Mother’s Day was celebrated this year in ways not expected a year ago. The impact of the global pandemic has caused ingenuity to blossom along with the spring flowers as local churches and businesses explore alternative ways to keep families connected and served.
One West Amory church has a long-standing Mother’s Day tradition that was altered due to restrictions imposed. Marty Polk, Harold Burns and Cedric Tisdale all serve in various capacities at St. James United Methodist Church and decided to take its annual tradition to the streets.
“We normally have a big Mother’s Day event where we honor the mothers in our congregation and provide roses and a complete meal for them after church. Since they couldn’t come to church this year, we decided to come to them,” Polk said.
It was like an old-time circuit riding minister traveling between preaching points.
Tisdale has long been the financial underwriter of the Mother’s Day program and joined with Polk and Burns to organize a parade to travel to each mother’s house in their congregation to deliver greeting cards.
Several cars were decorated with glittering posters and helium balloons for the parade. Other cars joined in as the convoy made its way through West Amory with horns honking. Burns, who is church board president, stepped out of the lead car at every stop along the way to deliver the cards.
“We noticed other ladies coming out of their homes to see what all the honking was about. We had extra cards with us, so we made extra stops to give out cards. All the smiles were so heartwarming,” Polk said.
Polk emphasized the outreach efforts of the church are all about ministry, and the efforts were blessed with a perfect day.
Right down the road in Becker, the Longhorn Fish and Steakhouse, owned by Randy and Cindy Harmon, resurrected the old tradition of dinner on the grounds for Mother’s Day, which turned out to be a huge success, thanks to a picture perfect day with ideal conditions for enjoying an outdoor picnic.
“It was Randy’s idea. It was all about the experience of helping people get together,” Cindy said.
The pasture adjacent to the restaurant was divided into lots where patrons could drive out with their orders and set up a picnic.
“It was a crazy hectic day. One of our girls called in sick, so we were short-handed on top of that,” Cindy said.
Some families set up tents and tables. Afterwards, several families enjoyed activities such as catching balls and cornhole.
Cindy estimated 36 families were served, coming from as far away as Tupelo and Vernon, Alabama.
“Several stopped back by the restaurant to tell us how much they enjoyed the day. Some even called back expressing their thanks,” Cindy said.
Scott and Laura Lindley and the sons, Joseph and James, were among the families who enjoyed the perfect Mother’s Day picnic.
“We had drive-in church out in the parking lot this morning and came to enjoy a picnic in the pasture afterwards. This has been a Mother’s Day like no other,” Laura said.
Other patrons all agreed it was a Mother’s Day that will be remembered.
The Harmons rode out to the pasture to get a view for themselves after all the orders were filled.
“It really warmed my heart,” Cindy said.