So when you move from the coast of Georgia to the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia you expect there to be differences. A few I was prepared for…others have been a learning curve, but they have been good changes and have allowed us to feel as though we are on some kind of great exploration.
1. There are new birds for us to learn in these hills! I have no idea who this little guy and his mate are, but we’ve enjoyed watching them hip hop all over the back deck. We even went so far as to buy them some food.
And then there are the ones we are familiar with, but they now have a back drop of snow.
2. The art of building a fire in a wood stove (Which I think should be more properly called an oven.) can be learned in about 30 days if you are of average intelligence. The hardest part is learning to choke it without killing it…and that is a very handy life skill, by the way! The best part is that if I do not load it with enough wood and it dies over night, I get to enjoy torching the wood with a butane lighter as I sip my coffee. A true mountain benefit!
3. Dogs must sleep higher and have padding on cold nights. When we lived further south they didn’t ball up and they loved the tile floor…not so much here. Prince Buck and I are currently battling as to whether this chair was positioned next to the stove (or oven…as I think makes more sense) because of decorative reasons or to keep his buttocks toasty warm.
4. I used to put the last of my make-up on in the truck while Walt drove us to church. If you do this while he rides the curves of the mountain roads your face will either look like Tammy Faye Baker or the Joker from Batman…either way you won’t get the reception from the new church that you were hoping for!
5. The days are shorter. I am not happy about this. Once the sun dips over the edge of the mountain ridge the temperatures drop and night is just a short bit away. The mornings, however, are beautiful.
6. Finding a downed tree in the National Forest is like finding free candy, when you were a kid. No matter where you were headed, stop the truck! We may or may not have done this recently, while headed to the grocery store…let’s just say the kids were not happy to find that they not only needed to help unload the groceries but a few pieces of firewood, too.
7. We get to enjoy finding Hemlock trees while hiking, or on good days entire groves. The story of how a foreign invader, the Woolly Adelgid, has attacked these beautiful trees is a sad one.
8. I’ve also learned that if you leave your truck (or in this case your sister’s truck) parked in the driveway, while experiencing below zero temperatures, for multiple days, you will have to put it in four wheel drive to move it. Never happened down south! Again though…not a bad thing…just a helpful tip, that no one offered me.
9. After it snows you can capture beautiful Christmas card photos.
Life in the mountains is different…but its all good.