Saturday, December 14, 2013

No War on Christmas in Georgia

Thursday evening Mr. A and I drove to Thomasville, Georgia for the Victorian Christmas celebration in their beautiful downtown.  A little train for the children to ride, Salvation Army brass ensemble, street musicians, food vendors, high school choir and a live Nativity scene were but a thimbleful of the joyous sights, sounds and scents.  No war on the Christ in Christmas there, not even a skirmish. 

We were in line for a very reasonably priced carriage ride--oh, how I love those!--but got a refund on our tickets because it was so blame cold!  Cold is a relative term to me, very much the cold weather weenie, 55° is my cut off point before going inside, and that's in the sunshine.  This sweet evening, even the folks who returned our money smiled and wished me a Merry Christmas.

Our intention was to dine al fresco on street cuisine, but even Mr. A was chilled, so we randomly chose the Q Café for dinner; it looked warm inside as we walked by, and what a good choice it turned out to be.  The acoustics rendered it a bit noisy, as it does in many re-envisioned downtown buildings, but the grilled chicken salad with citrus dressing, sprinkled with candied bacon, as the late Craig Claiborne, restaurant critic and food writer, would say, "Food for the gods."

In the south, I've had my share of pecans in pert near every dish known to man, savory and sweet, but for the first time in my life, I smelled chestnuts roasting on an open fire, compliments of the local Boy Scouts troop.  Like most boys from 2 to 92, they appeared to enjoy playing with and around fire.

On that olfactory note, we went home, donned flannel pajamas and slept soundly.  

The following morning, we went to work in Waycross, Georgia.  My role was more supervisory and clean-up crew, picking up bits Mr. A dropped from his bucket lift as he installed neon tubes on the Rodeo, that's ro-day-oh, Mexican Restaurant.  At one point, he needed me to move the truck, so hopefully this light labor earned me a little room and board at The Ponderosa.  While he was atop the roof, he received an annoying sales call, handed it off to me, so I felt like I was of further assist to my man.  

We have begun to count Friday lunch as our weekly date, saving a few pennies off the dinner menu.  Cavagnaro's was our choice in Waycross and we weren't disappointed, he with lasagna, me with a steak quesadilla, and even the lunch portion yielded plenty of leftovers for another meal.  There was a private party behind our booth through some glass doors, but luckily for us it wasn't soundproof.  The room was filled with old people, my favorite kind, and they sang song after song, first Christmas carols, then a worship song, Emmanuel.  

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
His name is called
God with us,
Revealed in us,
His name is called

Ah, no shortage of authentic CHRISTmas joy in Waycross either!

On the way back to Valdosta, we passed through Homerville and on the courthouse lawn was a wooden cutout Nativity scene! 

And when I thought my heart couldn't grow any fuller...

picture nicked from an Internet search, thank you whoever took this!

Mr. A and I went on a treasure hunt in a trip through time in tiny DuPont!

Oh the things I would have loved to haul home, but with space and funds needing respect, I chose two of the following objects and one chose me. 

The half gallon vintage Ball jar, my choice.  I have an inexplicable thing for those jars which began years ago with the discovery of scads of them under the old barn on our property.  They even made their way into my older son and his now wife's rehearsal dinner table top theme in October 2012:

The smaller jars are not vintage, but the raffia beribboned one is. 
 For an amazingly sweet song, the proprietor of the Dupont, GA antiques store sold us the pink depression glass kerosene lantern.  I love the color pink even more than vintage canning jars.  I'm close to certain the clear glass cover is a replacement, few of those survived the test of time, but there are plenty of the bases which did. 

The rose festooned swan trinket box chose me.  As Mr. A and I were leaving, I commented that Grannie had one very similar to this.  The owner strolled in from the front porch and asked me which one--there were several items on the shelf where it was sitting.  I pointed, he picked it up, handed it to me and said, "Merry Christmas!"  

And he said something peculiar:  "You see, all people aren't bad."

I had not said as much to him, that all people are bad, but let me tell you, I have met some stinkers in my lifetime.    

I'm certain I had an encounter with a cross between Santa Claus and Jesus.  He had snow white hair, a deeply lined face, wore a baseball cap and camouflage jacket and smelled of cigarette smoke.  When he saw the tears in my eyes, he hugged me, right in front of God and Mr. A.  

Christmas came early, thoughtfulness and generosity wrapped in rugged paper.

Can't stamp out the Christmas spirit in my beloved south Georgia!  I'm certain it will be among the last bastions standing for Jesus when He returns.