Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

Oh, I wish you could have been there! I wish you could have seen the sparkling lights multiplied in the wet pavement, glistening in the street lamps. Had you been with us Sunday evening, you would certainly have enjoyed the homes in our neighborhood all decked out in Christmas finery: Evergreen wreaths and garlands, bright red bows, icicle lights and Christmas trees twinkling through the windows of homes along the route to the Mobley’s home. The Johnson Street house, built in 1885 was our first stop on the annual Senoia Candlelight Tour of Homes and was a fabulous initial treat.
All the rooms were beautifully designed and decorated for comfortable living, but the pink cloud fluff, sugar plum fairy dream of a little girl’s bedroom made every daughter’s mother’s heart flutter! An all pink tree with special little girl ornaments and wall hangings, rugs, lamps—everything spelled treasured princess. I wish you could have seen it!
I am so glad, however, that you were not there for the brief family feud over whether to take the golf cart or the sedan in order to drive to the six locations. So what if the temperature was supposedly 34 degrees, dark and raining, and there would be five adults going on the Tour, plus the fact that Bill admitted he had failed to charge the batteries because, “It’s raining and I thought….”
Stop right there, Mr. Horton. I told you that my friends Lauren and Aimee, who have never experienced this special evening, and my sister Deb, were all looking forward to bundling up in their winter gear and squeezing together in our bright red cart—our idea of a Senoia Sleigh Ride! Besides, it really was only sprinkling, plus the temperature was at least 36 or 38 degrees and I had promised mugs of spiced tea or cocoa to help keep us warm from the inside out. I also suggested that we would take our chances on the charge being sufficient for the little bit of actual travel time we would require!! All the homes and the iconic Queen Anne Victorian Methodist Church where refreshments were being served were within four blocks of our subdivision. No problem. Plenty of juice.
Promptly at 5 pm we were “ready to ride,” sporting warm-winter attire, and excited about the prospect of my idea. After I produced travel mugs of “Comfort & Joy” tea, we headed out for that first stop! I was like a kid getting ready to meet Santa just thinking of the pleasure my friends were going to experience. Bill had gotten over our disagreement as had I, and was now our very pleasant chauffeur. Thanks, Bill, for not only driving so carefully, but for finding parking at nearly every doorstep. Well done.
The house on Barnes Street was a charming cottage known as a Cracker Style Farm House or Dogtrot/Shotgun; you can see straight from the front door out the back. I loved it and could move in tomorrow. Warm, cozy, there was a chair in the study (lots of books!) that would nicely fit me…if I could just get the owner, T.Ryan, out of it and into the kitchen with his beautiful wife Shauna Mooney. Dressed in a full-skirted polka dot dress, she looked like a fashion ad from the 40s. (I am going to copy the glitter Shauna used just over her eyelashes for my next party invite—I am!)
At 36 Broad Street circa 1870, next to what was the Senoia Garden Center, is the Fant home, now for sale. This was once where sisters Jemma, Sarah, and Nan lived; Nan “ran a millinery business for the ladies of Senoia.” Original floors, five wonderful fireplaces and four bedrooms and four baths, there is a great year-round porch on the back and a top-notch grill area as well as a romantic fireplace. Bob was minding the fire blazing even in the drizzle, while Janine greeted guests in the lovely dining room. Senoia will miss this couple if they decide not to stay in our town.
Only nine years before, the Graham house at 203 Morgan Street, was built in Neo-Classical style featuring elements such as the centrally located entrance, sidelights, and transom, as well as “the central pedimented portico.” This home with seven fireplaces and an original heart pine staircase is also currently for sale. Bobby Graham and his wife Debbie were acting as hosts in their home so that I was able to congratulate her personally on the amazing, I mean A-mazing, job she did on all those seven mantles! They were gorgeous. This is one time I was seriously upset not to be able to take pictures, if only to remember how to describe the variety of décor she used throughout this delicious house.
Finally, 207 Bridge Street should probably have been a tear-down according to photographs of the home prior to the very extensive foundation up renovation. But what is now known as the Penot House is the result of a three to five year effort by Glenda Penot’s late husband. Built in 1904, it was not until 1998 that the home was purchased by the Penots. It sat vacant and sad for many years, but has now been given an important new future. “The house features five original fireplaces and mantels, original bead board ceilings, crown molding and wainscoting and original heart pine floors.”
Do keep an eye out for next year’s Candlelight Tour of Homes, it is an event that I haven’t missed in many years. I attended when I was a resident of PTC, but now I truly would not miss this opportunity to visit with the many, many friends and neighbors I run into throughout the evening. Hugs are warm, handshakes friendly, and the cookies and chocolate at the Methodist Church were only outshined by the pianist Lori Kohlbenschlag and the handbell choir. Thank you all for your volunteer time. And thanks to the homeowners for all their hard work. The homes were beautiful and inspiring. I need to make a quick trip to Hobby Lobby!

*The quotes concerning the homes are from the DDA flyer 2018 Senoia Candlelight Tour of Homes.