Many of us are fortunate enough to have at least one angel in the family. The one that everyone turns to, counts on, and never doubts. No matter the difficulty or strife, that is the one person you go to first.
In the Hinesley family that person is Valerie. A buoy in a raging sea of life's turmoil, Valerie gently takes charge and gets things done.
Her husband Bill had nominated her and Valerie was one of over 40 nominations Maria Brooks and her staff received for the contest.
"It was so hard to choose," Maria said. "I narrowed it down to eight contestants, and the staff voted on them. Valerie was the top choice."
Bill's sincere request described the last year and a half of the Hinesleys' lives being full of change, loss of loved ones, illnesses, and heartbreak involving several beloved family members. Enormous amounts of upheaval, gigantic projects requiring constant attention, and emotional exhaustion that would put many people under, but not Valerie.
Not only did Valerie step up to help her family, in several cases she had to completely give herself over to the needs of others. All this while running a successful business and commuting back and forth to Savannah in the process.
Valerie is a landscape architect and has not only family to care for, but clients as well. Her long established and hard won business was not something she could simply walk away from in order to take care of her loved ones.
Maria and I surprised the very deserving Valerie Friday morning at the Hinesley family business, Picadilly Farms. She looked at Bill with a smile on her face and said, "You devil!" as we whisked her away to the salon!
En route, I asked her how she stayed so strong during all they had been through.
"One day at a time,” she answered. "I am a religious person and some things I just gave to God and sought his plan."
She is thankful for family support, good friends, and a good church family.
"Your only choices are to take it in stride or fall apart,” continued Valerie. One look at her and you know she'd never choose the latter.
Valerie's spa retreat began with a wonderful massage followed by lunch from The Big Easy; a facial, manicure and pedicure; and a highlight, haircut and makeup consultation before her dinner date at Chops and Hops with her husband. She also had some special attention from New Image!
The couple is saving their Ashford Manor stay for a weekend coming up soon.
"It was really fun and all the people at the salon were super nice," Valerie told me the next day. "The gift certificate for jewelry at Ann Peden was so nice, it had been a long time since I'd been shopping, not since coming to Oconee County. I hadn't even had a chance to find a place to get my hair done."
Maria said the salon would like to thank all those who entered the contest.
"We will soon be announcing plans for more events such as this one." Marie said. "The support of other downtown merchants was fantastic and we all enjoyed giving back to the community."
"Now that I've made these new connections I will try to do a better job of pampering myself a little!" Valerie said.