Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Lights of Christmas--Especially on Cherry Valley Road

Have the lights ever been more beautiful than this year? I love all the lights in our village of Crab Orchard and at the homes Marion and on the square there. The new bright multi-colored lights this year are such a visual treat as I do the season’s shopping and many errands. And all this beauty is free for us to enjoy!

Many families in our area make sure they take a drive to Candy Cane Lane in West Frankfort, and it is certainly worth the drive. But if you don’t have the gas or time for a trek to West Frankfort, consider driving out Old Creal Springs Road until you see the darkness broken by the magnificent display just west of there. (If you are coming from Creal, you will turn left. If you are coming out from Marion, you will turn right. This road only goes west, so you really cannot miss it.)

A couple of years ago I discovered these two houses in deep country on Cherry Valley Road with breath-taking excess of light. Going to see those lights has become an important part of my personal Christmas celebration.

This year only one house is decorated, but the lawn and house has sufficient light for an entire block. Cherry Valley suddenly turns south right after this beautiful light-filled experience, and I like to continue on the road up and down the hills and hollows past the homes back there until you come to West Ellis. Driving this narrow rural road is the sort of back roads adventure that I relish; and though I know no one along here, I like thinking of their lives off the beaten path and so close to nature. You may find this drive a little daunting, but it is perfectly safe. Just go slow. I would advise you to be alert for deer although I have never seen one there. I hope you don't either.

At West Ellis at the top of the last hill, if you turn left, West Ellis will lead back to the Old Creal Springs Road. At the Old Creal road, you could turn left there to drive back to Marion. Or if you want, you can continue on West Ellis which is briefly one with the Old Creal road. Then the road splits with Old Creal Springs going south. If you continue on West Ellis, you will go through the wooded swamp area I love especially when the leaves are on the trees overhead. Then you will quickly come out at the village of New Dennison and Route 166. Turn left (north) to go back to Route 13. At Route 13, you will reach Marion if you turn left (west) and reach Crab Orchard if you turn right.

No matter where you live in this nation, many people have gone to much trouble to put a lighted tree or wreath in their window or sometimes to much expense and hard work to decorate their entire lawn and outside of their homes. The bright lights can add color and excitement during these darkest days of winter. I hope you have the chance to enjoy them.

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