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» Saturday, October 08, 2016Two Characters in Search of Autumn
No sleeping late for us this Saturday! We were off—but you knew that—to Blue Ridge this morning for a model contest they were having at Free Time Hobbies. Blue Ridge is so close to the Tennessee state line you can probably still hear ol' Davy Crockett hunting a bear up in the hills, so it was a lengthy ride—we listened to a "Splendid Table" podcast and most of "A Way With Words" before getting up there. But it was nice because in the wake of Hurricane Matthew battering the coast, it had wiped the sky for miles inland and today's was a gorgeous fall blue, the kind you want to have ball gowns made from, and it was cool enough to have the windows down (but we didn't for most of the ride so we could hear the podcasts).
No more fall color up there, really, than down here, but the underbrush is changing nicely and some trees have golden tops (sometimes simply golden glows) and a few maples are showing red tips.
We were using the GPS today because Free Time recently moved from a big shopping center in downtown Blue Ridge. We needn't have because it's literally right off the southbound side of the road in a little complex that includes "mini-golf and gold panning" and a store called A Taste of Amish. The models were set up in the main aisle of the store and also in a rear area, and a bunch of the guys from the AAA Hobbies model club were there, as well as James' friend Bill Paul from Warner Robins. There were some keen displays, including a Star Wars prequel podracer, a figure of Humphrey Bogart with the Maltese Falcon, and a diorama of a Martian machine crashing into some buildings from the film War of the Worlds (the real one with Gene Barry). James wandered about in his chair while I sat out back in the shade, enjoying the breeze (at one point it got chilly and about three tiny raindrops fell on my tablet, and then the darned sun came out again) and reading an advance reading copy of Doctor Who: The American Adventures. After James looked around inside the marquee tent they had up in the back (someone was selling a collection), we had lunch at the stand someone had set up (hot dogs, burgers, and barbecue). I had a plain burger and James had the plate with cole slaw and baked beans. I had to go run get our hats while we ate, because the clouds finally parted and the sun was making my head ache and my skin itch, but it was a lovely morning.
We checked out A Taste of Amish before we left—I "drove" the power chair down the short road and James followed in the truck rather than go through all that tiresome lift routine. They had Bob's Red Mill grains and packaged noodles, candies and snacks, a few meats, that sort of thing. I got myself a small container of nonpariels, some garlic sesame snacks, and some "soup greens" which are vegetable flakes without the dang dried peas (the only problem with the ones we get from Amazon); James bought some square-shaped "pot pie noodles," garlic-parsley noodles, and some tea.
At this point it was only 1:30, still not all that hot because of the leftover wind from the hurricane, and I wondered if we should actually try to go to the Apple Festival today. It runs this weekend and next, and it could be warmer next weekend. But in fifteen minutes of driving south, when we ended up in Ellijay, the line to get in put a big negative to that notion. We did stop at Panorama Orchards to use the bathroom, and I bought a half-peck of apples and James picked up sugar-free taffy. To my dismay, they had none of the goat's milk moisturizer I've been buying there for the past five years. There were a couple of containers left in gift kits and some body soap, that's all. Pissed. I like that stuff, especially the hyacinth scent I usually get.
So, after inching out of the Panorama parking lot—the place was jammed! and I heard two ladies talking about trying to get to the really big orchard up here, Mercier, only to find it so crowded there was no parking at all—we headed south again, munching on one of the apples. I know this apple is the same "Granny Smith" that sells in the grocery stores, but it sure doesn't taste like it. These are crisp and wonderfully sour, just the way we like them. As we drove, James was mulling about supper: he wanted to use the pot pie noodles. How about, he suggested, that we stop at Publix and get boneless skinless chicken thighs, and he would cook them in low-sodium chicken broth reduction with onions and mushrooms. Yum.
Of course at that point we ran into the mystery traffic jam, which dogged us for miles south on the freeway, and it had gotten so warm we had to put the A/C back on in the truck. Nice way to take the bloom off the rose. We finally got disgusted and got off at Woodstock to run down Bells Ferry Road and directly to downtown Marietta—except traffic was backed up there because Marietta High School was having a Homecoming parade. We skirted that as well and finally got to Publix (I was able to grab the thighs as well as some low-carb low-sodium wraps so James could make breakfast burritos) and finally got home.
The chicken was great, and the noodles just toothy enough, and we had enough left over so that each of us has a lunch.
I took Tucker outside about eight and discovered our neighbors down the street trying to fly kites in the dark with their kids. Evidently they weren't familiar with kites because they were trying to launch against the wind, and when they did get the kites up they did not know to snub them up to keep them flying. But it makes me feel good to see kids outside playing in such nice weather!
Tucker, however, would have preferred it had they not started blasting off fireworks an hour later. He scrambled under my desk and didn't emerge until they'd "stopped shooting at him."
Of course the sun had done a number on us and the long drive on James, so we were both half drowsy for the rest of the night and ended up crawling to bed around eleven