Braving the cold temperatures Saturday morning, my children and I ventured out to the Warner Robins Christmas Parade, an annual tradition for me since I was a child.
I can remember the excitement of sitting in the back of the truck huddled together with other city rec department cheerleaders as we chanted and threw out candy along Watson Blvd.
But the years that I wasn't in the parade, I just wanted the endless number of trucks carrying city rec department football players and cheerleaders to pass so that I could see the last float of the parade; Santa Claus! I would not budge from the spot that I sat until Santa had waved to me as he passed.
Now as a parent, once I spot Santa in the distance I start packing up my children and belongings and head for the car trying to beat the crowd. Unfortunately, many other parents have the same idea. Still, I wouldn't miss the town Christmas parade. It's just another opportunity for me to remember my own parade memories as a child.
Afterwards, we drove to watch another parade that we had never been to; the Perry Christmas parade. We arrived on Carroll Street a couple of hours prior to the parade thinking that we needed to get there early to park.
Apparently we beat the crowd because we were the only ones on Carroll Street with the exclusion of shop owners. We sat our blankets down on a park bench outside of The Swanson and decided we would walk around the quaint, historic and beautiful Carroll Street.
Our first stop was at The Swanson where a table laden with cookies and tubes of icing awaited children to decorate them. As my children decorated their cookie, I sampled an undecorated cookie. It tasted just like the delicious homemade cookies my grandmother used to bake.
Next, we walked across the street where Latte's and Wassail were being given away at the Beauty for Ashes Christian Bookstore. We were quickly falling in love with the laid back and hospitable atmosphere of Carroll Street. It reminded me of the town of Mayberry from my favorite television program, The Andy Griffith Show.
Getting closer to parade time, people were starting to gather on the sides of the street and we walked back to the bench that held our belongings. Two police officers strolled up Carroll street greeting the crowd and I couldn't help but imagining them as Andy and Barney. A cozy, warm feeling filled my heart and then a friendly, hometown parade began.
Complete with llamas, miniature horses, donkeys and lots of candy thrown from vehicles all of the excitement from Carroll Street had me thinking only of one thing, "Yes Virginia, there really is a Mayberry" and I can't wait to live it all again next Christmas.
Feeling nostalgic and reminiscing on my youth, I stopped at a convenience store on our way home and bought a couple of small bags of salted peanuts and two small bottles of Coca Cola. Giving this to my children, I said "Pour the peanuts into your bottle of Coke". They looked at me with uncertainty and I said, "Try it. It is something that I used to do when I was a kid."
To my pleasure, they discovered a new (but old) delight. "Wow! Who invented this?", Dawson asked. I just smiled as we drove on down the road thinking to myself, "Just wait until they try an RC Cola with a Moon Pie!"
Donna Hunter Glenn is a weekly columnist for the Houston Home Journal and Warner Robins Times Newspapers and is the principal decorator and owner of Addressing Rooms Interior Decorating and Home Staging in Warner Robins, GA.