Well, I’m back from the Piney Woods of East Texas! My DH and I took a holiday road trip to visit family that live around Nacogdoches. As usual, we wanted to be there before the sun set, but we are pokey and made it to my family’s house after dark. And I mean DARK! Coming from the plains of Texas, the kind of black dark we find when we go down there is SPOOKY!
At least this time we didn’t get lost on the way to Uncle and Aunt’s house.

While we were there, we enjoyed visiting with them, hearing fun stories from both of them. We went for walks in the woods of their property, seeing damage caused by Hurricane Rita. Along the path, I found some broken bits of pottery, and some digging found several more pieces of stuff. My DH thought we were crazy, digging in someone’s 75 year old trash pile, but we did find some treasure. Old medicine bottles, old Ball canning jars and lids…people sell stuff like that in antique stores and on eBay all the time!
(I am NOT that fat, I was wearing a big shirt untucked!)

We poked around some of those antique stores in the historic downtown area, and explored the informative visitors center there. Nacogdoches is billed as the Oldest Town in Texas, containing many more important historical sites than I can name. One is the Sterne-Hoya house, where Sam Houston was baptized into the Catholic faith so that he would be eligible for a land grant. Another is the Oak Grove Cemetery, where many legendary Texans are buried there, including four signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The whole downtown is littered with markers, and we did our best to read as many as we could. It was also decorated for Christmas, and was as charming as could be with its old buildings and brick-paved streets.

All the little towns dotted along the highyway on our trip really went all out to decorate for Christmas. One special town we all went to while in East Texas was Marshall. They have quite a festival, decorating their whole downtown and especially the courthouse square!
We also visited their famous Marshal Pottery Factory. We came home with some really neat stuff from there! It reminds me of old fashioned ware my grandmother often used.

On the way, we stopped by the memorial at Carthage for singer Jim Reeves, who died in the horrible plane crash with Patsy Cline. It was really interesting, and kind of eerie though. I can’t say why, exactly, but maybe it was my active imagination thinking of the tragedy of unfinished lives.

On the way home, we visited Jefferson, another step back in time. More history, more antique shops. Blackburn’s Factory Outlet is not to be missed, with all their tasty jams, jellies, syrups and other food stuffs. YUM! DH went to town in there, so I guess I have some biscuit making in my future. At least, some getting biscuits out of the freezer and popping them into the oven in my future. We also dropped more than a few pennies at the Old Store and Fudge Shop. And don’t forget, Jefferson is the home of Kathy Patrick’s Beauty and the Book, and the infamous Pulpwood Queens. The town’s also been rumored to be the most haunted in Texas, though several other communities might vie for that title. And THIS store, the Jefferson General Store, is so neat! Every nook and cranny is filled with something fun, interesting or mouth-watering!

The best part of our trip, though, was spending time with my Aunt and Uncle. Swapping stories, kickin’ back and watching old movies, eating fantastic home-cooked meals. Wouldn’t trade for it!

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