From Northeast Georgia to Maine, the latest winter storm is bringing ice and snow all over the Eastern states. It started here on our mountain with misty freezing rain that quickly left a solid sheet of ice everywhere. The rain and sleet will turn to snow later today. Great. Snow on top of layers of ice. And temperatures below freezing. Yet, we are ever so thankful. Thankful that we have a well-stocked pantry and freezer. Thankful we have steel spikes for boots so we can walk up the driveway and along the street. (Although there will be a minimum of that.) Thankful we have a London Broil simmering in the slow cooker. And especially thankful we live in a community with such wonderful services.
So while I sit by the fire, I am thinking of some of the reasons we are living in the best place I can imagine.
Every Tuesday evening during summers, the town closes off the main street for dancing in the streets. Local bands play and folks of all ages come to dance. Volunteers are available to help those who have difficulty with the square dancing calls. The sidewalks are lined with lawn chairs and onlookers. A local gelato parlor and several stores remain open and everyone has a great time. While tourists are certainly welcome, the dances are for the local folk. Not so many tourists on a Tuesday.
Young and old alike come to dance in the street.
And many of them DO "dance like nobody's watching."
Our local community is located about nine miles up the mountain from the town of Brevard. It has so many diverse activities that there is a club for everything you can imagine. And if there isn't already a club and you can find enough interest you can start one sanctioned by the community.
Every fall the Gardening Club sponsors The Great Divide. Local gardeners who are dividing their perennials bring the newly potted plants to share with others in the community. Local artists and craftsmen/women bring their work for sale at bargain prices. We also have several art shows each year. And the dining rooms at the clubhouse are filled with art for sale by local artists. There are so many talented artists, potters, and crafters in our community.
A small section of the Great Divide
Extensive trails wind all through the hills in our community. They range in difficulty from a walk in the woods to extremely difficult trails. We have clubs that do regular maintenance on the trails and every so often they cut a new trail. The new trail is opened with great fanfare and hundreds of residents come to hike the new trail. And what awaits us at the end? Why champagne of course. And all sorts of delicious hors d'oeurvres.
They may be plastic but they are better than Solo cups.
We live in the forest and occasionally see a bear wander by. Deer are quite common as they have a trail to our little creek out back. Skunks make regular appearances under the bird feeders as do the usual raccoons, chipmunks and tree rodents (squirrels). We've cornered an o'possum in our garage as well as a couple of black snakes. We often see wild turkey hens walking along with their poults. And we've had flying squirrels on our deck, drinking the hummingbird nectar. There is a three-legged coyote that we've seen occasionally and sometimes a fox with her little ones. We've even seen a bobcat wander down our driveway and into our woods. We don't see as many rabbits as we used to, perhaps because of the increase in coyotes. And sadly, on our walks we do see bunny fur and coyote crime scene evidence of a kill.
Our bobcat that wandered by.
I was standing safely in the garage.
Our county is known as The Land of the Waterfalls, and we have some gorgeous falls right here within our community. Connestee Falls (for which our community is named) is a lovely twin waterfall. The view in the following photograph is available only from our community. It's quite a hike down but well worth the trouble with lovely views of Batson Creek and wonderful flora along the way. And a big payoff at the end.
Looking up at the majestic waterfall.
The landing we are standing upon is opposite the falls we can see.
We're standing at Lower Batson Creek Falls, the one visible from the public side of the twin falls.
We have four lakes in our community for fishing, swimming, boating (no motors), stand-up boarding and all sorts of water sports. There are paths around several of them and it is so pleasant to simply sit and look out at the water.
Lucy is totally amazed by Canada geese.
These two geese made a lot of noise which intriqued Lucy
I suspect they had a nest nearby and didn't like her being so near.
So we won't be doing anything today to enjoy our community outside our own home. My monthly book club and most other activities were cancelled yesterday in view of the coming storm. Ice is forming on the trees and the streets are impassable for traffic. It will be a while before it gets better. But we are thankful we are safe and warm. And that we live in such a wonderful community.
We have a plaque that reflects our feelings perfectly:
LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS
Let us all think of those in the path of this storm. And hope they are safe.