It is rare when, at the end of a long, full, even tiring, 24 hours you can say, “My, this was just a Perfect Day!”
Sunday, December 13, 2015 was one of those special, not-to-be-forgotten times. Bill looked especially nice; his Christmas tie had Santa waving American flags and was much admired by those who greeted us cordially in the foyer at Sharpsburg Baptist Church. We reached our Sunday School Class even before our dedicated teacher Denise Jones arrived; I often run just a teeny bit behind schedule, and if there were a tardy bell, we would be in the principal’s office every Sunday. The room was full. Wonderful start to a Grand day!
Nowhere is there such love as in a Senior Adult Class. We are not greedy with our hugs and kisses. Not timid with firm handshakes. The holiday wishes seem even warmer and more sincere as Christmas day approaches. By the time the lesson began, I felt an aura of well-being about me that is impossible to explain. I carried that glow into the sanctuary where more pleasant hellos, hugs, and handshakes awaited.
The pulpit area and stage had been transformed. The choir, most in festive red, began the special music. Lights dimmed. The drama began. The cantata, “Under a Starry Sky,” provided a poignant reminder of the need for faith and hope and, most importantly, for light in all our lives. His light. The program was presented with near-professional skill. These were our everyday friends and neighbors and, before our eyes they “became” the characters who would touch our hearts this “perfect” day.
My sister arrived from Auburn just as we were getting home. She was here for the Christmas Candlelight Tour, but we first headed downtown to Katy Lou’s for some “home-cooked” vegetables and barbeque. More welcome greetings; more smiling faces, friends, neighbors enjoying Sunday dinner out. The three of us, full and happy, headed home for a short winter’s nap before the start of the Home Tour.
The temperature this year made it unnecessary to wear even an “Ugly Christmas Sweater,” certainly not a coat, and the cute red earmuffs and fingerless gloves I wore last year were left in the hall closet awaiting a “real” winter day. There was also No rain. This was a blessing for the five homeowners, the First Baptist Church and the Senoia Area Historical Society who had together spent so many hours, days and even weeks preparing for this exciting Holiday event. And, let me tell you, it was time well spent! Bill was our driver this year and pretty pleased to be in the company of three talkative, excited, and bossy ladies. Well, my sister’s not bossy and my friend Sheridan who joined us this year is only minimally so. I admit that I did find it necessary to give him instructions that would insure he parked the golf cart as close to the front doors of the homes as possible. Also, I needed to give instructions regarding our guests in the back seat, like, “Stop! Sheridan’s not sitting down yet!” Or, “Whoa, Bill, Deb is running to catch up!” He did a very good job after realizing who was in charge. Perfect. (* I so missed this ride with Bill at the helm this year.)
The homes were gorgeous. Over-the-top beautiful. We began at the McKnight-Kolhbenschlag house, built in 1911. A talented pianist set an elegant mood, the framed award-winning photographs by Lori Kolhbenschlag were a special visual treat throughout the home. Her studio space upstairs made me want to move in! But the room I envied most was the dining room. I have long dreamed of having a table to seat 12, 14, even 16 of my family and close friends. The Kolhbenschlags are indeed blessed; how fortunate we were to be part of that blessing. Thank you Doug and Lori for having so many excited visitors in your home.
Next we walked across the street to 239 Pylant, the Reeder’s newly remodeled “vernacular farmhouse.” Oh my. What a treat. Steph Reeder is a dynamite personality and her home echoes her energy and imagination. I loved the display of cowboy boots (not just to look at! she wears them with everything!) and vintage purses in the walkthrough closet. The light fixtures in this house were absolutely delightful. The seven fireplaces sheer magic. And pops of bright pink with the black and white bath were eye-candy to this copy-cat decorator. Good job Dale and Stephanie. Welcome to Senoia!
The Huckaby-Maloy House on Couch Street, two doors down from the Historical Museum, is so homey, I wanted to start a pot of soup and invite a dozen or so friends over. Leslie Maloy has an updated eat-in kitchen and a dining room whose proximity to it make family gatherings a Better Homes and Gardens dream. Bill was rightly envious after visiting Steve’s ultimate five-bay garage, complete with hydraulic lifts and filled with vintage cars and trucks. What a kind and generous couple to allow upwards to 700 guests entry to their home environs.
The Baptist Church was as beautiful as ever. The hospitality and cider there was warm and sweet. The 1890’s Victorian Cottage on Turin Street was darling. The addition of a small pool and a large outdoor fireplace with a huge paved patio made the Dube’ home anyone’s dream-come-true.
We finished the tour nearly three hours after we began with refreshments at the Historical Society. The Museum committee had decorated each room with clever and colorful vignettes and memories of favorite Christmas films of the past. Guests were asked to vote for their pick. People’s Choice Award went to…drum roll…a tie! The Grinch and It’s A Wonderful Life took the honors.
Home again, Bill, Deb and I said goodbye to Sheridan, put on our PJs, fixed up some popcorn, cued up a Hallmark Christmas movie, and kicked back. Perfect end to a Perfect Day.
*Note: Such dear, sweet memories of years not so long ago, and which will always be so fondly remembered. December 8, 2019.