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» Saturday, March 21, 2015A Sunny Day in Helen Town
This place has a nice quiet air conditioner in the room. Ours was on all night and it wasn't the reason I was restless. Can't blame the hotel at all. But what is it with these new bedclothes in hotels? Used to be you got a spread, a blanket, and a sheet. Now it's a duvet that is the weight of the vest you put on to protect you from X-rays. It's like having deadweight on you. I did sleep, though, but I tossed and turned.
Nevertheless we were in bed until after nine, then got up and went to breakfast. I managed to retrieve the last packet of maple and brown sugar oatmeal; also had toast, cornflakes, peanut butter on wheat bread, and milk. There was a good collection of people eating in both the breakfast room and the common room. We were chattering about the state of education (Oreta is a librarian and Phyllis used to be a science teacher) and various and sundry until all started to go their separate ways for the day. We beat it early because we wanted to do our walking while it was still in the sixties, and it was a nice day for it, a bright winter sky with a scattering of mare' tails and mackerel clouds. The Bradford pear trees are in full bloom here, big snowballs of white blossoms.
We loaded up the power chair and spent two or three hours just ambling around Helen. We stopped at the Christmas store and the glassblower's shop (with a full shelf of Frozen glass figures). Went down behind Main Street to a store with European foods. Had a nice sortie at a new olive oil and balsamic vinegar store, where we bought a six-bottle sampler of five balsamics (maple, apple, strawberry, black cherry, and pomegranate) and a sweet olive oil with garlic. Looking forward to having the balsamics on salads this summer. James also picked up some jerky at one of the two jerky stores, including an orange teriyaki that is outstanding. I picked up my yearly almond bark and got some sugar-free candies for James and a few orange creams for me. A man played bongo drums in front of the shops, and another made balloon animals, and yet another man was dressed and made up all in silver while playing the guitar. We had hot dogs downtown while sitting in a bench in the shade, ran into Ken Spivey's mom and Jesse Medina's mom sitting out in the sun, met a German Shepherd and his little shaggy pal, stopped for photo ops, and finally had ice cream before driving a little way into Unicoi park and then taking the alternate route back to Cleveland. We passed the White County High School, which was surrounded by at least two dozen Bradford pears in full snowy bloom.
On the way back we stopped at the Mennonite bakery and bought some molasses crinkles cookies. James got some key lime cookies as well. And of course we stopped at the little book store at the old train station, said hi to Daisy the store cat, and I found a big book of essays and cartoons taken from the British magazine "Punch." Some of the cartoons are devilishly clever and you have to look very carefully before realizing the gag and laughing uproariously.
When we got back, James decided to take a nap. I'm in the common room to chat with everyone.