Although there is less traffic throughout Copperas Cove during the peak time of the holidays, there is plenty of celebrating going on.
“We’re actually having Christmas today (Dec. 26) with my mom,” said Sara Gorman, a Cove High graduate who is back in town this week to celebrate the holidays.
Gorman, her husband, Shane Gorman, and their two children went shopping at Walmart the day after Christmas to hunt for good deals on Christmas decorations.
Shane Gorman, a sergeant in the Army stationed at Fort Polk, La., is also from Copperas Cove. The family of four arrived back home Christmas Eve, spent Christmas Day with his parents and the next day with his wife’s parents.
That’s a good thing for the grandparents. “We don’t get to see the grandbabies as much as we’d like, with them in Louisiana,” said Sara Gorman’s mother, Michele Waltermire.
The Gormans weren’t the only family at Walmart on the day after Christmas; more than 300 cars were seen in the parking lot by midday as temperatures hovered around 40 degrees.
Mary Derrick took some time during her holiday schedule to pick up some photos.
“I’m a principal at one of the elementary schools, so I’m off,” she said.
Still, she’s busy, Derrick said, adding her daughter and her family are here visiting from Virginia. The family has been busy visiting extended family in Kempner, Lampasas and elsewhere.
Even though many soldiers at Fort Hood are on leave or out of town for the holidays, most people agreed the holidays are still a lively time in Copperas Cove.
“Things are livelier,” said Kristen McLaughlin, 18. “Because people are out and about” shopping and the like.
Others, such as longtime Cove resident Carlyst Johnson, 61, have to work during the holidays. But he doesn’t mind too much.
“It’s still great, because it’s all what you put into Christmas,” said Johnson, who works at one of the state prisons near Gatesville. He worked on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after.
At the future H-E-B Plus site on the east side of town, about 50 workers were busy constructing the new grocery store Wednesday.
Construction did halt Monday and Tuesday, as officials took time off for Christmas, but it was back to work the day after. The new store is scheduled to open in February.
“We’re on time. There’s no other choice,” said Billy Nelson, one of the project managers.
The construction crew should be back to its normal number of 100 workers by today or early next week.
At the movies
Many Cove residents decided to take in a movie this week.
Amy Hunt, a teacher, went to see “Monsters Inc. 3D” with her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend.
“Just enjoying the time off,” Hunt said of her holiday time. “I wish it was warmer.”
Hunt’s daughter, 17-year-old Hayley Smith, said she plans on doing plenty of shopping before she has to return to school at Cove High School on Jan. 7.
Aaron Beck, 31, an Army staff sergeant stationed at Fort Hood, and his wife, Sheri, used Wednesday afternoon to see “Les Miserables.”
Sheri Beck had to head back to work at Scott and White later in the week, but Aaron Beck is on leave for three weeks.
“My parents were down over the weekend, so we spent a lot of time with family,” he said.
Deb Kelley and her daughter, Katie Kelley, went to see “The Hobbit” Wednesday, after a fairly typical Christmas, they said.
Katie Kelley, a student at Baylor University, said she’s enjoying the holidays, but probably won’t be doing anything out of the ordinary.
“We’re very traditional,” she said.