The Glecks are back in the pluff-fragrant surroundings of coastal Georgia. Sera has cake class tonight, and I swung by work to check on things and to retrieve a package of CDs from an aircheck trade I just did.
It was a wonderful time in Asheville. Seraphim's entry in the National Gingerbread Competition didn't place. Yes, we were disappointed. Yes, I felt sad. And yes, tears were beginning to well up as I pondered how much effort and F-bombs my wife put into her creation. But no, it was not a wasted effort. And no, it was not a bad experience on any of our parts. That Nettiemac shared in our visit to N.C. only added to the fun factor. We had a good time driving around town yesterday - that nervous period between 7:30, when we presented her entry at the venue, and 5:00, when the awards ceremony began. The three of us ate lunch at Moose Cafe .... folks, Southern cuisine comes no better. And their biscuits ....... *swoon* We spent some time rummaging through a Goodwill store .... went looking for an old landmark (which I'll be blogging about in a separate entry) ... and, of course, lots and lots of conversation. Textbook TS&N quality time.
(PS to Nettie: I watched WLOS' newscast last night ... yes, Miz Darcel looks fantastic. It's hard to believe it's the same young big-fro'ed woman I remember watching in Tupelo!)
The problem with the competition, as Nettie pointed out, was largely what I'd call "political." Yesterday evening, I received an eye-opening lesson in how their little system works. The first place honors in the adult category went to the woman who happened to be the grand prize winner for 2007 and 2006.
It's not a Christmas competition, but Sera's treehouse was one of a handful (if that many) of entries NOT about Christmas.
I'm convinced God Himself sent Melissa ("Days of Our Lives") Reeves to attend the awards ceremony, because when Sera -- a longtime DOOL fan -- spotted her, suddenly any malaise on her part pretty much lifted. And she'd noticed Sera's entry. Even took pictures of it for her kids, too.
We all live and learn. My wife - should she decide to enter the contest next November - now knows what to do and ... even more importantly ... what not to do. Our late supper at Cracker Barrel after the ceremony was spent pondering some very good, amusing and downright irreverent ideas. Nettie's right - this whole Christmas exercise is ripe for a good tweak. No, make that a bitch-tweak.
The whole thing reeked of a beauty pageant with cookies. I think that phrase - which I told Sera this morning - covers it nicely. Lots of hyper-competitive over-achieving Martha Stewart wannabes with their heavily-bling'ed houses with little to no imagination.
And lest anyone call me a sore loser, I happily rebut that it wasn't my competition. So I can say whatever I want as a mere observer (if "mere observer who shares the same bed").
There was a lot of positive to come out of this apparent negative, however. For one thing, a great deal of the attendees spent lots of time at Sera's entry. And as I thought even more about her Autumn theme, I figured that people who browsed the houses last night -- and will continue to do so as they'll all be displayed throughout this holiday season -- will 'glaze over' as they look at the Christmas bling after Christmas bling after Christmas bling, like cookie-cutter (literally!) houses ... and then see an Autumn treehouse, with its naked gingerbread and frolicking kids, only to have theirselves snapped out of their glaze.
We in radio have a name for such a reaction: The "Oh, Wow!" Factor. That treehouse will hold its own in that room. I know it will.
Tal's final answers:
1) My wife did not lose. She took part in a national competition, and in my way of thinking, "To finish is to win."
2) In nearly eight years of marriage (and closing in on 11 years of knowing Seraphim), I was never prouder to be her husband than I was yesterday.
Ciao for niao.
--Talmadge "Sugar Artist Spouse" Gleck
PS: I love Asheville ... such a stunningly beautiful place.
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