When will Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride be over, you ask? Heck if I know. What we all DO know is that it’s gonna take quite some time and effort to recover- world-wide- from the ravages of COVID-19.
The last issue of Appalachian Country Living Magazine was the February/March 2020 edition, after that I discontinued publishing until now. Back then we weren’t sure if the virus could be transmitted on surfaces, so I thought it best not to risk spreading COVID by distributing magazines. Once the pandemic came into full swing I simply could not, in good conscience, hold my advertisers to their contracts. As we slowly recharge our communities we can look to the magnificent fall season to give us some hope in a future.
Meanwhile- not working on the magazine has had its perks! After a few weeks of lazing around, Maxine, Billy Zoom and I kicked it into gear. Work around the cabin that I was going to hire out, I did myself. Lots of power washing and staining, purging, organizing, and many trips to the dump. However, all of those ‘projects’ that are now about half way done will have to wait until I finish the mag. But hey- at least those projects are started. I also realized during this time off that we are all slowing down. Maxine must be at least 11years old now, I turned 63, and I have no idea how old my Billy Zoom is except that he is now ailing with age. He can’t jump or run, I carry him up and down the stairs, give him lots of meds and let him sleep as much as he wants. He’s still a crazy, happy little feller (for now), snoring in my ear every night.
And, here we are approaching fall. Nearly all festivals and fairs have been cancelled, so the calendar is a little short. One thing that can’t be cancelled is the natural beauty of our mountains as the leaves turn to red and gold. There are still apples to be picked, pumpkins to be carved, trails to be hiked and evening campfires to be lit. Play some golf at Old Toccoa Farm, look for that special treasure at Black Bear Antiques in Ellijay. Have lunch at Poole’s BBQ, and then take a tour of Covered Bridge Estates to get started on your mountain dream home. It’s the perfect time of year to answer the call to come to the mountains.
November brings us right into December and all of the holidays to be celebrated. Usually the December/January issue is brimming with festive events and promises for the New Year, I can only hope the same is true this year. Our mountain towns are full of specialty shops, art galleries, antiques, and just about anything you’d want for finding that special holiday gift. Our restaurants, brew pubs, wineries and community theaters will be open, following social distancing guidelines and mask wearing, of course. Make your holiday shopping fun, skip those box stores and come to the mountains for some brief relief from the world’s worries.
Maxine, Billy Zoom and I wish you a safe and healthy fall and Holiday season!
Stay Safe My Friends!