2020 Christmas TreesAlthough many holiday traditions have been modified this year because of COVID-19, even a pandemic can’t dampen the desire for a Christmas tree, brightly decorated and surrounded by presents. This year, many people are putting up their trees earlier than usual, in order to embrace the Christmas season at the end of a rater dark year. Once again, Rudy's Happy Patch Market welcomes area customers as they shop for their perfect tree.

Staff member and tree wrangler Kelly Jansen explains, “We know that many of our customers want to be early with their home Christmas tree decorating. There is a shortage of Christmas trees with the fire destruction this year. We had one sell the day the trees were delivered.” 

At last count, 100 Frazier firs were awaiting a new home. Trees range in heights from six to 12 feet at prices from $45 to $110. Also available this year is the “Handi-Thing” tree stand. This stand braces the trees and holds water for freshness. Last year’s steel stand is also available, and both are reusable for years to come. There is a charge of $10 to $25 to add a tree stand.

Trees will be loaded at the market, but due to the virus, home delivery is not available this year. Customers can visit the pavilion in the south parking lot for early selection.

In the photo above, two stately Frazier firs await selection at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market. 

Thanksgiving 2020 PWCDuring this difficult year of 2020, Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry has taken on the challenge of continuing routines and traditions safely, particularly during the holidays.

“It is most important during this time of the virus and political and social unrest to pause and give thanks for another day, for food, and for good health,” Stuart explains. That is why the Thanksgiving luncheon tradition will continue, with safety precautions in place.

“Our kitchen staff took care of a good meal,” Stuart continue. “Life is good at Perry Wellness Center.”

For this year’s big event, Styrofoam trays were filled to the top with ham, black-eyed peas, dressing, macaroni and cheese, and stuffing covered with cranberry and cornbread. Slices of homemade pumpkin pie and iced tea were also served.

Before the meal began, staff member Evan Brown offered thanks, reminding peers of the importance of the day and their food. As peers entered the dining room to open their loaded trays, they offered thanks to the staff who prepared the festive meal, while others said a blessing over their meals.

In the photo above, peers Matt Goldman and Amber Cagle pause to give thanks for their Thanksgiving lunch.

November Snowball PlantsThe popular snowball plant is in full bloom this late fall in southwest Georgia. On a cool morning at Perry Wellness Center, it demonstrates how it earned its named. At the edge of the parking lot leading into Hope Park, a display of snowball shrubs almost sparkles in the sunlight.

PWC founder and CEO Stuart Perry is a fan of the plant. Gesturing to the plants, he says, “This really is a show for a cold morning. These snowball plants are healthy and beautiful. The white blooms are a reminder of winter temperatures.” 

With the noise and flow of our fountain, the white blooms are a calming reminder of winter temperatures.”

In the photo above, the corner display area around the Hope Park fountain serves as a calming rest stop during this holiday season. 

VolcanoEducation and information sharing are an important part of peer discussion groups at Perry Wellness Center. But sometimes a visual presentation makes the most attention-grabbing point.

Certified peer specialist Sarah Teal has been leading a group on anger management, teaching peers to better understand the causes of anger and how to control it. On the first day of the discussion, Sarah brought in a 12-ounce empty bottle for each peer. Peers then covered their bottles with newspaper and tape to simulate a volcanic terrain. Next, a teaspoon of baking soda was put in each bottle, representing a potential conflict in our lives. Finally, white vinegar was poured into the bottle as a stimulus agent for conflict and disagreement.

If you have ever conducted this experiment, you know the explosive results! The sudden eruption from the “volcano” is a perfect symbol for how anger can quickly overtake us when inflamed by stress and conflict. 

Sarah explains, “Mixing vinegar and soda can show us the potential for erupting stress in our lives. We cannot make the mess in our lives that this experiment demonstrates.”

In the photo above, peers gather around Sarah Teal, CPS, as she demonstrates the chemistry of erupting anger.

Thanksgiving meal planning“The coronavirus will not shut down the celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas at Perry Wellness Center,” proclaims the center founder and CEO Stuart Perry. While COVID health precautions will remain in place, peers and staff will have the opportunity to participate in moments of fellowship throughout the holiday season.

An important part of seasonal celebration is food, and Kelly Jansen and Arthur Pillow have the situation under control. Kelly is a certified peer specialist and leader in the meal planning service at PWC, while Arthur serves as the kitchen manager. This week the two sat down to plan the menu for a big Thanksgiving meal, prepared on-site and served in the cafeteria on Tuesday, November 24, beginning at noon.

The planned menu includes: ham, macaroni and cheese, collards, peas, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, and water or sweet tea.

Kelly notes, “We have not prepared a meal of this size since Thanksgiving of 2019. We are planning for 75 plates! It will be fun to prepare for and serve our peers, staff, and invited guests.”

In the photo above, Kelly Jansen, standing, and Arthur Pillow make preparations for the annual Thanksgiving luncheon at Perry Wellness Center.

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