Celebrating All the Mommas

A mom is an exceptional human being. She is defined as a woman in relation to a child, but to be a mother is distinctively more than a mere relationship. A mother is the person a family relies on to make plans, hold things together, know where all the things are and to be the rock. And a true mother lives to fulfill these needs to her deepest effort.

A mom teaches through her actions how to proactively and unconditionally love with a whole heart, even when hers may be broken. She can hide her tears behind a believable smile backed by a devotion to keep her family at its happiest. She is unwavering and loyal. Her family knows they can count on her and relies on her to be the constant.

She is filled with a strong will which is most likely where her children learned to be so stubborn. Her strength is powerful, emotionally and also physically. Have you ever seen a mom carry in groceries or lug her three kids and all the things they positively needed to bring with them into the store?

She can balance a schedule and make sure everybody is where they should be at the right time, even while working a full-time job and going to the gym three days a week before anybody else wakes for the day. Because in all honesty, she would feel guilty taking one minute away from her husband and children in the evening to spend that time on herself. A mom is all of these things and a multitude more.

My momma has taught me all the lessons, even ones that were hard for her to watch, over my lifetime. She taught me to give kindness and love but also to hold my own. She notoriously taught me to follow my gut and follow any dream I had with love and encouragement. She taught me never to quit something after I started, in fact, that was not allowed.

She has the most understanding glances, most delicious unwritten recipes, and the absolute cheesiest macaroni. She can cook anything but mostly enjoys the time spent dirtying her apron with flour in the presence of her kids and now grandkids creating sugary masterpieces. Kitchen laughter and porch talk is often the best medicine.

Over the years, she has been a nurse to many friends and family, taking time away from herself and investing her faith and love as a caretaker. She pours her heart into all she does. She forgives easily but doesn’t give her trust with the same ease.

She, like all mothers, juggles the struggles with grace and relies on her faith through the tirelessness. Always rolling up her sleeves and getting done the need-to-do’s, and with little to no recognition, she keeps on. Always keeps on, always.

Daughters often realize some of the struggles a mom faces, yet still have the desire for their own children as the love shines brighter than the rest. It is pure and undeniable. The moms have all the remedies for cuts and bruises, stomachaches, tangled hair, stains and broken things. They have the advice for high school friendships, career choices, which outfit and which pair of shoes. The have the happiest laughs and meanest stares when one of their children is acting out.

A mom is what makes a house a home. She reflects daily on decisions and chores and meals and failures. She tries to live by example but never lives up to her own expectation. She builds memories with her family. She shares love.

This Mother’s Day, show your mom the appreciation you have for her. Not only your mom though, all moms and those who yearn to be a mother but still have that soul wrenching motherly love in their heart that out pours in every action. If your mom is still on this earth, do not forget to thank her often, not only with words but with memories, hugs and actions. If you are missing your mom this Mother’s Day, take time to thank God for the moments and legacy that your mother gave you.

It doesn’t seem fitting to only take one day a year to recognize our mothers. This tireless group of forever giving women have devoted a lifetime to their children, husbands and families and absolutely deserve the same unconditional love and daily recognition. So, at least today, but also every day, thank your mom, hug her and tell her how special she is to you. Make sure she knows by your life choices and actions that you have truly watched her and are putting in efforts to live by her example. Happy Mother’s Day to my momma, and all the other amazing women. Celebrate, you deserve it.



Winter recreational activities

When snow, ice and frigid weather blast into town, you should take precautions to prevent injury. Winter recreational activities can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiast whose body is not properly conditioned. Winter sports like skating, skiing and sledding can cause painful muscle spasms, strains or tears if you haven’t taken the time to warm up.

Author Russell Fine Releases Sixth Novel

Knoxville TN: Local, multi-published author Russell Fine, Author of the Frank Carver Mystery books, has released his sixth book, The California Experiment.
The California Experiment takes place in 2025, after the democrats lose their third presidential election in a row. A California billionaire, who has used his wealth to buy the California legislature decides that California must secede from the United States and become an independent country. He makes it happen, but quickly discovers that he is not going to be able to create the utopia he expected.

Local Author Nan Klee Releases Book Three in Series

Knoxville TN: Multi-published science fiction author Nan Klee has announced the release of DreaganDance, the conclusion of her DreaganStar Saga. Following DreaganStar and DreaganGrey, books one and two in this series, DreaganDance carries readers to the conclusion of the chaotic universe of Samantha Alexander due to her involvement with the first experimental faster-than-light (FTL) spaceship, the DreaganStar. Set in the five lunar colonies, DreaganDance tells of the espionage, intrigue, romance, and mad science surrounding the first FTL starship during its experimental stage.

Miracle in the Ditch

When my Papaw E.O. was young, his father once told him that he would have to hire another farm hand just to keep an eye on him.
If you have read any of my articles or storytelling books, you know my Papaw E.O. was very accident-prone. Yes, I’ll admit it, I am that way too. But I think most of his came from the fact that he was easily distracted.

A Captive Audience

After a long day, with a few extra hours at work at the office, I drove home to eat a bowl of popcorn. It was lightly flurrying when I arrived home. After a pleasant hour and a half with my cat, wife, popcorn, and the local and national news, it suddenly occurred to me that I had forgotten to write and submit this article. Thanks to a phone conversation earlier this evening with a co-worker, I did have a topic for you, Faithful Reader. There are times that inspiration just doesn’t seem to find me, but luckily due to the lateness of the hour I don’t have writer’s block.

Turkey and noodles

This recipe is so simple. We know you have turkey leftover from the big day. Make it when some time has passed and the leftovers are lounging in your freezer. Of course, you could make it with the leftover pieces of rotisserie chicken you picked up at Food City. It is good either way. I first made this recipe the Thanksgiving I discovered Brined Turkey Breast. It is a staple in my menu box.

My unhappy poinsetta

How can a poinsettia be unhappy, you say? Let me tell you this sorry tale. It began Easter 2018 when I donated two Easter lilies for the altar at church. They were returned to me after the holiday. That is the usual procedure.
I sat the lilies, still with blooms, on a bookcase below a southern exposure window in my office at the back of my house. I watered them from time to time during that summer. By fall, the leaves had fallen and the stalk was dead. I stopped watering them, but they remained at the window. I cut off their stalks.

The Christmas Tradition of Advent

My church celebrated the beginning of Advent December 1st by carrying out the “hanging of the green” tradition of decorating the church sanctuary for the Christmas season. Our pastor explained the meaning of the Advent tradition, which was good because while I had heard of it, I didn’t really know what it about. I’m all about old traditions, and so it sparked my own research on the subject, which I thought I would share.


Miracles of Christmas Past

Children's Nativity scene, Cleveland, TN LDS ward. Picture taken by the author.

Christmas can be such a magical time of the year, even under adversity….

There was a Christmas when I wondered if we’d be able to give our young children Christmas presents. I had begun working for the McMinn County School system a few months earlier and we were still recovering from six months of unemployment.

Hold On To Your Hat

How fast are you traveling right now?

Hopefully, your answer is something like “zero” or “I’m not moving at all” unless you are reading this as a passenger in a car, plane or bus. Whatever your answer is, I can say with a reasonable amount of assurance that you are wrong. Some of you may be way ahead of me here, but my guess is that most of you never give this subject much thought. I’m about to change all of that. I’m sorry–and you’re welcome.


UCBPA Meeting

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 12:00

UCBPA meets the second Tuesday of each month for approximately one hour. Membership is $25 annually. The meeting begins at noon at Hardee's in Maynardville. Anyone interested in making Union County a better place to live, work, worship, or play may attend.

Homeschooling Mom's Meeting

Monday, January 20, 2020 - 18:00

"Keeping it in Perspective, Encouragement for Homeschoolers"
will be presented by Katie Nemeth, director of AliYah Academy, homeschooling mother of 7 with 23 years of experience. She has successfully graduated 3 and her youngest is in Kindergarten. Persons interested in homeschooling are invited. For more information contact Connie Dickey, 865-992-3629.


Tammy Marie Savage

Tammy Marie Savage- 54 of Washburn, born February 28, 1965 passed away Saturday morning, December 14, 2019 at her home. She was of the Baptist faith. She married Terry Glenn Savage on July 10, 1981 and they raised two sons. Tammy was preceded in death by her father, Thomas Epperson; sister, Sherry Epperson Greer.

James "Jim" Burl Hall

James “Jim” Burl Hall age 86 of Halls went home to be with the Lord 3:00 a.m. Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the Waters of Clinton. He attended Dutch Valley Baptist Church. U. S. Army veteran with the Korean War. Preceded in death by loving wife, Frances Hall. Parents, James Oscar and Eunice Nevada Hall, Children, James “Jimmy” Hall, Daughter, Charlotte Treece and granddaughter, Christi Treece. Survivors, Daughter and son in law; Debbie and Jimmy Vandergriff. Brother and sister in law, Ron and Charlsie Hall. Sister, Harrilyn Tipton of Rock Port, Tx. Several nieces and nephews.

Clarence "Bud" Hall

Clarence “Bud” Hall, passed away Friday, December 13, 2019, at the age of 80 in Knoxville Tennessee. Clarence loved hunting, fishing, and sitting on his porch watching the wildlife. He retired from White Lily Foods after working for 42 years. He was a great husband, father, and brother, and loved his family very much. Preceded in death by his parents, Theodore and Mary Hall.

Howard "Eddie" Wright

Howard “Eddie” Wright-age 60 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, December 7, 2019 at U. T. Medical Center. He was a member of Ailor Dale Baptist Church. Preceded in death by brother, Walley Wright; father and mother-in-law, Seb and Gloria Ailor; sisters-in-law, Karen F. Miller, Lila G. Tiller.

Brentley Justin Keelen

Brentley Justin Keelen-age 2 of Indian Ridge Road, Rutledge went to become an angel Saturday afternoon, December 7, 2019 near his home. Preceded in death by grandfather, Mitchell Burgess. Survivors: mother, Samantha Burgess; father, Dustin Keelen; half-brothers, Darius Gage Morgan and Xavier Blaze Morgan; grandparents, Bruce Keelen; Mavis and James Harrell; Trishia Burgess; great-grandmother, Lillie P.

James A. "Jim" Clay, Jr.

James Anderson “Jim” Clay, Jr.-age 63 of Washburn went home to be with his Heavenly Father Friday morning, December 6, 2019 while surrounded by his family at his home. He was a long-time member of Mt. Eager Baptist Church. Jim was a former employee of Plasti-Line Inc. and was a retired Barber. Everyone who knew him loved him. Preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Ruth Clay; sisters, Lois Dalton and Rhonda Clay; brother, Rev. Johnny Clay.

Barbara Beeler McGinnis

Barbara Beeler McGinnis-age 84 of Washburn went to be with the Lord Thursday, December 5, 2019 at her home. Preceded in death by brothers and sisters-in-law, J. R. (Grace) Beeler; Don (Wanda) Beeler; Bill (Lillian) Beeler, all of Washburn; Hazel Lester of Tazewell.

She is survived by her children, Rick (Alice) McGinnis of Knoxville; Rita (Jim) Teffteller of Rutledge; Debbie (Gary) Wood and Jeff McGinnis, all of Washburn. She had eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

Wayne Clifton Smith

Wayne Clifton Smith-age 86 of Heiskell passed away peacefully Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at his home with is family by his side. He was of the Baptist faith and a member of Macedonia Baptist Church. He was a U. S. Army Veteran and a member of the Tri-County Veterans Honor Guard. He was a member of J. C. Baker Lodge #720 F. & A.M.

He leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Shirley Smith; children, Charlotte Diane, Wayne, Tim, Rick and wife, Dolly; Darrell and Beverly. He was also blessed with 19 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

E. J. Ray

E. J. Ray-age 73 of Maynardville went home peacefully Monday evening, December 2, 2019 at his home. He was a member of Fairview Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Andy and Maggie Ray; sisters, Dorthy, Gladys and Mary Patricia Ray; brother, Jr Ray.

Cynthia Dawn Hensley

Cynthia Dawn (Cooper) Hensley-age 53 of Luttrell, born January 18, 1966 passed away Monday morning, December 2, 2019 at her home. Cynthia was a member of Jim Town Baptist Church and an employee of the Horace Maynard Middle School. Preceded in death by father, Rev. E. R. Cooper; mother, Opal Raley Cooper; brothers, Mark and Tony Cooper.

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