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Summertime in Middle Georgia makes one miss East Tennessee

Susan E. Kendrick • Jul 3, 2018 at 4:30 PM

Dear Readers ~

Middle Georgia hosted another 97 degree - 92 in the shade - day. No breeze. Oh, how I miss the summers in Kingsport when June through August on the calendar indicated the longest and hottest days of the year but in that part of the mountainous country, it was pleasant with frequent gentle breezes. Pop-up storms occur frequently here offering some relief for thirsty plants that have been scorched since the last downfall. My sweet Abbey, of the four-legged kind, is a big baby who begs to get into my lap when the first sign of thunder compromises the thick air. Storms come, pound on the tin roof (a sound I love), pass and leave thick expected humid oxygen with each breath. Sweet-smelling mimosa tree blooms close as the monarch butterflies, bees and hummingbirds search its’ branches waiting for the blooms to burst open again when dry ... that is, those that have not fallen onto my car.

Each morning I wake to Eastern Phoebes dining on gourmet insects that have spent the night in the glow of the two deck door lights. On Father’s Day, I found a three-inch male Lo Moth in the same area. Isn’t it gorgeous? The eyespots are weapons meant to frighten potential predators. Since these are nocturnal adventurers, this beautiful creature was apparently in his final moments as the adults have just a 1-2 weeks lifespan. I was fortunate to discover and get a fantastic picture.

I am not at a loss for natural entertainment when in Daddy’s cabin. At precisely 7:36 a.m. the morning after I hung my homemade hummingbird feeder, I saw the first visitor. The martins will cease amazing me with their antics in just a few short weeks when they make their annual migration back to South America. And the fish ... yes, the fish. Constant jumping from the water. Are they dining on fresh hatchings or avoiding predators beneath the murky water? Sightings of deer are at least every other day or so. And the occasional red tail hawk, turkey buzzard, frogs, cricket choirs, amphibians and mammals are bonuses. And, I also have seen the Pileated Woodpecker in the area ~ the oldest recorded to have lived to 13 years. Still haven’t caught sighting of the beavers, but I know they are active. Not welcomed are the chiggers, ticks and spiders (especially those that daily challenge me with destroying their new webs tenaciously constructed overnight).

During these few weeks of summer that I have as a break from my duties in the sorority house, I continue to purge items I had when living in The Lodge in the White City neighborhood. Loved it there. The houses, history, neighbors and space. That was a big house and I am finding that organizing, donating and giving away is so freeing and rewarding. I continue to work on my book with the most inspiring view.

Being a 31-year Junior League member (half as a sustainer) and former lobbyist for children and family issues in Washington, D.C. and Georgia, the current immigration challenges our country faces is rattling my cage a bit. I do not want to use this column as a political platform but would like to share a couple of thoughts regarding children being separated from their parents. I agree with Laura Bush and Melania Trump. Children should not be separated from their parents. It can be cruel. However, it is cruel to knowingly enter into a country illegally. There is a right way and a wrong way. My parents always taught me that “if you do it right the first time, you will not have to do it again.” If children are brought into these United States of America, please obey the rules, laws and regulations American citizens are expected to follow. Otherwise, illegal immigrants are teaching their children that it's OK to disobey the law. Not a good way to get started. That is cruel to them and to innocent citizens as it involves them with criminal activity. Is that really the way to raise children? Parenting must be the hardest job in the whole world, but it is cruel to bring a dependent child into the world without proper discipline and guidance allowing them to think that they are the focus of the universe for all. Please vote and consider praying for all our elected officials and immigrants with hopes that our government can come together to validate the best intentions.

Off my bandwagon ~ I must share with you the beauty of a little go-back-in-time community of Musella, Georgia - located just 6.5 miles from the cabin. It is the sight of Dickey Farms, established in 1897 when the first peach trees were planted there. The packing house has the original pine floors with post and beam open structure. Fresh produce is sold with Georgia treats and gifts plus scrumptious homemade peach ice cream. The little G. F. Hays General Merchandise store is directly across the street boasting antique advertising signs and paraphernalia (reminded me of the original sign I found of the soft drink company, Squeeze, that my great-grandfather, J. D. Hoskins founded in the early 1900s; it is now hanging in the Elk Lodge). Musella is worth your visit if ever this way. The nostalgic spot attracts many and I will return to pick up fresh peaches for the July 4 cobbler I intend to make.

Hope you are staying cool or at least comfortable in these lingering summer weeks. Enjoy your family, God bless America and Happy Fourth of July!



Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who shares her insights and Southern humor each month in Sincerely, Susan. To correspond with Susan, email her at [email protected] To share your events for our Out & About calendar, email us at [email protected]

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