When describing the South to someone not from ‘round here, I usually end up mentioning that there’s a big difference between rednecks and the other types of Southerners. One of those other types is the Southern mountain folk. Think moonshine instead of chewing “tabacca”. Another way to categorize Southerners is the filthy rich and the dirt poor (we don’t take baths down here, apparently). I come from the dirt poor who came from the mountain folk who came from Ireland. So, it’s no wonder I never identified with the redneck town I grew up in. I felt really out of place the whole time, actually. It was during the annual trek to Ellijay & Blue Ridge for the family reunion that my heart danced with anticipation of that crisp mountain air. (That actually may have been my heart murmur, but it fits with the narrative. Just go with it.)
That annual trip at the Second Sunday of August always included a stop at Mercier Orchards to load up on produce and apple cider doughnuts (why is “donuts” a word? Why?). This year was no different and I love including Andrew in that tradition. When you leave your parents house, there are a lot of moments in your first year where you decide which traditions to keep for yourself and your household. This is definitely one of those things.
I’ll stop with the words now, because I took way too many photos. But if you’re ever in the area this place is a MUST. Also, Adventure Trail Rides owned by my Callihan cousins.
**In the first paragraph I did a great job of generalizing and stereotyping and leaving out a giant portion of the Southern population. Georgia is home to almost 10 million people — all of them perfect, sparkling, individual, special snowflakes (pollen?). And there is a large percentage of us that are respectful, curious, and welcoming towards other cultures and lifestyles. “Redneck” isn’t used as an insult here, so calm your overalls. ;) Laugh, okay?