June 21, 2013

The story behind Treetops Cabin

This story actually begins back in the early 70's. Billy's grandmother was a librarian at a school and his grandpa was a professor at a community college in Miami, Florida. Billy's grandmother, Bonnie, worked with a lady who's mother lived in the North Georgia Mountains. This lady always insisted that they bring the kids up over the summer. Billy's grandpa had some obligations with work, so Bonnie found it to be the perfect time to take her friend up on the offer so she piled the 3 kids into the car and made the long (even longer then) drive to Blue Ridge.

They found their way to a cozy little valley right in the middle of the Cohutta wilderness. They stayed at a very old family cabin, that I believe has been around since the mid 1800's. They fell in love. They loved the people, the mountains, the area, the foods, the streams and waterfalls. I think right then and there, they decided they were going to take a piece of that place with them everywhere, because they never wanted to leave.
The creek that runs through the valley that the house sits on.

The next school year rolled back around, and as I believe the story goes, both of Billy's grandparents got raises. They had narrowed down what they wanted to do with their new income to two things, and decided to let their 3 children decide. Their choices were to hire a housekeeper that would come in and help do laundry and keep the house in order, or they would buy a small cabin up in the mountains where they could spend every summer from there on out (of course with the stipulation that the kids would have to step it up in the chores department as they were getting to that age). Unanimously they chose the cabin.

They were able to purchase a cabin just down the creek from where they had spent their first visit to the mountains. It started out as a very, very small cabin on the side of the mountain that looked like it was perched up in the trees. That was when Billy's grandmother, gave it a name, treetops, and it has stuck ever since. This cabin was so small that the kitchen and bathroom were the same room. From there on out, every summer on the last day of school, their car would already be loaded and they would drive up to Georgia to spend the entire summer. Day after day they would enjoy life and take in every second of their time there--hiking, biking, tubing the river, and having adventures. hey would stay here until the week before they headed back to school.
The view from the Swiss family Robinson-esk porch. You can see that during the summer it stays very shaded. 

Eventually, they had to add on to the original structure. Presently, this cabin has 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, and a real kitchen that only serves only as a place to cook and eat, and a precious screened in porch. That was the place that Billy spent every day of his summers, Christmas breaks, and hurricane seasons as a child. As Billy got older, and started getting more involved in baseball, summers began to get shorter as they didn't get started until after summer ball ended. As much as he loved baseball, I think he loved his cabin more. If you ask him about memories from his childhood, he will tell you that his best memories were from the cabin.. almost as if he actually lived there year round.

You can see the expanded original cabin in the background

As the family got bigger, and those 3 kids at the beginning of this story had children of their own, it was time to expand again. This time, they decided to just start over, and build a brand new cabin right next door. Billy's grandpa was on the verge of retirement, and his retirement plan consisted of him propping his feet up at the cabin and never returning to South Florida, so he figured he'd build himself a newer, modern place to enjoy once he did.

Construction began sometime in the early 2000's and now we have the big cabin adjacent to treetops. 4 bedrooms, 3 bath, and a large multipurpose garage/gym/game room type thing downstairs. The two cabins were adjoined with a huge porch and awning that is perfect for early morning reading and mid afternoon cards games.

The view from upstairs loft which is home to a bedroom, office space, and bathroom

After Billy graduated high school, his mom decided to move to Georgia full time, and his grandfather saw that as a good reason to go ahead and retire from teaching. Thank goodness they did, otherwise Billy and I probably would have never met. Now time spent here isn't limited to the months of May-August. However, his aunt (until next week) still lives in South Miami and still makes the drive up every summer wither her little ones to share the same nostalgia she experienced with them. I've only been around for 3 summers, and this place already holds a special place in my heart.

I, myself, can't wait to make more memories with a family of my own here. We are so incredibly blessed to have a place to share together and to enjoy God's incredible creation. Every free weekend we get is spent there, we love when friends come to visit us and help to add to the stories these logs tell. Though I'll be busy the next two weekends, I cannot wait to get up there the next chance I get. I can hear her calling me now.

No comments:

Post a Comment