Last Friday even was the first Shop & Stroll summer evening for our town this year. The event began two years ago when local businesses chose to stay open late once a month and offer the home-town folks an extra shopping opportunity. It was also a great idea since visiting and shopping could go hand in hand to resolve the cry that “there’s nothing to do” in our town.
Advertising any event cost money though, so this year our Madison County Chamber of Commerce stepped up to shoulder that responsibility.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t well attended. Of course, there was the out-of-town ball game and it was Mother’s Day weekend, so no doubt many families were on the road to see Mom. But even last year there was room for improvement.
But why though, should you care? For several reasons.
—Fellowship. Yep, that’s a healthy thing to do and we have benches around town to allow you to do just that. Years ago, that’s exactly what you did on Saturday night and small towns were better for it.
—Bargains. It’s a good time to pick up some bargains. Businesses usually offer specials to help promote the occasion so it’s a good time to buy those birthday gifts, etc.
—No kids. With the Chamber offering the free movie night, it’s a good time to shop without the kiddos. That’s always a plus.
—To help yourself. Part of that sales tax you pay stays right here in Madisonville helping to improve our community and pay for things that keep us happy. That’s why other cities like Bryan and Huntsville appreciate your shopping in their stores so much. They get to keep your sales tax money and use it in their town.
—The main reason though is because we need our small town. To keep it, businesses have to make sales. Business owners understand so they tend to buy here, putting their profits back into the community. Your purchases create the need for local businesses to hire employees who then eat lunch in town, run errands on their lunch hour. By the way, have you seen the names of any of those out-of-town businesses on the backs of our Little league uniforms?
The next Shop & stroll evening is June 8. Why not mark your calendar now to go to town that evening. I’m betting you will be glad you did.
Until then, though, here’s what’s going on ’round our town.
•Mark your calendar also for June 17. That is the last Sunday First United Methodist Church Pastor Patty will be preaching in our town. The church will be serving a Farewell Breakfast in Wesley Hall from 9:15 until 10:15.
•On our sick list, Glenda McWhorter fell earlier this week and underwent surgery for several bones broken in her ankle. Send your encouragement to her at 111 Plum Creek, Huntsville, TX 77320.
•Leisa Forrest underwent an ablation procedure on her heart last week. Leisa was hospitalized first for out-of-control blood sugar and to search for what was causing it. That’s when the need for the ablation surgery was realized.
•Speaking of Leisa, she’s the first on our birthday list this week, celebrating her birthday is May 18. Dennis Ivey and John Oxley Jr. do the same Sunday, May 20. Gary Thomas celebrates his birthday May 19, while Lisa Lentz and Patricia Hardy follow with theirs May 21.
•Hats off to artist Sallie Reid, whose first book "The Color of Joy" just rolled off the presses. It is 54 pages of vibrant colored painting illustrating the love of our God, along with the stories that brought them to life.
Sallie’s art flourishes in many of our local churches. There is a mural at the Church of Christ in Midway, the House of Hope, Shilo Baptist Church and on a brick wall at the Family Baptist Church. Presently she is painting a mural at the "Dwelling Place. Sallie also painted the mural in the Baptistry at the New Waverly Church of Christ as well on at the Huntsville First Baptist Church. You will get a glimpse of most of these in her book.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to order a book. They sell for $18.95. It will soon be up on her website as well, Bluebird Haven Estates Church Retreats.
•Condolences to the family of Carey Wayne Presley, who passed away last Sunday, May 13. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Madisonville Funeral Home. Carey was a graduate of the MHS class of 1963. We will try to have an address for those cards next week.
•And finally, isn’t it amazing how busy our lives can get? Busy lives make it easy to forget things like Memorial Day, such a precious day since it remembers our fallen soldiers. Memorial Day is celebrated each year the last Monday of May.
While these busy lives can make it seem like January was only yesterday, the reality is Memorial Day, is only two weeks away. The gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery will be decorated with American Flags for Memorial Day, and hopefully the homes of proud Americans as well as the cemeteries that are home to the last resting place of veterans will be flooded with our flag.
It’s time, time to get our flags from our closet or perhaps buy a new one. It’s time to start waving Ol’ Glory. Today we go where we want to go, dream what we aspire to achieve, do what we partly do because of those who paid the ultimate price for us to do so.
That means it’s time to fly our flag in humble appreciation. It’s time to remember these courageous men and women and to honor the families left behind. It’s time.