Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 7, The Winton Light Display, Manchester, TN

It was a beautiful drive to Tennessee today, as I drove an hour back in time. I had to stop and take a van nap about three-quarters of the way along, and I always fall asleep instantly when I pull off into a truck plaza to snooze, but it was extra nice this year because I had a pillow that had been handmade by one of my friends from St. Matthew's Church at home, Linnae Peterson. Linnae, the pillow did the trick and thank you so much!!
 It was really nice to still have sunshine at 5pm.  I arrived in enough time to check into my hotel room and relax a bit before going over to Jordan Winton's display. 
Jordan is a thirteen year old young man I first met online through the community of decorators that I correspond with online.  I didn't know how old he way, then I met him and his Dad at Christmas Expo in Gatlinburg, TN a couple of years ago and I was shocked to find out he was just a boy! He really impressed me with his maturity and his enthusiasm for his decorating hobby, so when he asked me if I would come to his house on the tour this year I was quick to say "yes."
Driving to the house from the hotel some of the roads were very dark, but I saw the glow of the Winton's Light Display from at least a mile up the road.  Jordan's display is beautiful and spread out over a lot of land (I'm not good with eyeballing acres and such) so it looks very tasteful and Christmassy. He has a parking lot so people may park off the road and walk through the display and you would really have to do that in order  to see all of the things he has out there.  His Mom and Dad are enthusiastic supporters of his hobby, with Dad getting right in there and helping him build stuff, but Jordan does all the sequencing to make the lights dance with the music himself. I am very impressed with this kid, in case you can't tell!
Jordan and his parents greeted me enthusiastically and I liked his lovely mother right away.  She is very down to earth and friendly. They had set up a stage for me and helped me get set up, and Jordan had a wireless mic for me to use, which was nice. 
I was blown away by a visit from another decorator, Dennis Cherry, and his lovely wife Ann, who drove nearly two hours to come and see me in Manchester.  I first met them through the decorating network when they invited me to Dallas to perform for a decorator get -together while I was on one of my summer tours. Now they live in TN and they made a special trip to come and see me, and that sure made me feel special. After the show Ann gave me a box of Christmas earrings that she'd made herself and I told her that I would wear them for every concert on the tour from now on.
The crowd was enthusiastic, with several children dancing and going nuts whenever the snow machine came on.
About a fifteen minutes into the concert I noticed I could see my breath, and my fingers were starting to freeze!  It was the third concert on the tour and the first one where I could see my breath, but I know more of those are coming as I start heading north tomorrow.  I'll be taking a hot shower in a little while! 
Tomorrow I am visiting my friend Terri, who is a teacher who moved from NH to KY with her husband this year. She has booked a concert for me at her school, and I am looking forward to performing for the kids.  I'll spend the night with them, then Tuesday it's on to Anderson, IN and Edge-WOOD lights. I've been there once before and Paul Wood and his wife Jo have become friends, so I know that will be another warmhearted meet-up. I'm so fortunate to have made so many friends all over the country during these tours. I'm a very blessed person, and I thank God for it every day.

By the way, so far the van is holding up just fine.  I think I have a headlight out  and I'll get that looked at tomorrow, but fingers crossed: so far so good!!

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