27 November 2005

Making Someone's Day, Trapped in Holiday Traffic, and Other Holiday Stories

We wanted to make a trip down to the flea market south of Jonesboro before the Christmas rush got to be too much. The flea market used to be off this lonely road; now there is a big shopping center down there with a BJ's (this was the first BJ's in Atlanta) and a Books-a-Million and a Super Target and many others, and many times there are cars lined up at the exit.

First we stopped at Ikea and had lunch. :-) We didn't go there just for lunch: we were looking for a certain Christmas decoration they have, six strings of eight lights each that make a "curtain." We don't want it as a Christmas decoration: in the new house the living room opens on to the foyer. We were thinking if we could put these lights in the opening to make a "curtain," Pidge might not attempt to fly into the foyer. We plan to keep the light out and he usually won't go where it's dark, but this is Pidge, after all, the crazy one.

Well, they hadn't restocked the white ones we were planning to get. In fact, they had taken down the display string of the white ones, so I guess they are truly out. Another couple was there looking for a set of the gold ones; they had bought several sets but had miscalculated the space they were trying to cover. They wanted at least one more, if not two or three.

All they had left was red and we didn't want a Christmasy color for every day. Amazingly, in the big mass of red boxes, James found a box of the gold ones and suggested we get those. To me, the gold was just as Christmasy as the red.

As I watched the other couple searching in the pile for more gold ones, I shrugged. Red's a fall color, after all, and perhaps I can wind the strings with fall leaves. We have red cushions on the dining room chairs and I want to do red curtains in the dining room windows, too. So I picked up a box of the red ones and told James they would do, and he gave the gold ones to the other couple. Merry Christmas!

Anyway, we were trying to beat the Christmas crowd, but forgot about the Thanksgiving one! We were making good time on I-75 south until just before Southlake Mall, where traffic slowed down to a near crawl. It had nothing to do with accidents; there were just a lot of cars! It took us about a half hour to go eight miles. We were glad to get off; the traffic stretched south to Macon in a solid line.

We stopped at Books-a-Million because there isn't one near us (and to use the bathroom!). James bought me something but I don't know what it was. I did see a lovely book that I would love to have, but I will try to find it for a cheaper price (it's $35). It's called St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas and is co-written by Joe Wheeler, who does the Christmas in My Heart books. It's full of wonderful photos and drawings and stories.

Did find some magazines that are almost never at any of the stores in the Atlanta metro area: Country Extra with fall photos, and the Christmas issues of Country Woman and Reminisce Extra. Annoying to have to drive over an hour for something that should be in every bookstore.

We walked around the flea market, and if Willow wasn't so chary around other dogs (including those smaller than her), we probably would have come home with a Pomeranian puppy. I was in love with a fox-faced 4-month old red-and-white girl puppy at one breeder's stall, but James fell in love with a younger male puppy at another stall: he was mostly white with brown patches over each eye. He kept romping at James and chewing on his fingers; James wisely did not hold him, or puppykins would have been transported back to Marietta between us in the car.

On the way home we detoured to Stone Mountain to visit the M.C. Twinklin's Christmas store on Route 78. We found a very nice, unlighted tree—but it was nine feet tall! All the other trees were either pre-lighted or not of the needle type we wanted. Man, are we asking for the impossible?: trying to find an artificial Frasier fir type with no lights on it and six to seven feet tall? Sigh.

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