Joyce Click has found her niche as a member of the Senior Center at Ashland City.
“There’s a reason I love to joke,” she said. “It’s to bring a smile, and it makes me happy. We all need to be uplifting.”
Click, an Ohio native, and her husband, Barry, made their way to Tennessee via Texas.
“My dad was a World War II veteran and then joined the service,” she said. “We lived in Japan, Florida, and I lived in Denver where I met my husband of 50 years. For him, there was no other state in the union but Texas.”
They moved to Houston and then ended up in northeast Texas when Barry got his dream job as a park ranger while Joyce worked for nearly 19 years as a music therapist at Lufkin State School for mentally handicapped children.
The couple moved from Texas because of health issues after Joyce faced a heart attack as well as leukemia.
The Clicks first moved to Murfreesboro, but they found the area to be too crowded, and they discovered Cheatham County and Ashland City.
“Barry looked for a home near the golf course off of Hwy 49,” she said.
For Joyce, her time at the senior center a true treasure.
“The reason I came was because I wanted to go ahead and paint, and they had art lessons,” she said. “Since I got here, I’ve joined the loomers. Then, I enjoy playing cards, so I have to play. If there’s anything I’m interested in, I can do it.”
Joyce has also taught a class at the center on wreath-making.
“It just blossomed,” she said. “The first class I had there were 47. That was the fall wreaths and for Christmas wreaths we had 28.”
She loves making wreaths for anybody and everybody, and she especially likes making wreaths from pinecones.
“You pick up the pinecones, and then get a lopper to cut the corners and shape them like flowers, then paint them and glue them on,” she said.
She’s also made candy cane wreaths, two of which were bought by The Waters on River Road.
“I sit in the garage when I’m making them, and I think and sing,” she said.
At last year’s Cheatham County Fair, she entered two of her wreaths and a painting. The wreaths won first and second place and her painting took second place.
Click also crochets, and she is an accomplished musician, playing piano, dulcimer, banjo, mandolin and guitar.
“I have people asking me to teach their children how to play piano or offer voice lessons,” she said. “I can sing, but I’ve never had voice lessons. I had a band in Texas. But this here is for fun.”
Hearing the music
Another health challenge for Click has been carpal tunnel syndrome for which she is scheduled to have surgery. The condition has been especially disruptive for playing the piano, having to frail the banjo instead of picking, and working on the computer is tough for her.
“My fingers go numb, and my hands hurt,” she said. “But I have the best husband in the world, and he takes good care of me.”
Her love for music holds a special place in her heart having played an instrument since age seven.
“Music calms me, and it’s the best tool to soothe people,” she said, noting that she played clarinet in her elementary school band, and played the saxophone in her high school marching band.
Barry got her started on playing banjo and other string instruments.
“I like to learn and keep on learning,” she said. “I play by ear and sing alto.”
The Clicks have lived in Ashland City for four years.
Click also enjoys making scrubbies, hats, washcloths and lap blankets at the center as a member of Family Community Education.
She is especially impressed by the center’s dynamic trio of director Melissa Womack, and program coordinators Kathy Nicholson and Roy Dye.
“Melissa has incredible organization skills and is very direct and to the point,” she said. “Kathy is compassionate, caring and very efficient. And Roy is a real problem-solver. He keeps everything in order and is also very compassionate.”
Nicholson is impressed and encouraged by Joyce.
“I have enjoyed Joyce Click so much she is always ready to lend a hand wherever needed, teach a class, give to others in a heartbeat,” Nicholson said. “She is the true meaning of a volunteer. I've loved to see how she truly fits in here at the Center. Always has a great big smile to start the day. She has a great personality towards people.”
Dye said he is impressed by Joyce’s positive attitude, ability to encourage others, her creativity, her support of the center and her knack for getting a smile or a chuckle out of everyone she meets.
“She is an energetic, dynamic person and a definite asset to the center, and a wonderful addition to our membership,” Dye said.
Womack also sings praises for Joyce Click.
“She did not know anyone in the community, and has come in and joined up with so many different groups,” Womack said. “She’s giving and friendly, has shared her talents with the center, and she does so much for the friends she has come to know here.”
As for the center, Joyce Click encourages other seniors to stop by and get involved.
“Come for the enjoyment of people, and there’s so much to do and enjoy here,” she said.