'Round Town

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The groundhog is coming out tomorrow, Feb. 2. Even if he doesn’t want to come out, Mr. Punxsutawney Phil – that’s the groundhog’s name – will be coerced to take a peek because inquiring American minds want to know the future weather.

Punxsutawney Phil lives in Punxsutawney, Pa., and his forecast on Feb. 2 each year causes lot of people to gather at Gobbler’s Knob. That’s where Phil lives in a simulated tree trunk home.

According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow we will have six more weeks of winter weather. If, however, Phil doesn’t see his shadow, the sunshine is coming and we can expect warmer temperatures and the arrival of an early spring. I’ve always wondered how you know how a groundhog sees his shadow. I’ve also wondered how all these folks can take off work in the middle of the week to watch him forecast the weather. On to other news.

After the excitement of the groundhog making his decision this Thursday dies down it will be time to turn from weather to love. You have approximately 12 days until Valentines so now’s the time to start shopping! Since Valentine’s falls on Saturday this year, reservations might be a smart thing if you’re thinking about taking your sweetie out to dinner. 

Speaking of Valentine’s, the Madisonville First Baptist Church is hosting a Women’s retreat Valentine weekend. That’s Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18.  "Heartfelt Friends" will be held in the Church’s Life Center starting Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. with check-in. The program Friday night will also include dinner so dads, get ready for a fun Friday evening with the kiddos.

Saturday morning the retreat begins again at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast and yes, a luncheon will be served as well.  The nursery will be available both Friday and Saturday.

The speaker for Heartfelt Friends is Mindy Lancaster and the cost for the meals is  $20. If you need a little help with that, scholarships are available.  Call the Madisonville First Baptist Church office at 936-348-2686, by Feb. 13 for registration information.

Don’t forget! This Friday, Feb. 3 is the fifth annual Father-Daughter Dance. It is hosted by the First United Methodist Church and will be held in the Wesley Hall from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

There is no cost for the evening and it’s open for all, so dads, granddads, uncles, take your special gals between the ages of preschool to eighth grade and teach them how a guy is supposed to treat a gal. Refreshments will be served and a photograph will be provided to each young lady and her date at no cost. It’s a special time to make a wonderful memory that she will not forget.

We’ve had some preachers under the weather lately.  First Dennis Ivey had a pacemaker put in late last Monday afternoon. He was able to go home Tuesday though and is doing well.

Then Jack Meeker, pastor of Crossroads cowboy Church was life-flighted to Bryan St. Joseph Hospital Monday afternoon following a serious heart attack.  Jack was able to come home Thursday afternoon to recuperate after receiving two stents. It was a hectic week for his wife Jeanny who had barely gotten Jack settled in at home when her mom, Peggy, who lives several doors down from them on Main Street,was taken to Bryan-Joseph Hospital. Jack hopes to be back in the pulpit in another month.  In the meantime, Brad Brock stepped into the pulpit last Sunday to a packed house.   

Also under the weather is Ford Hooper. Ford had some heart issues earlier and was back in the hospital again last week. Thankfully he is now home now.  Send your cards to PO Box 795 Normangee 77871.   

How about a few belated birthdays? Belated happy birthday to Amy Barrington who celebrated her special day Jan. 23 and to Michael Barrington Sr. whose birthday was Jan. 29. Celebrating right between them was their son Matthew Barrington whose birthday was Jan. 26.  They had a valid reason to eat cake every three days for a week. Not a bad deal!

On our birthday list, happy birthday to Carolyn McWhorter whose celebrates her birthday Feb 3.  Carolyn and her sister Lillie have some very special great nieces, a set of triplets Rachel, Miranda and Zoe who were almost born on Carolyn’s birthday. Instead, their birthday is Feb. 6. While the girls live in The Woodlands they have spent summers in our area and attended Vacation Bible School in North Zulch.

Also on this week’s calendar Beverly Plumlee’s birthday is Thursday, Feb. 2 while Lola Hardy celebrates her birthday Sat Feb 4. Greg Cagel has his birthday Feb. 6 while Bonnie Hendrix does the same Feb 7. Carli Standley comes next with her birthday Feb. 8. Winding down the birthday list for the week is Robby Richardson whose birthday is Feb. 9.

Congratulations to hometown gal, Jill Sharp Vaughn, Montgomery, TX and the daughter of LaMerle and the late Datus Sharp who has been nominated for The Women's Resource of Greater Houston Top Women in Banking and Finance Award. This year’s eight nominees are featured in the Houston Business Journal and will be honored at a spring luncheon April 20, 2017 at the Omni Houston Hotel. That’s pretty impressive! Jill’s sister, Jeri Sharp Smith lives in Crockett, TX.

And finally, hats off to the Normangee PTO! Before I share about Normangee PTO, how about a little background about our county?

Helping Little League teams, extra curricular activities at the schools or helping those going through a crisis is something most local businesses are glad to do. Fortunately Madison County storeowners have big hearts, but on the other side of that coin, too often those asking for the donation have never been in their store. That’s sad since in reality, when the business owner gives an item he’s giving money out of his pocket because he had to first purchase the item.

Also sad is often the acknowledgement the storeowner receives.  Usually it’s a donation form or perhaps a perfunctory formatted letter. Not so with the Normangee PTO!

Last fall the Normangee PTO solicited donations for their annual Fall Carnival. The funds they raise help with school supplies and school trips. Nothing different so far. Then came the thank you letter. That’s right, a thank you letter sent by Kristin Shaffer, the Fall Carnival Director and Jenn Pickering, the PTO President. I have no idea how they accomplished this but 18 young children printed their names on the bottom of that paper. It is precious to see and warmed my heart. Not only did the ladies take time to really show their appreciation, they taught those kiddos about thank you letters. I’m thinking about framing that letter. Hats off to you Kristin and Jenn! 

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