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Leila S. Case: Dec. 30, 2017

The year has flown and as I reflect on this last calendar year I realize we have so much to be thankful for — supportive family, friends, and others who we’ve met along the way.
They helped me conquer challenges by holding my hands during stressful times and joined me to celebrate milestones.
Bruce and I had much happiness come into our lives during 2017, and now that we are moving into 2018, we look forward to more glad times.
We’ve welcomed the birth of three family members — Bennett Vann, Lachlan Herndon, and Lydia Shivers — all are wonderful and beautiful children who are developing personalities of their own. We are so thankful for the health of all three, and we hope to see more of them throughout 2018.
We rejoiced many achievements — Beau Barrett passing the tough CPA examination; John Barrett and Caroline Herndon accomplishing good grades in their respective academic field at Georgia Southwestern State University; Jeanna Kate Shivers and her sister, Clara Grace, making huge academic strides as well as demonstrating athletic prowess at Macon County schools.
And now that this is the sixth day of Christmas we recall the season as a flurry of activity. The arrival of out of town family along with three canines is now a blur. The memory of it all will last a lifetime for we experienced laughter mixed with tears — more laughing then crying although the drain pipe on the washing machine stopped up and one of the TV remotes died; the Grinch wasn’t successful in his attempt to steal Christmas.
The memory of little people finding toys under the lighted Christmas tree followed closely behind by the adult children in our family is forever etched in my mind as a time to cherish.
And the lovely homes I visited during the season were a treat beyond measure.
Angie Stevens Sprott along with her husband Kevin opened their large plantation home near Ellaville to the Woman’s Literary Club, the oldest all-women’s organization in Americus that has met continually since 1897 — a fete unto itself. The Sprott home is a wonder to visit and tour, especially at Christmas. The luncheon Angie prepared for the group was pure Southern through and through from the first course to the dessert: old-fashioned Lane cake and caramel cake topped off with eggnog made with pure cream, fresh eggs and bourbon as well as boiled custard. Oh my, the pounds we gained.
Then Andrea Perry Powell opened the beautiful, white-columned home she shares with husband Mike Powell on Taylor Street for a late afternoon ladies gathering. While guests sipped bubbly and munched on dainty holiday treats that included melt-in-your mouth cheese straws, they oohed and awed at the outstanding renovation the Powells have achieved to return the grand old home to a place of pride.
Then two days before Christmas the stately home of Charles Crisp on Taylor Street was the site of an annual open house hosted by Crisp and a large group of friends. This is a not-to-be-missed event and always so much fun where you see and visit former residents home for Christmas along with present members of our community.
We’ve had many visitors in town for the holidays. Among them were Phillip Gunnels who grew up in Richland and now lives in Manhattan in New York. He was among Beth Alston’s school friends and she was thrilled to bump into him downtown. Phillip was here to visit his mother, a new resident of Magnolia Manor, for Christmas and was a guest at the Windsor Hotel.
So now that 2017 is winding down and we get acquainted with a new beginning, I wish everyone health and happiness and to greet the dawning of each day with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.