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Lake Conroe

POSTCARDS 10 Years of Community / Meet the Team / In the Beginning

10 YEAR

ANNIVERSARY EDITION Enjoy the journey! January 2021 Postal Customer

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS PERMIT NO. 51 PAID U.S. POSTAGE PRSRT STD

January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 1


With Ward Furniture, you can live the life you imagined. I have worked as a builder, a designer, and I enjoy doing remodels too. Over 20 years ago, Ward Furniture “staged” our office and it was absolutely lovely. We received compliments constantly. I began to send customers their way and they were all “thrilled” with the work and the furnishings and décor from Ward Furniture. Now, all my customers use them! When I work with the designers at Ward, there is an ease of doing business with them. Their level of service exceeds all my expectations. Style, options, opportunities are at our fingertips when we enter their doors. Our collaboration always flows naturally. The key to their success is that they “listen” to customers as they share their vision and ideas. They walk beside their customers to insure those dreams become “the life they imagined and more.” Glenda Mariott, Builder/Designer

Ward Furniture & Flooring www.wardfurniture.com 180 I-45 • Huntsville • Mon. - Fri. 8-5:30 • Sat. 9-4

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2  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021


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Schedule an appointment: houstonmethodist.org/jointpain 936.321.8000 January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 3


FEATURES

January 2021  |  Volume 10, Issue 1

8 A Special Conversation

24

10 Years of Community

Business Focus In the Beginning...

16 POSTCARDS

Anniversary Special Meet the Team

FAVORITES 5 6 7 12 13 14 15

From the Publisher What Are You Reading? Garden Post Glorious Grandkids Dear Gabby Health Matters

20 22 23 28 29 30

What’s Cooking Sudoku Marketplace Star Students From the Mouths of Babes Community Calendar Mustard Seed Moments

Pet Pals

Jennifer Hopson APRN, FNP-C

Delivering Quality Healthcare Straight To You Activate Family Health offers virtual visits anywhere in Texas and home visits in the Montgomery, Conroe, Willis, The Woodlands and Magnolia areas. Same day appointments are available for both primary care and sick visits. www.activatefamilyhealth.com 4  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

936.220.2021

info@activatefamilyhealth.com


From the Publisher Karen Altom

publisher@postcardslive.com

Your Local Community Magazine! PostcardsLive.com

PostcardsLakeConroe

If you would like to receive our magazine and are not currently on our mailing list, subscriptions are available. MAILED to select postal routes in Conroe, Willis and Montgomery. FREE rack copies at advertisers and businesses in towns listed above. Published Monthly by Altom Consulting & Marketing, Inc.

Publisher Karen Altom Editor Wes Altom Advertising Team Janet T. Jones Nancy Jolly Marshall Altom Design Team Mary Partida April Key Social Media Management Abby Altom Boyd Printed in Texas by Shweiki Media ADVERTISE IN POSTCARDS Call our Office: 936.293.1188 Online: www.PostcardsLive.com Address: PO Box 690 • Huntsville, TX 77342 Phone: 936.293.1188 We reserve the right to edit or reject any material submitted. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of any unsolicited material. No material from Postcards Magazine™ can be copied, faxed, electronically, or otherwise used without express written permission. Publication of articles, advertisements or product information does not constitute endorsement or approval by Postcards Magazine™ and/or its publisher. Business Focus stories printed in Postcards Magazine™ are drawn at random from contract advertisers. © 2021 by Altom Consulting & Marketing, Inc., All rights reserved.

Something Old, Something New…

and Our Heartfelt Thanks

To say we are excited is an understatement. The issue you hold in your hands is our 10th Anniversary issue. 10 YEARS! We can hardly believe it. Hopefully, you have already noticed the sleeker new design we will be carrying forward. You will also see updated fonts and styles on some of your Favorites and Features as we worked to marry the new with the old. A perfect example of this is the new logo/masthead on our cover. Postcards got a little facelift, but we loved Magazine just like it was. We know change is always difficult, but after 2020, we think many of us are ready for some change, and 2021 seems like a great year for it! As we planned this issue over the past several months, our team decided you might like to know how we started, who makes this happen each month, and who has supported us from the very first day. One thing Wes and I didn’t count on was being completely outvoted when it came to having a story that featured the two of us. When you are used to having “veto power,” it is more than a little humbling to be unanimously outnumbered! Since starting this magazine, our goal has always been to focus on our communities and not ourselves, but knowing we have an amazing team, we chose to listen to and trust them when they said you might be interested in how Postcards came to be. Over the last ten years, you--our readers--have shared your photos, your ideas, your funny moments…you have shared YOUR LIVES. The letters you send and the comments you share mean more than you will ever know. The dollars you spend supporting our advertisers keeps us able to do this. The calls you make letting them know you appreciate their advertising in Postcards allows them to know their money is well spent. Ten years ago, Wes and I were in our mid-forties and our children were teenagers. Now both children are married, and we are grandparents. While the official paperwork for this magazine bears the name Altom, we always want to point you to the One who is really in charge. He gave this idea, and He has granted us this work. Our goal will always be to honor God in all we do. From our family to yours, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Let’s start a new decade!

Until next time,

~

Karen

January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 5


What Are You Reading?

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Submit your student nomination and why you feel they are a "Star Student" @ PostcardsLive.com/share. 6  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

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The Garden Post By Kim Bius

Get the Fruit Trees Going! January in East Texas is fruit and nut tree season. As gardeners, we prefer the sunny, mild, dry days of early spring, but your fruit trees do not! The wet soil gives that added boost of moisture, and the cold temperatures keeps the plant in dormancy for less shock and better root growth until first bud break. Let us review the requirements and a bit of background knowledge to give you the 101 of fruit tree gardening. Fruit trees require full sun (8+ hours of unobstructed direct sunlight), excellent drainage, and consistent watering throughout the year. Fruit trees are a crop and must be treated as such for successful production. Fruit trees require maintenance and care, some more than others. Fruit trees are either self-fertile or require a cross pollinator. Peaches, apples, figs, apricots, nectarines, and citrus are self-fertile and can cross pollinate themselves, BUT for your best bet at production, plant two fruit trees with a cross-pollination time. In other words, 2 varieties of peach trees that have a least a one week overlap on pollination time will give you the success you want. Independent garden centers have already taken this into account, and only have trees in stock that will pollinate each other and have the correct chilling hour requirement for your gardening area. The term “chilling hour” is the amount of time below 42 degrees a tree must receive to set buds. The chilling hour on a 75-year average for Walker County is 650 and Montgomery County is 600-625. By far, the most popularly grown fruit tree in Texas is the peach tree, which is also the least drought tolerant. The apple follows closely, with several low chilling hour beauties that A&M has produced so Texans can enjoy homegrown apples. The pecan is next, one of the fussiest trees. Once established, pecans are a breeze, very similar to taking a teenager into adulthood. The first few years are the most crucial, but given the right background and growing conditions, everything is great! Plums, pears, figs, nectarines, almonds, and even a few select cherries can also be included in your garden, with figs and pears being the hardiest and most drought tolerant. In other words, if you miss two weeks of watering in summer, the fig and pear will be a better bet on surviving, the peach will be the first down. Fruit trees will do best in a deep sandy loam area, devoid of heavy clay. The tree should be planted at the established soil level in the pot or, if bare rooted, a minimum of 2” below the graft. Plant your tree higher than the existing soil level for drainage, fertilize with a root stimulator at planting and again in 6 weeks. Fruit trees will require pruning and shaping in late January for easy harvesting, and your fertilization schedule will depend on the variety selected. Enjoy, have fun, and Happy Gardening.

January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 7


A Special Conversation By Mike Yawn Photos by Kelly Lawson

Postcards: A 10-Year Celebration of Community Mass media specialists and social scientists have painted a depressing trend over the past 25 years: communities are growing more fragmented and, not coincidentally, print journalism is suffering. Social media, on the other hand, is all the rage—in all meanings of the word. It was a bit of a surprise then that Wes and Karen Altom decided some 10 years ago to launch a community magazine. Against prevailing trends, and no doubt counter to economists’ prognostications, the magazine has thrived, filling a niche in Walker County and, beginning the following year, in Montgomery County. What follows is the story of that success and, more broadly, the success of two community areas in southeast Texas. In 2009-2010, the country was in the midst of “The Great Recession.” Print journalism was in a freefall. What made you wake up and say, “Gosh, this would be a great time to start a print magazine?!” Karen Altom: I had worked for several years in our advertising agency business. Communities were turning away from a single source of information and, consequently, it was becoming increasingly difficult to reach an entire community. At the same time, stories would pop into my head, and I would think, “That would make for a great magazine article.” But I would back off and say, “I don’t have time to take on another project.” But in 2010, one of our clients sold their company, and we took a big hit in revenue. It also opened up a time window. And I said, “Okay, Lord, I don’t have an excuse anymore. Maybe it is time start a magazine.” How did you put that plan into action? KA: We had our first planning session with Mary Partida at IHOP, and Wes asked some of the hard questions. “What are our resources? What is the content?” Those were questions we had to answer, but we had experience in media, the ability to write, some of the infrastructure, and we had Mary as a graphic designer and our friend Julie Knight who agreed to be our photographer. Wes Altom: We thought there was a need. We believed there is still a demand for community journalism, and we could provide the material—the photos and the stories—that no one else, certainly no one else at the national level, was providing about this area at the time. 8  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

How did you plan out the division of labor? KA: Wes is more of “Just the facts, ma’am.” (Wes nods at this point.) I try to ensure there is “heart” in each issue. So, in a way, I am the touchy-feely aspect of the magazine, and he is the facts and history aspects of the magazine. But on an operational level, I have served as the publisher, and he has served as the editor. WA: I am the comma police.


s r m r e s

KA: And I deal more with sales, but we both do the office duties. Wes does give me the veto power. Sometimes we get some content in articles that I don’t think my mother would appreciate, and I get to veto that… WA: We agreed at the outset our focus was on the community, that we would avoid politics, and we would emphasize positive stories. Our hope is when people read the magazine, they say, “I didn’t know that! I’ve lived here for 15 years, and I didn’t know that.”

we were doing monthly issues... in both markets. We now print 25,000 copies of each edition every month. Our print deadline is the same day for both issues, so it makes for a long day. But our goal, as Wes said, is to get positive stories out there each month, and to provide content people want to read, and from the responses we get, I feel we’ve done that.

This Altom partnership began more than 28 years ago. Although Karen went to school at Abilene Christian University and Wes attended SHSU, the two became friends through a church group in Huntsville, soon after began dating, and were married on October 17, 1992. This particular date came about after Wes suggested October 31, and his idea—not for the last time—was vetoed. Karen has enjoyed careers in radio, newspapers, and advertising. Wes was a police officer for more than two decades, before going into consulting. They have also raised two children—Abby and Marshall— and have recently taken up yet another hobby: spending time with their grandson Walker. Nothing works out exactly as planned. How has the job evolved over the years? KA: Well, Wes took over supervision of the story assignments a couple of years ago, and we both write less than we first did. We want as many people as possible in the community to contribute as writers. We have talented people in our community, and we want to display both the community and its talented writers. The other two big aspects of the magazine’s evolution include the addition of the Lake Conroe edition, which we began in 2012, and the increased frequency of publication. We began quarterly, moved to six times a year, and within a couple of years,

What goes into 10 years of Postcards: • 191 separate issues, with more than 5.1 million printed copies distributed between Walker and Montgomery counties;

You’ve hinted at this, but how do your different personalities affect the magazine? KA: Several years ago, we took a marriage class at church led by Dr. Foy Mills. We took the Gallup Strength Finders Assessment, and my number one strength was “positivity.” I want to paint my sky blue, my lawn green, and my picket fence white. Wes is about analyzing situations and processes, figuring out how things fit together. At first, I was alarmed because our personalities don’t have a lot in common, but we learned that it’s more about complementing one another, and we do that in life and on the magazine.

• 515 separate stories, all edited by Wes, broken down by: • 87 “Do You Know?” • 40 “Gotta Get Away” • 58 “Texas Treasures” or “Local Treasures” • 54 “Just for Fun” • 11 “Special Conversation” • 17 “Inspirations” • 39 “Community Builder” • 6 “Hidden Treasures” • 40 “Mustard Seed Moment” • 56 separate writers: •Ruth Fields heads this list, with an amazing 119 stories, followed by Mike Yawn with 70 stories!

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Call or Text 713-570-6095 January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 9


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POSTCARDS Magazine

Postcards has consistently been the most effective form of advertising we use. Customers come in from all over, and we have seen specific growth from using the Lake Conroe edition of Postcards! Just recently a couple came in and said the photos of our store in our ads were so pretty, they just had to come up and see it for themselves! We hear this all the time. Postcards is a good quality form of advertising that people notice and pay attention to!

Congratulations on 10 years! David & Jackie Ward Ward Furniture & Flooring 10  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

What has proved most popular in the magazine? KA: The most popular in terms of submissions are our sections on “pets” and “grandchildren.” When the issues hit the street, our emails light up with new submissions from readers. What has been least expected? KA: We didn’t realize the concept would take off like it did. WA: Also, Karen is now occasionally recognized as “The Postcards Lady.” KA: I was with Marshall one day at the grocery store, and a lady walked up to me, threw her arms around me (this was Pre-COVID), and hugged my neck. “I love your magazine,” she said. When she left, Marshall asked me, “Who was that?” And I didn’t know. It was just someone who knew me from the magazine! I like to think of milestones. Since the magazine began, we have had, as of this month, three presidents, an economic recession, a long economic expansion, now a pandemic economy—and, of course, COVID and all its effects. But on a personal level, what are some milestones since you began the magazine? WA: It’s been a family business. Marshall and Abby have been involved in multiple ways, and I think they’ve become more well-rounded as community citizens as a result. KA: Both our kids graduated from school since the magazine began. Abby did a study abroad program in college, and we traveled to see her, so we did a story on Germany. When the kids were small, we had a foreign exchange student from Denmark, so we visited there and did a story on that. Both our children are now married, and Marshall and his wife Kathryn have a baby. You’ve had some more somber changes, as well. KA: We’ve lost three out of four parents, and that has been tough. One of our team members, Chris Blair, died in a motorcycle accident. That was completely unexpected and horrible for us and his family. These losses can be quite emotional, and they can also have practical implications. My father was a minister, but he was also a retired mail carrier, and he would do all the rack deliveries in Madisonville. He loved doing that to help us, but I know he also enjoyed running into people. He would call us and say, “I ran into so-and-so, and they loved the story on such-andsuch.” I have kept some of those voicemails. The magazine is a part of our life in ways far beyond the profits and losses, and we’re a better and stronger family because of it.


And do you think the community is stronger for it? KA: We hope so. That’s been our goal for the past 10 years, and it’s our goal for the next 10 years.

As noted in the interview, Postcards is a family enterprise, and the Altom children have been part of the magazine’s operations—sometimes willingly. Originally, both Marshall and Abby thought it might be a multi-year project that could lift the community. After seeing the work that went into it, they realized it was a long-term commitment on the part of their parents. “They started this magazine,” reflected Marshall, “because they love our community, and they wanted the community to unite around something positive.” Abby echoed and amplified those thoughts: “The magazine began at a tough time for our family, and I think we needed the magazine as much as the community did. I could not be more proud of my parents and their continued dedication to the magazine, the community, and to God.” Both, too, have been influenced personally by the magazine. “I was born and raised in Huntsville,” noted Marshall, “but through the magazine, I’ve learned of amazing people in the community. There is always more to a community than you know.” For Abby, the impact has also been personal, at times almost traumatically so. There was the time, as a college freshman, that she got to interview Aaron Watson for the magazine, only to find her only recording became corrupted— the file was irretrievably lost—prompting an awkward callback. But even while living in the Abilene area, she is amazed by what she learns from the magazine: “…a person in the community doing amazing things, or a new recipe, or keeping up with my mom through her publisher column. It makes me feel closer to my family. Oh yeah, one more thing I’ve learned: have a backup recording device for interviews.”

January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 11


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Dear Gabby Welcome back to the Dear Gabby advice column. Happy New Year!! I heard about a new movie coming out soon. It’s a mystery called “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” It’s going to be a bust, though. We all know what we all did last summer. Nothing! My first New Year’s resolution is to stop procrastinating. I’ll write down the rest of them tomorrow…or maybe the next day. This year, I can honestly say I am very thankful hindsight truly is 2020! Drop me a line at Dear Gabby at PostcardsLive. com/share but only if you really want to know my opinion.

Submitted by: Brian B Smith, CFP®, Bryan M Masten, CFP® & Riley W. Smith

What a Way to Start A New Decade

DEAR GABBY My son-in-law is so ungrateful! I bought him a shirt for Christmas; he sent a thank you note, but he has not even worn the shirt over here for me to see it. Shouldn’t he do that to let me know how much he likes it? He’s now on my naughty list. M-I-L

DEAR M-I-L No one should be expected to display or use a gift according to the wishes or expectations of the giver. Once you give a gift, it belongs to the recipient, and you are not entitled to dictate what happens after that point. The fact that you received a thank you note from him should let you know he is grateful and thoughtful. If he chooses to wear the shirt when he washes his car, or uses it to wash his car, is no concern of yours. Your S-I-L is on my nice list. I’m still impressed that he sent you a thank you note! GABBY DEAR GABBY Why do people make such a big deal out of New Year’s Resolutions? They’re just a to-do list for the first week in January. REALIST DEAR REAL No kidding! Unfortunately, New Year’s Eve is a time when many people make pour decisions! GABBY CONFIDENTIAL TO STILL UNEMPLOYED: Thanks for sharing your resume. I think I have a clue as to why you didn’t get the job. For starters, it’s b-e-f-o-r-e, not B4. Adults speak English, not Bingo.

Partners

In late 2019 we often heard people compare the upcoming decade to the roaring twenties of the last century. There was a lot of optimism that we were headed into a decade of positive economic activity and growth. The reality of 2020 did not take long to set in, and to call this year a dumpster fire would probably be an understatement. While this has been a challenging year for many of us, let us take some time to find the positive things that have happened in 2020. 1. Families have spent more time together – While it may be difficult to balance work, with home chores, and homeschooling the kids, it would be hard to argue that it is a negative to spend more time together as a family. It may be as simple as having more time at home due to working from home but being more involved with our kids positively impacts everyone. In addition, many parents have newfound respect for teachers. 2. Neighbors have taken care of each other – While you will not see it in the news headlines, neighbors have gone out of their way to help each other. It became obvious early on that certain portions of the population where at higher risk with the virus. To help mitigate that risk neighbors have aided with everything from grocery shopping, to a friendly check-in on higher risk individuals. It is further evidence that we all have more in common than differences. 3. Consumers have focused on small businesses – While the big retail and restaurant chains are important, small businesses are really the fabric of this country. Small businesses provide an enormous amount of employment and support our communities in so many ways. When restrictions on how they could do business where enacted, their communities responded to support them. Whether it was simply ordering food for curbside pick-up, or ordering goods to be delivered from your favorite local shops, we all came together to keep our community small businesses in business. I am sure that we could all come up with many more positive outcomes from the past year. It is imperative that we look for the good. One of the things that makes this country great is the ability to adapt. We have always overcome adversity, but sometimes we forget how difficult past situations have been. Let’s all hope for a better 2021 and take some time to reflect on the positive in our lives as opposed to the difficulties we have undoubtedly faced. Happy New Year from your friends at Global Financial Partners!

www.financialpartner.net (936) 294-0201 • 1211 Financial Plaza • Huntsville Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member, FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Cambridge and Global Financial Partners are not affiliated. Cambridge does not provide tax advice.

January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 13


Health Matters www.drjimshealthtips.com By James W. Jones, MD, PhD, MHA

Let Your New Year’s Resolutions Make Contributions to Needed Solutions New Year’s resolutions have been around a long time, thought to begin with the Babylonians, made during extensive festivities to their gods and kings, at least two thousand years before Jesus. Continuing, the Romans payed homage to the two-faced god Janus, the god of beginnings, by resolving. The practice endures, but has changed considerably-- although a sizable number are made, only a minuscule number are kept after a few months. To assess how you can improve your life is admirable, and we should do so often; however, we should consider the focus of the resolution carefully. I recommend that New Year’s is a good time to self-evaluate. My Mom told me (from the time I was able to walk) over and over, “Son, in this life, if you don’t continually try to better yourself, you’ll surely wind up as sorry as dirt.” She exaggerated, of course, but made a point that guided me to grow mentally. WE ALL WANT TO GROW. Make certain whatever you desire to expend effort to improve is worth the endeavor. Consider what is most important that lies distinctly within

your sphere of influence. Do not let temporary efforts edge out enduring endpoints. The more indispensable things are in living, the more important they are to us. Choose important and enduring resolution goals. Getting a novel, sought-after item such as a house or car is commendable, but it meets neither the best criteria of important nor enduring. Seeking better employment meets both criteria, but is outshined by your overall health. Obviously, pain or other physical discomfort commands our attention, but more enduring is when we find we have a serious disease or condition. I have seen this happen many times, and all else in life becomes unimportant, indeed. Maintaining health at desired levels triumphs greatly over other accomplishments. But what extent of effort is necessary? Choosing healthier living styles fits the criteria for success in resolution achievement wonderfully. Resolutions should be doable. They should have steps that can be added incrementally. And, depending on your situation, your resolution can be designed to fit your lifestyle well. Ponder which of the many healthier diet or exercise improvement steps would fit your lifestyle. One could start by excluding certain foods (such as processed ones) or adding more courses of fruits and veggies. Physical activity also fits well. One can start slow and gradually increase walking or cardio at the gym. Also, Tai Chi, yoga, or even Zumba could be started (depending on the initial level of fitness). The quality of our lives is directly related to the quality of our thoughts and ideas. THINK HEALTHIER!

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14  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

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January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 15


Meet the Team Submitted Photos

Abby Altom Boyd ~ Social Media Growing up in the Postcards family, Abby has long-term experience pitching in multiple ways toward the publication. She has been a writer/photographer and currently manages our social media presence. She and her husband Ryan live in Abilene, where Abby works for Hendrick Health System as their compensation coordinator in HR and Ryan is a city police officer. Abby says, “Of all I have done for the magazine, one of my favorites has been taking several of the photos for the covers. Regardless of how I am able to contribute, I love being part of something that brings such joy and positivity to my hometown (even if it’s from afar now)!”

Marshall Altom ~ Utility As he has remained local, Marshall has had more and more varied all-around experience with Postcards. He has served stints overseeing deliveries and managing the office/bookkeeping, has been a writer and photographer, and still works part-time in ad sales. He and his wife Kathryn live in Huntsville. Kathryn even helped in the office with filing and subscriptions up until their new son Walker was born this year. Marshall now works full-time for Walker County Federal Credit Union. His favorite thing about Postcards is the community interaction and engagement.

Mary Partida ~ Design I have been blessed to have been a part of the Postcards family from day one! Being part of the initial team as a graphic designer has been one of my greatest joys and accomplishments. One of my favorite things is sharing our readers’ and advertisers’ submissions, along with the many new friends I have been blessed with on this journey. I look forward to working with my awesome team and helping our communities grow and come together through our publications for many years to come. I would like to thank each and every individual, business, and co-worker for helping us make Postcards the best community magazine around!

L p w J t s

April Key ~ Design Joining the workforce at 14, April learned early that having integrity and determination pays off. Taking advantage of every opportunity to learn a new skill has taught her a lot. She prides herself on providing exceptional service and treating customers the way she would want her grandmother to be treated. April officially joined the “graphic design” world in her 30s. At a young age, her grandmother introduced her to painting. From then on, she has been enthralled. April joined the printing industry in 2009 and has integrated into the mailing industry over the past 7 years. During that time she began working with Karen & Wes on the printing side of production, but since joining the design team, she has enjoyed learning so much about the Postcards communities. Currently she is working on projects while traveling the U.S. with her husband Scott & dog Luna Mayo.

Janet Jones ~ Sales After a 30-year career with Southwestern Bell (now AT&T), Janet retired and moved to Huntsville shortly thereafter. Janet has been a part of the Postcards family since 2012. She began selling ads for the Lake Conroe publication and now covers Piney Woods market as well. Janet and her husband James, who is a retired AC contractor, celebrated their 40th anniversary this past November. They were blessed with two wonderful children, JW Jones and Courtney Woods and four grandchildren, Jake Wyatt, Kynlynn, Kord and Kash. Janet says, “One of my favorite things is getting feedback from my advertisers how they love being in the magazine and how Postcards has benefited their business.” 16  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

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Nancy Jolly ~ Sales Watching my forever friend bring her dream of Postcards Magazine to life from the sidelines was such fun! Now getting to “play” on her team is beyond exciting! I came to Postcards with 30+ years of experience with advertising and marketing which allowed me to join this group of very talented individuals with a unique understanding of our goal. We bring “community” to individuals in their homes, to our local businesses, in their minds and their hearts. To be a part of such an important connection allows me to be the one blessed. My coworkers have embraced me. Businesses have welcomed me. My friends, my husband Gregg, and my children have seen the joy all over my face because I get to do what I love! When Karen and I were discussing our future, I was very clear when I told her, “You do know I plan on retiring here! When you go, I go…and I don’t want a watch for my retirement! Just saying!” #teamPostcards #teamACMI

Ruth Fields ~ Writer When Ruth was a high school senior, she won a statewide essay contest and scholarship sponsored by the Sons of the Republic of Texas. Encouraged, she then earned a degree in journalism from Texas A&M. She and her favorite Aggie classmate Charlie have been married 38 years and have three adult children. While Charlie served as a U.S. Army officer, Ruth had her first freelance article published in the Army Times. Since then, she has had over 1,000 articles published in newspapers and magazines. Ruth joined the Postcards team in 2013. Her favorite memories include indoor skydiving, riding on Lake Conroe in an amphicar, and meeting interesting people, like two sisters—both adopted—who share an unlikely bond: one donated a kidney to the other. When she’s not writing, Ruth enjoys running, vegetable gardening, hiking, and playing in her church and community orchestras.

Linda W. Perkins ~ Writer Linda’s background as an expat growing up overseas planted within her a deep desire to explore different places, meet new people, and share God’s love with others, which she gets to do often as a Postcards feature writer and contributor to Mustard Seed Moments. Linda lives in Houston with her husband Ben and daughter Jenna, but considers Huntsville her “home away from home” and can often be found hiking or kayaking in the area. In addition to being a freelance writer and journalist, Linda is an artist and an active volunteer with several non-profits.

Mike Yawn ~ Writer Mike Yawn spends much at time at SHSU, where he is the Director of the Center for Law, Engagement, And Politics. When not working, Yawn spends much time reading, learning about art, hiking, and traveling. Some of these activities find their way into Postcards as stories.

Claudia Kirkwood ~ Writer Since moving back to Huntsville in 2015, I have had the immense pleasure of writing for Postcards Magazine. It has been a joy to meet and get better acquainted with citizens and friends of this wonderful city, and to learn first-hand about the fascinating roles they are filling, the handiworks they are producing, and the interesting lives they have led. I feel this magazine plays an important role as it portrays these people and the beauty they impart to our community. My deepest thanks go to Wes and Karen Altom for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of the blessing they are to our communities.

Janet Davidson ~ Writer Janet has been a part of the Huntsville community for almost 20 years. She taught for 15 years at Alpha Omega Academy in numerous positions. Her passion for writing led her to seek a freelance position with Postcards. One of the highlights of writing the Business Features has been when a subject said, “I didn’t know how you were going to make screwdrivers and wood sound interesting, but you did!” January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 17


Rosa Coss ~ Writer Rosa came to Postcards from Sam Houston State University, where she worked for 27 years in various capacities. Most recently, she was Marketing Coordinator for the Office of the VP for Student Affairs, prior to retiring in 2017. She has done freelance writing and photography for several years, and currently also works part-time at ESC Region 6 as a migrant recruiter. “What I enjoy most about writing for Postcards is having the opportunity to meet community members and local business owners and getting to know them on a more personal level.”

Janet Allen Batchelor ~ Writer Janet calls herself a proud native Texan who lives in the country with her husband Tom, two border collies, and an ornery feral cat. Between them, she and Tom have six children, eleven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Her first children’s book, Al and the Owligator, has just been published, and she has had human interest and travel articles published in local, regional and national magazines. “Being a writer/contributor for such a quality magazine as Postcards is rewarding in many ways. Working with the Altom family and the team to enlighten and entertain our local communities is a pleasure.”

Amy Barnett ~ Writer Prior to moving to Huntsville in 2010, Amy enjoyed a 12-year career in broadcast news, including working for KPRC Channel 2 in Houston as a news reporter. During her television career, she got to cover hard news stories and fun ones, including the 2005 World Series and Super Bowl XXXVIII. She interviewed numerous celebrities and political figures – some of her favorites include Margaret Thatcher, Gen. Colin Powell, Benjamin Netanyahu, Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Matthew McConaughey, Justin Timberlake, and Kelly Osbourne. Her favorite part of the job was always storytelling. That’s what brought her to the Postcards family in 2016, when her first interview was with country music’s hometown boy Cody Johnson. Amy’s favorite stories to tell are those of musical artists in our Texas Talent segment, probably because she is a songwriter herself. She believes everyone has a story, and every story can be turned into a song! She also enjoys playing guitar, painting, baking, and sculpting cakes.

Emily Langley ~ Distribution As a former employee to the publisher, Emily is glad to be back on the team and part of the Postcards family. She has been taking care of magazine distribution for the Piney Woods edition--which takes her to Huntsville, Madisonville, and Trinity to provide Postcards to the communities through local businesses. Emily and her husband Scooter have three sons and live in Huntsville, but she grew up in Madisonville. “It is so great to see so many business owners and workers face-to-face while delivering magazines. I especially love the excitement so many have about the magazine, and they are so appreciative to have them to give to their customers.”

Gina Turner ~ Photographer Gina Turner, a photographer and long-time resident of Madisonville, is happy to be a part of the Postcards team. She now resides in The Woodlands with her husband Tommy, who is an IT network engineer, and her son Duncan, who is a student at Baylor University. Gina graduated from SHSU with a degree in photography and calls the Madisonville/Huntsville area home in her heart. She is now the owner and operator of her own photography studio, Graphics and Photos by Gina. She says, “I love capturing the diversity of the people I encounter and sharing their stories.”

Libby Rogers ~ Photographer Libby grew up in Huntsville and began working as a photographer in her early teens. While attending Baylor University, Libby began her Postcards journey as a photographer. Libby and her German Shepherd Atticus moved back to Huntsville in 2016. In addition to Postcards, she is on staff at University Heights Baptist Church and runs her own business, Elizabeth Shae Photography. “I love all the different people I get to meet through Postcards,” Libby said. “It’s a joy to meet people from all different walks of life who are passionate and excel in their given fields. I learn something new with every story.” 18  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

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Julie Knight ~ Photographer

A long-time friend of Karen’s, Julie was the original photographer for Postcards and shot lots of the stories for the first several years. When she and her daughter opened a bakery, she had to cut back to shooting here and there, but is still a part of the Postcards family. Julie is married to John and they have two grown children, Annie (Sherman) and Michael. Her biggest claim to fame is her precious grandson Duke, whom she adores. When asked about her favorite Postcards story, she replied, “Oh, there are so many, but it was really fun to travel with Karen to Kerrville to the headquarters of James Avery. We had both gotten so busy; getting to spend all day together was like old times, not to mention it was a really cool piece.”

Kelly Lawson ~ Consultant

Kelly and her husband Rayford have lived in Willis for over 30 years, but still think of Huntsville as homebase. Both are graduates of SHSU who began their careers in Huntsville, Kelly at The Huntsville Item and Rayford with Walker County. Their paths never lead them too far away from the community. Now a full-time real estate agent, Kelly enjoys working around Montgomery and Walker County, always ready to pass on exciting stories and people to Postcards. She is also still prepared to grab a camera to help shoot a feature as needed. “I have watched Postcards from the start, and I was so pleased when God and the Altoms offered me a chance to hold a role as a photographer and then on staff. The blessings and smiles resulting from Karen, Wes, and Postcards are too many to recount in the space provided.”

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McCAFFETY We would be remiss if we failed to mention a few notable individuals who have contributed significantly to our decade of success, but are no longer “active” staff working with our team. We greatly miss Chris Blair, our longtime graphic designer who passed away unexpectedly in 2019. His efforts took us to a new level, and his absence has challenged us as much or more than did his ongoing “pursuit of excellence” during our time as teammates with him. Writers who contributed 20 or more features are Winston Spencer, Andrea Lee, Claude Wooley, and Leah Lamp. Writers who penned at least 10-20 stories are Kara Tipton, Kristin Humphrey, Bambi Kiser, and Jim Belew. Your efforts are appreciated and helped us reach this milestone.

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January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 19


What’s Cookin’ Healthy Garden Salad Ingredients 5 Tbs red wine vinegar 3 Tbs grapeseed oil 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 2 limes, juiced 1 tsp white sugar ¾ tsp salt 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 (1 lb) pkg frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans) 3 cups frozen corn kernels 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained Directions Step 1: In a large serving bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, salt,

and garlic. Set aside. Step 2: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the soybeans and boil for 3 minutes. Add corn to the boiling water and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Drain very well and pour into the bowl with the dressing. Gently mix in the cherry tomatoes, green onions and black beans. Step 3: Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to chill and blend the flavors.

Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge Ingredients ½ cup butter 1 (16 oz) pkg brown sugar ½ cup milk ¾ cup peanut butter 1 tsp vanilla extract 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar Directions Step 1: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

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Step 2: Stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Step 3: Pour into an 8x8 inch dish. Chill until firm and cut into squares. Bakers Tip: Making a layer cake? Flip the top layer upside-down to get a perfectly flat and even top — perfect for frosting application.


Simple and Easy Coq au Vin Ingredients 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 1 cup milk 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1 (8 oz) pkg button mushrooms, sliced 2 cups halved baby carrots 1 onion, chopped 2 cups red wine 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, or as needed 2 tsp Italian seasoning ½ tsp dried rosemary salt and ground black pepper to taste Directions Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Mix flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in

a shallow bowl. Pour milk into a separate bowl. Dip chicken in the milk, allowing excess milk to drip back into bowl. Dredge chicken through flour mixture until evenly coated. Step 2: Cook 1/2 of the chicken in the hot oil until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pot and brown remaining chicken. Return all the chicken to the pot. Step 3: Mix mushrooms, carrots, and onion into chicken, stirring gently to distribute vegetables among the chicken. Pour wine over chicken and vegetables, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Add enough chicken broth to nearly cover the chicken and vegetables. Step 4: Stir Italian seasoning, rosemary, salt, and pepper into broth mixture; bring to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour. Remove lid and turn heat up to medium-high; boil, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes.

January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 21


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22  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

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Star Students Sarah Nan Duncan

Jake Holland

Huntsville High School

Huntsville High School

Favorite Movie: Selena Favorite Music/Artist: Kacey Musgraves Favorite Movie: none

Favorite Food: My Honey’s Roast & Taters

Favorite Music/Artist: R&B, Rap

Favorite Quote: “Be the light.” - Matthew 5:14

Favorite Food: Fried Chicken Favorite Quote: “Uh...khakis?” - Jake (from State Farm)

J

ake is a senior at Huntsville High School and is the son of Ken and Nicole Holland. His activities include band and golf. Following graduation, Jake plans to attend Texas A&M University as a member of the Corps of Cadets, then become a navy pilot. He believes, “Never underestimate the power of people. Everyone has a story, and everyone has a motivation to keep pressing onward.”

S

arah is a senior at Huntsville High School and is the daughter of Kirk and Shannon Duncan. Her activities include golf, student council, and class council. Following graduation, Sarah plans to attend Sam Houston State University, pursue a career in criminal justice, and eventually have a family. She b e l i e ve s , “ W h e n yo u f o c u s o n t h e g o o d , t h e g o o d gets better.”

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936-856-5551 January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 23


Business Focus By Karen Altom

In the Beginning...

Creation...when God created the world, He looked at the miraculous things He had done and said, “It is good.” As we look back at the last ten years, we too can say, “It is good.” But we have to give credit where due. The businesses listed here are the heroes. THEY are the ones who have been with us since the beginning--day one. They have never wavered. They have been steadfast. The miraculous thing is that they looked at the blank sheet of paper we handed them with only a few words…words like Pet Pals with spots for ads. They caught our vision and committed to help bring a magazine to our community. As we look back at the beginning, we want to publicly acknowledge how much we appreciate them, and we want our readers to know how important they have been in bringing Postcards to you for the last decade.

Ward Furniture & Flooring

Address: 180 Interstate 45 South, Huntsville Phone: 936.295.2514 Website: www.wardfurniture.com A family owned business for more than 70 years. The Ward family offers an array of furniture, flooring, and accessories as well as a design team to help you with your residential or commercial needs. Whether you need furniture or flooring or design services, the Ward team is ready to go to work for you to turn your dreams into reality.

Roy’s Air Conditioning

Address: 318 S Main St, Conroe Phone: 936.539.3213 Website: www.roysair.com Roy’s Air Conditioning has been in business since 1979 and services all brands of air conditioning equipment. “Service makes us different” is the Roy’s motto. They proud dealers of Comfortmaker systems and are happy to give you a free estimate. Serving Conroe and the surrounding areas, owner Paul Lamp invites you to call and discover the difference Roy’s service can make.

Hamm’s Flooring

Address: 2751 E Davis St, Conroe Phone: 936.756.5602 Website: www.hammsflooring.com Hamm’s Flooring carries a complete line of products from the world’s leading manufacturers. A family owned and operated business, Hamm’s Flooring believes it should be all about you. Our main goal is to do everything possible to make you satisfied. Hamm’s offers products for both commercial and residential installations and has a staffed showroom with expert professional advice and installation service available. 24  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021


McCaffety Electric

McCAFFETY ELECTRIC

. t s h

McCaffety Electric has been serving the Huntsville area since 1962, and in recent years, has expanded the service area with a second location in Conroe, Texas. We also have a beautiful lighting showroom at our Huntsville location. We stand ready to handle all of your electrical needs from small residential repairs and lighting design, to standby generator power and large commercial projects. No job is too large or too small.  

A Little Bit Western

Address: 6753 FM 244, Anderson Phone: 936.581.2218 Website: www.facebook.com/LittleBitWesternMetalArt A Little Bit Western is the business of metal artist Jeff Sullivan. Jeff creates custom work for his clients including entry gates, ranch signs, overhead entrance signs and yard gates. He also designs and create home items like fireplace screens, coat racks, stair railings and home décor. Jeff was featured in the first issue of the Piney Woods edition of Postcards.

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Huntsville: 1711 Sycamore Ave, Huntsville Phone: 936.295.2831 Conroe: 1610 N. Frazier, Conroe Phone: 936.539.5411 Website: www.mccaffetyelectric.com

Global Financial Partners, Inc.

Address: 1211 Financial Plaza, Huntsville Phone: 936.294.0201 Website: www.financialpartner.net

Partners

Global Financial Partners understands not everyone enjoys finance the way they do. They have a passion for what they do, and for helping people. They enjoy helping you better understand your current financial situation and develop a plan to move you toward your goals. Whether you are years away from retirement, or already enjoying your golden years, they want to help provide you and your family with a plan to “Enjoy More, Worry Less”.

Physical Therapy Associates

Huntsville: 127 Medical Park Ln, Huntsville Phone: 936.294.0283 Conroe: 1020 Riverwood Ct. Ste 120, Conroe Phone: 936.494.1292 Website: www.ptaclinic.com Physical Therapy Associates is the leading orthopedic and sports rehabilitation practice in the area. In addition to physical therapy, they offer wellness services including nutrition management, injury prevention programs, specialized golf performance training, and massage therapy. Founded in 2000, owner Dallas Williams has been voted “Best Physical Therapist” in the local newspaper’s Reader’s Choice Awards time and again.

January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 25


Kim’s Home & Garden Center

Address: 2715 Lake Rd, Huntsville, Huntsville Phone: 936.295.5282 Website: www.kimshomeandgardencenter.com Kim’s Home and Garden Inc. is fast becoming Texas’ most unique shopping destination. A woman-owned and operated business, Kim’s has been “Where great gardens begin” since 1985. Whether you’re looking for items in the Garden Center or enjoying the Mansion for home décor and gifts, Kim’s has a staff dedicated to providing customers with unparalleled service, knowledge, quality products and expertise.  

Rainbow International Restoration & Cleaning Address: 7130 S State Hwy 75, Huntsville Phone: 936.291.0968 Website: www.rainbowintl.com/huntsville

Established in 1981, Rainbow International offers professional service in carpet and area rug cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, upholstery cleaning, air duct cleaning and odor control. They are also experts in home and commercial restoration. Restoration services cover fire damage restoration, water damage restoration, mold removal, smoke damage restoration, and more. Technicians are on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Rainbow International is fully certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Veterinary Hospital of New Waverly Address: 455 W TX-150, New Waverly Phone: 936.344.8469 Website: www.vethospitalnewwaverly.com

Veterinary Hospital of New Waverly provides veterinary service for companion animals and equine patients in New Waverly, Texas. They promise to treat your animal with the same care, and concern they would give their own. The VanWagner team of Dr. Kim and Dr. Steve are both owners and practitioners. Dr. Kim has a special interest in small animals, critical care and internal medicine. Dr. Steve has a special interest in equine medicine, lameness, and all aspects of reproduction.

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Call or text Karen: 936-581-1776 26  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

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Curves for Women

Huntsville: 279 TX-75, Huntsville Phone: 936.295.3900 Willis/Conroe: 111 League Line Rd, Conroe Phone: 936.890.7299 Website: www.curves.com Strengthening Women Inside and Out is the Curves motto. Curves has helped women around the world get healthier and stronger with a unique fitness solution. In just 30 minutes, you work every major muscle group through a proven gym program of strength training, cardio and stretching. Programs are available in club or at home. No more excuses!

Kelly Lawson Realtor

Address: 7167 Lakeshore Ln, Willis Phone: 936.525.9589 Website: www.facebook.com/KsueIt Kelly Lawson is a Realtor high on communication. She knows that sometimes you “need to know,” even if there is nothing new to know. Kelly is never too busy for your peace of mind and believes serving others is her strongest skill. Striving to provide exceptional service and really caring about the tone and smoothness of your journey is her top objective. She feels the relationship part of the process is the most important, and that is where she earns your trust.

What our advertisers are saying...

Congratulations

POSTCARDS Magazine

It has been my pleasure to work with Karen Altom and the Postcards team since day one. I have returned year after year, and advertise in both the Piney Woods Edition and the Lake Conroe Edition, for two reasons: first, it produces a great return on investment and is a quality product. Second, they provide a topnotch, professional staff dedicated to helping my business be as successful as possible. When 10% of new customers let us know they came to visit as a direct result of our ad, the ad has paid for itself and we have increased our customer base! (investment/not an expense)…..win/win for everyone! Kim Bius, Owner Kim’s Home & Garden Center

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FREE Estimates Locally Owned and Fully Insured 10 Year Labor Warranty Military & Senior Discounts Residential or Commercial Insurance Claims Welcome Roof Repairs (Architectural) Hardie Siding Gutter and Down Spout Repairs Fascia & Soffit Repair Exterior Painting Sheetrock Work Emergency Repairs 24/7 References Available Upon Request

Happy ear! Y w e N

281-513-6263 Keith@onlyonehighlander.com January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 27


From the Mouths of Babes... My 3-year-old was put in timeout for bad behavior. She turned to us and said, “You ruined my whole life!”

One of my students had just turned 10. He said, “I’m still not used to being in the double digits. It’s so strange to be old!”

As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we also celebrate the blessing of helping our patients achieve a more active and pain-free life.

Together we can overcome!

I was shopping with our 2-year-old, and we saw a baby. He said, “Oh! A baby! I pet the baby?” Me: “No.” 2-Year-old: “So just dogs then?”

My daughter’s 3 and 6-year-old girls play together, but often squabble. Being told she needed to be “the bigger person” sometimes, the 6-year-old asked what that meant. When told it meant compromising and letting her 3-year-old sister have her way, she answered, “Well, you got the wrong sister!” Cindy W.

My 7-year-old said, “Most inventors are smart, but not the person who invented homework. They are the worst of all inventors.” Jennifer L.

“Mom, I put my phone on airplane mode, but it didn’t fly!” Izabella A.

127 Medical Park Lane Huntsville

936.294.0283

1020 Riverwood Ct. • Suite 120 Conroe

28  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

936.494.1292


d o o

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JANUARY

Nov 4-Feb 15 Huntsville Step UP Step Back: Quilts of Mary Laura Gibbs

• • • • • • • •

thewynnehome.com

21-24 Round Top Winter Antiques Show

exploreroundtop.com

Transmission Service Fuel Injection Service Tire Rotation Differential Service Brake Service • Tune-Ups A/C Service • Radiator Flush Check Che Engine Light Diagnostics BG Products Flush Services

MOTORCYCLE SERVICES

Our professional motorcycle services include:

22-Feb 7 Houston “Photograph 51”

• V-Twin Cycle Services & Repairs

adplayers.org

808 W. Montgomery (FM 1097) Willis, TX 77378

Email: 808@willis-kwikkar.com

24

(936) 890-4707

Bryan

BVSO Presents “Tangos and More” bvso.org

www.willis-kwikkar.com

26

Houston

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!

Calidore String Quartet in Concert chambermusichouston.org

30

Conroe

HERPS Exotic Reptile Pet Show

Let us help you find the perfect gift for that special someone....

Heavenly

herpshow.net/shows

CAKES & FLOWERS

Due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, some events have been postponed or canceled. Please make sure to check the event website, social media, or call ahead to confirm an event is still taking place if you are interested in attending.

Cookies • Desserts Gluten Free • Keto Full Florist • Weddings Birthday Parties • Funerals Flower Specials • Much more Breakfast & Lunch Coming!

(936) 760-3499 heavenlycakesflowers@gmail.com

A.

806 N. Loop 336 W. • Conroe, TX January 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 29


Mustard Seed Moments by Wes Altom

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• Braces - Orthodontics • Bridges

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281-850-6426 j219nell@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/ jannell.healthcoach 30  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2021

READY, SET, GO! Anyone operating in the electronic world is familiar with the reset button. To some, like gamers, it’s intentional—a do-over, chalking up lessons learned and mistakes made. To others, it’s quite unplanned—as in the program/device froze up, and…hopefully…you haven’t lost hours of work. Many hope January brings a reset to 2020, which was overflowing with “unplanned” challenges. The God of the universe probably doesn’t conform so neatly to our meager calendar. One thing is certain, though. Scripture is full of resets—too many to recount here, but below are a few examples. The exit from the garden; Noah and the great flood; Israel…Israel…Israel (slow learners, lol); Jonah and the great fish; Job and his great trials; the calling of the twelve; the woman at the well; the Resurrection; the conversion of Paul; the Second Coming…and so many more. I don’t know the timing, but I do believe a reset is coming for whatever personal and unique challenges each of us face. Christ came to earth, endured suffering to the point of the greatest reset, then assured us he would never leave or forsake us. Ponder a few words of encouragement of David, a reset veteran, from Psalm 40.

I waited and waited and waited for GOD. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest Godsong, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to GOD.

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