One of my goals this year, after all that’s happened, was to spend autumn just exploring Georgia State Parks to absorb the colors. I mean to do it every year, but previously we had so many options during the weekends that we wound up doing something else. Restaurants and larger friend gatherings were the biggest culprits – no longer an option for those being responsible during this pandemic. Hiking has been a self discovery. I find that a balance of physical exertion appropriate for my current body plus the opportunity to photograph and absorb natural beauty is the perfect combination.
Our trip to Vogel State Park took us on three trails – and all of them were spectacularly dressed for fall.
Lake Trahlyta Trail
Lake Trahlyta sits in a valley between a few peaks and its shores were lined with gorgeous color. There’s a single bright yellow maple on one side that really struck me with the way it framed the opposite shore. It’s an easy trail to walk – good for children and anyone with minor mobility issues. There’s also benches all around to simply sit and absorb the splendor.
Lake Trahlyta Waterfall Trail Offshoot
Right off the lake trail is a short set of steps to the waterfall. These falls are created by a manmade dam but they’re still pretty spectacular if you don’t mind their origin story.
Bear Hair Gap Trail
Walking up the gap trail leads to a lot of autumn scenery – especially if you stop and look closely! Crystal clear rainwater running over amber and rust colored leaves was an excellent repeat sight.
The colors all over the changing trees kept me pausing over and over.
Finally you arrive at the peak and have this vantage point pretty much all to yourself. The lake you were just walking around looks so small, but the colors of the trees framing the lake still give it a grand feeling.
It’s an excellent hike, a total of just 6 miles or so, even with the meandering, and I recommend it! Definitely check it out on AllTrails and drop me a photo in the comments if you go!
Back in September, Jeremy and Chugs got me an awesome birthday gift! A Mavic Pro 2 – and since then I’ve been taking it on flights. I love the kind of drone flight that shows off the peaceful but interesting views from above. We went to Florida back in September – and I put my favorite shots from the trip together to some music.
Fall has arrived in Georgia, and I am taking my drone into the forests. Can’t wait to show off some of our beautiful, and honestly, underappreciated landscapes here!
The first weekend of October felt like the perfect time to start a habit of getting out and seeing some of Georgia’s pretty views. Bell Mountain was first to come to mind so we went up there with our friend Dasha and her sweet dog Leroy. But first we hiked Jackrabbit trail, which is a forested trail that’s just barely in North Carolina at the Georgia border, near Bell Mountain.
The same day we hit up the Pumpkin patch, we also hit up the sunflower field nearby. We had no plans to do this prior, but when we drove by it I knew I wanted to stop in. Look at all these gorgeous sunflowers!
Fall has arrived in Georgia and the weather is simply spectacular. Jeremy and I both had this Friday off – giving us a rare opportunity to go check out some of the more popular fall time Georgia activities without the crowds. Advance warning: there’s gonna be a lot of pumpkin pics.
Just like that eight years flew by since our wedding. When I reflect, I am glad the guests had a good time, but it was a absolute relief when it was over. Funnily, looking back, it was one of the heaviest lows of our relationship. And honestly, at the end, I knew it had very little to do with us at all and so it was easy to move on and leave it behind. The Honeymoon was very much a celebration for that the wedding was over. I spent a lot of time on that Honeymoon boat thinking “thank god it’s over”. I think about that sometimes and I am no longer ashamed to be open about how toxic the entire process was. Trying to make the most of it and have good attitude doesn’t mean it wasn’t toxic and harmful. Like everything, it was a leanring opportunity and I chose to build myself up from it. Now nobody gets to draw lines in the sand for me about what I want or don’t want in my life and I don’t give a damn if they’re mad about it. It is freeing and I wish I had learned it earlier.
But our relationship is what always brings a smile to my face, and that’s been going on for twenty years. Jeremy is my best friend. When I think back through our relationship, it’s the moments he showed up for me and is always fulfilling my need instead of what he thinks I should need. That kind of consideration for who I am is just an absolute treasure and I thank God for crossing our paths. But Jeremy has always been himself – and I have never wanted to change it. I try to meet his need where he is at. Being forced to hide my relatioship with him for 10 years gave us a different perspective on what the relationship is. Like other things, when handed an obstacle like that, we chose to grow through it, despite the obstacle. And while we have been through and navigated an awful lot together – what I appreciate most about our relationship is that we didn’t lose ourselves in the process of partnership. Khalil Gibran’s rendition of what it feels like – It’s spot on.
Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each otherâ€™s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each otherâ€™s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each otherâ€™s shadow.
– Khalil Gibran
I look forward to all the time we have left together. I hope it’s many many years and we die old wrinkled raisins – but the time we have had has been so sweet and fulfilling so far it almost seems impossible to have it this good. In my younger years, marriage always put me off because the examples I had didn’t like they were worth pursuing. Why waste that much time an effort to set myself up to barely scrape by and be miserable? Like many things, it looked like yet another way to squash many women into unsatisfying roles. I still remember someone had given me a Joyce Meyer-related religious disc and the first track was of a woman spinning her husband and children’s complete disrespect of her time, efforts, and inherent value into a toxic martyrdom trope of “God has given you the opportunity to serve! Your role in the family is that you get to do laundry for beautiful children, and get to serve dinner to a hardworking husband, and get to put aside any of your needs!” and I nearly threw that CD into the traffic as I drove down the highway. This woman was talking about her own life. I knew at every crossroads like that I could become the bitter person who expects others to also bend to the toxicity because they did and how dare anyone else choose not to give up themselves for others. …Or I could be genuinely happy with my life and pursue a path of loving kindness for the person that I was – and in turn be able to love others for who they were not what I expected them to be. I still maintain that I’d be an unmarried happy singleton for the rest of my life if not for Jeremy’s persistent, consistent, and loving care for me – without losing himself in the process or expecting me to change into a different person. He showed me that social structures are not important in the face of real, demonstrated, commited love. That is the magic of my husband! I want to celebrate it forever – because I actually felt valued and loved for the person I was. I hope to make him feel that way for the rest of his and my life. ♥
The summer heat is waning a little bit here in Atlanta. I can wake up in the early morning and enjoy some temps in the mid-seventies before we wind up at a full heat blast in the afternoon.Â The slightly cooler temps have brought the smallest of local birds to my yard. These are all ruby-throated hummingbirds. There are four in my yard, and they’re all very feisty.Â They spend their day guzzling sugar water and then dive bombing each other. It’s great.
They are one of the small joys in my day.Â A blip in my periphery that brings an outsized amount of joy for what little time and space they take up. :)
Death has a way of refocusing the attention on the span of someoneâ€™s life and John Lewis has a timeline for the history books. He knew progress is built on one anotherâ€™s shoulders, and never lost sight of the fact that the burdens of progress are best carried by strong community.
â€˜I say to people today, ‘You must be prepared if you believe in something. If you believe in something, you have to go for it. As individuals, we may not live to see the end.’
I drew his portrait today while I thought about his legacy. Thank you Rep Lewis, Rest in Power.
I’ve been working on my tablet drawing skills in Procreate! I started at the beginning of quarantine, and I feel like I’ve come a long way in being comfortable in the medium. My flower garden is inspring me to draw and I made this pretty pattern today. :)
I’m thinking maybe I’ll order some things from Spoonflower with some of my work and decorate my home that way! I love personal things. We’ll see!