Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guest Blog: Pie Lady Goes South, Part 3 - by H

Pie Lady Visits the Mountain South, Part 3 (and Final Installment) -- As Told by H

So...we are now back in the Iowa plains metropolis of Eldon, and it’s time to reflect upon a California Yankee’s introduction to the Southern Appalachians. Of course, I knew going in that this wasn’t going to be a match made by anyone associated with heaven. If there was a version of eHarmony that matched people with places, Beth and the Georgia mountains would never even make it to the point where pictures are exchanged. The mountains are too steep and the hollows too confining. And the hunters seem to outnumber the animals (except, of course, inside our cabin.) And then there are the Confederate flags...
But we did have some adventurous hikes and see some nice scenery. (Pictured:  Amicalola Falls)
And there were some very nice meals at Cucina Rustica 

And Harvest On Main 

And for the pie baker supreme, there is the fact that Gilmer County Georgia is the apple capital of the South, and the orchards have some superb pie apples.
And where else can you get your picture taken with a stuffed bear (pronounced “barre”) inside a place that sells apple cider donuts, apple fritters, fried pies in 15 flavors, stone ground grits and candy and caramel apples? All this plus a petting zoo and an animated hillbilly on a tractor.

But despite all of these wondrous advantages, Beth is a reluctant visitor to the mountain South. Much as I would be visiting a hippy commune. Mind you, she isn’t a General Sherman who’d like to burn the place off the map, but she just didn’t find a connection to this craggy, homespun region. But then, she didn’t have the same introduction to it that I did.

Shortly after moving to East Tennessee years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. The good (southern) folks at University of Tennessee Medical Center had to carve me up and put me back together again. Then they had to essentially poison all of the cancer out of my body without killing me. I’d never met nicer or more caring people. And in the year after I was released from the hospital I rented a mountain cabin across from a small lake. I’d never seen or experienced such a calm and serene place. It helped me put myself back together and continue on with life. So for me, the mountain South will always tug at my heartstrings despite its shortcomings and throwback ways.

And I won’t give up on getting Beth to look at the area through a different lens, to feel just a little bit of what I feel. For there is always next fall, and the promise of a cabin with 10 or fewer stuffed bears and moose, no “Stairs of Death” and a road that isn’t like living through a daily episode of The Thrillbillies.

3 comments:

Rebecca Clayton said...

I'm puzzled. As an Iowa farm girl who trotted the globe some, when I visited West Virginia I knew I had to move here, because it felt like home. Yes, the trees and the hollers are a little eerie, but the mountains are amazing, and the people can't be beat.

I don't know about Georgia, but around here, hunting season is the favorite holiday, even for small children. Families get together, have fun outdoors, and eat traditional meals, all without a load of commercialization. What's not to love?

czardastx said...

Well, H, it's another great story and a good finish to your guest appearance on TWNMP. I'm with Rebecca, that part of the country is very beautiful. If the part of Georgia you were in wasn't 'the spot' then perhaps Tennessee should be the next area to visit.

Thanks for sharing. I've appreciated and enjoyed it.

Sigrid said...

I had to chuckle and in my memory if Beth does not like something you can stand on your head and it will not change.Better move on to the next mountain range. As czardastx says Tennessee or perhaps back to Colorado. Almost as well written as my blog, ha, ha.