Monday, November 10, 2008

Autumn in the Appalachians Part 1

I'm sure a lot can be said for springtime in the Rockies, but you can't deny there is something special about autumn in the Appalachians. Every October I trek up to my cabin for my favorite time of year, and once again this year my mountains did not disappoint. My original plans were to take a short trip like last year, but by the time I scheduled everything I wanted to do, I realized I would have to take off the whole week. I know . . . it was a sacrifice, but you do what you have to do.

I left on Saturday morning, and everything was great until I got halfway between Gainesville and Lake City. Suddenly, it sounded like all hell broke loose under the hood of my car. I lost power, the temperature gauge rocketed, and my dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. I limped to an exit, pulled over, and called AAA. I decided to relax and go with the flow rather than have a breakdown over the breakdown. I remembered in all the years I have been driving to the mountains, I had only had minor car trouble once before, and I was grateful for that. While I waited for the tow truck, I played with my iPhone and enjoyed the cool weather. My situation could have been much worse. An hour later the tow truck arrived and hauled me back to Pep Boys, one of only two garages open on Saturdays in Gainesville. While they worked on my car, I crossed the street and ate at Moe's, then hiked down to Borders, all the while counting my blessings and thinking how much worse my situation could have been. Within five hours from the breakdown I was back on the road. Don't ask me what had to be repaired. All I know is timing bar-something, serpentine-something, thermostat, and radiator cap. God bless Pep Boys!

A few weeks earlier, my longtime friend Sherry Cole had asked if she and her parents, Barbara and Bobby Bethune, could stay at the cabin for the weekend while her daddy attended a small Turkey Creek High School class reunion in the mountains. Although their time would overlap with mine, it was not a problem. It would be great to see them again. Sherry was still awake when I pulled in around 10:00 PM, and we stayed up talking into the night. Sunday morning I got to catch up with Bobby and Barbara before they headed to church and more reunion activities, and I headed to the Apple Festival in Ellijay. While we were getting ready, I played some old Singing Rambos and Lanny Wolfe Trio CDs for Barbara. Just beautiful, bittersweet memories . . . .

Monday morning we went for breakfast at the Sawmill Place in Blairsville. It was everything you would have expected. Crisp autumn air, the aroma of brewing coffee, a table spread with eggs, grits, biscuits, sausage, gravy, pecan pancakes, and stewed apples. It would be safe to say Sherry ordered everything on the menu.

Sherry just getting started on her personal buffet.

That big ole cathead biscuit sandwich is mine!

My longtime friend and me.

Bobby, Sherry & Barbara

When we got back to the cabin, we sat down and watched the Dottie Rambo Homegoing Celebration DVD and worshiped and bawled like babies. Earlier that morning Sherry and Barbara had let me know they wanted to watch the whole thing before they returned home. Only people whose lives have been touched by the Rambos' music for decades like ours have would understand.

While the Bethunes packed, I burned them some music CDs. Then we said our goodbyes, and they headed back to Nashville.


April said...

I hate y'all

Nathansma said...

It would have only been better if I had been there.

Heidi said...

You are such a great writer...and you would say 'I know.' There is nothing better than this season in the mountains. I know why you enjoy it so much! I loved your pictures as well. Sounded like you had a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

I totally understand wanting to listen to the Rambo music...all of it. It doesn't get any better than that! Love, Brenda

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, Howie! So sorry your car broke down, but you made it sound almost like fun. That breakfast sure looked fantastic. Glad you got to enjoy some fall leaf peeping this year too.

I was just heartbroken about Dottie too. That was when music was really good! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hey! Makes me feel like I was there. I would love to see Sherry again. And, oh yeah, nothin' like the Rambos. Takes me back.
Love You,

Dylan (jumbo shrimp) said...

lol hey i already put a coment on something els also i just dont know it is lol!!!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering when this would make the blog :) We had such a great was so special! Thank you for sharing your cabin with us!

Much love to you!

Anonymous said...

Love reading this -rachael from 7th period