Ten Reasons to NOT Drink When You Live on a Georgia Mountaintop


I’m trying to be positive, but the photo was taken at Christmas – I haven’t seen blue sky in six days…


I feel better today.  Thank you for all the comments and emails and calls.  I am not going to jump.  Actually when you live on a mountaintop you can’t jump – you’d have to skid and tumble and roll and that’s not as DRAMATIC as jumping and there are tree trunks everywhere and I think you’d get more hurt than dead…



This is how it actually looks today – no wonder I am developing the countenance of a Russian poet…



Ten Reasons to NOT Drink When You Live on a Georgia Mountaintop

1. You could fall or sprain an ankle or break a hip:  mtdogAsk Fiona.  As you can see, Fiona is built like a cement block and when she got all cocky and mountain-dog on one of our hikes, she fell. When a Bulldog falls down a mountain it’s like a burlap bag of boulders – a swath of cleared saplings and spit. Drinkers fall more often than non-drinkers.

2.  Everyone carries a gun:  When Jon Jon and Kallie and I were in the woods, we heard a loud crash, snap, rustle and we all looked at each other and Jon Jon said, “I have a gun in my back pack.” Kallie and I said, “Get it out!” There’s a  High Noon feel to theIMG_1349 Georgia Mountains, and I’m sure a clear head is best while settling disputes with the neighbors or negotiating with bears and rattlers while brandishing firearms…

3.  There are clouds on the ground:  I shit you not.  Everything is gray and fluffy and dismal (at least in the winter) and it is depressing.  Depression is exacerbated by drinking.

4.  roadThe roads are treacherous:  Reread number 3.  The roads have clouds on them.  And they curve like a Disney ride gone horribly wrong – and don’t even look over the side because there are unforgiving, thousand foot cliffs and you DO NOT want to know that. Driving drunk is hard enough without cliffs and clouds

5.  You could miss really cool nighttime activities.  See 3. and 4. above.  At Christmas we were having a party and everyone was talking about this incredible light display.  Jon JonIMG_1308 was drinking (duh) and we asked him (because he has a truck and he’s a guy), “Will you be okay to take us to see the Christmas lights on Bearmeat Road?”  He said (with a look of textbook incredulity), “Uh. No?”

6. IMG_1319 There is rushing water everywhere:  Waterfalls and streams and lakes abound. There is a waterfall and rapids five minutes from my house.  It’s gorgeous, but you have to cling to trees (the grade is so steep) to get to it and if you fell in… The visitors books, touting tubing and fly fishing and water sports don’t remind you that a third of drowning fatalities are booze related.

7.  The driveway has a 70 degree pitch:  The driveways to many houses in the mountains have warning signs at their bases.  It’s the phenomenon of going up while already being up.  Every time you leave the house, it’s a commitment. Like living in San Francisco, every little stroll is a workout.  And you can’t take the “easy way” up or down because of the tangle of impassable trees.  Exercising drunk is the pits.

8. IMG_1299 Everything is difficult:  Imagine dear reader, living in a place where there is no cell service. The nearest grocery store is 20 minutes away, down a mountain and through two streams… The mailbox is a mile away.  UPS and USPS will not deliver packages to the house (FedEx is badass by the way).  Everything is hard and drinking makes you so tired.

9.  You could get lost or have an emergency:  Neighbor Bob and neighbor Betsy both called me the other night to ask if I was alright.  They had seen an emergency vehicle, with lights flashing,  go up the hill.  It wasn’t me (some poor sod was lost on the ridge), but it got me thinking about what would happen if I got really sick or lost or my car broke down… For the first time in my life, I carry a flashlight to dinner parties; a five gallon gas can, a flare and bear spray in the car; and emergency gear in my hiking backpack.  Drinkers never plan ahead for emergencies.

10. Deliverance was filmed here. 


Today I’m not drinking, because I live on a mountaintop…

How come you’re not drinking?