A Family Remembers


WLM - Melissa, Chris & Brooks with their mother, Terrijean CrowellThe “Good Life” in Wilson County is as much here today as it has been for years. We all enjoy the beautiful geography that makes our area special – from the rolling hills to the groves of cedar trees and even the limestone sinks that cover our area, but the part of Wilson County that makes it the most special is much deeper than that. This is true in many ways, even in ways that sometimes aren’t readily apparent.

Take politics. Most of us today have a negative connotation of even the mention of it. Many in Wilson County have been involved in the political process before. Sometimes for a long-term purpose like accessing the public water supply, and other times for a short term purpose like collecting our tree trimmings – before company comes! But inside the political process there is usually an election — an event that can come quickly in a small room or slowly over an entire country. It is said that everyone should run for public office at least once in our lives, and here is a walk through an experience of that “good life” in Wilson County.WLM - Public Service - High Calling

The radio was tuned to our local AM station, barely audible through the roar of friends and family. A blended spirit of excitement and exhaustion prevalent among those present, the common mission created exhilaration akin to a marathon finish. Anticipation of updates came slowly as cars came up the driveway with paper and pencil and a story of how the day went. It was well before the days of cell phones, where communication was preserved often until a face to face meeting took place. There were little if any television updates, as often the results they were looking for were from events much larger than just Wilson and Trousdale counties. This scene was repeated four times in our family and in many other families in Wilson County and well beyond. It was the primary election night in Wilson County. A time when the lever-type voting machine was full of names and communities across our area spoke through their pull of that lever. There was no early voting, so everyone had to cast their ballot on the same day. Polls were taken by simply asking our neighbors at the grocery store or as “scientific” as calls into the radio station.

The first time my father, Gentry Crowell, ran for State Representative, my birth was expected the month following the election in September 1968. Some of the supporters said that my father might get votes from those who were sympathetic to my mother’s condition as she did her part to help in the election. He won and then was elected and held the seat until 1976, before going on to become Secretary of State. At the time, the county was rural and agricultural and overwhelmingly Democratic. If you won the Democratic primary, you were in as there would be no Republican contender in thegeneral election. Over the years, he had several prominent Democratic opponents such as B.F. (Jack) Lowery and the late Robert E. (Ewell) Lee, who was the founding partner of the firm where my wife now practices law.WLM - Campaign

WLM - Campaign ManagerMany good times were had as we traveled Wilson and Trousdale Counties, meeting people and asking for their support. One time at a campaign rally just before the election, several cakes were auctioned. My parents purchased one of the cakes for $75.00 — an enormous amount to pay for a cake at that time. My brother Brooks was carrying it to the car when he decided to pick a cherry off  the top. In the attempt, he lost balance in his hand and the cake hit the ground, upside down!  One of our dear friends, the late Margaret King, came running to help pick up the cake from the ground exclaiming, “Pick it up fast, if they see it on the ground they may think that we didn’t like it!”

The seat my father held was subsequently held by the late Joe Bell and then Stratton Bone. Though many things have certainly changed from that era, one constant is the great people who live here. They are people who find surprising joy in actually meeting their neighbors and discovering more about how their community works. They are people who share the victories and defeats in our lives. And they are people who are there for each other in celebration and despair. These are the great people of Wilson County, who for generations have taken pride in participating in their community through public service in many forms. The great part is that there are so many good folks here to work with along the journey. So this is how we build and enjoy the good life – by being an active part in making our community a better place.

Thanks to my mother, Terrijean Crowell for providing the pictures included in this article

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Chilly Event Warms the Heart

WLM - Polar Bear Plunge
Lebanon’s annual Polar Bear Plunge brings smiles and funds to the Wilson County Special Olympics Athletes – POLAR BEAR PLUNGE 2011


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New Leash On Life – Almost Home Pet Adoption Center

WLM - Development Director Traci Miller (left) & Executive Director Maureen E. O'Nell

Maureen O’Nell, Michele Lee, Traci Miller, Jerri Rule and the entire New Leash on Life (NLOL) staff are very dedicated to improving the welfare of companion animals in Wilson County through shelter, home placement, spay/neuter along with community education and awareness programs. In addition, they educate and train the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department to be on the look out for neglected or homeless animals.

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Telling Tales – Birth Order

Wilson Living Magazine

I started taking an interest on the subject of Birth Order after becoming an adult. Mainly because I had grown tired of my older siblings treating me like I’m still 5. Birth order explains a lot about a person’s behavior; especially a person who comes from a family of six children. I am number four in that order.

I love my oldest brother and sisters but this sibling battle has been going on since they were born first and my parents began referring to their younger children as “the babies.” A term my dad still uses to this day to describe us.

The older children in families will always talk about how much more the younger children got away with and how the younger kids generally had a more cushy life. But something they forget is because they were the oldest ones everything they got was new.

We always got the hand me downs. By the time I got the hoola hoop, it was shaped like football and filled with water. When I got the roller skates the rubber break on the front was worn down to the size of a jelly bean transforming the wearer into a human torpedo. And when I FINALLY got the Raggedy Ann and Andy doll they were headed for divorce court. All because of Andy’s apparent mid life crisis where he streaked his yarn and was caught cruising around with Barbie in her dream car.

When my older sisters would watch us younger kids they had a special way of completing their chores… By making us do it. We could have refused but when someone- who is much older and bigger-says if you don’t do the dishes before mom and dad get home “the Boogey Man is gonna get ya!” you listen. And for a snack they allowed us to eat as many raw hot dogs we could get down.

The iced tea we all shared… The tea inside that glass looked like a science experiment. That is why I have an aversion to drinking after my children to this day.

I see the mystery of Birth Order with my children too. My oldest, Jacob, is constantly annoyed by the presence of his little brother. And my youngest, Jackson, well all he wants is to be just like his big brother and nothing else. He tirelessly tries to keep up with everything Jacob does (especially wrestling) and grows frustrated when he realizes how much harder his brother hits.

If our home had a theme sound it would be a low roar. If you listen closely sometimes it sounds like a herd of cattle running through the upstairs. That would be my boys fighting over something…anything really. Where the fighting is generally over who gets what controller on the Wii or who’s the fastest, their fights have now evolved into seeing who can drive me nuts first.
I love being one of six children. I find it interesting that some experts say birth order repeats itself in large families with every fourth child. This means that the fifth child in a family starts acting like the oldest. This explains why my younger sister (the fifth) always thought she “was the boss of me.”
Birth order can affect many things about your life.

It affects whether or not you have diabetes, what type of vehicle you should drive and whether your hair frizzes when it’s raining outside.

Basically if you know about birth order, you don't need to know anything else. And why should you?
You already have a sister who -because she’s a nurse- knows everything for you.

Becky Andrews can be reached at becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Check out  www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com to see what’s going on in your community!


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Criticism – Who Needs It?


Criticism is part of life. It may come from those who love us most or those who may not even like us. It may arrive like cold water poured on the flames of a great success or like the stinging of salt in the open wound of a setback. Have you ever seen a name pop up on your Caller ID and think, “Oh no, what is it this time?” It almost seems that some people have the gift of criticism and feel they should exercise it at every opportunity.

Regardless of whether it is justified or not, receiving criticism is not normally a pleasant experience. How should we respond when we are criticized? Criticism offered with the right attitude and done in the right way can be a good thing. Criticism, when done in a constructive way to help us, may actually suggest ways to save us problems and create better situations for us.

While serving in my first pastorate, our church was growing, and we desperately needed more room. Our church had a preschool, and we were in the process of expanding into a full-blown Christian School. We formed the appropriate committees and made plans to construct a new educational building and cafeteria/fellowship hall. One committee member failed to attend any planning sessions and showed up at the final session shortly before the plans were to be presented to the church. After he’d looked over the plans, I asked him, “How do you like the plans?” He responded, “I don’t.”

My young pastoral fervor got the best of me, and I snapped back, “What don’t you like about them?” It upset me that he failed to attend a single planning session, and now he wanted to criticize the committee’s work. He then showed me a major flaw in the plans. The restrooms were where the offices needed to be and vise/versa. He was absolutely right. We changed the plans and built the new building. I learned a valuable lesson from that experience about the value of criticism.

How do you react when you are criticized? Below are four simple steps which may be helpful.

Step 1 – LISTEN to it. Have you been introduced to someone you didn’t know and became so busy thinking about what you should say and shaking the person’s hand that you totally missed the person’s name? A similar thing can happen when we hear criticism. We sometimes throw up barriers because of who is delivering the criticism or simply because we are being criticized. We need to hold our tongues and listen to the details of the criticism before we speak. This does two things: It helps us gain a better understanding of what we are dealing with, and it provides an opportunity for others to be heard. Even if you choose not to respond in the way others feel you should, they will feel that they’ve had a hearing. Many times just letting folks get it off their chests is all that is needed.

Step 2 – LOOK at it. Once you’ve heard the criticism, thank the person for bringing it to your attention and tell them that you will certainly give it some thought. Then seriously examine the criticism/suggestion. Look at the merits of the criticism. Is this a valid criticism? Is there a problem that should be addressed? Are there changes which should be made? Is this person’s suggestion the right way to go? You will then know if you should accept or reject the criticism.

Step 3 – LEARN from it. If you determine the criticism to be a valid one, and the suggestions for change good ones, then don’t let your pride hinder you from doing what your gut tells you that you should. Make the changes. Move in another direction. Implement a new procedure. Stop this or start that. We never reach the place that we cannot learn from others.

Step 4 – LIVE above it. After you’ve LISTENED to it, LOOKED at it, LEARNED from it, and the criticism is unjust or not valid, what should you do? Choose simply to LIVE above it. Sometimes the best response is not to respond at all. Do not spend a great deal of time rehashing the matter. Move on with life. File the criticism in the back of your mental filing cabinet and leave it there. Take the high road and continue doing what you’re doing.

CRITICISM – Who Needs It? Criticism is part of life. It will come in times of great success and also great disappointment. It can be valid, but it can also be bogus. It can be helpful and also hurtful. However it may come, we should do our best to handle it well.

Roy W. Harris is a marriage seminar and retreat speaker, minister, published author and journalist. He can be contacted by email at roy@royharris.info or visit his website at www.royharris.info.

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The Key To Preventive Health Care


WLM - Dr Darshana Patel, internal medicine physician at Mt. Juliet Medical AssociatesBuilding a relationship with a trusted physician can be the key benefit to preventive health care. Making small, regular decisions regarding one’s wellbeing and taking positive steps toward physical care can be compared to owning a vehicle. Just like maintaining a vehicle, a person must maintain his or her body. “Preventive care is steps you can take as early as possible when working with your physician to pinpoint risk factors such as illnesses that may run in your family along with habits that are unhealthy. This measure can help decrease chances of going on to develop chronic illnesses,” said Dr. Darshana Patel, internal medicine physician at Mt. Juliet Medical Associates.

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WLM - Food for Thought

Food For Thought – The Perfect Panini

WLM - Food For ThoughtThe grilled cheese you loved as a kid has grown up, mature and sophisticated in the form of the panini. Panini are popular choices on many restaurant menus and are simply, hearty pieces of bread, grilled with various filling on a unique press. The simple preparation and adaptability make panini a great weeknight dinner option.

Around our house, almost any leftover will eventually find its way into a panini. Be creative. Any combination of ingredients that you like will make a great panini.

Bread, bread, bread – The most important component of a panini is the choice of bread. Stay away from traditional loaf sandwich bread. The soft texture will not achieve a toasted crust and may fall apart when fillings are added. Think bakery bread, rolls or buns. Be sure to choose bread that is thick enough to hold all of your ingredients together.

Meat – Your local deli counter is stocked with many varieties of cold cuts that are ideal for panini. Try different selections than your normal ham and turkey that you order for cold sandwiches. Grilled chicken, seafood, barbeque, pork tenderloin and meatloaf are excellent choices if you are using leftovers.

Vegetables – Most vegetables can be used cold or cooked. The exception is lettuce, which should always be served cold.

Cheese – My best friends are cheddar, gouda and brie. Cheese is my favorite part of a panini. Choosing a cheese that melts well is essential. Stay away from hard, firm cheeses like parmesan. Semisoft and medium cheeses are best.

Condiments – Think of condiments as the glue that holds your panini together. Use them sparingly. They should compliment the panini rather than overpower it. Brushing the outside of the bread with extra virgin olive oil is a simple touch that will add a lot of added flavor.

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Boots For the New Year

WLM - The Perfect Boots

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Heels For Every Occasion

WLM - the Perfect Heels

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Hats, Gloves, Scarves & Leg-Warmers?

WLM - Hat, gloves, scarves & leg-warmers Continue reading “Hats, Gloves, Scarves & Leg-Warmers?”

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