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Saturday, October 15, 2011

More Rabun Ramblings!

More Rabun Ramblings!*

A group of 36 adults from First Baptist Peachtree City had a fabulous 3 day fall retreat at McAfee Mountain (located at Andy's Trout Farm), near Dillard, Georgia. Sonya, Paula, and Diane tailored our event to meet our needs, and made sure we all felt like "family!"
Visiting in front of the fireplace in the Lobby area
We left Peachtree City Sunday after lunch at church and arrived at McAfee Mountain about 4 p.m. After quickly shedding our possessions in our rooms, a decent contingent of folks undertook the task of fishing for our supper! The Andy's Trout Farm staff cleaned our catch, and an hour later, we were enjoying freshly fried Georgia mountain trout, with coleslaw and hushpuppies!
Fishing at Andy's Trout Farm's beautiful mountain setting!
After supper, our speaking tag-team was Laurie Altieri and Barbara Woodall, long-time friends, who worked together on the world-renowned Foxfire books. Foxfire revolutionized learning by sharing the methods honed through publishing a student initiated magazine

Laurie and Barbara were among the first Foxfire students. They worked for Foxfire briefly after high school, and now Laurie is back working with Foxfire at their museum. 

Laurie passionately shared background on the Foxfire program, and how the Foxfire class impacted both Barbara and herself. Laurie shared lots of information and fun facts about the Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center, where Foxfire students used book royalty funds to purchase property, then moved and restored over 20 historic buildings, representative of Appalachian life in the late 1700's through the 1800's. This session was designed to give everyone background information for our Foxfire Museum tour on Tuesday. 

Barbara spoke with enthusiasm about growing up in Rabun County, her relationships, and the simple pleasures she enjoyed. Barbara has recently published the regional bestseller It's Not My Mountain Anymore, which she signed and personalized for purchasers.

Barbara's talk was seasoned with colorful colloquialisms. She kept telling us, "I ain't no preacher," but her strong faith and her interpretations of Scripture, left no doubt that she is a FINE preacher! Watch the video, and decide for yourself! 

Barbara Woodall, author of It's Not My Mountain Anymore

We did an evening devotion about the Jewish concept of Kehillah Kedoshah--a sacred, intimate community of faith. We purposed to get to know each other better during this trip, and take the concept home with us. Everyone took a treasure from the pirate treasure chest as a reminder of the many "treasures," including relationships, with which we are already blessed, and the need to continue to store up "treasures in heaven."

After Monday morning's continental breakfast at McAfee Mountain, about half our group joined me in stretching and exercising to praise music. Our morning devotion time explored the JOY of the Lord, and everyone took another treasure from the treasure chest as they left.

Part of the group departed for the shops of Dillard, the rest enjoyed a leisurely morning. We all met up for a veritable Southern feast, served family style, at the Dillard House for lunch. 
One of four tables at the Dillard House
We all received Dillard House buttons and discount coupons.
(The "gold coins" necklace was part of the treasure from our weekend's "PirateTheme.") 
Because I saw an ad in last month's Georgia Mountain Laurel for The Whistle Stop Mall in Franklin, after lunch, part of our group went shopping there! The rest of the group enjoyed relaxing at McAfee mountain, and hiking to a waterfall. 
The Rock House Waterfall, where Cherokee Indians hid out during the Trail of Tears.
After a "souper" supper at McAfee Mountain, we  enjoyed learning some of the basics of square dancing from veteran caller, Jerry Cope. 
Circling Left
After square dancing, we did sparklers, roasted marshmallows, and made s'mores, then fell into bed, happily exhausted! 
Tuesday morning we had breakfast, did early morning exercise and stretching, then had our morning devotion about personal renewal. We took our last "daily treasure" from the pirates' chest, then packed up to leave. Several of us would have loved to stay on at McAfee Mountain! 

We struck out, during a steady drizzle, for O'sage Market for produce, then on to the Foxfire Museum. We were able to enjoy picnicking on Subway, and delicious desserts from Linda's Sweet Treats and Antiques, while seeking shelter from the rain under the porches of some of the Foxfire buildings. (Linda's Caramel Cake is my favorite, along with her chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies--just like Mama used to make!) 

This porch offered shelter for our picnic!

Roy Kilgore tries out the coffin in the church. 
After a stop for apples, jellies, and jams at Hillside Orchard, and a brief looking and shopping stop at the Tallulah Point Overlook, the group headed South toward home. I was able to stay and enjoy one more day of fall color in the mountains of Rabun County!

Hillside Orchard's fruit breads make THE WORLD'S BEST French Toast!

Click Here for an Album with More Photos.

*First Baptist's Pre-school Pastor, Charleen Smith's help was invaluable, as was Roy Kilgore's, and bus driver Bracken Stubbs! Thanks, y'all! 

Charleen's Photo Album

*Special thanks to Teka, from the Rabun County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, for all your help planning our trip, and for the "goody bags." (FYI--In addition to all the aforementioned places, we bought gasoline, visited drug and grocery stores, and shopped at assorted other businesses. Rabun County is a GREAT place to visit and live, and, personally, Rabun County is my favorite place in the world!) 

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