22 December 2009

One Shining Blue Day Before Christmas

Well, I'd started off to Publix with good intentions—until I realized I couldn't remember if I had locked the front door. So after I had recycled the plastic bags, I went back to the house. This would give me an opportunity to fetch the Borders coupon I had left behind.

I think sometimes God has a hand in these things, because, when I emerged from the house with coupon (and having locked both locks), I was entranced for about ten minutes by the antics of the bluebirds. They have just suddenly appeared at the feeder again, and now at least a half-dozen of them, perhaps as many as eight, both male and female, were chasing each other around, playing tag with each other, perching on Susan and Josh's mailbox, and racing back and forth between the front yard of the folks two doors away and the folks across the street. What fun to watch!

Anyway, I finally headed out, on my way to Borders. I stopped at Book Stop, a new used bookstore on Atlanta Road and Paces Ferry. It's very small; as usual in used bookstores, a lot of romances, but a fair amount of mystery. The proprietor is very nice. I picked up a copy of Rick Steves' Postcards from Europe.

I didn't stay at Borders very long; I was just there to pick up a copy of Ballet Shoes, which I have to admit I really enjoyed and wanted a copy of. From there I went to Michaels, which was a mistake. The Michaels in Smyrna is at a shopping center with a really funky intersection—James and I figure the highway engineer was on some good drugs at the time—and it was backed up as I entered because about four car lengths in there is a stop sign so you won't run over people going to the makeup store.

I'd hoped to get an early birthday gift at Michaels, but they didn't have anything I though was appealing. I did get a bunch of wintry Christmas picks; I had so many in my hand when I got to checkout that I looked like the Christmas bride I wanted to be (before I was talked out of it). Also found some Christmas stationery with robins and a snowman—how cute!

Overshot the Sibley Library in going down Atlanta Road in the other direction (toward downtown Marietta), so figured I would just go to the Central Library instead. I did a circuit and a half around the square and someone backed out of a space, so I took it as an omen and parked, just for a leisurely walk around the square.

I always pop into the antiques store on the corner of Church Street and North Park; they have an old wringer washer in the window and a green and white enameled range that reminds me of the one my godmother had, except I remember hers having the warming shelf. She probably loved having a new stove, but I always missed that pretty enamel-and-chrome one. This store doesn't sell all that many antiques anymore; mostly preserve goods and antique reproductions. I also went into the antique store a few doors down; they have lovely old furniture, including a bookcase cabinet that also looked like something my godmother once had, and a mahogany table with folding sides that looked a lot like the one in our house.

My last stop here on Church Street is always Willow Antiques Too. The other stores are decorated for Christmas with greens and ornaments here and there: a branch here, ornaments in egg cups, tinsel in a bowl. But when you walk into Willow the space around the checkout counter is always full of antique Santas and kugel and old candles and other Christmas-y things; it even has a big fireplace mantel to display things on. I love wandering all the way to the back to what was probably the original store's store-room. This year, on the way there, I found a bowl full of nativity figures that looked vintage with my own, which Mom and Dad collected a piece at the time from bins in Woolworths and Grants. One kneeling shepherd figure looked like a close match, so I bought him...we only have one shepherd to go along with the man with the eggs and the piper. I also bought a prim sheep, which I can't resist.

I was starving by this time, but didn't think I had time left to sit down and eat (it's only two hours parking downtown and I had already used up an hour). So I went into the Australian Bakery and bought a big cookie. I wanted an apple turnover but they didn't bake any today.

Finally I walked up to Antiques on the Square and Luke the white standard poodle was there! He was at the door greeting visitors and when I offered him my hand to sniff, his nose went immediately to the bag I had put the cookie in! Smart boy that!

This is a neat store to wander around because they have a lot of old photography equipment and record players along with the usual china, lots of LP records, old books, and other things. I was arrested by two copies of The Ladies' Home Journal on a shelf—oh, how I wish I had $90 to blow on the two of them! They were from October and November of 1918, with wonderful advertisements, including ones for World War I rationing, support of the troops, etc. Wow.

But my two hours were almost up, so I hiked back to the car and finally got my books back to the library. With my "to be read" pile at home, you would have thought I'd just head back out. But I wanted to see if they had Anne Perry's A Christmas Secret, and once I had that, it was just a short walk to two other Christmas books and some Sherlock Holmes short stories. I'm incorrigible.

But then I really was heading home, to have the rest of my goat cheese for lunch with crackers...

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