Quintard lights

Quintard lights in the medium between 13th and 14th Streets Thursday night.

Bill Wilson / The Anniston Star

On the first day of December, I started off the morning at Anniston High School with a performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet for area schoolkids. Every year, Knox Concert Series invites hundreds of third-graders to see the ballet for free.

I was there to write a story for the Anniston Star, and I wound up hanging out with a group of students from the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.

Afterwards, I headed to work.

But first I stopped at the post office on Quintard Avenue to mail a care package to my daughter at college. When my kids were little, we came to this post office to buy Christmas stamps for our Christmas newsletters. The kids would stand on tiptoe at the table in the lobby and stick stamps to envelopes, then take turns pushing the letters through the mail slot.

Afterwards, I headed to work.

But first I decided to pick up something to eat. It was Friday, which meant Artisanal Baked Goods on Quintard was open. Run by Teddy and Martin Paudrups —  “The Bread Brothers” — the bakery’s focaccia bread topped with onions, garlic and rosemary would be perfect for lunch.

While I was there, I decided to buy a dozen cookies to take to the folks at Southern Star Motors down on Wilmer Avenue, because they’ve been taking care of my family and our cars for more than 10 years. They taught me the correct way to drive a stick shift, after I blew out the clutch on my Volkswagen. Just the day before, they managed to fix my car OVER THE PHONE.

On the way to deliver cookies, I passed the ABC store on Wilmer, and I had to stop because it was eggnog season and I was out of nog. I chatted with the woman at the cash register. There had been an ambulance at the post office earlier in the day, but neither of us knew what the trouble was.

Afterwards, I drove past the library, and thought back to when my kids and I would visit the children’s department and pick out books for Christmas. Once home, the kids would sit on the stairs together with their books, too impatient to go all the way up to their rooms to start reading.

I drove past the parking garage on Highway 202, which is decorated with murals painted by local students, my son among them.

I delivered the cookies, which were much appreciated, then turned around and drove up Noble Street. I remembered  Christmas parades and kids with frozen toes … testing out the new merchandise at Think Toys … Christmas Eve dinners at Classic on Noble with elaborate decorations and giant nutcrackers guarding the door.

I cut over to Quintard Avenue, where the Anniston Parks and Rec department had decorated the median with Christmas lights, and headed to work. But not before waving to Santa in the window of The Hotel Finial.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or ldavis@annistonstar.com.

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.