Do you ever just get restless in your spirit a little and feel like you need to be on the move, even for just a little bit? I confess to feeling that way pretty often, honestly. I can normally just blame it on wanderlust. Around this time last year, however, it was more than that.
My husband had just essentially lost his job and while he was quickly able to regain an income it just wasn’t the same. Not the same income, not the same security but at the same time, not the same ol,’ same ol’. There’s a delicate balance of fear and excitement in the unknown. Anything is possible.
As the year wore on though it still felt like the same ol’, same ol’. A new masters degree completed that we had hung all our hopes on that, so far, doesn’t seem to have made a difference. I had rehearsed all the possible scenarios in my head. A secure income that took some of the pressure off of me, nothing kills creativity faster than pressure born of desperation, and maybe a new and exciting move. I had dreamed of new places, new opportunities, and second chances.
It was around this time that a dear friend, and fellow creative, was visiting me. We share a love of art, travel, and Halloween. One Sunday morning, she said; “Let’s go somewhere”.
She’d been telling me about all of these places she’d visited lately because, as it turns out, she was looking for a new start, too. The minute she said it, I was reminded of an article I’d read in my Beekman 1802 Almanac (Fall 2016). Some days I still mourn my old store and reading the article about The General Store at Serenbe had rekindled that old flame. So, I quickly grabbed my magazine and said; “Let’s go here!”
Serenbe is a planned community in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia that basically has its own everything. A progressive community dedicated to nature, art, sustainability and good food.
The General Store at Serenbe is no exception.
The minute I walked in the door I nearly swooned.
I admit to expecting something slightly different as far as what was sold but the things it does sell stays entirely true to what a general store typically carries. I think I just expected to walk in and see my old store reincarnate.
Since we were on an impromptu trip we grabbed lunch here. I had the Tuscan chicken panini and Zan had the PLT – pimento. lettuce and tomato. Both handcrafted and utterly delicious.
Have you ever gone to a place and found everything so perfect you felt like it couldn’t possibly be real? That’s kind of how Serenbe felt to me. It reminded me of the first time I ever visited the planned community of Celebration, Florida. We happened upon it by accident one year because it was right across from our hotel and found ourselves there right in the middle of their fall celebration. As I stood there, with my then small child, the paper leaves coming down like confetti all around us I was blindsided by the sheer perfection of it all and also slightly convinced we were about to have our brains sucked out a la’ Stepford Wives or something. Serenbe is like that.
We had our lunch on the front porch of The General Store in the still not-quite-fall temps typical even of North Georgia in October and all I could think about was, what if this were my mine?
What if we lived here?
What if we could go anywhere…
This is where I take a moment to pause and say that I likely could not afford even a night’s stay in their B & B, much less a home here, it’s just fun to dream sometimes.
Like, the next time there’s a hurricane and the power goes out your home is solar powered and it’s right next to The General Store anyway so roughing it would mean eating Tuscan chicken paninis and PLTs instead of Chef Boyardee.
And even though your home is brand new its got about as much faux character as one that’s been around for a century. Plus, a back porch that backs up to a forest so that you can enjoy the wildlife while also enjoying the S’mores you’ll surely be making in that beautiful fire pit.
And of course, they have their own farm. With a gorgeous, black barn. I could just live in this, personally.
Miles and miles of hiking trails…
And expansion areas where more of the community is planned.
Then there’s this. Something right out of the Blair Witch project but it’s October so Halloween.
If there were a dream community, this would be mine. Solar panels and all.
From Serenbe we made our way to Jaemor Farms in Alto, Georgia. Not because it’s even remotely close or convenient but because we were both chasing fall and all our dreams, which are ironically wrapped in fall like a dutch apple pastry, could be found at places like these.
Zan is a 3rd generation beekeeper, organic soap maker and displaced farmer on the search for sourwood honey. And I’m interested in all of that because I basically want to bake it all in a cake, build a cake stand from pallet wood and then wash my hands with bakery scented organic soap when I’m done.
Jaemor has 500 acres of farmland and every kind of produce imaginable, some of it baked (and FRIED!) into delicious confections. Plus tons and tons of pumpkins, a corn maze and lots and lots of fall.
It was just a day away in North Georgia where the temps are still just about as warm as back home but the leaves seem to catch on to the fact that it’s fall a little sooner.
Then it was back home.
But I would return a little lighter hearted, a little sweeter (thanks to those fried pies at Jaemor) and a lot more inspired. That’s the grace in finding fall.
Here’s hoping this year’s fall meets me halfway.