Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

I had the opportunity to travel to Georgia a couple weeks ago to visit my recently retired parents. They moved about six months ago and are loving the warm weather, being with cousins, and the southern cooking. They also love that many people have already signed up to visit them and have poured in from Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, and other places.

This area of Georgia we, as a family, had a chance to travel to every year during the summer and some years for New Years as well. Nanny (mom's mom) and a lot our great aunts and uncles and their kids lived in this area. This was where we fished, put coins on the railroad tracks, caught frogs and lizards, swung from ropes off ledges into a lake, picked up coal and turtle shells while walking the railroad tracks, played Scrabble, ate creamed corn and squash and okra and biscuits and gravy, drank sweet tea, picked wild blackberries along a logging trail, investigated abandoned houses, and listened to the crickets and felt the warm breeze through window screens as we fell asleep.

I always thought that this area was Buchanan, GA about an hour west of Atlanta and 25 minutes east of the Alabama border. I just learned that the area is called Flatwoods, as it isn't Buchanan proper. What is a more perfect rural name than Flatwoods?

Mom and dad are situated on about 10 acres with a house and small workshop that has been converted to a guest house. It is exquisite. They are surrounded by woods and dad recently planted a garden. This all fits them perfectly. Mom and dad also have a pond that they just stocked with fish.

I took some pictures while there, but as usual, wish I took more. So much has changed since my first memories of the area, from the early 80's. Gravel roads have become paved, railroad ties that served as small bridges have become concrete, and houses lived in at the time have been overrun with termites and abandoned.

The pictures below of houses are ascribed to former owners, owners that have passed away.

Aunt Olive's house

An abandoned house along M. Sanders Rd.

The logging trail where we hiked and picked wild blackberries.

Nanny's house

Reported to be a blacksmith shop from yesteryear

Walking along the railroad tracks; overlooking the Tallapoosa River, I believe

The lake behind Aunt Olive's

Some other places mom, dad, and I walked or drove by are: Aunt Marie's house (hardly visible and overgrown by tree saplings), Uncle Stanley and Aunt Ruth's house, Uncle Sephord and Aunt Ruby's house, the old sharecropper house (as the story goes) on land passed down to the Philpot girls, a logging trail that would lead to where Calvin Philpot (granddaddy) had a heart attack and died, the Buchanan Historical Society where Nanny worked, an Indian Trail tree, Piggly Wiggly, Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, and the graves of Nanny, Calvin and many other family members already named above. Mt. Vernon has had a number of different renovations and doesn't 'smell' the way it used to (wood burning, rural smell) but it was still nostalgic to see.

A big thanks to Steve & Carol and Wiley & Beth for their home cooking and hospitality and Kathy & Chuck, Betty Ann & Ray, Mary Allis and others for their warmth and great conversation.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shows largest part of our current budget deficit is attributable to Bush tax cuts: