“I thank everyone for making me feel ‘right at home,’” Wasden said.

This Thanksgiving, she is looking forward to spending time with extended family at her sister’s house.

“Our children, grandchildren and everyone will be there, so our house will be rocking,” Wasden said. “We will have a traditional Thanksgiving lunch with turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.”

“One of the great benefits of growing older is the recognition and appreciation of the simple, meaningful moments in life,” Billy Singleton said. “For whatever years I may have left, I am and will remain thankful for my wife, three beautiful daughters and the contentment that comes from knowing they are happy, healthy and living meaningful lives. I am also thankful to live in a community of people who continue to cherish the ideals that make the United States the greatest country in the world.”

During the meal, electronic devices are turned off, and the family shares stories “that seem to get more entertaining with each passing year” about their lives, Singleton said.

“After dinner, we can always find the movie, ‘A Christmas Story’ to watch while sneaking that last piece of pecan pie,” Singleton said.

Ashley Kitchens, associate dean for the Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton campus, said she is thankful for “coworkers that have turned into my dearest friends.”

“I work with people here at the JSCC Clanton campus that love their jobs and earnestly help one another create an environment for both good working relationships and great student atmosphere,” Kitchens said.

Another common theme for residents this year is their favorite item on the Thanksgiving Day menu:

“Dressing! Lots of celery and onion, good chicken broth, and cornbread,” Holmes said.

“My favorite food on Thanksgiving Day is the dressing my mother makes,” Kitchens said. “It is not too soupy and not dry — it is a perfect in between.”

“Without a doubt, my favorite Thanksgiving food is dressing! I love it,” Windham said. “I don’t care if it’s moist, or dry (though I prefer it a little dry). It’s fine with me if it is chock full of meat, or completely free of it – come to think of it, I’ve had vegan dressing before, and it was delicious.”

He will be spending Thanksgiving with family and friends.

“My family and I will be attending a Thanksgiving lunch with Larry and Rose Popwell and their family,” Windham said. “When my father passed away 5 years ago, they took us under their wings for Thanksgiving, and we’ve been going ever since. I am also planning on frying a turkey for some other family that evening.”

“My favorite food for Thanksgiving is turkey and dressing,” Griffin said. “And I also enjoy cranberry sauce.”

Singleton’s favorite food of the Thanksgiving meal is the turkey.

“My favorite pastime on Thanksgiving Day is to sneak that first slice of turkey as it comes out of the oven,” Singleton said. “The challenge is to not get caught, as the punishment is swift and severe. Even though I have been caught red-handed each year for the past 30 years, I think 2018 might be the year I get away with it!”