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Bethesda News: Happy Thanksgiving

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Joyce Smith, Columnist

Thought for the week: Unless you are willing to guard your thought, you will never be able to guard your heart. So, focus on blessing, not hardships, and opportunities, not roadblocks. 

With today being Thanksgiving, I want to say to each of you how thankful I am for you. I appreciate you and your nice comments about my column. I pray that each of you realize that we have so much to be thankful for.  

I also know that today will be a sad day, as we have lost family members and friends since last year. We can still look back and see things in their lives that we are thankful for. My prayers continue to be with those of you who have lost loved ones. May God continue to be with each of you. 

You are invited to attend Bethesda UMC’s upcoming Pizza with Santa event Monday, Nov. 29, from 5-7 p.m. You will be able to take pictures of your child/children with Santa and Mrs. Claus and then eat pizza following the photo shoot. The Clauses want to be sure to pass along to you that they have been vaccinated and had their boosters, as well. They will be happy to wear masks if any of you feel more comfortable. You are asked to wear a mask as you enter the church and also spread out in the sanctuary while waiting for photos to be taken. If you have any questions, feel free to email Pastor Mary Kate at

You have all been Invited to open houses over the years, but have you ever been invited to open barns? Well, you are invited to one on Sunday, Dec. 12, from 1-4 p.m. at Angel Heart Farm, located at 4844 Byrd Lane in College Grove.  

Angel Heart Farm is a nonprofit organization that serves children and their families battling cancer using equine-assisted therapy in conjunction with their medical treatment. They work with patients at St. Jude’s. This is their 20th year serving these amazing warrior families.  

You are invited to come and meet and greet their therapy ponies and horses while enjoying hot cocoa and cookies. The barns will be decorated for the Christmas season. Photo opportunities with their little mini horse, Buddy, will be available. This is a great opportunity for you to bring your children as well as family and friends to see such a beautiful place. We are so blessed to have them as our neighbors. 

Happy 90th birthday to a very dear friend, Rosie Bogle, who will be celebrating on Nov. 28. We wish her continued health and happiness in the years ahead. We love you, Rosie. 

Our family was shocked as well as deeply saddened when we learned of the passing of my cousin, Tanya Beatey Shockey, on Nov. 12 due to COVID-19. She was only 48 years old and the mother of six children. She is the daughter of Nell Frost Beatey and the late Junior Beatey. Her maternal grandparents, the late Roy and Ruby Frost, were my aunt and uncle. She is also survived by her husband, Michael Shockey, and brother, Tony Beatey. My sister, Anita, and I attended her services at Murfreesboro Funeral Home this past week. To each of her family members, our deepest sympathy is extended. 

Congratulations to those of you who were recently awarded Community Volunteer Awards. We especially want to congratulate our state Rep. Sam Whitson, who received the Charles M. Sargent Legacy Award. We appreciate you, Sam, and what you are doing for our county and city. 

We are so excited for the Page High School football team. They are in the state semifinals for the first time since 1998. We wish them the best of luck. 

You are invited to the 157th Battle of Franklin and Spring Hill Illumination ceremony on Nov. 29 at Carter House and Carnton in Franklin and Nov. 30 at Rippavilla in Spring Hill. Mark your calendar so you will be sure to remember. 

If you have never been to the FrankTown Festival of Lights, then I urge to do so. It begins tonight from 5-9 p.m. at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center. The drive-through holiday light show includes s’mores around the fire pit and photo ops. It is a great show for the whole family to enjoy. It begins tonight and continues through Dec. 26, and tickets are available at

I have just learned that you can journey to Fairview for their Holiday Wonders drive-through holiday light show at Bowie Park beginning tomorrow night from 6-10 p.m. each Thursday through Sunday throughout the holiday season. The Nature Center will become Santa’s Village, where children can get a photo with Santa, have a cup of hot cocoa and cookies, and do a take-home craft. To buy tickets, go to  

Do you have family members and friends whom you would love to give a gift but have no idea what to give? May I suggest a gift of the Williamson Herald? This is a year-long gift with 52 issues of the paper as well as six editions of Southern Exposure Magazine. The price is only $50 for the year. Call 615-790-6465 for more information (no, this is not a paid advertisement but one that I have been doing for years, and my family and friends tell me how much they enjoy receiving the local news). 

Do you have your calendar marked for Friday night, Dec. 3 for the lighting of the Christmas tree in downtown Franklin? Entertainment will be provided by the Freedom Intermediate School honors choir and five-time Grammy nominee and Christian music songwriter and performer Matthew West, who has played at this event before. Free photos with Santa will be provided free by Williamson Medical Center beginning at 5:45 p.m. Mars Petcare will also offer a pet-friendly photo opportunity. All of this will begin at 6 p.m. with the lighting of the tree at 7:15 p.m. If you would like more information, go to www.franklintngov/treelighting.  

Congratulations to a friend of mine, Eva Rogers, who was recently honored as Teacher of the Year at Spring Hill Elementary School. She is the wife of Steve Rogers, pastor at Ash Hill C.P. Church. 

Franklin Theatre will show holiday movies beginning tomorrow and running through Dec. 30. They have some great movies for the whole family. You can check their calendar for the shows at   

So many of our family and friends are still in need of your prayers. Please continue to remember Peggy Fisher, Doris Pedrick, Jack Williams, Teresa Locke, Mary Etta Pratt, Alli Bobo, Darlene Watson Heath, Pat Marlin, Dot and Allen Marlin, Mattie and Herbert Marlin, Gerald McGee, Melba Lindsey, David Gilreath, Dee and Dwight Lynch, Judy and Ronnie Pitt, Jimmy and Brenda Thompson, Jimmy Garner, John Smith, CoCo Franks, Dodie Hazelwood, Jessie Bennett, Fred Brown, Mary Dean, Billy and Katie Giles, Billy Wiley, Nellie Stephens, Susie Bennett, Tom Mefford and Elaine Anderson, as well as others whom we are not aware of. 

Our deepest sympathy is extended to the families who have lost loved ones over the past several weeks. Please continue to pray for the families of Gentry Fox, Tanya Beatey Stockey, Daly Thompson Jr., Mary Jo Driskill, Dr. Anita Raye Head, Tanner Scott Williams, Dan Hogg, Herbert Howard Johnson Jr., Nell Redford, Don Ratcliff and Clifford Wentzel, as well as others whom I am not aware of. 

Happy Thanksgiving, and may God continue to bless each of you! 

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