PICAYUNE — Family and loved ones greeted their soldiers at the National Guard Armory in Picayune on Friday as the guardsmen returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. Among those in the crowd were three women holding babies whose husbands had not yet held them because they were deployed. One of these women was Kimberly Touchet, who held her daughter Carissa. Carissa Touchet entered the world on Sept. 26, 2012, at 3:57 p.m., at Ochsner Northshore Hospital in Slidell, La. Her father, Charles Touchet, a member of the 857th Wolfpack that had been deployed to Afghanistan, was the reason for the first Skyped delivery at the Louisiana hospital. “The whole experience has been challenging,” she said. “Carissa is the first child for both of us and we are both very hands on people. I had him with me through most of the pregnancy, so that was great. We had the baby showers early so he could see everything and touch everything before he left. It was wonderful that we got to experience that together. “It was the milestones that seemed to hit us the hardest. When Carissa would roll over or engage me in some small way, a first of any kind, that is when I would miss him the most.” The Touchets tackled the distance through Skype and Facetime calls. Daily photos were constantly sent to Charles. Any firsts for Carissa caught on camera were immediately sent as well. “I sent him pictures every day,” said Kimberly Touchet. “When she did anything new, he got that photo as well. There may be positives in this situation, such as the fact that I believe it has strengthened our relationship. He has had to rely on me to tell him information and details regarding her and that has made us stronger as a couple. But any positive doesn’t detract from the fact that this has been really hard—- especially for him, across the board.” Another goal for Kimberly Touchet was wanting Carissa to have Charles introduced as much as possible through her early months. “She will know his voice,” she said, while waiting for the buses with troops to arrive. “She will know his voice because he was able to talk to her through Facetime. She’ll know his face because I put pictures up over her changing table of him and she was able to see him on our phone. Even though he has been half way across the world, he has been a big part of her life.” Touchet said that the Family Readiness Group (FRG) had been a vital source of support throughout the deployment time. “The FRG is very supportive and it was nice to know that other ladies in the group were going through some of the same things. I didn’t feel like I was the only one going through something. Another blessing was the Soldiers Angels program. They have sent Carissa handmade blankets that are just beautiful. They also sent my husband a care package. He told me that it meant a lot to him and we are just thankful for the support that we have had through this. It has made a huge difference,” she said. Friday afternoon the beginning that had been delayed for eight long months, finally began. Charles was allowed off of his vehicle first, along with the two other fathers who had not seen their newborns yet. He kissed his wife and held his daughter.
Third annual Christmas on the Rails and Shopping by Candlelight
The Third Annual “Christmas on the Rails” is from 5 until 8 p.m. Friday in conjunction with Picayune Main Street’s Shop by Candlelight and Art Works sponsored by Greater Picayune Arts Council (GPAC). Art Works and Shop by Candlelight go on until 9 p.m. Sometime during the evening, the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce will announce the winner of the Best Decorated Store Front contest.
CWC Pilgrimage: A second time around
D.L. and Sandra Barker Bolton invite you to join them for the “second time around” as they open their home for the Civic Woman’s Club Christmas Pilgrimage to be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 2 until 7 p.m.
Both of them were on the first tour of homes when Civic Woman’s Club started the Pilgrimage in 1986. D.L. and his late wife, Wanda, had a Renaissance Christmas, and Sandra and her late husband, Larry, had a Victorian Christmas.
Business withstands test of time
McDonald Funeral Home, now owned and operated by Steve and Ann
McDonald, is a 96-year-old family run business with several long time
employees and was the recent recipient of the 2013 Excellence in
Business Award from the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce.
Vocability: Did Black Friday make you blue?
The holiday shopping season has begun and in its honor this week’s
column relates to retail terminology.
Anyone who has either had a part-time job or has been known as a
frequent shopper has most likely encountered several of these terms.
Match the ones you know and learn the others because it will give you
a whole perspective on your shopping experience.
As always, the answers are at the bottom of the column.
Partners delivers Presents for Pearl River County
“Our vision was to coordinate with all three county school districts and have students anonymously adopted like the programs used with ‘Angel Tree’ and such,” said Herndon, who is Children's Minister at First Baptist Church in Picayune. “We have two locations for trees that will have ornaments representing children in need. One is at Coast Electric in Picayune and the other is at the Poplarville Courthouse.”
Coast Electric is located at 6375 U.S. 11, in Picayune. The Poplarville Courthouse is located at 200 Highway 26 E, in Poplarville. The trees are conveniently located for access when the facilities are closed.
Toys for Tots registration and drive
Boxes are available in Picayune, Poplarville, Crossroads, Millard, McNeill and Carriere.
In Picayune, a few of the many locations to find them are: Crosby Library, Highland Community Hospital, Picayune Police Department and SPCA. In Poplarville, a few of the many locations to find them are: Jacob’s Well, Chamber of Commerce and Hancock Bank. In Crossroads, a box is located at Crossroad Seafood and Grill. In McNeill, a box is located at McNeill Travel Plaza. In Carriere, boxes can be found at Hide-A-Way Lake and PRC School ROTC.
To sign up, go to WORC from Monday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec 6, during the hours of 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. through noon. Those needing further information can call 769-926-1333.
Fred Cruse Foundation again giving away bicycles
All donations can be either dropped off or mailed to Fred’s Westside Pharmacy located at 207 Kirkwood St., Picayune, MS 39466. For more information call Diane Cruse at 601-798-8888.
Angel Tree for children
Trees with angel ornaments to adopt can be found at Wal-Mart and Highland Community Hospital. Those who would like to sponsor a child through Angel Tree, or find out more about it, may call the church at 601-798-6301 or visit the Internet site at www.angeltree.org.
Senior Snowflake project
Snowflake trees will be found at:
— Highland Community Hospital;
— Ford Realty located at 1004 Memorial Boulevard, open from 8:30 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday;
— Stewart Insurance Agency, 114 East Canal Street in Picayune open
Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
CWC Pilgrimage: Formby home
It’s Christmas time in Picayune and you will be hard pressed to find more holiday spirit anywhere other than this Main Street home in the heart of old Picayune.
The renovated home of Mark and Rita Formby sits on four city lots across from a grove of live oaks that are draped in Spanish moss. The sprawling oaks are scenic year round and slightly buffer the rumble of Norfolk Southern trains that roll by.
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- Third annual Christmas on the Rails and Shopping by Candlelight