What a mess the world is in these days! Hatred has become rampant or perhaps, with sophisticated communications, we are just more aware of it. Terrorists are out to kill us and other countries want to ruin us financially to the point we are dependent on them.
Political candidates are destroying each other and it is apparent that the rhetoric is about them and not the country as a whole. This will continue until the next election is over and then smolder again with renewed division. There seems to be no end in sight or a solution to the stress we all feel as a culmination of current events. Well, actually there is and we, on the Highlands/Cashiers Plateau, live it each and every day. It’s almost as if we live on a different planet.
Having lived in Highlands full-time for 25 years, I have been socialized to a different way of life. To wake up each day in an area where I can marvel at nature’s beauty with mountain views that are a reminder there is still good and beauty in the world, or rushing waters of the Cullasaja River that offer solace that life will go on –sometimes faster than we would choose- but will be there for the next generations to appreciate.
I choose to be grateful to live in a town where golden sunrises and sunsets turn from reds to pinks on a golden palate giving promises of a new day to follow –offering us a new beginning. We can either focus on our days that remain on earth and choose to be grateful for our blessings or bitter with current circumstances and those of the past. It is made clearer here in the mountains which road we should choose.
I choose to be grateful to live in a town where I can walk into Mountain Fresh Grocery each morning and Dustin starts my Cappuccino (skinny with 1 Stevia) without me saying a word. I am greeted with smiles and wishes for a good day.
I choose to be grateful when restaurateurs come out to talk with you and welcome you by name. Managers, such as Jacque at Wolfgang’s, is always smiling and accommodating. Chef Wolfgang makes an appearance to make sure everyone is happy and well fed. Jason, at the Log Cabin Restaurant, is genuinely happy to see you and aims to please. The hostesses and wait staff at On the Veranda are so very nice and Alan, the bartender makes sure your drink of choice is perfect. Andrea at Meritage knows my love for red wine and always has a new one for me to try. .
I choose to be grateful to live in a town where you can enjoy a favorite libation at our pub, the Ugly Dog, and clog or watch cloggers on Wednesday nights or stop in the Hummingbird Lounge at Old Edwards Inn on weekends and listen to the soothing voice of Cy Timmons, who takes you back with the sounds of Johnny Mathis, Elton John, Barry White and more. His humor is sure to cheer you as well. When I walk in Tommy knows my drink of choice. Chris Duffy, on our wonderful radio station, WHLC 104.5, keeps us informed of weather, events, and lost cats and dogs. The music is relaxing and memories are jogged many times a day. When I walk in Tommy knows my drink of choice.
I choose to be grateful for our two newspapers whose police reports consist of dogs barking or a door blowing open etc. and extremely rare crime of any sort. Where candidates for political offices don’t destroy each other but meet in church and sit down to lunch to congratulate their opponents. I’m grateful for a town where 3 traffic lights control the traffic flow in the busy season.
I choose to be grateful for our Performing Arts Center and Mary Adair Leslie who brings in fantastic talent with Chamber Music, Opera, and foot-stomping blue grass music as well. The Hit Men (Four Season’s music) and music of the Beatles are two of my favorites. I love that the Playhouse now offers first run movies, complete with popcorn and wine! Soon the PAC and Playhouse will combine facilities on Chestnut Street and that is exciting news with thanks given to Cindy Trevathan and others who worked tirelessly to fundraise to finally see it become a reality! A town where art galleries and boutiques offer their finest. Mary at McCulley’s lets me know when a sale is coming and I come home with bags of bargains! Our many jewelers are so creative and we sparkle and shine thanks to them!
I choose to be grateful for our small town Christmas Parades in Highlands and Cashiers, where you are taken back to a more innocent time when kids’ eyes light up seeing the floats, horses, camels and of course, Santa, all the while gathering candy being thrown their way. I love a town that still does traditional Thanksgiving, where families gather to reminisce. Where the 4th of July fireworks light up a small town to “oohs and ahhs” and everyone lines the streets with blankets and lawn chairs.
I choose to be grateful for our wonderful small inns with heavenly breakfasts and front porches. For the Old Edwards Inn and Spa where you can rejuvenate your skin and spirit after a massage of choice and sit by the fire and read with a glass of wine of relax in the whirlpool to your heart’s delight. I am grateful for Art and Angela Williams who continue to improve our town and to Richard and Melissa Delany who keep the plans in motion. I’m grateful for Larry and Mary Roberts who saw the need for a dog-friendly hotel, the Park on Main, and another coming soon.
I choose to be grateful to live in a town with the Kelsey Hutchinson Park where a farmer’s market is held on Saturdays, bands perform on stage as people bring lawn chairs and blankets, where kids run through the fountain with sounds of giggles, and where other events such as a low-country dinner will be held June 15 and is always a delight. Art and craft shows should not be missed. In the winter the park magically becomes an ice-skating rink and appears a Winter Wonderland!
More importantly, I am grateful to live in a town where there is genuine concern for each other…where we know people’s troubles-health wise and otherwise, You walk down Main Street and shop –owners come out to say “hello” and chat. Where everyone knows your dog and stocks up on treats for them! Where everyone knows your name and shares your concerns as well as your triumphs. Where those of us fortunate enough to “give back” can experience first hand the needs of others and know who to help and causes cause to support.
With all this being said, it explains why more and more retired people are choosing to live here full time versus only having a summer place. Younger people are discovering us and desire a second home here. New beginnings allow for better endings. Come and explore and let us help in your search for the right home for you in our magical place on earth. I wouldn’t live anywhere else!
Happy Spring from all us at Pat Allen Realty Group. Remember today and everyday –the best gifts are tied with heartstrings.
Pat Allen is owner of Pat Allen Realty Group and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and is certified in Resort and Second home properties. She chooses to remain an independent firm, allowing for personalized service and decision making, welcomed and needed in a small town. She sponsors many non-profit events and gives back so others can move forward. Her firm was recently selected as a Leading Real Estate Company of the World. She is consistently a top producer and award-winning broker on the plateau. Visit her on the web at Pat Allen Realty Group.com, call 828-526-8784, or 828-200-9179. The office is conveniently located at 295 Dillard Road across from Highlands Decorating Center.