Monday, November 26, 2012

Icicled Porches and Shining Stars

My husband and I made our first annual trek to look at twinkling displays set up in the local neighborhood. We’ll go out several times and view the icicled porches, decorated yards and shining stars that luminate the season.

According to Tabya Gulevich in Christmas from A to Z, Thomas Edison strung the first outdoor lights. In 1880 he hung them outside of his Menlo Park Laboratory. But, pre-strung electric lights didn’t catch on until after World War II when the average American had electricity and could afford the lights.

I can imagine that first holiday when neighborhoods joined together to create shining light shows. The pure joy of colorful vibrant lights must have brought a happy buoyancy to the night.

Before the holidays end, I hope to take a ride with my grandchildren and enjoy the sparkling holiday lights near their homes. We’ll ohhh and ahhh over our favorite displays. Take an evening and pile the family in the car. Drive around, view the lights and spend time sharing this joy of the season.

One of my favorite memories of Christmas lights was the year that my brother climbed our 15+ foot pine tree and strung it with bulbs. That tree lighted the night sky like a lighthouse at sea. 

What’s your favorite light display memory?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day has been officially celebrated as an annual tradition since 1863. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens".

America went through extreme turmoil during the Civil War. I can’t imagine the despair and death that filled our country. Yet at the end of all the devastation, Abraham Lincoln still praised God. Because, God remains the same. No matter what we do on this earth, God does not change. He continues to bless us and love us. He gives the gift of salvation to a world lost to sin. On this day, I’m thankful for the love of family and friends and the grace and joy that God brings to my heart.

Praying that we all enjoy a peaceful Thanksgiving, filled with blessings.

The traditional American Thanksgiving usually includes turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie. What do you eat on the day of thanks?  Turkey or ham? Maybe pasta?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Merrymaker's Christmas Shop

Ah… Christmas. In Turtle Creek, Mrs. Ivy Merrymaker keeps us all in the holiday spirit. She opens her shop in March and works to keep joy and hope in the air through December 31. The tourists love Christmas in July. And October through December keeps her on her toes.

Look around the store. Make sure you walk through the Christmas tree forest. She sets up twenty trees, all sizes and shapes and decorates them with handmade ornaments, lights and garland. She orders ornaments from all over the world. Her purchases support the fair trade industry for women in developing countries.
Merry Christmas Stars

See the little sheep on the Scottish tree? Folks from a cottage industry create them. I especially like the local tree. Some of Turtle Creek’s artists bring in their wares to sell. Did you see the authentic aluminum tree? My aunt had one. I’d lie on the floor and watch the color wheel reflect on the branches. Great memories!

Enjoy shopping and thanks for dropping by. Hope you come back soon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Welcome to the Fresh Catch

If you’re visiting Turtle Creek for the fishing and canoeing, you’ll want to stop by the Fresh Catch. Finn’s stocked the shelves with pretty much anything you’d need for outdoor adventure. He took over the store when his mom and dad retired and made their little bait shop into quite a business.

Let’s go inside. Looks like Finn’s helping the Laymon twins pick out a tent. Maybe he’ll talk them into a camp stove and a couple of lanterns. Even if you don’t like to camp, he stocks comfy jeans and trendy hats. Pop this owl hat on and look in the mirror. Adorable.

Do you smell the chocolate and licorice? Candy lines the back wall. Remember Necco wafers and Charm squares? How about Gumdrops and Mary Janes by the pound? You can buy all the old fashioned treats that you can eat.  See the girl filling the barrel with taffy? She’s Finn’s daughter, Michelle. He’s raising her by himself. She’s a sweet kid.

No matter what the season, walking into Fresh Catch reminds you of summer. If you hang around awhile Finn will offer you a grape Nehi in a glass bottle. Go ahead, look around. I know you’ll find something you like.

When you finish we’ll head to the year round Christmas shop. Take your time. No hurry.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Welcome to O'Dell's Drug Store

Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed the café and the Book Nook. Let’s walk down the street to the drug store.

Stepping in to O’Dell’s brings back memories of days gone by. When I was a little girl I remember shopping at the drug store. My mom sifted through cards until she’d find the perfect one to send to Aunt Mildred in Omaha. While she searched for cards, I parked myself in the corner with the comic books. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. What fun. Did you know that Catwoman was a librarian?

That’s not all. When mom finished shopping, she treated me to a pink cow. Vanilla ice cream drowning in red cream soda. Mmmm… that was the best.

Here we are. After you. The hardwood floors still creak in the same places. O’Dell’s son, Jackson, runs the Pharmacy now. They’ve updated the aisle shelving but he kept much of the store the same, including the ice cream counter. Pull up a stool.

There’s Sharla, Jackson’s wife. She works here dipping ice cream and ringing folks out. She’s one of the sweetest young ladies I’ve met in a while. The chalkboard’s her canvas. Every day she draws a picture of a frozen concoction. Someone told me she has an art degree and teaches at the college in the evenings.

How about a treat? It’s on me. Two pink cows, please.

What do think? Yummy isn’t it? If I remember right this was one of Willow’s favorite drinks.

When we finish, I thought you might like to visit the Fresh Catch. If you’re interested in camping or fishing you’ll love Finn’s shop.

Until then… 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman

Before I continue on my tour of Turtle Creek, I’d like to share a book review on a delightful story of hope.

A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman

The nineteen sixties brought turmoil and change. In Oklahoma, small towns battled over segregation, and gossip flowed through the streets. Franny, a country girl, who works the family farm but has dreams of the city, longs to spin records for a living. Charlie, the city boy, who wants more than anything to work independently of his wealthy family, seeks peace through a simple country life. Their mutual love of music draws them together and takes them on an unexpected journey. The characters bring a breath of fresh air to a story filled with hurt, love and healing. A Merry Little Christmas is the perfect holiday read. I highly recommend this Summerside, Songs of the Season Romance.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Book Nook, a place to relax and read

 I’m so happy to see you’re still visiting Turtle Creek. Wasn’t the café just adorable? Bess serves the most delicious treats in town. You probably noticed that the repurposed old church not only houses the café, but also has a book store. Let’s take a peek inside the Book Nook. I just love the jingle of the bell above the door, don’t you.

The window display looks inviting. I bet Rachel, the student who works on break and in the summer, arranged the pumpkins and mums with the books. Hmm... I wonder if the community garden folks have seen the book about harvesting organic foods.

I see Reed’s helping a student find their textbook. He’s so good about keeping the college section stocked. Did you notice the variety in the local reading section, books by Ohio authors as well as tomes local sites around the state.  Such a friendly soul, Reed seems to love owning and running the book shop. I just can't figure out why some young lady hasn't snatched him up. 

If you want, we can buy a coffee and browse the book offerings or sit in the quiet reading area. I love the overstuffed chairs. A few times Reed’s caught me napping.

Next time you stop by, I’d like to drop by Odell’s and then see what Finn has in stock. If Willow ever does come home, she’s going to be surprised by the changes in Turtle Creek. I just hope she wants to stay.