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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Be an Adventurer, But Be a Lady

Last summer, while vacationing solo at High Hampton Inn & Country Club, I learned how to climb a mountain. It was a valuable, hard-earned lesson.

This summer, I learned that a lady sometimes lets a man climb it for her.

Last week, Georgia's Department of Tourism whisked me and seven other travel writers through the mountains of North Georgia.The whirlwind trip took us to the sites and treated us to the food and beverages and brought us to the sounds and let us meet the people unique to that region of the state. Every stop ensured a new discovery.

in Young Harris I learned the ins and outs of Georgia's wine industry, the kinds of grapes that grow best, the types of wines the public prefers, the legislative changes over the years that have allowed the industry to grow.

At Grandaddy Mimms Distillery in Blairsville, 
I learned who Tommy Townsend is.
Hint: Google Waymore's Outlaws. I also learned about the moonshine business and that moonshine can be incredibly (dangerously) delicious (try the apple brown Betty). 

 While eating lunch at Toccoa Riverside Restaurant
I learned that Blue Ridge is the Trout Capital of Georgia. I celebrated this new knowledge by dining on delicious rainbow trout (I recommend the lemon pepper trout).


At  Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company, I learned that olive oil and balsamic vinegar aren't just for lettuce and bread anymore.

They're delicious on ice cream!
But the most important thing I learned came as a revelation as I hiked up to Fall Creek Falls
on the Benton Mackaye Trail that branches and heads west from the Appalachian Trail. As I put one foot in front of the other on the uphill climb, I got caught up in my thoughts.

I considered the trip so far. What I had seen. The people I'd met. How much farther we had to go. What I would tell others about it. The stories I might write.

 I could hear Dave and Robert, the two men who'd set up camp in the seats in the rear of the bus, huffing and puffing behind me. When they could grab enough air in their lungs to force out words, they questioned whether they were obligated to participate in this type of torture on a media FAM tour. The strain of breathing through the debate abbreviated it, and they resorted to plodding forward. I should have let them read "How to Climb a Mountain" before we set out. It may have helped them.

But they weren't helpless. Dave and Robert were just two guys thrown in with six women, six well-traveled, independent women.They were challenged to find their place in the group, whether they realized it or not.

At first, I thought it odd their behavior. Certainly they knew we could all wrestle our own luggage, we could all step off the bus without assistance, we cared not if we were first or last or under the radar all together. But this wasn't for show, as their kindnesses continued from Tuesday to Sunday. And it wasn't because they believed us to be frail, feinting flowers. They were interested in our careers and our travels and our ideas, and they were happy to let us exert ourselves on the more strenuous legs of the excursion.

On the trail to Fall Creek Falls, I had an aha moment, an epiphany. Dave and Robert did these things and more because they are men. And we women were obligated to allow them to be men, obligated to accept their courteous gestures with grace and appreciation. Our acquiescence to their generosity indicated mutual respect.

I came down from those waterfalls with renewed intent to mind my manners. A lady can adventure all around the world, but she must always remember that being a lady is as important, if not more so, as being an adventurer. And a lady ALWAYS allows a man to be a gentleman.

Thank you Dave and Robert!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ignore This Post

Hey! I said ignore this.

But since you're here, I'll tell you what it's about. I wrote an essay about my house made of brick and plaster and windows and doors and fireplaces. And the magazine wants pictures of it. Ugh. I made it sound better than it is and worse than it is all in a few paragraphs.

Anyway, I'm posting these pictures for the art director to use if she must. That's why I told YOU to ignore this post.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Hidden Message for Mom

For Valentines Day, my children destroyed a perfectly good, unopened box of Kleenex. It was one of the sweetest things they've ever done for me.

They wrote special notes on the tissues. Each note is an incomplete sentence. (That's a hard lump of love for a writer mom to swallow.)

Then they wadded all the tissues together again and shoved them back into the Kleenex box. Every day that I can remember to do so, I pull a tissue from the box and read it.

This is today's message:

Believe me, I am as surprised as you are to learn that I put so much effort into making them "harry." I don't know how I do it.

But they appreciate it, and that's what counts with kids, I guess.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Forget Times Square

Every New Year waltzes in with bling and ring and drags out with unkept resolutions on its back. Each one begins with people packed into Times Square tighter than Scrooge's fist. Each one ends with those same folks eager to see it go out. 

And all the while, life marches on at the exact rhythm and pace it always has. Though expectations for change are high at the outset of the New Year, everything quickly falls back into its usual order, whether we welcome that or not.

Well, you know what they say. If you want a different outcome, do something different, do even one small thing different. Start with how you celebrate the changing of the guard this New Year's Eve. Instead of going up to NYC, head down to Georgia, where a fine selection of offbeat (necessary for that desired new rhythm) "drops" awaits:

Buzzard Drop in Perry: Enjoy live music from two bands, a Buzzard Boogie dance contest with a $100 cash prize and the 2nd Annual Perry Buzzard Drop! The buzzard will drop at midnight and will be followed by the release of balloons and confetti. Food and spirits vendors will be on site.  Admission is FREE and all ages are welcome.

Possum Drop in Tallapoosa: The residents of Tallapoosa, formerly known as “Possum Snout”, ring in each New Year by lowering a stuffed possum named “Spencer” from atop one of the city’s oldest buildings. The famous Possum Drop celebration begins in the afternoon with live music, the crowning of the Possum King & Queen and more. Admission is FREE and all ages are welcome.

Geranium Drop in McDonough: Dance the year away on the McDonough Square as the Geranium Drops! McDonough’s Mayor, Billy Copeland, will kick off the 4th Annual Geranium Drop at 8pm on New Year’ Eve. Admission is FREE and all ages are welcome.

Cherry Drop in Macon: The Cherry Blossom ball is made of recycled metal cherry blossoms decked out in pink lights, and its drop serves as the start of the official countdown to the Cherry Blossom FestivalMarch 19th – April 4th, 2015. Admission is FREE. There will also be family-friendly events from 7 P.M.-9 P.M. for those with young children, including a mini fireworks finale at 9 P.M.

Dropping of the Edelweiss in Helen:  Ring in 2015 with live music, food, dancing and the 2nd Annual Dropping of the Edelweiss at the Helen Festhalle! Admissions is $15 per person & $25 per couple. Children under 6 will receive free admission and children ages 6-12 will receive half price admission.

Shamrock Drop in Dublin: Be awed as a brilliantly lit shamrock descends from atop the historic Fred Roberts Building in downtown Dublin, Georgia. Admission is FREE and children are welcome until 9 P.M. After 9 P.M., Jackson Street will host a 21+ street party featuring dancing, live music, vendors, food and beverage delights!

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Good Lie Give-Away TODAY

The Good Lie Give-Away TODAY!

(Instructions for entering follow the post.)

The Good Lie tells the story of children orphaned by the brutal civil war in Sudan, which began in 1983. These young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3,600 lost boys, as well as girls, to America.

Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away from harm. But the hostile, treacherous terrain has other dangers in store for them. As the tattered group makes the difficult trek to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they meet other fleeing children, forging a bond with Jeremiah, who, at 13, is already a man of faith, and Paul, whose skills become essential to their survival. 

Thirteen years later, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America. 

My Review:
I rate this an A+ family movie. Keep in mind, however, that there is a scene depicting drinking and a couple of scenes depicting illicit drug use. Also, though the movie isn't graphic, the palpable state of the children's desperate plight may overwhelm some children.

Nonetheless, this is a powerful movie juxtaposing the extremes of human cruelty against the depths of human kindness. The Good Lie highlights human resilience and how faith, friendship and a sense of one's roots magnify not only the ability to survive and persevere, but also the capacity for joy and growth.

The Good Lie teaches us:
  • What it means to live one's faith.
  • What we are all capable of, good and bad.
  • What our most valuable possessions really are.
  • How collectivist and individualist cultures differ.
  • How 9/11 changed the world.
  • What love looks like and what it can do, even with a lie.
Reese Witherspoon is the recognized name in this movie, and she gives a fantastic performance. But the real stars are the adult Sudanese refugees who play the characters of Mamere, Jeremiah, Paul and Abital. They are among the pre-9/11 generation of lost children given the opportunity to start anew in America. The Good Lie is their story and they tell it well.

One last thing:
When the meaning of the movie title is revealed, your heart will burst wide open. Guaranteed.

How to win your own DVD and Blu-Ray copies of The Good Lie:
  • One entry for leaving a comment below.
  • One entry for posting a comment about The Good Lie to Facebook and tagging me (Lucy Adams) in it.  
  • One entry for commenting on any of my Facebook posts about The Good Lie:
  • One entry for a tweet mentioning The Good Lie in which you tag me: @lucyadams
 You can enter up to four times. The more entries you have, the better your chance of winning.

The give-away closes tomorrow at noon. The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Good Lie Releases to Blu-Ray and DVD on December 23

It's my good fortune to have been asked by Grace Hill Media to do a give-away (details of how to enter the drawing to win in Monday's post) in celebration of the release of The Good Lie on Blu-Ray and DVD. 

The movie tells the true-life story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, their lives torn apart by civil war, left to grow up in refugee camps, then given the opportunity through the efforts of church groups and other charities to embark on new lives in the U.S. It stars Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon and some actual former Lost Boys in pivotal roles. 

When it was released in theaters in October, reviewers described it with words like “terrific,” “uplifting,” “moving,” “life-changing,” “unforgettable” “brilliant,” “entertaining” and “joyful.” Perhaps even more impressive, though, is that audiences polled by Cinemascore, the industry standard for gauging filmgoer opinions, rated THE GOOD LIE an “A+” – just the 53rd movie in the last 30 years to receive that honor.  


Here’s a special video feature about the real-life stories behind the film, complete with interviews from Reese Witherspoon, Producer Ron Howard and the Lost Boys in the cast: