Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Lights of Tiffin

Way down home…in the depths of West Central Missouri…there is the tiny town of Tiffin. It’s located on Highway 82 west of Highway 13 (the road to Branson) about halfway to El Dorado Springs. In other seasons, you might zip right through and not even notice a town was there. But should you drive by in December you will be astounded. Every building in the town is brightly decorated with Christmas lights. All the houses…but also stores, storage buildings, barns, sheds, even outhouses. You can literally see it from a mile away and it lingers in your rearview mirror for quite awhile after you pass through.

When I lived in Osceola, my friends and I would drive that road on our way to the Christmas Party at the Nature Conservancy Preserve. Even in the worst weather Missouri can produce, it was worth the trip just to see the Lights of Tiffin. I never met anyone who actually lived there, but mentioning it in a conversation will often reveal someone who has down home roots in that part of Missouri. “Oh yes,” they will say. “I’ve seen the Lights of Tiffin.”

That winter drive through the elements, warm and toasty in my friends’ car, remains one of my treasured memories of my life there.


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