Slippn’ Into God’s Blessings

By Donna Tobin Smith

My oldest son will be 34 this month. I’m supposed to be 34, not my son.

I remember singing along with the Steve Miller Band when I was just a teenager, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” I didn’t realize then that in only a few short years that my children would also be “slippin’” into the future.

motherson                In the blink of an eye, this grown son has gone from a young dinosaur loving boy to a real bone doctor. Recently his dad and I and our youngest son made a trip to Erie, Pennsylvania, to help him move into an apartment as he completes a final fellowship in hand surgery before he joins a permanent practice.

We knew it was going to be a trip of buying and toting and arranging for the most part. But with my son’s fellowship beginning in less than a week and only a few weeks until my own summer break from school was ending, we wanted to make sure we squeezed in a few minutes of fun.

We had already decided that Erie probably wouldn’t be the greatest place to visit, especially when compared to our trip to Sydney, Australia, where he just completed a fellowship in elbows and shoulders. In fact, my youngest son was already calling his brother’s new residence “Dreary.” But we just happened to choose the weekend of the Presque Isle State Park Festival. Our son surprised us by booking a helicopter tour of Lake Erie. Unfortunately, or gratefully, I should say, the tour was cancelled due to “mechanical” problems. We went to the festival anyway, and walked on the “beach,” saw a sand castle competition, and watched dozens of colorful kites whip through the wind. We discovered that in the summertime, at least, Erie wasn’t so dreary after all.

Since the helicopter ride was cancelled, my son had another arcadeidea. He had seen a sign advertising an “All You Can Play” arcade. He had originally thought his brother might like to visit the arcade. But with the helicopter tour cancelled, he decided to take dear old Mom and Dad there, too.

For ten dollars, you could play all day. We could only spare an hour, but the tickets were half price for the last hour of the day. We hit the arcade at 8:00 on the dot. It closed at 9:00. We were going to play until they ran us out. And play we did.

We played Skee-Ball, Half Court Hoops, and Evil Knievel Stunt Cycle. Then I challenged my oldest son to a friendly bowling match on Strike Master Shuffle. “Mama, I didn’t know you were so competitive,” he said. How could he have forgotten? We squeezed in a couple of Pitch and Bat baseball and Super Mario games before my youngest son and I closed the place down with a lively game of air hockey. He won. Rats.

Between his fellowships, my son was able to come home for a week this summer. One night we were reminiscing about our boys’ younger days with of friend of my oldest son when I mentioned that at one time, all three of our boys could recite Psalm 1. My son was in the next room. “Their daddy read it to them every night for years,” I added. Suddenly, his friend shouted, “Hey Josh, say Psalm 1.” Without hesitation, he began. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”  I joined in. “He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields it fruit inseason and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” We finished the psalm together.

“Which yields its fruit in season.”

Yes, time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin. But that’s ok. I’m thankful that I have lived long enough to recognize my blessings and to savor every single one.


Using Essential Oils for Kids Going Back to School

By Susan Hilton RN, MSN & Certified Aromatherapist

The summer of 2017 is almost over and school will be starting for most kids in the coming weeks.  I’d like to show parents how to incorporate therapeutic essential oils to the routines you will be creating for your children when school starts back. I’m going to be discussing four routines that will be helpful to get your children off to a good start.

BacktoSchoolCreating a calm environment is the first routine. Going back to school can be challenging for many parents and children. To ease the transition, about a week before the first day of school, start their bedtime routine about 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them up 10 minutes earlier each morning, every day, until they’re back on track. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil is probably the best oil for all ages. It is safe to use without a carrier oil and can be diffused or applied topically. A calming bath with Himalayan or sea salts and 4-5 drops of lavender oil can promote a restful transition for going to bed. If needed, lavender can also be applied to the bottom of your child’s feet or a couple of drops diffused in their room for a few hours. Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) is another safe essential oil for bedtime.

studychildPreparing for the day is the second routine. Getting up early after a summer of sleeping late is a hard habit to get used to. Transitioning everyone’s routine as I talked about earlier can help. However, the early morning has its own issues. Diffusing peppermint (Mentha piperita) and orange (Citrus sinensis) or lemon (Citrus limon) in the bathroom or kitchen table is a good way to help everyone wake up and be ready for the day. Peppermint is stimulating and citrus oils are uplifting.

Boosting your child’s immunity (and your own) is the third routine. Children love to share everything including viruses, bacteria, and sometimes even bugs. Using any citrus essential oil will help to boost immunity. However, sometimes we need more potent essential oils to prevent illness and promote healing. One blend that is safe for all ages is Get Well Kiddo. Its ingredients are cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana), lemon (Citrus limon), ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis 1, 8 cineole). All these ingredients have the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Ravintsara and rosemary also relieve stuffy noses. Cedarwood helps to relax the body and mind.

For kids aged 10 and older, the blend called Defend can be used. Its ingredients are cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), clove (Szygium aromaticum), Eucalyptus radiata, lemon and rosemary. These oils fight off viruses and bacteria, open sinuses and relieve stuffy noses, and boost immunity. Get Well Kiddo and Defend can be rubbed on the bottom of your child’s feet or diffused. Parents can use them, too.

Head lice is another issue for some children returning to school. Again, kids share everything, including combs and hats. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil is the main essential oil for this problem. Tea tree oil can not only prevent lice, but it can also kill the eggs. A drop can be massaged into the hair before school. It can be added to water in a spray bottle and sprayed on the hair before and after school. You can use a drop in shampoo. It can also be used to spray beds and other furniture and carpet.

The fourth and final routine is improving concentration and focus. Some children find it difficult to get in the habit of focusing on studies and homework. Spearmint (Mentha spicata), peppermint, cardamom (Eletteria cardamomum), and rosemary are some oils that are known to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory, and enhance concentration. A blend of these oils in a carrier oil can be used in a roller bottle. The child can take this to school and use when needed.

The Nature Cottage has a kit with the oils that were discussed. Contact Susan to get yours before school starts. You can call 336-843-4297 or email at The Nature Cottage is located at 21 S. Main St. in Lexington.



Humane Society of Davidson County Celebrates 40 Years of Helping Animals

By Becky Everhart

In the summer of 1977, a notice appeared in The Dispatch from Jane Arey, a member of the Humane Society of Rowan County, asking if anyone was interested in beginning a humane society in Davidson County. “Corky” Briggs, Vicky Green, and I responded. A handful of people attended the first meeting, and the Humane Society was born. The tenets the society holds dear are simple: alleviate animal suffering and promote humane treatment of animals. Corky worked tirelessly for the organization for almost 20 years. Vicky, as Secretary, served more than 30 years. Both are now deceased. I served as Treasurer for 36 years and continue to be active.

The HSDC’s first full year of operation was 1978, with a total income of $1,270. In 2016, it topped $109,000. We are an all-volunteer force; approximately 90% of funds collected are used directly for program services. They include the Spay/Neuter and Sick/Injured Animal programs, Foster Care/Adoptions, Investigations, and the Pet Food Pantry.

Whitney Pope holds a loving cat during an adoption event.
Whitney Pope holds a loving cat during an adoption event.

Kristie Miller, the Secretary of the HSDC and one of the coordinators of the Pet Food Pantry program, said she knew we helped a lot of animals, but until she became a Board member last year, she had no idea how much people benefited as well. Help, we did. Last year, the pantry distributed over 10 tons of pet food to hundreds of animals.

In 1978, our first investigators traveled 1,270 miles. In 2001, we logged 8,000 miles. Currently, our president, Bruce Kingsbury, along with Gay Hutchins and Donna Harrington, travel to all corners of the county checking on cases of potential neglect or abuse and offering help.

Janet Fluharty, one of the HSDC Foster Care providers, loves cuddly puppies. She and other volunteers have placed hundreds of dogs and cats over the years into forever homes. Angie Byerly, a cat adoption coordinator, has found homes for more than 20 cats this year alone, thanks in part to our adoption fairs at PetSmart. Both volunteers love what they do, but admit fostering is hard work. Last year we spent over $23,000 on the program, rehoming over 100 dogs and cats. Foster Care/Adoptions is labor intensive and expensive to operate, but it is also deeply rewarding.

I serve as the coordinator of the Spay/Neuter and Sick/Injured Animal programs, allocating funds for veterinary care for many animals yearly. In 1983, the year the Spay/Neuter program began, the amount spent on both programs was $462. Last year, the total was more than $46,000, helping hundreds of animals and people, too. Countless times we hear a tearful “God bless you,” when funds are allocated for owners who struggle on a fixed income to have their pets fixed or to provide emergency veterinary care.

Conservatively, over 15,000 animals have been altered through our Spay/Neuter programs. Adding in the number of kittens and puppies not born, the number becomes exponential! Reimbursement for some surgeries from the State Spay/Neuter Fund helps to maintain the program. Another resource we utilize is a transport to Planned Pethood in Greensboro, a low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter clinic. Through this partnership, over 2,000 animals have been altered over the last five years.

Helping the helpless yesterday, today and tomorrow

In the 1980s, we focused on helping animals surrendered to horse show 2014 zthe local shelter. We convinced Sheriff “Jaybird” McCrary to discontinue selling shelter dogs to Leach Kennels in Virginia, where they were then sold to research labs for experimentation. We pushed to have all shelter animals kept at least three days. We took “Pet of the Week” pictures weekly in hopes of saving animals’ lives and drawing attention to the tragedy of pet overpopulation. We developed an adoption fee waiver program whereby the cost of adopting an animal was waived if the adopter deposited the fee at a local veterinary office toward the cost of spay/neuter. We paid the balance of the spay/neuter fee.

In the 1990s, we were instrumental in making the public aware of the need for a new animal shelter to replace the antiquated “dog pound.” The newly formed Animal Center of Davidson County (ACDC) began the daunting task of fundraising for a new shelter to be owned and operated by Davidson County. We worked hand in hand with the ACDC, donating $12,000 for the new facility and thousands of volunteer hours, as well. In 1999, after four long years of fundraising, the new Animal Shelter was built on Glendale Road.

In the 2000s, we continued to work to alleviate animal suffering. We also participated in the creation and review of multiple animal ordinances for the City of Lexington and Davidson County. We finally purchased property on Piedmont Drive, where we run our Spay-Neuter Transport and operate our Pet Food Pantry monthly, as well as hosting fund-raising events.

What’s ahead? We are helping the City of Lexington to build a dog park! As past president and long-time member Gay Hutchins recently noted, “The dog park will benefit more than just the dogs in Davidson County. The health and well-being of all the citizens that use the park is a huge plus.” She is right. Not only will dogs enjoy the freedom to run and play and socialize with other dogs, many of which spend their days on tethers or inside apartments, but also the park will provide an opportunity for people to socialize and form the bonds that tie our community together.

Working for the animals and for the people of our cities and county is what we have done for the past 40 years. The next 40? We are just getting started!

Please contact us if you would like to be a part of making the Lexington Dog Park happen or to support our programs! We always need volunteers, pet food, and monetary donations.


Humane Society of Davidson County

PO Box 1791

Lexington, NC 27293

Regular line: 336-248-2706

Spay/Neuter line: 336-237-0131

Follow us on Facebook! Megan McRee does a great job keeping everyone updated!


Officers and Board Members

Bruce Kingsbury, President

Kristie Miller, Secretary

Gay Hutchins, Treasurer

Jane Blackerby

Angie Byerly

Becky Everhart

Janet Fluharty

Donna Harrington

Megan Williams-McRee

Melody Williams


At Home to Home Away: Bob Timberlake Meets Blowing Rock

By Stacy Hilton Vanzant

Nestled in the rolling mountains of North Carolina sits a 20th century mountain resort with ties to Davidson County. Although the once-named Chetola Estate is located in Blowing Rock, its ties are close to home and now includes the name Bob Timberlake displayed throughout the property.

In 1926, J. Luther Snyder purchased Chetola Estate. Snyder, a self-made entrepreneur known as the “Coca-Cola King of the Carolinas,” loved his family of six children and loved to entertain. Chetola Estate located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, was the perfect backdrop for his personal interests.

Snyder died in 1957 and the family heirs sold the estate in 1982, after which it became Chetola Resort. The group of businessmen who purchased the property at that time had grand visions of an elegant lodge with one, two and three-bedroom condominiums as well as meeting facilities that would be available to the public.

TimberlakeRest-ChetolaIn 1997, Rachael Renar and her son Kent Tarbutton purchased the property and remain as the owners today. Kent Tarbutton envisioned more offerings for the facility, including the addition of a spa and improvements to several luxurious rooms.

Tarbutton soon met local artisan Bob Timberlake and recalls their first meeting. “He was just a common man that had so many stories to tell and I was drawn to his comfortable demeanor and passion for nature,” he said.  Tarbutton knew from the start that their friendship would soon grow into a flourishing business relationship.

In efforts to keep the tradition of the property and to preserve its history, Timberlake and Tarbutton worked to design the Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola. The Inn, which is the original Manor House Estate, was opened in 2004.

92FCB302-40E9-44D8-A08A-0929BF0390B0After the innopened in 2004, Tarbutton continued to develop new embellishments for the property, but he knew there were areas that could be improved upon. In August 2011, the original Manor House Restaurant suffered a kitchen fire. The restaurant was closed for almost a year while it underwent renovations. Tarbutton approached Timberlake again to discuss the possibility of building a restaurant based on Timberlake’sE36126D8-7EC0-414E-904F-307E25B2E6CD art and culinary likes. Tarbutton recalls Timberlake’s chuckle at the idea that people would care what he liked to eat. “Bob is so modest that he pretty much thought I was crazy with the idea anyone would care about his favorite meals, but I knew there was a story to tell about his home cooked dishes,” he said.

Tarbutton was right! Timberlake loved the idea of designing a restaurant and taking some of his inspiration to develop a menu as well. In July 2012, the restaurant reopened as the Timberlake Restaurant, featuring a menu inspired by Bob Timberlake’s culinary favorites. Its hunting inspired dining room includes paintings, furniture, and décor designed by Bob Timberlake.

The beautiful lodge at Chetola Sporting Reserve
The beautiful lodge at Chetola Sporting Reserve

As Chetola Resort continued to grow, a new relationship developed with the Blue Ridge Mountain Club. This 6,200 acre property has home sites, condominiums, a clubhouse, and a fitness club as well as the new Chetola Sporting Reserve. The Sporting Reserve, nestled at the bottom of the valley in the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, is a private club offering exclusive memberships. It is available for limited Chelota guest memberships as well.

At the Sporting Reserve, visitors can enjoy an array of outdoor sportsman activities including rifle and pistol ranges, a sporting clay course, a 5-stay clay station, an archery range, and fly fishing activities. While visiting the property, I even tried my hand at the 5-stand clay stations and it was so much fun. This venue would be the perfect location for a bachelor party, a men’s fellowship gathering, or just a good ol’ guys weekend.

When considering a getaway destination, consider seeing what our local artisan Bob Timberlake has going on in Blowing Rock. From the world class accommodations, spa, and guaranteed mouthwatering restaurant menu to the many outdoorsman activities offered at Chetola, you’re sure to find something that will make your time enjoyable!