McMillin Farm’s Blueberry Bash

By Lauren Sanderlin | Publish Date July 15, 2019
A few weeks ago we had the privilege of taking a field trip to McMillan farm in Clanton, Alabama with a few of our residents from Kirkwood by the River. This farm is special because it’s home to Kirkwood’s own Enrichment Coordinator, Cathy McMillan! Along with her husband, Mike and dozens of different fruits, veggies, and livestock, Cathy lives on the most beautiful property with a pond, lot’s of trees, and a quaint cabin.
Spending time outdoors is important for people in all walks of life but it is especially important for seniors. Getting outside can increase physical and mental activity levels which can contribute to warding off things like dementia, cognitive decline, immobility, and disease. Some other benefits of the great outdoors include: boosted vitamin D levels,  strengthened immune system, increased energy levels, faster recovery from injuries and illnesses, and improved focus levels!
So pair spending time outdoors with picking and enjoying locally grown, organic blueberries and you have the perfect day! The McMillans were so kind to let us pick buckets of their blueberries to our hearts’ content and then have a lovely picnic lunch with hamburgers, lemonade, peach cobbler, and peach ice cream from Peach Park!
Choosing locally grown produce (like the McMillan’s blueberries) has proven benefits as well! Some of these are: immunity boosting properties against allergens in your area, added nutrients due to less produce travel time, and even betterment of the local environment.
The Kirkwood crew had the best time soaking up the sun in the great outdoors and experiencing a day of “Farm Life” with one another.  We are so grateful for the McMillan’s for their generosity.

The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

My only regret is that I didn’t move here sooner with my late husband. We would have loved living here together. It would have been perfect for us to travel without the responsibilities of a home.

Nell Mehaffey Current Resident

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

We love that Kirkwood isn’t only church affiliated, but faith is a very prominent, important part of the community. To us, there just couldn’t be a better place.

Bob Tate Current Resident

If you asked me, I would say it gets better every year!

Robbie Sevier Former Resident of 37 Years

We’re a family. We really are a family.

Bet Kesmodel Current Resident