At the end of a very long week, I looked forward to a short day trip today with a good friend of mine. Our journey led us down through the highways and byways of East Texas. We traveled down sun streaked roads through the piney woods, and reveled in the fresh autumn air.
Our short journey led us to a little out of the way spot, down on Hwy. 64 just about smack dab in the middle between Canton and Tyler. You have to watch carefully for the small log cabin set just off the road, in fact if you happen to blink, you'll probably miss it. Although if you do, it is well worth your time to turn around and head back up 64 to Maggie's Burgers and Malts. Inside the little cabin you'll find friendly service, really good food, and a genuine relaxed atmosphere. As we sipped on our chocolate shakes and devoured our grilled chicken sandwiches and tator tots, all the heaviness of the work week seemed to slip right away.
As a misplaced East Texas girl who still longs for the sight and smell of the tall, loblolly pines and stunning oaks that line the East Texas hillsides, the view surrounding this little cabin was quite stunning. We gazed out the window admiring the beautiful countryside, and talked about how nice it would be to have a little place nearby and raise donkeys. Don't ask me why, it's just a dream we've been spinning at work when the pressures of the day fall too heavily on our shoulders.
After lunch, we drove back to Canton to walk around the First Monday Trade Days Old Mill Marketplace. The air was cool and pleasant, the shoppers were relaxed and unhurried, and the shopkeepers friendly. We wandered around on "the mountain", and then came back to the long "mill" shops. As we wandered through the rows, we saw a lot of changes since the last trip we'd made to Canton. It was obvious that the recession had finally made it's way to this small town and it's traditionally crowded first Monday trade days. The usually bustling buildings were surprising quiet, and many of the vendors we'd expected to see were no longer there. This change left me a little sad actually, and I hope next month there will be a resurgence of folks strolling through the Christmas shops at the Old Mill Marketplace. It is always on my list as a special place to find unique gifts for family and friends. Finally, as we strolled through the last two building, we both spotted an item we wanted. Mine was spontaneous, while my friend's had been a planned search for a specific item from the beginning of our journey.
As the day wore down, we headed back to the car and home. It's always hard for me to leave the East Texas area, but the day's purpose had been accomplished. We'd shaken off the dust of a hard week and found the relaxation we'd both sought in the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of East Texas.