Georgia, On My Mind.

A condo in the Gulf of Mexico- that was the plan. I have, for quite some time now, adamantly argued that my true-life goal was to get a condo in the Gulf of Mexico, and live a happy, peaceful, beach life. I was, after all, a self-proclaimed beach bum. Family has kept me put, however, and that has been fine up to this point. During the short span of the first six months of this year, my daughter left home to live in Minnesota, and then my son and daughter in law announced their plans to move to Utah. And at that time, I informed my husband there was no better excuse to make those plans to move to the Gulf Coast than now, and that way when the kids would come to visit, they could enjoy a nice little vacation simultaneously. Then one day, my son informed us that they had a change of plans and decided to move to Florida- the Gulf of Mexico side. And, not only had they made that decision, they had already moved forward with those plans, in that he already had a job lined up and they had an apartment they would be moving in one month. That was the final straw, and immediately, plans began to ensue for me and my husband to start making our preparations to move to Florida as well.
The whole ordeal has been somewhat of a whirlwind, thus far, downsizing and saving money for the move. But I have noticed in the past few days, that I have given a great deal of thought, not only to the state I am moving to, but more so to the state I am leaving. Georgia has always been my home, I have never lived in another state. While I have, for most of my life, enjoyed visiting the surrounding states and often talked of moving to any one of a number of them, I have, for whatever reason, always elected to stay put in Georgia. Georgia is my home. It is my comfort zone. And, after all, there is a sense of comfort in familiarity. Much like an old comfortable pair of shoes, or an old well-worn jacket, or an old blanket with unraveled threads galore, the things that we are most familiar with are the ones that we tend to reach for the first when in need of comforting. And, that is how Georgia is for me. I love the idea of moving away to a trendy little beach town and living the perfect tropical life. However, change is a scary thing. Change takes us into those places of unknown, places that are far beyond our comfort zones. Therefore, the safe thing to do is stay put in good old Georgia.
However, now with the kids making their relocation changes to different states, I really have no reason to let anything hold me back, beyond simple fear of the unknown itself. I cannot give into that nonsense. I must take a lead from my children’s example, and grab life by the proverbial horns. Regardless of the plans I am making to continue with the move, Georgia will always be home. I will always appreciate the lessons that Georgia taught me. From her Golden Isles to her breathtaking mountain vistas, Georgia has a lot to offer any soul willing to take the lessons and appreciate their worth. I grew up on one of North Georgia’s finest mountain tops, and I have always proclaimed that the mountain is a part of me, and I am a part of it. Living on the mountain, among the many lessons learned, was how to survive. There were countless winter storms that knocked out power and closed roads, so one had to learn to get by on the essentials of the land, such as building a fire for heat and cooking, and how to use packed snow to keep your milk and your beer cold. I have encountered more than one tornado, although one taught many lessons, as my friend and I crawled out of my severely damaged home with our young children. I have encountered a house fire when my daughter was a mere nine months old, and the lesson was that things may come and go, but life is precious, and should never be taken for granted. Appreciate the little things. But, the most valuable lesson that Georgia taught me, was community. Both from being a victim of natural disasters and fire, to volunteering in the fire department and the Red Cross, there is a communal outpouring and coming together that transpires once one has experienced a tragedy that is unlike anything you have ever seen, without witnessing it firsthand. Yes, I am very grateful for all the lessons that Georgia taught me. No matter how far I roam, even sitting on a stuffing sugar-sand beach in Florida, it will always be home, and Georgia, will forever be on my mind.

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