Senior center brightens lives of citizens

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

At the very end of Depot Street in Alabaster, behind a grove of trees, sits a cute white bungalow surrounded by flowers. “Neat, clean and inviting,” I thought, so I walked right in.

For a moment, I thought I was at a party. An air of excitement and the constant noise of voices calling to one another welcomed me.

I began to wander through about 25-30 folks, all smiling and welcoming, as I sought out Carol Bryan, the director I had spoken to the day before.

As it turned out, once a month Jim ’N’ Nicks brings those cheese biscuits we all love to the seniors. The folks began to line up for the biscuits and their preferred beverage.

Those with normal mobility were helping those with limitations. After a volunteer started the bingo, Carol, Alicia Walters and I went to Carol’s office to talk.

This is definitely not an old folks’ home.

This center has a bevy of activities, like photography, ceramics, pen pals, jewelry making, trips (Noccalula Falls last week), luncheons, puzzles, art, computer classes and Wii bowling (they are the self-proclaimed champs of Shelby County).

Bryan has only been there four months and credits God for her direct placement.

When family visited the center, they immediately thought of Bryan in regard to the open director’s job.

Her smile is contagious and her attitude bubbly. She loves her job and her people.

Unconditional love, a sense of belonging, self-worth, active minds and companionship tempt individual tastes keeps all these folks coming back.

The best part of my visit was the last 15 minutes I spent chatting and taking pictures.

Sandra Thames is a community columnist for Alabaster. She can be reached by e–mail at