Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in Review

It is hard for me to believe that another year is drawling to a close. 2008 was a year of challenge with fire, extreme weather, crazy gas prices, and a slow national economy. Despite these challenges, our visitors, volunteers, and business community made it a good year for Grand Rivers.

In March Grand Rivers sponsored the fifth Annual LBL ultra Run with the West Kentucky Runners Club. We expected record attendance for the event and ended up with record low temperatures and snow. The winter storm closed down most of Western Kentucky, but the runners wanted to run. We had an event planned and people that wanted to come so we were going to make it happen. Almost 300 runners battled the elements to complete the race. All of our Chamber volunteers were on hand to help; despite the weather. The West Kentucky Runners Club is a remarkable group to work with and the community of Grand Rivers and our volunteers continue to amaze me.

In April the community of Grand Rivers lost the Iron Kettle Restaurant to fire. The Kettle was a Grand Rivers landmark. The Kettle stood on site of the historic Boston Block building which was also destroyed by fire in the 1940s. Six area fire stations responded to the call; Grand Lakes, Princeton, Eddyville, Kuttawa, Smithland and Ledbetter. The community of Grand Rivers owes a huge debt to these brave individuals who fought through fire, smoke and 25 mile an hour winds to contain the fire and saved the adjoining buildings.

Due to gas prices and the economy we directed our marketing dollars and public relations efforts close to home. The local media supported our efforts and our visitors came in record numbers over the summer. The summer also brought plenty of activity with a new Farmers Market, the Lighted Boat Parade, Kids Free Fishing event, Street Dances, and a huge August Marina Day Celebration at our Marinas. All organized by HUNDREDS of volunteer hours, and supported by contributions from the Chamber, the Commonwealth Yacht Club, Patti’s, Green Turtle Bay Resort, Lighthouse Landing Resort, Variety, Grand Rivers City government, and our entire community.

Despite the economy, our Chamber volunteers also raised over $4,000 this year for Breast Cancer, the Heart Association, City Beautification Committee, the Chamber Scholarship fund and more.

The fall was busy with the 1st Kentucky Commonwealth Cup race, the 30th Anniversary of the Hunters Moon Fall Festival, and the first year for the Grand Rivers Storytelling Event. We celebrated November and December with a record number of lights and a record number of visitors to the Variety Christmas Spectacular.

It was a good year for Grand Rivers. Thank you to our visitors, our community, the Chamber, and our businesses. You made it happen. Happy New Year to All!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

P Jammin'

When Christmas and New Year’s fall mid-week; what do you celebrate on the weekend in-between?
Our thought was Pajama Party!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Calling All Runners

Registration is open for the sixth annual Grand Rivers/Land Between the Lakes Marathon Trail runs scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2009.

Four events will run simultaneously, 23k, marathon, 60K ultra, and 50 mile trail runs. The races will start and finish in Grand Rivers with the bulk of the run on the Canal Loop Trail in Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

Participation will be limited to 400 runners, and interested runners are encouraged to register now. For entry fees, complete information and on-line registration; visit the event website at, or email Steve Durbin at

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Grand Rivers Jetty Pictures

I've had two requests for jetty pictures this morning. One from my post on Southern Living Readers Choice Awards, and one from an ilistpaducah reader. I'll add jetty pictures to the Grand Rivers website after the first of the year, but the quickest way to share them is to post them here -

Merry Christmas to All from Grand Rivers

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The First Dance

These pictures capture a magical moment in the lives of my best friends; Pat and JT. Thank you to Sharon for capturing the moment and to Pat for sharing them with me.

Did they just get married? No, they have been married for over 40 years. Was this the first dance together after over 40 years? No, they danced often, and beautifully. Are they celebrating an anniversary? No, they are celebrating life, just like they do every day.

JT had a stroke in September and every day they work together on his recovery. Every day they get one baby step closer to the goal. This was their first dance since September.

Want to know the steps to this dance? I watched my friend Pat and I can share them with you. Start with a strong foundation of love, compassion and communication. Don’t keep score. Give selflessly. Next, trust your partner. Know that the dance may not always be smooth but you will always have each other to lean on. Hold tight to each other in times of fear and pain and find strength in your partnership. Celebrate the little things and laugh often. Be a good friend and you will find yourself surrounded by supportive friends. And if he ever does anything irritating, step on his toes and pretend it was on accident (ok, this last step is part of my dancing skills).

I am amazed by their strength, courage, and love. I am honored to call them my friends. Love you guys,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Southern Living Readers Showing the Love for Grand Rivers

Wow. Grand Rivers has placed in TWO categories in the 2008 Southern Living Readers Choice Awards. The Grand Rivers Jetty is number 4 in the Most Scenic View Category. Grand Rivers is number 8 in the Best Small Town Category.
I don’t know how many people voted, but I do know that with a population of about 350, we are the smallest town (village) on the list. Thank you to all of our visitors and citizens that voted. We are feeling the love in Grand Rivers.

Here is the link to the info -

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

This morning it is cold and icy in town. A few cars are out but they are moving slow. I’m moving slow too. I’m nursing a cold and have been for a couple of days, so I’ll keep this weekend review short and sweet and then go home and nap.
Saturday was Miss Linda’s annual Community Christmas breakfast and neither my cold nor the 8:00 am start time could keep me away. Linda embodies everything I love about Grand Rivers. She is outgoing and warm hearted. She was one of the first to welcome me to Grand Rivers when I moved here. She is also high spirited and full of pluck. I love her jokes. Visit her at Canoe Antiques, and you will love her too. At breakfast we said farewell to Marie, another long time resident of Grand Rivers. She will be moving soon to be closer to her children and she will be missed.
Sunday was the Chamber Holiday Open House. The hand bell choir from the Grand Rivers First Baptist Church performed magical Christmas harmonies on the bells.
My personal highlight of the weekend was a surprise gift from a friend. Now, I’m not much on receiving gifts. I’m hard to buy for because I don’t think there is anything I need and most of the time I would rather people just save their money. I’m not much on surprises either, but I LOVED LOVED this particular surprise gift. So may I close in saying, Thank you, thank you Susan for the frog pajamas. Neither my mom nor my husband will be able to outdo this gift…maybe even for years to come.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Today is my wedding anniversary. Tonight my husband and I are going to dinner with friends. Tonight is also the Grand Rivers City Council meeting and they are swearing in the new candidates for 2009-2010, and the thing is I would really like to go. I know if I told my husband that I was going to spend our anniversary evening at city hall his response would be something like this, “Every day we spend together is a celebration so go. I’ll cook and have a late dinner waiting when you get home”. No lie. That is precisely why that even though I want to go to the council meeting, I want to spend time with him even more. Because every day we spend together is a celebration and I don’t want to miss a minute of it.
I hope someone gets pictures of the swearing in for me. I will be at dinner with my husband.

Another Wow Grand Rivers Weekend

It was another wow weekend in Grand Rivers. Friday night we went to the Variety Christmas Spectacular with friends (our second time to see the show- I love it). If you haven’t seen the Christmas show, make your plans now. It is a must see for the holiday season in Grand Rivers.

Saturday night was the Sailboat Lighting contest at Lighthouse Landing Marina and Resort. My husband and I were the judges and with all of the great decorations and bribes, it was a challenge to choose the winners. The celebration included all my favorites; Christmas lights, friends, music, food, bribes, and beverage. My camera did not work in the cold, but you can see pictures and a review of the event on sail boater Leslie Moore’s blog here. If you visit Grand Rivers to see the Festival of Lights, make sure you drive by Lighthouse Landing and see these dazzling decorations.

We finished the evening with a stop at the Commonwealth Yacht Club Christmas Party where we were entertained by Miss Dawn and the Misters.

I love the holidays.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm Looking for a Bail Out

So if the big three can ask Congress for billions; surely I can ask my friends for a couple of ideas, right?
As the new recording secretary for the Commonwealth Yacht Club I am responsible for sending out agendas and take minutes. No problem. The officers are also encouraged to write articles for the Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina publication, The NautiNews. Well, the articles for January are due on the 10th of this month, and I still don’t know what to write about. Most of the club's offices lead naturally into a story. As the leader of the club, the Commodore can write about his plans for the new year. As the cruise organizer, the Fleet Captain can talk about all the activities he has planned for the year. So how do I take the duties of a record keeper and spin it into a fun story on boating and the new year? Throw me a line please.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm a Fan of Patience

O.k., so not the kind of patience that means you have to wait for something. I have been known to yell at the coffee pot for taking too long.

I am a fan of writer Patience Renzulli. She is an author, blogger, WKMS commentator and mother to nine blue-ribbon-winning Whippets. She is also a guest writer on ilistpaducah where this week she featured the Friends of LBL Adopt an Elk or Bison program. Thank you Patience! Read her story here.