After working more than 25 years as a nurse, Reba Tucker said she is happy being back in Chilton County enjoying her retirement on the same land where she grew up.
“My father worked for the Chilton County Road Department, so I wouldn’t say I grew up farming, but he had been a cotton farmer before I was born,” Tucker said. “My grandfather was a farmer here, and we always had a large garden, so I was born and raised in a farming community.”
She and her husband, Tommy, built a home on her family property a few years ago so she could be near her mother, who this year celebrated her 94th birthday.
“She still lives in her own home, and I’m so glad I can be close enough to her to see her several times a day and take her plates of food from our house,” Tucker said.
In addition to spending time with her mother and three grandchildren, Tucker’s return to the Randolph community rekindled her enthusiasm for her home county.
“When I was 59, I saw pictures in the newspaper of contestants in the Miss Senior Chilton County competition,” she said. “It’s for ages 60 and over, and I decided I’d like to do that the next year. I was the 2011 Miss Senior Chilton County. I had a lot of fun giving speeches and making presentations for and about our county.”
But Tucker’s heart reaches far beyond the lines of the county she calls home.
“I have a great love for missions work,” she said. “I’ve been to Honduras, Africa, Russia, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Cuba, as well as stateside trips. I went with a group last year to Phil Campbell to help rebuild after the terrible storms they had.
“Mission groups like to have a nurse along, and I don’t mind climbing the scaffolding and providing some manual labor either. It is a wonderful feeling to serve God and help others experience His love and compassion.”
Tucker said her sister, Wanda, has been a wonderful influence on her cooking. She shares several of her sister’s recipes and other family favorite dishes featuring Chilton County peaches in this month’s Country Kitchen.
As summer tomatoes arrive, Tucker suggests Pernie’s Fried Green Tomatoes or Cheesy Baked Tomatoes to make the most of another Southern summer staple.