By Stacy Smith

At 79 years old, Ms. River City Center Linda Morris is walking upright straighter than ever, at least straighter than she has in the past 10 years.

“I am much more mobile now. I moved to River City Center about a year ago, and the supportive staff here ordered me an UPWalker. It has changed my life. I have been bent over at the waist for almost 10 years. Now, I can walk up right!” said Ms. Morris.

She has lived in Texas, Iowa, Tennessee and now Alabama. After retiring from the Tennessee Department of Revenue, she then drove a school bus for three years.

“For 12 years, my husband and I played Santa and Mrs. Claus for the city of Smyrna, Tennessee. When we retired, our son and daughter took over the roles. We were so proud!” said Morris.

In addition to telling Christmas time anecdotes, she enjoys visits from members of various churches. “I am Methodist, but like learning about different denominations, and I love Bible Study,” said Morris.

She learned to cross stitch, and became obsessed with it for a while. She enjoyed doing large sometimes complicated pieces, and won a first and second place award at national cross stitch competitions.

She enjoys socializing with fellow residents. “We play Bingo and card games such as Uno, Rook, and my favorite – poker!” said Morris.

Morris serves as a resident patient advocate. “I love being the voice for fellow residents who are not able to speak for themselves since I love to talk,” said Morris.

She reminisces on seeing the Goodyear blimp flying over the new Nissan plant in Smyrna. At the time, her grandson Scott was about four years old. They looked up and talked about people riding in the blimp.

“Scott said that he did not want to ride in it. I asked him why. He said because it might poot. I told him that blimps do not poot. He insisted, ‘Yes, Gran, it does. My Daddy says it does.’ I asked my son later what he said to his son about the blimp. My son said that he only explained that blimps are filled with gas,” said Morris.

Editor’s note: This is the eighth story in a 10-part series about the finalists for the 2018 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 26, we’ll post a story about Ms. Springhill Rehab & Senior Residence Dorothy Miller.

Stacy Smith, APR, is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant is July 30. Click here for more information.