Welcome

by Mrs J

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Watching eagles soar over Dowdell’s Knob near Warm Springs, GA, with my sister and family. This was one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s favourite spots in Georgia.

My sister’s eagerly anticipated visit from England is narrowly preceded by another momentous family moment: the purchase of our second income property, stateside. This is (for now at least) the final piece of our half-formed retirement plan; a bolt-hole from the dreary British winters.

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Yes, it is a cute house, and YES it is FOR LEASE.

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I plan a packed itinery for my sister’s visit, leaving no room for two days of unplanned tornado warnings! Still, Spring Break itself brings beautiful weather we enjoy a night away, close to Calloway Gardens.

I find this apt quote from a President Franklin D. Roosevelt speech engraved on his statue which over looks Dowdell’s Knob:

Fourteen Years ago a Democratic Yankee… came to Georgia… His new neighbors there extended to him the hand of genuine hospitality, welcomed him to their firesides and made him feel so much at home that he built himself a house… and has been coming back ever since.” 11.08.38

My sister is introduced to the laid back nature of the Deep South when we try to sit down for an evening meal in Warm Springs, home of FDR’s Little White House. A 2011 tornado has impacted local tourism and at the Thai restaurant we are met by locked doors and this confusing sign:

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We end up having an amazing meal at The Oyster House instead, not far from our log cabin in Pine Mountain.

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The sky goes dark as the storm rolls in. My daughter prepares her tornado shelter. School closes, giving my sister a bonus day with her neice and nephew before she flies home.

Tornado warnings aside, we have embraced a multitude of events over recent weeks…

Our son has turned ten – a momentous milestone. I am left wondering, “where did those years go?” and recall the mantra of more experienced mothers who warned me it would ‘go so fast‘ as they admired by newborn baby.

Not all developments are welcome. We receive a new diagnosis for our son, who has ADHD. After a night in a hospital armchair, watching my boy’s head being attached to a colourful trial of wires, I am somewhat prepared for the diagnosis of Cataplexy with Narcolepsy. It seems strange that our ‘Tai Chi Baby‘ – who would calmly stretch rather than kick in my womb – is both hyperactive AND able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

Finally, my sister’s all-too-short visit includes a bespoke behind-the-scens tour of CNN thanks to Don who I met at Plain’s Peanut Festival last September, a day strolling round Calloway Gardens, and various events from Macon’s International Cheery Blossom Festival:

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Watching world news break in the heart of CNN’s headquaters, Atlanta, GA.

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The beautiful 1930’s Ida Cason Calloway Chapel at Calloway Gardens, GA.

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Macon’s International Cherry Blossom is a chance to bring the whole community together.

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