Georgia has always been a place I've traveled through on my way to someplace else. Besides a brief weekend in Atlanta with friends and a day trip to the zoo my impression of Georgia has been from images flashing by my car window and scents drifting through the vents.
Many parts of Georgia are very beautiful. I love the areas thick with large pine trees and red clay soil. Driving up the coast through Northern Florida and Southern Georgia has been unpleasant. I can't stand the sulphur smell. People from the area say they get used to it but I don't see how.
As a child riding in the back seat of my parents car I remember seeing a billboard for the Ku Klux Klan. It frightened me. Whenever I thought of Georgia for many years it conjured up images of the Klan and remembrances of sulphur scent.
I've been wanting to take off for a while but my kids need help now. No-one longs to move as much as I do, and I try to control my wanderlust.
I do these addictive internet searches for jobs, cost of living comparisons, and available housing. I find random spots based on available jobs and cost of living and start dreaming. I then irritate my family to no end. I tell them what the weather is doing in Oklahoma, or how much the average rent is in Oregon, or which stores are hiring in Ohio. Eldest daughter said she would like to move to Georgia or South Carolina. I researched both states and found an area in Georgia that had available jobs and fairly cheap rent. I needed a break quite badly at the same time and decided to check it out.
The get away was much needed. We rented a quiet cabin and it was nice despite the bee sting. We relaxed and fed the ducks.
I tried to ignore the swastika carved on the inside of the cabin door. Don't they check the place out and get rid of hateful graffiti. When I read the local paper I noticed that they pointed out the skin color of anyone that did wrong unless they were white. "An eighteen year old black woman" scratched a police officer. The fifty year old who was arrested for having a meth lab in his house was listed by name and age only.
We passed several homes with rebel flags flying in the front yard. One home had a sheriffs vehicle parked under the rebel flag. If I were a little braver I would have run down his driveway and knocked on his front door to let him know the war was over. My husband said that would be a very bad idea. I hate racism.
On our first night away my son moved back home temporarily. That was on my mind. Youngest daughter is going through great drama of her own. That was on my mind. I tried to relax.
At first we spent some time just driving down random roads. There were hills and trees and pretty homes out in the country. Flower beds were blooming, there was no sulphur smell at all, and it was slightly cooler than Florida. There were no rentals available right there on the drive, so we decided to collect the addresses of several homes in the area that we could afford.
I made a list, mapquested directions, and away we went. We were immediately depressed when we found that first one, after the second one we gave up altogether. the housing we could afford was in an area where ten out of twelve houses were boarded up, there were bars on the doors and windows of any businesses in the area, and we spotted four individuals openly dealing drugs on random corners.
We decided to leave a day early and check on youngest daughter on the way home. My worries are many now. We've decided that temporarily at least we cannot make a final decision on a move when all of our children need us. We have food and shelter for them, a soft place to land, but we do not have money to send when they get into a jam. We will be unable to help at all if we spend our savings on a move. As much as I want to go, I am not finished here. This darn motherhood, it never ends.
That's not to say if an opportunity presents itself we won't take it. I'm still searching. I feel like life is slipping by terribly fast and we are just treading water where we are. It was good to find out that Georgia wasn't quite what we were looking for before a move was made.