Mountain Mornings

Rainy Day Sunshine

My favorite thing about living in the North Georgia Mountains? Fine people. One morning last week as we were leaving the Blairsville eatery where seats for breakfast and lunch are the area’s most sought after real estate—we suddenly weren’t going anywhere. Nearing the field-parking exit, the right front wheel of our truck had made contact with the bottom of a new gulley where something huge had recently damaged the roadside ditch, leaving a very deep pit.

No sooner had I discovered that the passenger door was pinned shut than a man was at the driver’s window, asking if we’d already called for a tow. Just as he was explaining an idea for dragging the truck out, another fellow came up offering to strap and chain us out of our predicament.

In a few minutes the two men had wrangled our big ol’ truck out and were off to catch up with their day. This is one of those places in the world where people don’t look the other way as they pass someone for whom things have gone sideways. It’s a “we’ve got this” mentality that will always outshine the frustrations of life.

This knee-jerk kindness springs up everywhere. Here, an approaching funeral procession still sends cars on both sides of the road to a respectful stop—a vehicular hug for the grieving family. In these communities, people thoughtfully let one another know when unsettling situations arise, without assuming they’re already informed by social media.  

Support squads form and deliver when hardship strikes, whether that help comes as church friends, neighbors, or just folks you know. Should your car refuse to start in a local grocery store parking lot, don’t immediately suspect the person coming over to help is one of those metro scammers with your missing engine component in his pocket and an offer to get you going again for a hundred bucks or so.

Yes, we have our issues and occasional squabbles but let trouble pop-in and help will be close on its heels. But for our phone-use-while-driving law, this post might have been accompanied by a photo of the fellow with a tattered 2020 election flag over the bed of his truck, reaching for his chainsaw while a woman watched from her car—its distinct bumper sticker indicating a differing political stance—as he prepared to clear the downed tree branch blocking access to her turn off the highway. That mental picture will last as long as I do.

Soggy mornings like this remind me of the good people in this world. Driving home in a pesky drizzle, watching dark clouds rolling in, I noticed a nick in the grey above. Soon a brilliant patch of blue sky opened, pouring a lovely stream of light ahead. Appearing like all those good souls clearing the way out of trouble, demonstrating there’s more than one way to keep the shiny side up.