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.

If you were anywhere in the Fayette/Coweta area Friday and Saturday, you know that there were early morning and late night thunderstorms, real gully washers with flashing lightning and crashing booms, causing flooding conditions in a number of well-known locales. Starr’s Mill had thousands of gallons of water cascading over the dam and eventually rising above porch level. It was really quite scary, watching even our sleepy little street become a raging river! Except . . . I was expecting eight or 10 friends to now slosh into our home Saturday morning for the monthly Writer’s Guild meeting. Did I tell you that we got new cream plush carpeting on Monday? Muffin crumbs and coffee dribbles were the least of my worries.
There were other issues as well as wet feet on new carpet. Bill had just spread 30 bags of rich, black mulch and had another 35 waiting to be added to flower beds. The pouring rain had done its own job of spreading the mulch out and over the lawn where my friends would have to tromp in order to get to the front door. We were also expecting the roofers to arrive on Tuesday to put the new charcoal architectural-shingled tiles on our 22 year old home. Goody. When it rains, it … creates giant muddy puddles and threatens the happiness of our new almost white plush-pile carpet!!
Well, knowing the nasty weather in advance, my daughter who lives on the coast got busy with Amazon Prime, the warehouse with “who ships to your doorstep within hours,” and she ordered 100 white shoe “booties,” just like the surgeons wear at Grady. And, believe me, it promised to be an ER situation if the sun didn’t come out—and soon! Her caution was not so much for my guests as for her dad who at this time of the year strolls into the house and into the living area with anywhere of up to 6 pounds of outdoor litter on the soles of his feet, daily!! I unpacked the booties and stocked three old Easter baskets at each of the entrances, now they served a utilitarian as well as a decorative purpose. Bill was instructed on their use . . . more than once. He has been exceptionally well-behaved and has only dropped two tiny pieces of American cheese on the carpet so far. (I discovered them this morning—Monday—when I was scanning for popcorn kernels from last night).
Anyway, my friend Kimberly Sullivan, who has a wonderful sense of humor, sent out an email to all the writer’s in our group suggesting they be prepared to wear good socks or paint their toe nails because they “Would Be Asked “ to remove their shoes Saturday morning at the Horton house because of the new carpet. That was very nice of her. The main character in her YA novel series would probably not have been welcome, however. Bigfoot!
Charles arrived first. Early. He took his shoes off on the front porch without being asked and proudly displayed his colorful Christmas Socks. Because Charles only wears Bermuda’s year round, his socks were obvious to all. Nice. Here at Easter. Christmassy.
Jason came next, wearing a pair of dark grey socks with light grey toes and heels. Swank. Maureen had the cutest pair of socks. If there had been a prize, she would have won. Her cozy socks had little gray rabbits on them.
I love these people!! Now, remember that they are grown-ups. Adults. And Creative people. Writers. They pay attention to instructions. Oh, here comes Scott. One of our two long-distance runners. Off comes his shoes at the door so he too will not have to wear the booties. Wow. His socks are the bright orange and royal blue of his favorite college sports team, the Florida Gators!! What is that written on the bottom of his feet? I never could see, but he and Charles—a, wouldn’t you know it—UGA fan, big time, were laughing and talking about whatever that comment was on the bottom of Scott’s socks. No ugly rivalry talk. No pushing or shoving. Just pleasant banter.
Penny reminded us that it was National Poetry Month. How cool was that. I had, unknowingly, prepared to read a poem about the outdoors and about fishing that I thought Jason would like. Maybe be inspired, for recently he had written a similar poem to the one I had found . . . a National contest winner! Jason’s was as good. I believed.
Betsy, our mystery writer, came a little late. Her dad, Fred, also a member—he writes imaginative short stories about pools, (rather bizarre, fantasy pools) had warned of her later arrival. No problem. She found everything she needed. A spot on the floor by the fireplace. She had brought her own large mug of tea. I noticed that she was very careful, monitoring it throughout the gathering…certain it did not fall over. Everyone was excessively careful. Lauren (fantasy) curled up on the rug next to one of the sofa tables, her milk coffee in a mug on the corner of the table was secure; she looked cozy.
Looking around at my friends, I was touched by the care they took with our new carpeting. It was not something that was “all that” important in our lives, yet it was something that we had saved for, planned for, and that we had hoped would be one of the final decorating ‘events’ of our lives. Absolutely. But the finest décor one can ever add to one’s home is eight or 10 good friends who share a singular passion; whether it is writing, a love of books, good conversation, a hearty sense of humor, and kindness to and for one another. I hope they will come again soon.