Leila S. Case: Christmas in the attic?

Published 7:00 pm Monday, December 14, 2015

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is in full swing.
From uptown to downtown and all around town — and I have hardly begun checking off our “to do” list in an effort to make deadline for the week of jingle joy and the assault of family gatherings and visits from grown children, grandchildren and, of all things, their pets —  four dogs altogether. Problem solved — take two aspirin and keep on movin.’
I love the Christmas holidays and visits from family and even their dogs; however, I can never accomplish everything I want. The preparations are never ending and the “to do” list grows longer instead of shorter. Even though I have missed yoga class, I’ve been bending and stretching up and down on the step-stool and attic stairs so many times that I’ve had a mini-yoga workout at home. Somehow I backed myself into a corner of the attic trying to find what I needed to bring downstairs. Moving heavy boxes out of the way, I located the containers I needed and when I turned to go back downstairs, I realized I had trapped myself behind a mound of plastic containers and my path to the stairs was blocked. Thankfully, I was able to maneuver myself around the conglomerate and slide what I thought were the right boxes down the stairs to Bruce. Once safely downstairs, I removed the tops, peered inside only to realize that one held fall leaves, and Richie Bear is still missing. So what did I do? What I should have done in the first place: texted the angel force — John and Caroline.
Oh well, Christmas holidays will come and go and if it isn’t finished,  no one will know. Meanwhile, I am thankful for our personal angel force and I didn’t have to spend the holidays in the attic.
The art show and sale at Calvary Episcopal Church was a big success and with so many talented local artists displaying their work, what else would you expect? A large crowd turned out to view and purchase the lovely pieces and sample the many tasty treats. If you missed the event, this is an annual affair, so plan to attend next fall.
Meanwhile, across town, the South Georgia Technical College Foundation hosted another “over the top” Christmas buffet, where we enjoyed visiting with so many of the faculty and friends that filled the John M. Pope auditorium and spilled over into the atrium. The food was again prepared by the culinary students. It was not only delicious but beautifully presented at stations ringing the perimeter of the room. Of course, our favorite was the dessert table. Thank you SGTC for the fine educational institution and the exceptional students you are educating to become skilled leaders in the workforce here and beyond.
Several years ago, the Americus Junior Service League changed directions, moving from a holiday dinner dance for actives and honorary members, a tradition since the league was founded in the late 1930s, to a festive brunch which has turned out to be an overwhelming success. This year’s event at The Carnegie saw the biggest turn out since the change. It was so much fun visiting with old friends and new. It was a wonderful time for all levels of membership to come together and celebrate Christmas as this fine volunteer organization moves toward another year of helping the community.
The brief program was led by Jessi Simmons, outgoing president, who welcomed everyone and recognized others on the 2015 board. They are Christie Umbleby, first vice president and co-chair Sandy Exley; second vice president Angie Brunson, co-chairman Ashlee Parks; third vice president Patty Fennessy, co-chair Mackenzie Greene; recording secretary Barbara Grogan; corresponding secretary Mary Ann Hammack; treasurer Jessica Childers; assistant treasurer Christie Stribling; sergeant-at-arms Kelly Skipper; parliamentarian Chelsea Collins; entertainment Katie Duncan; co-chair Megan Scott and past president Victoria Kelley.
Before handing the gavel to incoming president Umpleby, Simmons presented MacKenzie Greene, the 2015 recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award, with a beautiful silver tray.
Serving with Umbleby are first vice president Patty Fennessy, co-chair Kimberly Hart; second vice president Ashlee Parks, co-chair Holly Mitchell; third vice president Mackenzie Greene, co-chair Emilee Roland; recording secretary Angie Brunson; corresponding secretary Lauren Shemwell; treasurer Christie Stribling; assistant treasurer Michelle Andrews; sergeant-at-arms Sandy Exley; parliamentarian Mercedes Aldridge; entertainment Megan Scott and co-chair Felicia Harper; past president Jessi Simmons.
Umpleby announced the spring luncheon honoring Provisionals is Saturday, April 16 with special guest speaker Chef Virginia Willis and the dance that night features The Buck Creek Band. Other dates to mark on your calendar are May 21 for the fundraiser, The Mighty Machines at the Sumter County Parks and Recreation’s ball field; Bunco night June 16 at the Lee Council House, and the always fun Cowpoke Carnival Oct. 1 at the Fairgrounds.
Meanwhile, the Americus High School jazz ensemble entertained the Council of Safety, DAR members during their recent Christmas luncheon. Directed by Debra Hughes, these students performed some exceptional pieces. They are talented and accomplished and certain will achieve much in the music world. Those performing were Lewis Myers, Caleb Hagler, Jada Boyd, Kailia Youngblood, Noel Perez, Reggie Walters and Kalman DeMott.
Elsewhere, Concord United Methodist Church’s children’s choir (more than 30 young people), directed by Jami Powell Shivers and Lauren Shivers Vann, presented an outstanding musical drama recently that had the message to keep Christ in Christmas and help those in need. Through the local CASA program, they adopted a local family with three young boys who they are treating with gifts, clothes and basic needs.

Leila S. Case lives in Americus.