Does anticipation really make things more special?
Based on our experience this past week, I'd say a resounding "Yes!"
A year ago we had planned on going to Laurel, Mississippi, to visit the town of Ben and Erin Napier of the HGTV show, "Home Town." We had been saving money to make the trip and then last spring the plague of Covid got in the way. So, watching reruns, talking about what could have been, and hoping that this year might be the year...
Well, it was. We drove over 700 miles over 2 days to get there. Since we had an extra year to save, we decided we were not going to scrimp. We stayed in nice hotels for the whole trip. If we wanted something, we bought it. Since we were driving, we took more stuff than we needed so we were comfortable.
We had a delightful time visiting Laurel, Mississippi, where Erin and Ben Napier showcase the homes they remodel on HGTV’s “Home Town.” What drew us here were the locally owned shops and restaurants and the fact Erin and Ben strive to support local craftsmen or offer things made in the USA. We felt we were “framily” when we first entered Laurel. As we stood on the sidewalk Tuesday morning waiting for a shop to open, Jim Raspberry, Erin’s cousin, stopped and talked to us, telling us it was worth the wait and welcomed us and a few minutes later a lady got out of her car, crossed the street, stopped directly in front of us, asked us if we were visitors and when I said “Yes,” she said welcome to Laurel and introduced herself as Erin’s mama. We talked for a few minutes like we were friends. We also saw “Miss Pearl” of Pearl’s diner talking on the phone outside her restaurant and we saw Mallorie walking down the street and then Jim and Mallorie walking back. The owner of one shop visited with us for quite awhile while he and I discussed John Grisham’s “Painted House.” I did not take photos of these “celebs” because I did not want to violate their privacy. But, it was a wonderful visit, even if the heat and humidity were both high.
I've concluded that I'm either a John Grisham groupie, or his books have flavored my life to the extent that I see things possibly the way he would have written them. When we were eating at Pearl's Diner in Laurel, MS, the place filled up and three ladies had to either take the table for 6 or stand. They sat at one end of the table and in comes three gentlemen and they ask if three local men can join them. They just reminded me of what I would imagine characters in Grisham's books. One had a three piece suit on, gold watch chain, and salt and pepper neatly trimmed beard and hair, and was ever the gentleman. Another had dress slacks, white shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and tie, while the third had on dress slacks, dress shirt, and suspenders. All three engaged the ladies in talk, asking questions such as where they hail from, and what they liked about Laurel, all the time enchanting them with their southern drawl.
DH and I bought Erin and Ben's book. I started it that night and finished it a couple of days ago. DH started it yesterday and is almost finished with it. It is a heart warming tale of two people who love each other and their families and their home town. It just gave me a good feeling that there are still good people out there and the world although has been turned around with Covid and ill feelings, it still is a wonderful place. I needed this trip more than I could ever imagine just to see something different and be embraced by a very warm, welcoming town. My goal is to be friendlier to strangers and perhaps they will leave our city a littler happier as well.
To answer my own question as the beginning of the blog, does anticipation make something more special? In this case, it did, it sweetened my life like a glass of sweet tea.