Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 13, 2013

These ladies have an eye for beauty

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Plenty of praise is going around for a couple of ladies who have led a charge to make their world a little nicer at the Pauls Valley assisted living center where they live.

Getting a recent nod of thanks were Opal Watts, who turns 97 years old this month, and Thelma Land, set to also hit the 97 milestone in December.

Both have been honored with certificates of appreciation from the Pauls Valley Beautification Commission.

The honor comes from their work to spruce things up around the local center located next to PV’s hospital.

Getting a lot of help from their kids or grandchildren, both Watts and Land have led a kind of movement to get things cleaned up around the center.

Their work did not go unnoticed by the local commission.

“It’s made a big difference,” said commission member Lou Hall.

“You notice other people have started to get out there and do things because of them,” she said. “They’ve motivated others to a cause of what they can do to help outside.

“We want to appreciate people who care about the looks of our community.”

Fellow commission member Mary Lou Brumley agrees.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Brumley said.

“The age these girls are, that they have the want to to get out there and outwork most 40-year-olds and they still do it. It’s just wonderful.”

Watts and Land have known each other for decades. Both ladies moved into the assisted living center last year.

Right away people began to take notice they were out in the facility’s flower beds cleaning it out and planting flowers.

Their work has inspired others to join them in the ongoing effort to keep the grounds clean while sprucing things up with new flowers.

That’s confirmed by Willows’ employees who will tell you they’d never ever seen residents go outside and help clean things up and plant flowers — that is until the team of Opal and Thelma got things going in the right direction.

In fact, it’s the love of flowers that seems to have gotten the whole thing started.

“I love my plantings inside and out,” Opal said.

“I think they’re wonderful.”

For Thelma it was really about getting out there and doing something to help.

“I think it’s great,” Thelma said about the certificate she received for her efforts. “I didn’t expect this.

“But I’m a doer. I like to get outside. I go out there every morning,” she said, adding her favorite thing to do is reorganize things a bit.

“I’m still doing. I love this. I think it’s great.”

During her work Thelma even wound up growing some pretty big watermelons without meaning to after she planted a few seeds just because they were there.