When we came back up to the Georgia mountains we thought it was confirmation of a new tradition for us – three straight years in Ellijay with friends. After all people need and like holiday traditions. It would be great to re-explore nad re-interpret the visual world of these mountains particularly the kaleidoscopic view from our friends’ back porch. What we got was a really old old fashioned Christmas. The secret? Pull the plug on the power and do Christmas sans the interference of light and power. (Storms and winds did that for us.) Dinner was easy. Just finish the French rack of lamb on the outdoor grill, break out candles and toast the season.

Let the power company turn the power back on for the night because, after all, this back-to-nature lark is only good for so long. Then let the storms and wind kill the power again in the early morning so the mood returns, particularly when reinforced by a deeply southern tradition: a good slug of bourbon in one’s Christmas morning egg nog. Merry Christmas.

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