Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Lately living in Monticello has felt like living in the movie Brigadoon.  I loved that movie when I was growing up.  Gene Kelly falling in love with Cyd Charisse, but he also fell in love with the town and the glorious Scottish highlands.  I have so completely fallen in love with the people and the town of Monticello, but I do not love this cold!!!  We have been below freezing for almost 12 hours now and tonight they are predicting even colder temperature.  But it is Florida, so hopefully this will be gone soon.

OOOOOOOOoooooooh No, we have another cold front coming down on us today and then the beginning of next week, yet another cold front.  Have I ever mentioned I don't like cold weather.  It really doesn't help to keep talking about it, but this may be the coldest winter I have lived through, and I want to remember how horrible this is so that every other winter will seem somehow gentler because of these several weeks we are trying to survive now. 

Survive, Ha!  Ha!  I say, survive my plants on the porch have not.  No, they are all freezer pops, dead, cold and just sad brown shriveled stalks in lovely pots.  My bad, I thought I had put them in a safe place and was able to keep them above freezing, but I had not planned on this cold.  How could I possibly plan for a cold that I can not fathom.  That is why I whine so much about the cold.  I just can not figure out cold and always seem to be layered too much or not enough. 

Yesterday never got out of the 40s.  This is a day I would normally never ever have left the warmth and safety of my own little place.  I had signed up to volunteer at the Art Center from 10 - 1.  I was totally unprepared for this job.  I thought all I had to do was sit at the entrance and welcome people.  That was my job, but then Carolyn came in and she was volunteering to sit in the exhibit itself in case people had questions.  Oh, that sounded like fun, but I had not gotten a docent handout, so I really didn't have enough information to be of any assistance.  I picked up one of the brochures and volunteered for another morning.  I will be ready this time.  I mean I did do what they asked of me, but I would like to be able to do more if they need me. 

Bug's Mom met me there around 1:00 and we walked through the Exhibit.  Mostly we looked at the old photos from Monticello, just giving a glancing courtesy to the Smithsonian Exhibit.  This is my second visit and I have now seen about 1/4 of the exhibit, and so I will go back again to look at more of it.  I have volunteered for a Friday this time, so far no schools are scheduled for that day, but I want to make sure that if some sign up I will be able to ensure that their visit is enjoyable.  We are very proud of our Art Center and our travelling exhibit. 

Monticello does not appear for 1 day every 400 years like Brigadoon,.  But the life style and youth of the place regardless of the aging world around it, remind me of this little town.  The old and historic here is everywhere.  The houses tall and small lining the streets, some still red brick streets.  The moss hangs on the oaks, the mistletoe hangs on to the bare limbs of the pecan trees and the camellia's are filled with buds fat and bursting with pinks, white and red.  As I sat next to Edith at the front door of the Gallery our Main Street Ms Anne came in.  She is the reason we have this exhibit.  This woman with at least 10 years on me is a bundle of energy and focused on bringing the history of this area to the forefront. 

She announced yesterday as she plopped a stack of bright orange fliers on the desk that they have found a very important new artifact at the Aucilla Dig sight.  Monday night they will have a presentation at the Downtown club with the head of the Aucilla dig talking about what they are finding.  According to Ms Anne, they have found the oldest European artifact here in Jefferson County.  It is a European knife and was carbon dated to 14000 years old.  No, I did not put too many zeros on the end.  That is fourteen thousand years old.  This is not the only artifact they have found during this 30 year dig.  Ms Anne announced that this makes Jefferson County not only the keystone county for Florida, but it is the keystone for North America on the origins of European visitors.  This was during the last ice age that North America experienced, unless you count this winter, hrmmmmph.  That would mean that the Gulf Coast would have been the closest to temperate on this continent at that time which would explain why they would have come up the Aucilla River.  I just find this fascinating and I hope to be able to attend on Monday, cold dependent, of course. 

After looking at the Jefferson County photos in the exhibit, Mom and I had lunch at Carrie Ann's.  Brandi is so sweet to Mom, and a wonderful maker of quiche.  Mom was so happy to see her and Denise, to meet Alex and to eat soup, which was more like a stew and warmed our bones before we headed out to run our assigned errands for the day.  Mom is loving it here.  She loves the people, she loves her house, she loves that she feels like she already has a place here.  And that is the way of this town.  When Ms Anne was talking about raising money to build a huge learning Center here was a little overwhelming.  That sounds wonderful, but we have serious problems with our school system here, if this place would help, then that would be great.  I see where Anne is heading with this.  Let each child from kindergarten to 12th grade in high school spend one week learning science, English, history, civics that one week each year and theoretically you will raise children who have learned more then basic standards and hopefully also gained a sense of where they come from, who their people were.  To give children a strong sense of place maybe they will want to make this a better place for their children.  But does this mean lots more people? 

Like Brigadoon, Jefferson County does not seem to grow or change like the rest of the state.  There are almost as many people living here now as when it became a county.  People don't walk around in kilts, and the accent is more Southern then Scottish, but the happiness in that movie dances and reflects for me in the people's faces and the change of seasons.

But Mom and I could not accomplish our errands in Jefferson County today.  We had to drive to Tallahassee to find the carpet for the living room.  The guys hope to be back by the end of next week and it would make all of our lives easier if the carpet was installed before they get back so the furniture can just go into place rather then being moved again.  Bug suggested we try ABC carpet.  It is next to Lumber Liquidation which is on the outskirts of Tallahassee, so even though it was late afternoon I bundled her into the toy and headed to the big city.  I was so proud of Mom she was able to describe what she wanted in her carpet and the lovely Michelle did a wonderful job.  In less then half an hour Mom had ordered not only the living room carpet, but also the bedroom.  Michelle had suggested they she go with a lower pile.  Easier to vacuum, safer to walk on and with a good pad it will last longer and look better then a lot of the longer piles.  They were so friendly and kind to Mom.  Bug and I will be back there also to look for our new flooring.  The price was wonderful also, much cheaper then the big box stores.

After that we drove back to Monticello and I drove Mom past City Hall, out to our new place, over to Carrie Ann's and the Jefferson Green Grocers.  We talked about land marks and went back and forth from near her house to the next location so that she could get her bearings of her new home.  She patiently repeated back the landmarks I had named for her.  I did not show her too much for fear that would just get jumbled up in her head.

I headed home tired.  I had renewed our Art Center membership, our membership to the Chamber of Commerce and our membership to the Opera House and picked up the tickets for our show on Saturday night.  While I was waiting to pay Fran the phone never stopped ringing, most for ticket to Cabaret.  That is great, we can use a big hit and the money it will bring into the Opera House.  It is MADco. so they only give about half of their proceeds to the Opera House, while the Stage Company gives all of its proceeds, minus the money for the startup for the next play.  The phone rang so much I started answering it and taking messages for Fran to call back.  Fran is our Executive Director and has been a wonderful addition to our Opera House family, but she has been lured away with an incredible opportunity back in her own field.  We will miss her.

I have not spent enough time with my kids these past couple days.  I am still quite tired from everything lately and since it is still so very cold, I think we shall all snuggle up in the house together.  I would love to read my book and nap today, and that will be involved, but I also need to sew some pillow cases and write out a plan for products.  I need to revisit the stories I am rewriting after loosing them and trying to get them written again.  This time I will save it on a couple of places so I do not loose them again.  I don't want to go out and see all the brown, the squishy green of my less cold tolerant plants.  The pots will be light when they are moved to our new home and will be planted again there. 

The world could disappear for 400 years and I would have no idea.  It might be a bit restful actually.  I hope it is warm when we do finally wake up.

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