Over the past few weeks I have had several friends visit God’s Country. It is always great to see my friends from around the country and great to catch up with them and where they are in their lives.
When company visits, it is also a way for me to show off God’s Country, the beauty of the nature and the magnificent people. They usually always tell me, “now I know why you call it God’s Country.”
The same happened in reverse when I lived in south Florida. My friends and family would visit and I would show off the ocean views, the manicured lawns and introduce them to my friends.
When I lived in south Florida I referred to it as paradise, another fitting moniker.
One of the things I love most about company coming to town is the opportunity to re-appreciate many of the sites of our community I may not often see as a resident.
It is ironic that we live in these special spots on our globe and our day-to-day lives sometimes keep us from being able to appreciate them to the full effect.
Over the last weeks I have had time to dine in restaurants I don’t get to enough and shop in small boutiques and specialty shops that sometimes fall off my radar.
A couple of weeks ago, I was able to hike Pickens Nose. A beautiful mountaintop overlook that makes me feel as close to God as anywhere I have ever visited.
I get to Pickens Nose once or twice a year, but each time I walk out on that rock and overlook God’s creation I am humbled. One day (hopefully many years from now,) my family will make that trek with my ashes and return me to the land from where I came and the spot where I feel closest to heaven.
Guests ensure me a visit to Black Rock Mountain and Tallulah Gorge where I tell the story of watching Karl Wallenda walk across a tight-rope and standing on his head twice when I was a young boy.
These visits from friends allow me to showcase our lakes and sometimes when the timing is perfect, attend the Georgia Mountain Fair reliving the history of my Appalachian home.
I look forward to visits from friends, just as I did when I lived in Florida.
Being able to showcase the land I call home is a pleasure, I take pride in my little corner of God’s Country and appreciate having the opportunity to re-visit the places I treasure most.
I fight an internal battle that I don’t visit these spaces often enough, just because. And then I realize, being able to experience them through fresh eyes keeps these special places all the more awesome when I return.
Y’all come to the mountains, I’ll be happy to play tour guide!