LAUREL of Northeast Georgia June 22 by The Laurel of Northeast Georgia - Issuu.jpf

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On our cover


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Angel Oak Home

 Terri Goethe epitomizes the soft and peaceful interiors she creates. You see the threads of her kindness and beauty in the homes she touches, it’s easy to see why she is chosen by homeowners from Atlanta to Linville and many points in be-tween. This native of Stephens County has deep roots in Toccoa and has a passion for the north Georgia mountains. Terri met her husband Chris while living in Atlanta and the couple married in 2006. Her resume is quite impressive with names such as Habersham Furniture and design firms around the Atlanta area. 

She enjoyed working and learning from others but longed to delve deeper into home interior design. Terri wanted to understand the effects plumbing and electrical planning had on planning design and finishes. Comprehending codes and making certain those were met was crucial to good planning. With her new husband’s encouragement and support, she enrolled in a program to learn kitchen and bath design and became a certified kitchen and bath designer in 2008. She felt that her past experience and newfound certification put her in a position to venture out on her own. So in 2008 Terri began her business, working directly with homeowners to plan their new or renovated kitchen and bath designs.


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Why the Mountains?

Why, the Mountains?


When I began thinking about how to best describe the joy of calling the mountains home, I thought that there should be a place where you can find reviews from residents on their town or county or even part of the state. We are review driven consumers. It is the digital version of the oldest form of advertising, word of mouth. So I decided to ask for reviews from natives, almost locals, new comers, part timers, and visitors. I asked a simple question on Facebook and the response was amazing. I’ll go first and will include my review here: “I love these mountains for their views, the kindness of the people, clean water and air, waterfalls that take your breath away, local art, old stories, country stores, thriving downtowns, great locally owned restaurants, festivals and fairs, generosity, one finger waves and head nods, it means a lot knowing if I need a helping hand I’ll find one and I love dirt roads that take me to mountain tops.” There is much to love about the northeast Georgia mountains, if you don’t want to take my word for it, take theirs, my question was...


What do you enjoy most about living or visiting in the mountains?


“It’s home in my heart, I was raised here and thankful that I was. I’ve called it home almost 60 years. It is beautiful, and it never gets old. I never want to take the beauty around us for granted. I can see the stars at night, I can hear and watch the birds each morning while drinking my coffee; watch a deer and a fawn. I love our community and at any moment everyone is ready to be there for each other and rally around them. I love the compassion that is shown in prayer for matters in our lives. God planted me here and I’ll try to bloom here!” Teresa Coalley


“I have lived here all my life (62 years) and why I choose to live here is that it is home. Nothing feels better than simply home. Plus all the beauty, and love that God put in one awesome place on earth.” - Audrey Penland


“No matter what jam you’re in people will ALWAYS stop to help you. Living here epitomizes “love thy neighbor.” - Monica Collier


“My first 18 years of life at the VERY end of Warwoman Road in Rabun County had me so anxious to move away with no thoughts of returning. Fast forward 20 years, I had a family and a career that knew how important it was to me that I get back to these mountains. Back to the rhododendrons, back to the cool temps, back to the breathtaking views, back to the colorful autumns, back to the sound of whippoorwills, and most importantly, back to family!” - Stephanie Harden Branch


“The peaceful, safe feeling of home, you know when you see the mountains in the distance on your return from travel. The Mountains, they are beautiful, they protect us, they sing to us, they smell like home. The people in those mountains, they love and protect fiercely. We have our own ways, but we are there for each other. We are Rabun! When you’re in Rabun, you are home.” - Colette Lovell


“I’ve been here for 40 years…. so many things have kept me here but the one I love the most is waking up early and listening to all the sounds of nature. My favorite is my neighbors donkey!! I just love it! It makes me smile.” - Rabun Martin


“In 1992, I had just finished my Masters Degree at UGA after attending YHC for an Associates Degree. With the world at my hands and the opportunity to go wherever I wanted the mountains and the people of Rabun County kept calling to me. Best decision I ever made, yes there have been some down and sad times but I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world! I have been welcomed from my very first day at Boat Church on Lake Rabun and have loved and lost many a friend! One of the things that I feel that has kept me here is the sense of community and the way the people follow God’s word and take care of their neighbor. I’d say God knew what he was doing when he opened up this most precious blessing for my life. Thanks be to God!” - Chashe Hunnicutt


“I love the beautiful nature around us from the rolling clouds on early morning drives, the beautiful sunrises dropping the kids off at school, glorious sunsets, and the wonderful people and community that live here.” - Brittany Ragsdale


“I’m just a regular ol’ boy and I know right now that if I needed anything and didn’t have it. I could call up a buddy and say ‘I need this or that’ and if they had it, I could go get it from them or they would bring it to me. That’s what I love about good old Rabun County and I have lived here all my life” - Charley Beck


“I feel the same the same as Charley but we have only been here 22 years. We have lived or visited all over the world and we have never been any where folks actually care for each other and it shows. I also love the beauty all around us. As you know, I share a morning sunrise picture on Facebook that goes around the world. (Ray is retired Army so we have friends everywhere)” - Paula Kreiner


“Friends, food, and endless outdoors! 36 years and STILL so much more to explore…” - Jon Barnwell


“I have spent a lifetime loving the beauty and nature of Rabun County, and I am so thankful God placed me here! I was inspired to write a poem in high school, called “As Twilight Falls”…. Inspired by beauty and nature in the Persimmon Community.” - Dolores Crane


As Twilight Falls

by Dolores Crane


As twilight begins to fall,

the sky is pallid and serene

Oh! How I love the peacefulness

a time like this can bring.


The beautiful song of the nightingale

is the perfect music for the setting;

The rhythmic cry of the whippoorwill

is yet beyond forgetting.


The last chatter of the birds

as they start their rest for the night;

the lonely cry of the sad hoot-owl,

means everything’s all right.


Oh! How I love the evening,

when the end of day is nigh;

when night time soon is nearing

and all will be quiet – for awhile!


“To me solitude is what attracted me to Rabun. I love living in the woods. AND lately I am sooo grateful that I can get my favorite meals at Hush Cuban Cafe and Oyster Bar, the only thing I really missed leaving the Keys was Cuban Food. When I go to town and sit on the patio of that restaurant and get spoiled with my favorite food I feel like I am one of the lucky tourists that get to visit this place and I don't even have to travel.” - Steffi Smith


“I have lived here all my life. I love the fresh sweet air, amazing views, kind people, and the deep settled peace I feel in my soul every time I look at these mountains.There is no place like home, whether you have been here forever or just got here. We are truly blessed!” - Kaye Collins


“I was born and raised here. I was actually one of the last children to be born at the old Rabun County hospital downtown. Growing up here, you learn about your family and the history of your community. I grew up on Wolffork Road and learned a great deal about that part of the county and the people that lived there. As I got older and went to high school and made new friends, I learned about other parts of the county that I didn't really know much about. The great thing is that it still continues today. This whole community in general has so much rich history that you can constantly learn new things. Now, with so many people moving in from other places, bringing in new things and ideas, our community has grown into something spectacular. People are blending the old timey ways with a fresh perspective and our community reaps the benefits. Used too, everyone had a garden, and they canned and preserved their goods. Now we have farm to table restaurants that serve up tasty treats using locally grown goodies of all sorts. I think it brings people together. You have an up and coming generation that is learning from past generations, adding their own uniqueness to things, and creating a wonderful community. It is a one-of-a-kind town and I have never found another place like it anywhere. So it blesses to call it home.” Dusty Stancil


“Aside from the obvious beauty, the people. I’m hooked. The people here are my family now.” Nadine Bramlett


“We bought our first home here 22 years ago. It reminds me of "home," which is small town Nebraska. We love the peace, fresh air and good clean water. The beauty is a bonus - it just makes one feel good.” - Barb Van Dyke


“I love being surrounded by nature and feeling like I’m on vacation when I step outside. This is because I come from a long list of cities prior to moving to Rabun County (LA, Austin, Atlanta). I’ve been here full time just over a year, but have had a cabin here since 2004.” - Michael Detrick


“Moved to the mountains, Otto NC, five years ago. Not only do we love God's beauty up here but mostly the people. Can't explain it exactly, but there is something special about living here in ‘God's Country’. We love it and the people.” - Cindy Langer


“Been here all my life.. Can't imagine living anywhere else. This is my home where all my ancestors were born and raised..HOME that is more than a word, its a feeling from the heart…” - Dorothy Carnes


“The wonder of the green mountains. The streams, rivers and lakes. The people. Our Church. We moved full time from Sarasota in June 2010. Have never considered living anywhere else. Unless or until our health declines and we need assistance, we are here.” - Tom Randle


“I grew up in Habersham and then moved to Rabun when I married. I have always been in love with the mountains and I feel truly blessed that this is where I get to live my life. There is a peace here like nowhere else.” - Teresa Dyer


“3rd time’s a charm! Great community and location to play, work, and retire! Fell in love with the outdoors in the 80’s, camping, backpacking, paddling. Fell in love with the location, culture and lifestyle working here in early 2000’s. Fell in love with the community, relocating in 2015, making roots and finding a place to call home and to plan my future.” - Joan Hurley


“I have lived here all my life. I moved away to the city for several years, ( I know), I love to roll my window down and smell the fresh air. To see all the way around, the beautiful blue ridge mountains, we are so blessed. Love our home place.” - Brenda Garland


“RAIN! Green trees! (Moved from Texas!), waterfalls, hiking, farms, wineries, and the beautiful change of seasons! Gardeners dream! Moved here in 2015 from south central Texas!” - Therese Chomout


“Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, I’ve been here since 1968 when the stork dropped me off at Rabun County Memorial Hospital.” - Lisa Hopper


“I’ve been here 60 years. The beautiful mountains and many lakes, streams, waterfalls, State Parks and rivers. I love that we have Andy's Market and Osage for great fresh foods and good clean cuts of meat. I love that there are so many churches. My favorite thing about Rabun is the kindness of our locals. I was born and raised here. I've seen so much growth and change over the years. Some for the good and some not in my own opinion. But the cross that overlooks us from Black Rock Mountain is most amazing! Gives a very welcoming and warm feeling. God's country!” - Richie Bailey


“Moving from the fast pace of Atlanta, I immediately learned how the mountain life calms your soul. I feel I gained back the 20 years I spent in traffic. I finally found true friends in our small community and have time to share the joy of the beautiful surroundings. I feel very blessed.” - Kathy Winkler


“I have been a part time resident since 2006. I love the beauty of the mountains, the flowers, the trees, the weather and mostly the people. Some of the warmest, kindest, friendliest people I have ever met. I love Osage and the fresh veggies, and fruits. I love Andy's wonderful meats. It is my happy place and my husband loved it so much that his ashes are scattered here and there in Rabun County.” - Wanda Sleeth


“My dad’s family goes back to the 1800’s in Rabun! Love the small town life” April Allgary Phillips


“Up until today I probably would have said the lush green forest, the crystal clear springs and rivers, the waterfalls, the deep silent woods, the deer, the bear, the turkey and on and on and on. But today I had a conversation with another fellow native who is battling cancer. And battling he is. He was hit with a diagnosis out of the blue and has faced it head on. He did say he had a really low time following the diagnosis but someone gave him a book detailing how to face the challenge. He said he had realized he couldn't just sit around and let it consume his life. He is doing well now and I remarked that if I didn't know he was sick, I wouldn't know he was sick. This brings me to why I love being here. He said that everywhere he goes, every day, someone tells him they are praying for him. We had been talking about how different our town is from what it was when we grew up but this remains the same. He said he would not be getting this support if he were somewhere else. I love living here because of this community. I love living here because the most beautiful thing here is the love of the people for each other.” - Trudy Crunkleton


“We have been here 13 years and it was the best move we have ever made! We use to come up here camping and trout fishing. We just absolutely fell in love with the KINDNESS in the folks here most of all with an added bonus of the mountains, streams, lakes & the mild temps (coming from middle Ga). We simply fell in love with Leah Brooks at Reeves Hardware every time we visited. She was our first friend and always made us feel welcome. The first 8 years living here, my husband, Buck still owned a business in middle Georgia, so my daughter Faith and I spent the first 8 years basically on our own during the week. I never once felt scared or uncomfortable without him being here. First thing we did was sign Faith up for cheerleading, hoping for her to meet new friends before she started her first year here in 2nd grade. That was absolutely the best decision we ever made. Not only did she meet friends but so did we and I can say 13 years later most of them are still my closest friends. We were welcomed from day one with open arms by everyone we came in contact with and now this is our forever home and have so many friends that we consider FAMILY now!” - Mandy Cofield


“The vast variety of plant life. It's astounding.” Vickie Prater


“I saw a post on here about how nice people in Rabun County are, and I just want to add to that. It’s not just natives but transplants too. I also want to give a shout out to the Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Gainesville. Everyone there, from the doctor to the technician to the person who staffed the front desk was kind, professional, and just tops in every way. I had an emergency late yesterday when I found my cat passed out in the entrance to the porch. My neighbor, Katherine Adams, whom I had just met a few days before, drove us to Gainesville and wouldn’t even let me pay for gas. I was too distraught to drive and I am uncomfortable in unfamiliar areas. Thank God for kind people, and thank God Rabun County has so many of them! - Bessie Adams


“The people! You never meet a stranger here! Everyone is so inviting and we all take care of each other. The school system is amazing, Rabun Gap Nacoochee School included. It's a great place to raise a family, it's safe. - Nina Crump


“I feel grounded - like the world may be crazy but what is good is right under my feet.” Joy Knight


“Back when my husband, Robert, and I were in high school a friends dad had a cabin up here that we would come for weekend visits! That was 20 something years ago! We loved it so much that when we FINALLY married in 2007 we built a home here . Jobs took us to places from Tennessee to Florida but we always knew this was HOME. One day we said, “what are we doing? Let’s go home!” And we did about 5 to 6 years ago and haven’t looked back! The fall is my absolute favorite, the summer cool nights, catching lightening bugs, the amazing views, rivers to play in and float down, PRIVACY, amazing wildlife in your backyard, the clean air, the stars shining bright at night, walking barefoot without a care! So proud of our home and showing our beautiful children the true beauty God blessed us with. Truly thankful and blessed mountain momma for life.” - Summer Murphy


“Been here 37 years. It’s so peaceful and refreshing and there is so much to thank God for. I hope I always live where I can open my door and see a mountain.” - Sue Conner


“Loved it for 25 years” - Richard Powers Sr.


“I love the wild blooming foliage, the smell of the woods, finding streams coming right out of the ground, the tiny waterfalls all along winding rivers and trees so determined to live that their roots go right over the boulders. If you sit quietly anywhere in the woods she will speak to your soul and you will walk away better having listened.” - Tametha Blume


“Not only the beauty of the mountains but the simplistic way of life. The sense of family.” - Ken Owens


“We have it all.. mountains, lakes, rivers, valleys. We have seasons. AND we have Andy's Market!” - Kevin Croom


“Years ago, before we moved up full time from Gwinnett County, I was able to really exhale and fell in love every time I saw the mountains as we were driving up to our weekend cabin! The beautiful lush greenery, the mountains in the background, the rivers and lakes, and the gorgeous seasons we have are hard to beat!! We have loved living up here full time for a few years now, it’s just so peacefulYears ago, before we moved up full time from Gwinnett County — I was able to really exhale and fell in love every time I saw the mountains as we were driving up to our weekend cabin! The beautiful lush greenery, the mountains in the background, the rivers & lakes, and the gorgeous seasons we have are hard to beat!! We have loved living up here full time for a few years now, it’s just so peaceful” - Penny Kerlin


“The first time I crossed into the county in 1975, I felt like I was coming home. I finally was able to move here in 1987 and the only way I plan to leave is when God calls. Such beauty as found in our mountains has nourished my spirit and grounded me in a way only possible here. I am grateful.” - Elaine English


“I moved here after seeing nearly the entire country from childhood through early adulthood. In truth, the beauty of the mountains, rivers, lakes, and people grow the longer you’re here. You see more. You know more. I’d not raise a family anywhere else. Rabun County is a piece of our country that still has ties to its heritage of slow living, joy in hard work, and conservative family values.” Sarah Ruth Owens


“Born and raised here - 66 yrs. We are in God's country. No matter what season you can always find beauty. I love to travel but can't wait to get back to Rabun County.” - Sue Wilkerson


“Lived here all my life. I love those high mountains, we are so blessed to have. Thankful to see God’s beautiful creation and take a big deep breath of God’s fresh mountain air.” - Debra Coalley


“The people! I am not a native, I moved here 12 years ago. The beautiful people and this place has became our home. We were welcomed with open arms. Angie Dickerson and Alice Woods were the first two friends I made here. I have made so many more and I love you all so much” - Tina Johnson Barnes


“Been here almost 6 years. I always thought Washington state was home. Didnt really have any family other than my three girls. But when I moved here I realized I was finally home and now have an amazing huge family that I love very much.” - Brandy Wells


“I have been here for 42 years. I love that we have 3 State Parks, lakes, rivers and waterfalls galore all in one county to explore. Anytime I take the time to go to one of those places I think ‘THIS is in my backyard!’” Sonya Shook


“Perfect place to raise kids! I was so happy my daughter got to go to same school as I.” Rhonda Goss

Inside the Laurel of 
Northeast Georgia

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