Autumn in Tuscaloosa
It started off like any other day. I tumbled out of bed, stumbled to the kitchen … poured myself a cup of ambition. (S’cuse me, I think someone already wrote that.)
Suddenly, the doldrums receded as if my magic. I remembered that I had a day trip planned to Tuscaloosa, the home of the chief of the Black Warriors, that place that birthed the gridiron powerhouse that dances to the tune “Roll Tide,” the university town that may be one of the most beautiful southern towns I’ve ever seen – at least in the fall.
Norma and I needed to break out for a few hours, so we sneaked off to Tuscaloosa to see our friend Olivia who happens to live in the home of the Chancellor of the University of Alabama system.
No, she’s not the housekeeper, or yet again, maybe she is. All I know is she and her husband Mack (Sir Chancellor) run a show that I would sit through over and over.
Following a morning of tramping through antique shops all decked out for the holidays, (the shops, not us) we paused for shrimp and grits at The Globe, a staple in the Tuscaloosa/Northport restaurant scene. We tried on cashmere jackets at Coldwater Creek and sparkling baubles at Chicos.
I bought a bathrobe. Norma bought two florescent light bulbs that cost more than my bathrobe, and Olivia bought a red jacket (she’s partial to red since that’s Alabama’s signature color). When did we become so practical? When did we become bored with the glitz, the bling?
The day’s dessert was a trip that took us deep into a magical forest – the place where Olivia and Mack have decided to pitch their tent, high on the banks of what once was a river, but has been dammed into a lake.
The first glance took my breath away. It could have been The Rhine, lined with castle-like homes nestled among the blazing fall color. I almost fainted.
I bet Olivia’s “tent” will be twice as beautiful, and you can bet it will contain more love than all those others.
We got to see the “footprint” of the home, and as she described the floor plan, I became mesmerized by that view again. It was easy to imagine how it looked two centuries ago before modern man arrived. It was still quiet and untarnished by power lines, fast food restaurants or pulsating boom boxes. I knew why they selected this place.
I could almost hear Julie Andrews belting out “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music.” Or was it Dolly Parton singing “Nine to Five?”
We were stradling two worlds. Which one would we chose? And when.