Saturday, January 14, 2012

Reflecting on my first month at the swamp

It's hard to belive that a month has already passed since I pulled into site 12 at Okefenokee Pastimes.  I guess the old adage is true - time does fly when you're having fun.  And while there's been plenty of work to get done I can truthfully say that this first month has been a great time.  Of course it did start off a little rocky.

I was less than 100 miles away when I learned that the battery in my tow car was cracked which explained why it kept losing a charge.  I was able to buy a new battery and get it installed in Tifton and head on down Highway 82 to Folkston.  For a small town there's a lot to offer.  We've got a McDonalds, a Burger King and a Dairy Queen Chill&Grill.  Harvey's is the local grocery and while I'd never heard of this chain (have since seen several in other small GA towns), it reminds me a lot of the old Food Town chain that Mother and Daddy used to work for in Nashville.  There's also a local restaurant and a barbecue place, but all the talk around town these days is about the new Thai restaurant that just opened up on Main Street.  Yes, Thai.  That really surprised me.  I've eaten there twice (they even have Singha) and it's quite good. 

And of course we have the trains.  People come quite literally from all over the country and beyond to visit the Folkston Funnel and watch the trains go by.  I've only been by there one time that there wasn't at least one person sitting there waiting to watch the trains.  There's also a train museum at the Chamber that runs a segment about the funnel that aired on the Sunday Morning TV program about 2 years ago (it loops over and over again).  But I'm not in town, so if you want to find me you have to follow the alligator signs along Highway 121 south.  It's just an 8 mile drive on straight road with a few houses and the middle school scattered along the way.  Just as you get to the east entrance to the National Refuge take a left instead into our drive. 

I won't bore you with lots of flowery prose about how wonderful it is here because it's not that great all the time.  In fact the last few days have been cool and cold at night (well, in the 30s which I didn't sign up for).  And I'm sure at some point I'll be blogging about heat and bugs.  But it is a peaceful, laid back atmosphere where we work together and help each other and share tidbits of food and info and adventures.  There's no hot tub or shuffleboard tournaments, but we put together an outstanding covered dish/pudgie pie party for new year's eve.  Yes, for me it's just right.  I'm learning about UPers from Carl and teaching Linda and Herman about geocaching.  Gus has taken a liking to everyone except Tequilla the host cat.  The two of them just keep a respectful distance.  I think Gus and I have found a place to call home for a few months.  Come on down and see us!

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