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COLUMN: Time to do something new

By Jaime Mitchell/Community Columnist

With COVID-19 all of Chilton County has had to be at home more often due to Gov. Kay Ivey’s stay at home and safer at home orders. Many people reveal that time at home feels like a gift and has been used to further goals and dreams. These individuals have built something in their lives that might never have been done in normal circumstances.

Home improvement is at the top of the list for many who have had additional time. There’s now time to plant more flowers, grow vegetables, fix the porch, paint the house, renovate or add a whole new section. These changes add to the overall value of the property as well as to the feeling of serenity while at home.

“I’ve been able to work on the house more,” Jemison resident Brandi Bean said. “We did landscaping, a new brick walk with the bricks we found outside by our house, and we built shutters.”

Many are learning to try new things in the kitchen. Making something from scratch like Grandma, learning to cut like a professional or making one’s favorite items from a restaurant are some of the common things that have been tried due to additional time at home.

“I have cooked more … I am thankful for the extra time,” Verbena resident Brittany Hopper said.

Time has also been devoted to educational pursuits. Many people have more time to devote to online classes or research something they have always wanted to know. Some have started to write in journals or even start the road to publishing a book that they have always dreamed of writing. Others have pursued photography, finding fun poses or scenes in nature to capture on film.

“I have learned how to crochet,” Pam Harmon, teacher at Chilton Christian Academy, said, “My grandmother tried to teach me years and years ago, but I am a leftie, so it didn’t work. When we were sent home on March 13, I said, ‘I have to do something,’ so I used YouTube to see how to crochet left handed. So far, I have made a baby blanket, a granny square blanket, a rippled blanket, three beanies, and now I’m working on a houndstooth blanket.”

Exploring Alabama’s natural settings has also been a favorite way to spend time.

“We have started kayaking as a family,” Jemison resident Desiree Bailey said.

Several families have enjoyed nature by going on walks and visiting state and national parks. Among those places visited are Spectre, Alabama, the movie scene from Tim Burton’s movie, “Big Fish.” Others have hiked to Alabama’s highest peak at Mt. Chehaw or visited the glowworms in Dismals Canyon. These expeditions have not only passed the time but ensured that our families get closer, and our natural world is appreciated.

Having too much time on one’s hands can seem to be a problem. However, Chilton County residents are finding great ways to not only enrich their lives, but also create experiences that last a lifetime.