When we reached the bottom of the driveway, we had to make a choice…turn left and take the highway or turn right and make our trip to town through the national forest on a backroad. The decision was an easy one. Neither route gets us there any faster and the forest is beautiful, despite the bouncing created by the bumpy roads. As we travelled down the curvy dirt road we stopped a few times to admire especially large Hemlock trees or to let the kids explore the creek for a few minutes. When we exited the woods, and continued on where the trail changes to asphalt, we cruised by one of the oldest log cabins I’ve ever seen. It leans in multiple directions and the chinking is wider than the logs. I think that this home was either built before the civil war or shortly thereafter. If only I could get my driver to slow down so I could marvel at its details.
Our first stop was the ace hardware, which carries virtually everything but women’s underwear. When we got out I couldn’t believe how much Georgia clay had been thrown up on the truck and the tires were embedded with this distinctive red mud. My son saw me looking and glanced down and then he declared…”yep we definitely live in the mountains.” We chuckled and admired the view of the range around the store before heading inside, and I didn’t have any pangs or thoughts of the coast. Until…
…we were buying strawberries at the grocery store, a little bit later. As I inspected the box to make sure they were grown in this country I noticed a very familiar piece of “home.” Wrapped around the front two berries was a strand of Spanish Moss.
If you’ve ever visited south Georgia or North Florida you have probably seen this beautiful moss hanging from the Georgia State tree, the Southern Live Oak. This oak is unusual in that it is non-deciduous, and this appearance of constant “alive” earned it its name. During the war of 1812 the U.S.S. Constitution was built with live oak timbers and it received the name, Old Ironsides, because it was reported that the British warship’s cannon balls bounded off it’s live oak sides.
And the only thing that improves their majestic beauty is when their monstrous gravity defying limbs are draped with Spanish Moss.
Obviously my strawberries were from this country, and quite possibly this state.