Saturday, December 05, 2009

An Afternoon of R and R

Today was a day to play. I've not felt much like playing lately. I've been tired, suffering from allergies and a bit on edge. I have not been inclined to go into Austin or San Marcos for Christmas shopping, primarily because I don't feel up to dealing with crowds and traffic. I was beginning to get a little stir crazy.

I had initially intended to go to a book signing in downtown Bastrop on Wednesday night, but the wet, cold weather had persuaded me to keep inside that night and instead attend the second book signing to be held in McDade this afternoon.

I figured as long as I was headed to McDade, I would start off in Elgin. The Elgin Antique Mall always has a month long sale between Thanksgiving and Christmas that I make a point to attend every year. I timed my arrival in Elgin for lunch time and ate a great plate of enchilades verdes at La Morelia, which is handily next door to the Antique Mall. Pleasantly full, I then spent the next 90 minutes leisurely prowling through one of my favorite places. I managed to talk myself out of the piece of furniture I had spotted a couple of weeks ago, but picked up a rare book of Mary Hardin-Baylor related material for a ridiculously low price and a vintage children's book of dog stories.

Speaking of dogs, as I entered the Antique Mall, a lady seated at the front of the store was holding a precious 7 week old rat terrier puppy. I don't think there is anything in the world that is cuter than a rat terrier puppy. It took all the control I had not to grab her and run.

I headed out for McDade, hoping to get an early spot in line for the book signing, and I drove up at exactly 3PM, when the event was to start. The book is a new history of the volatile history of McDade called Silent Night, Deadly Night and deals primarily with the infamous Christmas hangings of 1883. I have communicated with the author via email for a couple of years now (we Bastrop historians have a way of finding each other) and had met her when she gave a presentation to the Bastrop County Historical Society a couple of months ago. We had a brief opportunity to visit before she got involved with the steady stream of locals who were arriving to purchase the book. It was a nice crowd that assembled and I actually knew a few of the attendees, including a distant Mobley cousin who always greets me with a big hug when we run into each other.

I took the opportunity to take a few pictures as I left, including the water tower that is a fixture in an old photo of my Mobley great-great grandparents circa 1910.

Joseph & Mary Caroline Mobley
with the McDade water tower in the background

I had succeeded in getting in and out of the book signing quickly, so I decided I would follow up on a bit of information I had picked up last weekend at the Harvest Art fest. In conversation with one of the vendors, I had learned there was a new yarn shop in Paige and I was aching to check it out. So there being no time like the present, I headed on toward Paige.

I was astounded to discover that Yarnorama is no ordinary yarn shop but rather one of the special ones. I entered the store to find a half-dozen women busy with spinning wheels and in animated conversation. Just past them was a fabulous array of yarn, books, tools and knitted shawls, scarves and sweaters. The money I saved at the Antique Mall got spent in a hurry. I was invited to join their regular spinning sessions and as soon as I get my spinning wheel back in working order, I may just take them up on the invitation. This is the kind of yarn shop I always wanted to have myself. I even got to pet the angora rabbit that was supervising the place.

I really enjoyed my afternoon of wandering around Bastrop County. I got to eat my favorite food, spend time prowling an antique store, visit with some old friends and some new friends, take some pictures, explore a new yarn store with a great atmosphere, pet a puppy nose and scratch some rabbit ears and all on a beautiful, crisp Texas day.

Who needs Christmas shopping at a mall?


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