As if 2020 could get any worse, my little old man Billy Zoom, passed away in my arms. I adopted him from rescue because a local vet erroneously (twice) said he had cancer, and no one else wanted a hospice dog. The first 6 months or so were rough since I thought he could die at any moment, and we all kind of joked about it. However, when I took him to my vet, Dr. Karen Ortley at Cohutta Animal Clinic, we discovered no cancer! We couldn’t accurately determine his age, but it was obvious that he’d been fending for himself for quite some time and was never a house dog. He had buckshot and plastic pellets under his skin and his right front leg looked like it had been caught in a claw trap. He had a collapsing trachea, a rapid heartbeat, suffered from separation anxiety, and loved to get into the trash. Billy Zoom was with me for five years and he turned out to be a pretty darned good dog. I sure do miss the little feller, he was quite the character. Maxine, a bit mopey at first, has now accepted the new situation and seems almost too happy to be the only dog.
In this issue I invite you to take a look at Old Toccoa Farm, “Where People, Lifestyle & Design Live Together.” Only five miles from downtown Blue Ridge, Old Toccoa Farm is an unpretentious, amenity-based community on 400+ acres at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I live right down the road from there, and it truly is a gorgeous place.
Artist in Residence, Betty Kossick’s poems celebrating our local artisans, artfully describe a moment in time, yet she also reminds us to honor and support our small shops, artists, and galleries.
Yep, before you know it’s the Holidays. The annual gift guide will give you great ideas on how and where to shop small, and shop local. Part of the fun is tracking down a special gift, out here
in the crisp air, and avoiding the Mall. Wear your mask, wash your hands, social distance. Let’s keep everyone safe.
Usually here I write about what goes in the next issue, February March. Who knows what will happen by then? So- I don’t know what to say here, except hoping for the best outcome in fighting COVID-19.
I also wanted to thank Lorrie Bryan Gaulden for helping me out by writing the Black Bear Antiques article. Her experience in writing and publishing is much appreciated.
Please stay safe so that Maxine and I can wish you happiness this same time, same place– next year!