Who flipped on the wind machine?
I'm on the second floor of an early 1900s farm house. It's almost midnight and I swear, the house is going to fold around me. I tip-toe out of bed (like that will make a difference), peep out the window -- the barn is still standing even though winds are whipping at at least 50 mph (my conservative raging hormone-driven estimate). That's a good sign. Even though I'm in Northeast Georgia, I have visions of Kansas and flying houses and little people swirling through my head. The last peep I took was around 2 a.m. If I hear one more sharp swirling sound piercing through the rafters, I swear I'll put on my wool socks, grab a blanket and snuggle up on the downstairs sofa - B & B or not! I pull the covers up to my chin and pray. The next thing I know, it's sunrise; the barn is still there, and I can't wait to inhale coffee.
Now, I can't guarantee that much energy flowing through the mountains when you stay at Mountain Laurel Farm in Cleveland, but for sure, I can guarantee this: a majestic view, a tasty breakfast and a delightful innkeeper who has many stories to tell.
Melody is my new best friend. No, really. That's a perk of this job; you get to fall in love with everyone you meet (those you like anyway), tell their story through photographs and words, and always be able to call them friend. All of this you get instead of the big check at the end of the month. I like my form of payment, thank you very much.
It was merely by happenstance that I stumbled upon this farm. Looking for a place to rest and research, one that wouldn't break the bank (for I knew it would be the beginning of a multitude of stays until April), I found Mountain Laurel. Never mind I loved the name which conjured up a lifetime of memories at the Mountain Laurel festival in Clarkesville, but after seeing pictures, it looked surreal -- complete with the proverbial cherry to top - a red tin roof! A tin roof PLUS stories of Cheryl Tiegs, castles, contra dancing, jasmine, egg bowls, Vietnam, husbands and children. All that in the course of three days. My heart - and my idea notebook - are full.
There's more to come but on the Saturday morning after a week of squishing ideas into my head, I had to let a few out and share with you some jewels. I'm surrounded by my world this morning - Bear, my lovely husband, and my new Mark of the Potter mug - and life is good. When you least expect it, you are reminded just how rich you are.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.