Today I pay homage to my adopted state of Georgia. As much as I bitch about living in the backward South, Georgia really does have some great things going for it. I moved here more than 25 years ago and am still discovering new things.
One of the things that’s great is in about five hours, I can go from forested wilderness to big city to seashore. We live in the middle of the woods, on the side of a mountain. No street lights; no traffic (unless you count having to wait for the deer or turkeys to cross the road); no light pollution in three directions. It’s awesome.
If I were really
crazy ambitious, I could start my trip up the Appalachian Trail. Its southern terminus is Springer Mountain, just a half-hour drive from here. Other hiking trails abound within an hour or so. Do you fish? Trout fishing is big here and a couple of the local lakes host professional bass-fishing tournaments on a regular basis.
With less than two hours’ travel, I can be seated in the historic Fox Theater in Atlanta (which is a must-see on its own), enjoying a Broadway play or a ballet performance. In that same two hours’ time, I can be viewing a world-class art collection at the High Museum.
A little over three hours farther on, I can be taking in the historic sights of Savannah or frolicking in the ocean at Tybee Island. Just a little farther and I can scare the pants off myself in the Okefenokee Swamp (it’s eerie in places).
Yes, I live on one of the buckles of the Bible Belt. The directions to my house really do include “turn right at the church”. In some ways, living here reminds me of the movie “Smoky and the Bandit”. For years, the local economy was based almost solely on logging and moonshine. (The remains of a still are tucked into a “holler” just up the hill from us.) I keep expecting our Southern-to-the-core sheriff to say, “You in a heap o’ trouble, boy!” to someone. But all the Georgians I’ve met practice true southern hospitality and always greet friends & strangers alike with a smile.
The best part? We get all four seasons without winter being interminably long. I still get to watch and feel the turning of the Wheel of the Year. We do get snow here, but it melts quickly – no shoveling required. My herbs grow almost year-round and the only covering I have to do is the Rosemary which, like me, doesn’t enjoy the cold.
Georgia truly is a great state!