City Lights

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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.

Returning from a wedding in Ft. Valley, Georgia, Saturday night, we turned off Hwy 16 and traveled up Main Street into our hometown of Senoia. It was as though our little city had been touched by a fairy wand; lights twinkled up and down not one street but two! “Oh my!” I gasped. “When did this happen?” The sleepy little burg we chose to call home less than four short years ago had been transformed into a vibrant, pulsing mini-metropolis.
The new brick and wrought iron-trimmed buildings along Barnes Street had replaced an old house trailer and a vacant lot. Bright lights sparkled from the windows of the new flower shop, from several new dress and gift boutiques, and from the 24 hour Snap Fitness gym that has become my favorite place to meet friends. The coffee shop on the corner and the antique store with its landmark metal giraffe next door to it remained unchanged, but next to them and facing Main were twin brick facades with second-floor balconies that echoed the style of the Barnes Street “live-work-play” new builds.
There was not a single vacant parking spot in town, yet the usual day-time tour groups and local shopper/ browsers were nowhere to be seen. “Go slow!” I cautioned Bill. I wanted to soak up the visual delight that lay before us. He crept along the car-lined street, taking in the brilliant lights flooding from the gorgeous display windows of The Southern Ground Gallery. “Where IS everyone?” Bill vocalized my exact unspoken query. “Where ARE all the people?” I echoed.
I checked the clock glowing on the dashboard. Eight-thirty. “Everybody’s eating?” I ventured. “Or a space ship has sucked up the whole population while we were out of town?”
Obviously, everyone had been enjoying one of the many good restaurants in Senoia on Saturday because when I drove back to town the following Tuesday morning armed with a dozen or so Tea Party flyers advertising the Historical Society’s annual tea event on April 8th, there they were; folks walking up and down, window-shopping, eating ice cream, and groups of fifteen or twenty in clumps listening with bated breath to tour guides describing the sites used in filming various tv and movie scenes. Also, I saw through the large glass windows of Snap Fitness, men and women who had never once been snatched up into a space ship, and others enjoying refreshments at the sidewalk tables of the Senoia Coffee Shop. Even for a Tuesday, town was bustling!
I used the excuse of delivering flyers to visit several of the newest shops in town. Bill says this is always a costly endeavor, as I usually end up buying at least one item in every store I enter. (I do a lot of PR work and a lot of shopping!) Tammy at UnHinged on Barnes Street sold me a darling floral top with heavy cotton lace at the hem, while Allison at Relish on Main neatly wrapped up a couple of small antique items I fell in love with on the spot. I left a big poster advertising the Society’s Secret Garden Tea with JayLynn at Annelore’s Flower Shop and had to take three perfectly lovely posies home to put on the night table in our guest room. Our cousins from Tennessee, Jim and Shelly, thoroughly enjoyed those fresh flowers just as they did the fabulous breakfast we treated them to at The Veranda Inn later in the week.
It was sort of a homecoming for Jim and Shelly; their son is married to the daughter of Jan and Bobbie Boals who once ran the Inn, and so they reminisced over the wonderful times they had shared. Joining us for coffee, Laura Reynolds, who has been the owner and always gracious hostess for twelve years, also enjoyed their shared memories and stories of past visits.
I found some heavenly rich moisture cream called Changing the World at the Eklektik  shop in another of the pretty newly-constructed buildings in Senoia. (Now if it will just change this old face into something young and fresh!) Its base is Coconut Oil, which seems to be the latest rage for our bodies, both inside and out. Isn’t it strange how something that has been around since God first created this gorgeous, amazing planet all of a sudden is “discovered” to be such a secret ingredient for our health and well-being ?! And coincidentally, Shelly brought me a jar of her homemade hand cream/make-up remover. Guess what ingredients my clever cousin used? Yes! Coconut oil and baby lotion. This recipe is so inexpensive that I can rub it on my feet as this warmer weather says “Sandals!”
Well, enough rambling. I need to get busy and drop off some more flyers. Speaking of spring, I noticed Janine at Senoia Garden Shop has stocked up and her place looks like a fairyland…such a gorgeous array of color, color, color! There’s more than one way to “light up Senoia!”

*BTW You can get tickets for the April 8th Secret Garden tea party by calling Nancy Roy at 770-599-6321.

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