Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Warm, Glowing Fiasco

We never say the words, but every so often Momma and I ask for opportunities to be miserable. 

We’re alike in that there is no place we’d rather be than home. On any given Friday night we’re happiest at home with a box of Triscuits, sharp cheddar cheese and a 2-hour Dateline Special. With the deadbolt locked…and taking turns checking it during every commercial break. But sometimes we do leave home and venture into what one might call situations.

We once sat in line for four hours during  Tire Drop Off Day. You want a good glimpse of the people in your tiny part of the world? Go ahead and tell the public they can dispose of all tires for free during one Saturday only. Then sit in a parked truck for four hours and watch. That’s a blog for another week. We survived, but it was the only time I seriously thought my Momma might consider leaving Dad. He had sent us to town that day in the farm truck with a bed full of dry rot tires, some stale airplane peanuts in the console and two cookbooks. Like I said, a story for another time. 

Momma and I are on the right. 

She called me Sunday morning:

“Can I call you back when I get in the car? I’m trying to get out the door to church,” I asked in haste.
“Well I’m walking into church now (her way of revealing that my time is no more valuable than hers). Do you want to go to Warm Glow after church?” Momma asked.
I knew what I wanted to do, but I also knew the timing couldn’t be any worse: this was Christmas open house weekend at possibly the largest public attraction in our area: Warm Glow.


I grew up just minutes from Warm Glow, a candle shop once the size of a two-car garage that has more recently expanded into 80,000 square feet of candles, signage, home décor, beer, wine, hand crafted soaps and other wild things that I’m certain your brain could never even dream up. It’s every most women’s dreamland and every man’s nightmarish hell. 

Check out the amazing products at  Lonely Windmill Farm 

In my life B. C. (before Cody) I invested a small fortune into Warm Glow turning my first house into a beautiful little home. Now A.C. (you get it) those scented candle rings and sparkly burlap lampshades hide in mouse-proof (I do the best I can) Rubbermaid tubs while I now prefer to decorate with anything that can be rinsed off with a garden hose. Guys are gross.


Knowing that this weekend was the biggest shopping weekend for Warm Glow (like, thousands flock to this place), I accepted the challenge and told Momma I’d meet her at BSG after church and we’d carpool the 4.7 miles to Warm Glow for an afternoon of shopping for things that will be in Rubbermaid in 25 days.

I drove over I-70 and our grand idea of self-inflicted pain really struck; the parking lot was packed, the lawn was covered by vehicles and cars were winding down the long driveway, parking by the road.

“Well this was stupid,” Momma said. I kept driving. Misery loves company and I was about to rub elbows with 1,500 of my very best friends. Once inside she told me we didn’t need a cart since we’d be here only 20 minutes. I knew better and grabbed a cart then threw my purse and coat inside. Might as well get comfy. I should have worn yogas.

We were on a (suicide) mission to find only a few, very specific things:
Momma: 1 Red, 1 White and 1 Green candle for a centerpiece.
Me: Two candles for upcoming gift exchanges.


I got my steps in, though my Fitbit was resting peacefully on my nightstand. We actually walked the entire width of the store three times looking for a damn peppermint candle – the white in Momma’s festive trio. We couldn't do Evening Mocha or Coconut Cream or Creamy Vanilla Bean. Nope. Nothing smells like Christmas like a Merry Mint candle burning next to a Northern Pine burning next to a Cranberry Stardust. At one point I didn't know if we were going by color or the fact that Momma made her list on an empty stomach.

However, during our voyage for the perfect Merry Mint, we visited with:
1 old nursing colleague
2 high school classmates
 1 FFA friend
3 people we tried to avoid for the sake of time
8 Facebook friends, one of which I asked how wedding planning was going only to learn there would be none. Jean’s Boots Lesson #1,271: If you can’t recall many Facebook posts about said wedding planning, best to not even mention it.
And 378 children looking for
Santa, Mrs. Claus and….Elsa.
Momma got more excited about Elsa being at Warm Glow than a 60-something should. It’s the Grammie in her, I guess. She asked me to wait in line to see Elsa so I could get my picture with her to send to my niece Marlee (6).

I found a few holes in this proposal:
I’m 30-something and have frankly never seen Frozen.
I forgot my Frozen costume.
I’m 30-something.
I couldn’t see the end of the line.
I’m 30-something.
If I did stand in line looking like Buddy the Elf compared to everyone else, who in the heck was going to take the picture? 

Momma got an iPhone just over a month ago and has Facetimed me something like 68 times since. There was no way I was going to teach her how to use the camera today. 

I came up with a better solution and asked Elsa to pose for a solo photo in between toddler hugs. The only thing that could have made this more awkward for this amazing sport of a gal would be if I were a 57-year-old male.

We then found the bird display and stocked up on birds for Momma’s old bird tree, which sits at the top of the landing and terrifies every grandchild old enough to focus their eyes (Georgia is just so very young, give it time). I’m including pictures for my friend Cheyanne.


When the day was said and done, in our cart we had 14 candles, 6 candle plates, 4 creepy birds, 3 bags of candle chips, 1 Christmas present I can’t discuss and a box of wine. Yes, on a Sunday. There was a winery on display in the corner of the Watering Can (Warm Glow’s garden center) and Momma somehow found them while looking through the Fairy Gardens. 

Who am I kidding? We were as lost as last year’s Easter egg and that card table with a wine display seemed like a mirage. But it was real! Twelve bottles, real.

If you’ve never been to Warm Glow, it’s a must-see attraction while traveling I-70 between Indiana and Ohio. The concept of the perfect candle began in a couple’s basement just down the road from BSG and has grown into this really incredible shop tucked away in rows of Indiana corn. At the same exit is a Dairy Queen, so you can spend your kids’ inheritance on hearth candles then blow your last $15 cash on Blizzards just across the way. That’s assuming you didn’t eat Warm Glow ice-cream while shopping.

The afternoon turned out well and Momma and I left feeling as tired and broke as we did after Tire Drop Off Day. Our legs and pocketbooks hurt, but we reconfirmed something that day:

We just weren't cut out for 
some social events unless they involve 
cheese and  Keith Morrison.