Pumpkins invade Ivy Hall Nursing Home

Some pumpkins sit on a windowsill, a pumpkin lays on a bench spending time with his scarecrow friend. Another few pumpkins perch on fence posts surrounding the nursing home. A whole group of them reside on the front steps of the building. Hundreds of pumpkins, and every one of them showcases the soul of the person who decorated it.

Chelcie Ricker, an employee at Ivy Hall Nursing Home, says this will be their fourth year decorating pumpkins for display.

“They started as just normal decorations,” Ricker said. “We kept doing more and more, and so now they have become a tradition.”

Ricker said there is no standard list of rules or anything similar as to how to decorate the pumpkins, describing the process as a “free-for-all.”

Pumpkin decorations included a hand-carved one of a realistic face, a plastic pumpkin painted white and made to look like BB-8 from Star Wars and an older woman with glasses in a bathtub.

“The employee involvement is huge,” Ricker said. “Schools, businesses and staff all participate.”

The pumpkins line the entire perimeter of the various buildings of the nursing home, perched on windowsills and sitting on benches with the scarecrows.

She said they will continue to receive pumpkins until Halloween this week. Eventually, they plan to line the entire street they reside on with their decorations.

Ricker said they spent the entire month of October decorating and setting up pumpkins, and they make sure as many residents participate as possible.

“We sometimes do jumping jacks to do so,” she said.

The decorations do not stop at the door, however. General fall decorations line the halls of the nursing home. At one of the receptionist areas is a large pine tree with Halloween decorations on it.

“This tree is always decorated,” Ricker said. “It does not matter the holiday: Christmas, Halloween, Father’s Day. We always decorate it with something.”

She said the decorations gain a lot of attention from passersby.

“We have one family who walks by here every day to take their kids to school,” Ricker said. “They always stop to look at the pumpkins.”

Ricker said she enjoys watching the residents decorate their pumpkins over the course of the month.

“I like seeing the residents happy and enjoying themselves,” she said. “They used to do this all the time. They would set up decorations in their house every year.”

Ricker said she hopes to show people the positive things about the nursing home.

“The nursing home is a blessing,” Ricker said. “I could not ask for better people.”

Local news

Memorial Day ceremony honors Carter Countians killed in military conflicts

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested for second-degree murder in stabbing incident

Local news

Memorial Day weekend sees slight drop in Tennessee gas prices despite high travel volume

Local news

Northeast Community Credit Union selects 2024 William L. Armstrong Scholarship recipients

Local news

Elizabethton student receives prestigious Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship

Local news

RM resident graduates from Maryville College

Calendar

Community Calendar

Local news

Farmers Market opens June 4 with new items, old favorites

Local news

A Life Lived: Wayne Peters was  a humble man and kind person

Local news

AAA warns of increased risks for teen drivers during ‘100 Deadliest Days’

Local news

Boys & Girls Club announces winners of Annual Popcorn Fundraiser

Local news

Spring knap-in scheduled Saturday at Sycamore Shoals Park

Local news

ETSU meeting students where they are

Local news

UETHDA announces commodity distributions for June

Arrests

Johnson City Police arrest man on drug and DUI charges

BREAKING NEWS

Second arrest made in murder investigation after man’s remains found in buried freezer

Community

Fish and Chicken Feast June 1 at Boozy Creek

Local news

Hampton man still sought on murder, other charges in connection with body unearthed in freezer

Local news

Elizabethton dedicates first mural despite heavy downpour

Local news

Elizabethton Water Resources lifts boil water notice after line break 

Community

Senior Center Schedule

Community

Buster Barnett celebrates 89th birthday on June 3

Local news

Two former HVHS graduates complete prestigious state-wide leadership program

Community

Isaac Whitehead Family plans reunion June 1