Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas lights

Yesterday afternoon after Rob, JongAe and Jessica headed off to visit friends in Bainbridge, Dad and I loaded up in the Toy.  We put the top down, buttoned our coats and headed north up Hwy 19.  It was a beautiful late autumn afternoon, in the mid 70s, beautiful blue sky with clouds coming in from the west.  We drove up through Thomasville past the strip malls, Wally world, SW Georgia Technical Institute until we came to 319.  Turned east and followed the signs through Coolidge then Murphy and north to Moultrie.  We passed an airfield on our way up, so after figuring out how to get downtown we headed back to the airfield.  Dad was stationed near Moultrie when he was in the Army Aircorp, about 60 years ago. 
Things have changed since then.

We pulled up to a very nice little regional airport and I went into the office while Dad waited in the car.   No, this was not the airfield that Dad had been stationed for some training.  That was east of this airfield.  It was almost 5:00 and the lady was obviously trying to get out and close the office.  I appreciated that she took the minute to tell me about the other airfield.  She did not give me any assistance on finding the other airfield.  It would be dark within the next hour or so anyway, so I it was probably too late to go hunting for it.  Plus there is no guarantee that it would look anything like it did 60 years ago.  But I know Dad would have been happy to have seen it.

Instead we headed back up to Moultrie's downtown business district.  We drove around the square and looked at the businesses.  There did not appear to be many eating establishments on the square, only one was open.  So we made our way around the one way streets and parked outside the entrance to Beef O'Brady's which is located in the old Colquitt hotel.  A beautiful 4 story brick building, still wearing the grandeur and grace it wore back in its hey day.  We sat down at a booth, the LSU vs Arkansas game was on.  LSU  looked tough.  I wasn't hungry at all.  I thought maybe we could get a little something to pick at and then come home for dinner.  But Dad was hungry so he ordered fish and chips, I had a bowl of their chicken and dumpling soup.  Mine tasted canned.  Dad said his fish was cooked perfectly.  He had enough french fries to feed an army, and all of his food was fresh and hot.  Good choice on Dad's part.  I could barely eat the soup, but I wasn't hungry to begin with, so it is not fair to judge them in that situation.  We watched the end of the LSU game and talked and laughed.  Our server was a nice young lady who was patient, attentive and very kind to us.  We paid the bill, then walked into the lobby of the building. 

It had four columns holding up the center of the lobby.  The square pillars had been painted in faux marble.  At the top of all the pillars in the room were faux gold leafed leaves.  They had faux painted part of the ceiling to look like large carved beams.  Each section of the ceiling had beautiful old original crown molding.  In the center of the room was a big round table like you would see in any luxury hotel in the height of this hotel, well for that matter, still today.  On the table was a beautiful dusty artificial flower arrangement.  All in all, it was a lovely old room with the ghosts of well dressed couples waiting for the elevator after an evening walking around the town square looking at the Christmas lights.  Their spirits misty and vague, but their energy still palpable. 

We walked out to the car and turned our eyes toward the huge County Court house anchoring the center of the downtown square.  Strands of Christmas lights like a spider web coming off the top of the court house spanning the space across the greens surrounding the courthouse, across the street attaching to the facades of the businesses lined up in perfect formation around the Court house square.  The lights were strung across the streets a block in every direction past the square.  People walked around the square window gazing at the beautiful designed windows dressed in their Christmas finery.  Lights and trees, bells and angels, presents tied up with bows filled the windows with holiday gift ideas placed amongst the decorations. 

On the east side of the courthouse was a beautiful decorated tree lit up with a beautiful and intricate star gracing the top of the tree.  Looking like a TV movie, people walked past or stopped and took in the beauty of the colored lights, the perfect shaped tree with the large beautiful star like glow on the top.  It was a perfect way to start the Christmas holiday and well worth the little drive up to this lovely little town nestled deep in the southern agriculture community of Georgia.

Here is your exercise for the day, stretch your neck by turning it sideways.  Thank you
After driving around the square under the lights we turned the toy south and headed back towards Thomasville and then on to Monticello, south to Labrun.  It was a warm night for the end of November, but too cool to drive with the top down.  I have been getting cold flashes lately, and they are as hard to warm up as to cool down after a hot flash.  We both had on coats, but it was lovely with the top up so we could chat and discuss all the lovely things we had seen on our little jaunt.  We followed 319 back towards Thomasville and time swept by quicker as it always does on your way home, then when you are driving somewhere new.  We turned at the bright lights of 19 and headed south until we saw the white lights of the Flower's Bakery Headquarters.  They always have a beautiful display of Christmas lights.  I could not tell if they were done decorating yet, but there was a flashing blue light at the entrance, so we turned in.  We opened the windows to hear the Christmas carolles, we turned off our lights to better see the lights.  We drove through slowly mesmerized like small children, the reflection of the white lights shining in our eyes.  We drove past the waving Santa on the balcony over the door of the lovely house that headquarters this mainstay of the Thomasville community.  Around the bend, past the life sized nativity, under the flying reindeer then turned to go through the tunnel of lights.  Angels, Santas, elves, trains and other brightly colored lights glittered in their displays surrounded by the white lights wrapping all of the trees along the drive.  Then we turned out on to the side road and saw the last hurrah of the display which is a long row of red, yellow, green and blue lights outlining frames to show buildings and people and other Christmas designs.  It is one of my favorite traditions up here and Dad was very impressed.  Here are a couple of pictures he took.  They do not show the true beauty and magic of this display, but it is a nice reminder of a little ride that I will treasure always with my Dad.


We drove home and settled into our chairs, ate Godiva chocolate, watched a movie as we reminisced over our little jaunt.  Then Bob and I headed to bed.  Not sharing the sofa as we have the last two previous nights.  Tonight we nestled down under the goose on our bed, stretched out and fell fast to sleep.

This morning I woke up hungry.  Good sign.  I fixed myself half of a turkey sandwich and dared my body to just be normal, it is Thanksgiving, gain weight for heavens sake!!!!  Dad had a rough morning.  His back has been bothering him and his stomach decided to be a bit of a pest this morning.  I was in the mood for pancakes.  I made a batch and cooked them up not realizing Dad's stomach issue this morning.  The chickens enjoyed them and I made a fresh batch for us.  We didn't have breakfast until noon, so it was a good thing I had my little snack this morning. 

We have been watching football this afternoon.  I love watching football if the games are good.  I have to say some of the scores they have been running on the bottom of the screen, look more like basketball scores then football numbers.  We watched Michigan vs Ohio St.  And it was a great game.  I disagree with the call back,  for the first time of the last touch down.  The second time they called it back, there was obviously frustration and two big fouls were made by Michigan.  After the game I ran though the guide trying to figure out which ESPN channel I would be able to watch the UF vs FSU game this evening.  I looked this morning and they did not have the schools named on the channels.  Now I can not find my ESPN channels.  ARGH!!!!  I have no idea now if I will get to watch the game.  This is the most important game of the year.  Oh well, we will see what happens.  I will not be happy if I do not get to see this game.  But what are you going to do?!?!!  I suppose some would call the dish people right now.  I am not in the mood to be frustrated or to get angry.  And that is what happens more often then not when it comes to dealing with the satellite people.  I will live.

Well, time to fix Dad a turkey sandwich for lunch.  A few pickles, some cranberry sauce, a lovely lunch.  Then back to football.  Dad is talking about taking a break from football and watching Rick Steves.  OK, I can do that.  But there are a lot of good games on today.  And turkey to eat.  I am determined to put that weight back on before I go to see the amazing Dr. M in little over a week. 

Tomorrow Rob, JongAe and Jessica will be back to pick up Dad to take him home.  I will miss him, but I am sure that he is looking forward to getting back to his own bed, his own schedule, his own space.  I know he enjoys his visits here as much as I do, but this is not his home.  He knows that I would gladly share it with him if he ever wants to move up here full time.  We will see, now......back to the games.

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