Linda Holmes was perfectly content in her role through the first decade of her marriage as a full-time, stay-at-home wife and mother. But when the youngest of her three boys started school, life brought changes. In order for her husband, Gerry, to realize a long-time ambition and farm for a living, Linda needed to find off-the-farm employment, as much for the benefits as for the steady income.
Although she had been out of the workforce for a dozen years, Linda landed the first job she applied for. It was as a customer service representative at the Alfa Insurance office in Hartselle.
That was in 1972. A year later, Linda was promoted to district supervisor in the Hartselle office, and in 1988, she became an Alfa Insurance agent working out of the Decatur office, a position she held until retiring in December 2002 with 30 years of service.
“Alfa has been wonderful to me,” Linda says today from the Holmeses’ Falkville cattle farm. “If I was going to work, I couldn’t have worked for a more wonderful company.”
Like most working mothers, Linda became adept through the years at juggling her responsibilities at work with those on the home front. While some things had to go, one thing she tried never to let slide was mealtime, especially when it came to breakfast.
“I’d have a pan full of homemade biscuits and bacon and eggs on the table every morning,” she says. “Nobody got out of there without a big breakfast to get them started for the day.”
Family always has been a top priority with Linda, so much so that, as rewarding and enjoyable as her career with Alfa was, she says she still can’t help but feel twinges of regret over not having been at home with her kids, the three sons and a daughter, through their growing-up years.
“But they tell me I need to get over that, and I guess they’re right, because they turned out wonderful,” she says. “We couldn’t be prouder.”
The Holmes kids all earned college degrees and now make their livings as engineers, accountants and graphic artists. All live within an hour or so of home, so frequent family gatherings, complete with Linda and Gerry’s two grandchildren, are the rule. Mom and her home cooking will always keep them coming back for more.