The times, they are a-changing

My family dynamic has changed over the course of the past two weeks. My oldest is quarantined at my home and my youngest, the grand dog and myself are staying with my parents for 14 consecutive days. To say that life is far different than it was even a week ago would be an understatement.

By 8:15 a.m. our first day there, I learned several valuable lessons: I am fat, the dog prefers (and gets) free range chicken, they don’t get the Hallmark Channel, there isn’t enough hot water, working from home is still work and my mother sleeps a lot. I have found that I spend a great deal of time going to the post office. It’s a plausible excuse and the pandemic’s version of running away from home.

To say that life has changed for all of us is an understatement. Myra Garrett is the glue at Hartselle High School. She found out the hard way this week that when video conferencing with faculty and staff, it is best to not to show your face if you have been to the lake. The lack of contacts, makeup and hair styling might make you unrecognizable to faculty and staff.

Cheryl Sandlin has been snacking a bit more than usual. Since her gym is closed, she’s doing some online classes to make up for the extra calories. Tina Wofford is quick to admit to the snacking, too.

Shirley Reid has found time to actually play with her pups. Anya Davis has learned more about her neighbors. Cheri Alexander has found that happiness is homemade. She’s made homemade bread, homemade loaded spaghetti and homemade chicken pot pie.

Tracy Roberts McCann has worked diligently to complete a drawing for Decatur’s 200th birthday. This drawing and others will be included in an activity book that highlights the many different architectural styles throughout the city.

Beverly Moore has invested her time and talents into a new restaurant called “MY Kitchen.” Her husband, Keith, tells her that the food is great, however, she has to buy the groceries, unload them and put them away, prepare the meals, wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen after they eat. She thinks she might need to hire some help.

Leah Brown has written a few grants for Mosaic Mentoring while in her pajamas and watched her husband, David, remodel their kitchen. She’s also assisted families in need of resources in the area.

Karen Smith has worked on the yearly update for the One Decatur Plan. Judy Seymour has spent time reorganizing her closets. Luckily she found no skeletons in hiding.

Juanita Healy has been cleaning, scrubbing and painting with Connie Torbert and Lauren Riehl getting ready to open Cheesecakes and More on the corner of Somerville Road and Eighth Street Southeast.

Mark Moody has been making face masks and Amy Hill has been reaching out to her students and fellow faculty members from Decatur Heritage Christian Academy.

Pam Raines was excited to actually clean out her garage until she remembered that it was trash day so all her new trash would have to sit in waiting until next week. Stacy Sewell has worked to get her garden ready for planting. Doug Rhodes has taken his motorcycle and spent some much-needed ride time in Bankhead National Forest.

Flynn Stewart, a first grader at Eastwood Elementary School, completed the million-word challenge and has assisted his mother, Andrea, in making face masks for area businesses. They also shipped some to a friend from Decatur now in New York City.

Steve and Ethel Turney celebrated 44 years of wedded bliss this week and are still living the dream. Emily Baggett and her son, Eli, have created and sent cards to area veterans.

A group of anonymous and grateful residents left beautiful signage beside the hospitals stating "Heroes Work Here!" And they do.


Feeding kids

Another unsung hero is Dwight Satterfield, who has ensured that our children and educators are protected and fed during this difficult time. With last week being spring break, a Community Trunk Feed was put into place at seven locations. Planning committee members were Reba Wadsworth, retired Decatur City Schools principal, Lt. Bobby Peavler with Decatur Fire and Rescue, Lemzel Johnson with Decatur Youth Services, officer Jamie Jones with the Decatur Police Department and Satterfield, Decatur City Schools' deputy superintendent.

The feeding sites, sponsors and lead contacts for the week were Austinville Elementary, Decatur Baptist Church, Joe McKaig and Ed Taylor; Banks Caddell Elementary, First Baptist Church, Jack Lovelace; Ben Davis Elementary, Epic Church, Anna Hurst; Frances Nungester Elementary, First Bible Church, Libby Brown; Oak Park Elementary, First United Methodist Church, Carrie Sanders-Hart; West Decatur Elementary, Central Park Baptist Church, Matt Haimes; and Woodmeade Elementary, Westmeade Baptist Church, Ben Tinley.

On Wednesday, Andy Villarreal with Burningtree Country Club provided chicken fingers as the main entrée for each site. On Thursday, Patrick Hillis with Sysco Foods and Will Woller along with Friends from the Meadowbrook Society provided hot dogs. On Friday, Kiwanis partnered with Firehouse Subs for boxed lunches. Beltline Church of Christ and LifePoint Church provided an additional bag of non-perishable food to be distributed alongside the meal.

First Presbyterian, God’s Love Covenant, Lifeline Church, St. John's Episcopal and Shiloh Baptist also contributed to this program. Epic Church, Beltline Church of Christ and Lifepoint Church provided members as hosts for each site. Steve Chandler took the lead with Beltline Church of Christ.

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— Freelance columnist Wendy Lang writes Chatterbox. Send news and high resolution photos to

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