Over the weekend, some girlfriends and I drove up to Aberdeen, MS for a holiday open house. Aberdeen is right around the size of my fictional town, Wishful, so I was really curious to see how they’d do things up for the holiday. I could tell as we were walking around downtown, that I’ve spent way too much time in Norah Burke’s head because everywhere I looked, I kept channeling her, thinking what she’d do to fix up this or market that.
We started off our downtown pilgrimage by hitting up Ruth’s Warehouse, a florist, floral supply shop that had broken out all the stops for the open house. A long, narrow storefront, the front half of the shop was decked out in Christmas trees of all ilks, displaying ornaments and other holiday wares for sale. Me being me, I spotted the shop cat in a corner and immediately went over to say hello. She climbed right on up my knee, so I picked her up and carried her around while I browsed. According to the owners, Miss Matty doesn’t generally take to people. I think she saw me as a willing savior from all the feet!
A buffet of treats was spread out in the central portion of the store, featuring homemade fudge, cookies, chips and rotel cheese dip, pimento cheese sandwiches, and…watermelon. In November. Curse my dairy allergy, there was pretty much nothing I could eat (which was probably for the best–I don’t care for watermelon, and I had an armful of kitty anyway). On my return trip from the back of the store, where there was every kind of ribbon and ornament known to man, a quartet of pickers and fiddlers and a lone mandolin player struck up a rousing rendition of “The Battle of New Orleans.” I felt like I’d stepped into a scene from my own books!
We wandered through the antique store and the children’s store, and ended our trip at Kimmel Bakery and Sweet Shoppe, home of a pretty amazing selection of homemade fudge. I was nice and brought home some peanut butter fudge for hubby. It was cute and kitschy and exactly the right tone for a Sunday afternoon with my girlfriends.
Of course, now it’s got me wondering what’s going on in Wishful this time of year, which has me plotting again. There’s a second chance romance brewing…