Georgia on My Mind

We left Maine on Wednesday, Oct 15. We spent one night in PA and arrived in Mt Vernon, GA, Thursday night at 10:30. Mt Vernon is a small town of 2,000 and is located west of Savannah by about 100 miles. It was a long ride but so worth it once we saw Shirley and Charlie. It had been two years since we last saw them.

We had a great visit with them. We got to see the beautiful cypress home that they had built. What a gorgeous home! It is an open living concept for the living, dining room and kitchen. The living room has a cathedral ceiling. There is a large stone fireplace that goes up the side of one wall and has the moose head, which Charlie got on a hunt in Maine, mounted on the fireplace. A large elk horn chandelier hangs from the living room ceiling. Upstairs is a balcony that looks down into the living area. Outside, there is a wrap around porch that will have rocking chairs to sit and enjoy the wildlife that wanders on their 15 acres of land. However, the best feature in the whole house is the signature cypress tree that stands in the center of the home. The kitchen counter is built around it. This is a trademark of the Florida company that designed the house.

Now, the house is beautiful but the best part of the whole place is the newest addition…Lucky Dog. He is a small, stray, yellow-lab mixed dog that wandered onto the property about 3 or so weeks ago. The carpenters gave him the name “Lucky Dog” because he is one lucky dog to be staying at such a great home. After David and I met him, we called him Lucky Dog-Happy Dog because he seems to be smiling. He really is a sweet, sweet dog and a great addition to the new home.

David and Charlie got to spend some time hunting together on the 700 acres of swamp land that Charlie leases and cares for. It is full of deer, wild boar and turkeys. David saw a total of 28 deer and 30 turkeys in 3 days…interestingly, for all the pictures that Charlie had of wild boar, David nor Charlie saw one. On the third day of hunting, David shot an eight-point buck. He donated the meat to the local food pantry. It is a program in GA that hunters can donate meat to feed the homeless. So far, through this program, one million meals have been given out.

While David and Charlie were hunting, Shirley showed me some interesting parts of Mt Vernon. Mt Vernon has a rich history. Shirley showed me the old slave homes on a once prosperous estate. These houses are not being protected and preserved for their historical value and are very much in a declining state. She showed me another estate that had probably 6 houses that are located in pastureland now. The main home is being lived in but the others are all abandon. We couldn’t find much information, but Charlie thought that the property was owned by a banker and his family lived in the currently abandon houses.

Finally, she took me by a beaver dam….such busy critters! It was a great dam. On Monday, David, Shirley and I rode the four-wheelers through the swamp. It was is so pretty down there. The big cypress trees and when we just sat, it was so quiet. We saw a couple of deer while wheeling around.

On Tuesday, the 21st, David and I headed to Atlanta, GA where we spent the night with our friend’s Ken and Susan. It has been ages since we last saw them, too! Great to get caught up and see how much their beautiful children have grown! Plus, we got to enjoy their black lab, Sam!

The next morning, we headed out to Dahlonega, GA and on the way, we stopped and visited with my old college friend, Bob. In Dahlonega, which is in the north GA mountains, we did the shops in the quaint downtown. Then, we met up with Shirley and headed to their home. Wednesday night and Thursday was spent packing their belongings to prepare for the move into their new home in Mt Vernon. Friday was the day that the U-Haul was packed…in pouring rain…the only time it has rained on our trip…of course!

When Shirley and Charlie headed south, David and I headed north to Columbia, SC where we have been for the weekend. We have had a great time visiting with friends that we made when we lived here 5 years ago. Tomorrow, Oct 28th, is the day that we head north for Maine. We plan to arrive in Cape Elizabeth late on Wednesday night. David already has a hunt planned with his buddy, Peter, over the weekend.

As for me, I will enjoy being home and in one place for a couple of weeks. For now, tentatively planned, we are going to head to Wisconsin around the 11th of November to spend time with my brother, Perry. The have an annual hunt on their property with Michael’s family and David is planning to join them. If all goes as planned, Thanksgiving will be with Perry and Michael in WI.

Still no assignment yet, but several possibilities floating around out there. We anticipate that we will know soon. David is so enjoying this time off! It has been such a long time that he has really been able to relax. We are grateful for being able to connect with old friends and the quality time that we have had on this trip. Great memories in the making!

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