Living a new dream

Published 3:44 pm Monday, May 10, 2010

Born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., Denise Graham always had the goal of being a lawyer, but taking care of two small children changed that goal to a shorter-termed CPA.

After working for others for a number of years, this determined lady set up a five-year and 10-year plan for the opening and success of her own business. She has met both goals.

Daughter Crystal Jones is her “right-hand girl,” and it is delightful to hear them answer for one another. The business has been located on Highway 31 in Alabaster since 2003, and presently they are looking for a larger location.

Graham has been active in Casa, Rotary, Shelby Chamber of Commerce, Safehouse, several board positions and has also served as a deacon and elder of her church.

She is quick to laugh, loves solitude, gardening, reading, home cooking and her three grandchildren, Cade, 16; Cameron, 10; and Cylie, 8. Graham says taking special family trips and making memories with her grandchildren constitute a good time.

Whether it’s attending ballgames, cheerleader tourneys, BMX challenges, dance competitions or just “chillin with the kids and (her husband) Pete,” Graham seems to be very capable and comfortable in the life she lives. Graham would like to be remembered as someone fun to be around and someone who truly cared about other people.

Her favorite southern cities are Savannah, Ga. and Buford, S.C. She has been to Mexico and Barbados.

“Life is not perfect by any means,” she said. “We just laugh, pray, cry and keep going.”

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at