‘Just Love’ from Big Canoe knits the world together

As Snoopy once pondered in a Peanuts cartoon, “I forget. Do I color inside or outside the lines?” No problem with artist John Feight directing a Pandemic Paintfest. While John’s paint by color creations usually hang in hospitals, this artistic effort by 22 Big Canoe residents reaches out to the whole wide world on YouTube and Facebook.

The concept is to bring words of love and calm from the mountains of Big Canoe to all in these very troubled times. To view Big Canoe’s worldwide outreach, visit Just Love on Facebook or YouTube. The video will speak to your soul and give hope.

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Plummer built cabins are 115 of a kind

Article and photos by Patricia Stimmel

“I’m very proud of what I created for Plummer owners and the joy I saw when I turned over their cabin. I hope they continue to be delighted, enjoy their home and continue to find peace and happiness.” – Dick Plummer, Plummer Builder, 2016.

I bought my Plummer in 2011, after pilgrimaging to Big Canoe for 15 years visiting a family living in a Plummer cabin on Sanderlin Mountain. I fell in love with the charm, wildlife, coziness and escape to mountainside splendor at every visit. It reminded me of the little Pennsylvania town where I was born; I just knew one day I would be living in Big Canoe.

Big Canoe has the most interesting history and yet, very little was ever written or known about the 115 homes built in the mid-70s by Dick Plummer and Paul Schmidt. As I settled in and began to socialize, opening dialogue with new friends quickly led with “Where do you live?” I proudly said where and followed with “I live in a Plummer cabin.”

The expression that greeted me clearly asked, “Huh?” Once a lady commented “Oh you’re that lady, but you don’t look like a plumber.” That did it! Someone had to do something to introduce Plummer cabin history to Big Canoe.

With the help of my Sanderlin Plummer family, beginning in 2016 we created the Big Canoe Plummer Cabin Owners’ Group on Facebook, designed a beautiful brass medallion to further recognize a Plummer cabin and held social “drop ins” and “fall crawls” for owners and friends to visit other cabins, get decorating ideas and remodeling suggestions. I sincerely hope those events will return one day soon when COVID 19 is controlled.

In the mid ‘70s, Dick built a house at Lake Lanier on creosoted poles anchored in concrete which enabled construction without disturbing the surrounding topography and vegetation. Tom Cousins, developer of Big Canoe, noticed the house because it was built without impact to the environment.

Dick recalls an early phone conversation with Tom and the rest is history. Dick created plans that fit the North Georgia “country look” with tin roof porches, Tennessee stone chimneys and fireplaces, 1”x12” wide plank pine floors secured with cut nails/square nail heads to add charm, and cedar sided rooms throughout. The creosoted poles/concrete seemed a simple way to build on severe terrain. It was fun and a challenge for Dick the builder; it took three months at most to build a cabin. Site visits in winter with no leaves on the trees revealed the topography best for construction. Down hill slopes were always easier for cars to handle so spec cabins by Dick Plummer were always down slope.

Our lovely Plummer cabins have stood the test of time, are not like any other home construction in the community and tender loving care is a rite of passage. Surrounded by our mountain beauty and vistas, it’s a daily pleasure to be here. To learn more about Plummer cabins, visit our Facebook site for interesting stories, photos and points of history. My family and I consider it a pleasure to have introduced a little bit of Big Canoe history.

If you are a lucky Plummer cabin owner, we invite you to become an active member of the site, publish your story, the history of your cabin, post pictures and tell of your experiences. We’d love to hear from you!

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Let GriefShare ease your burdens after suffering loss

Sometimes when grieving, a person needs someone to talk with. During this time of COVID isolation, grief is particularly hard to bear, especially if alone. It’s comforting to know others feel as you do.

The Big Canoe Chapel sponsors GriefShare on Monday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Broyles Center. Social distancing allows 10 to attend each session. Sessions run for 13 weeks; the current program started in August and runs until just before Thanksgiving. Hopefully, the comfort found in GriefShare will make the upcoming holidays easier to face.

There’s no charge to attend and folks can join at any time for as many sessions as they’d like. If sharing feelings is difficult for you, simply come and listen. There’s comfort in knowing others sense how you feel.

The GriefShare design is a faith-based program that uses video seminars which address the emotional, spiritual and practical needs of grieving individuals. A workbook is also included that allows personal application, journaling, and reflection. Group discussion allows individuals to relate concepts to their own experiences. GriefShare is a support group designed to help you rebuild your life after losing a loved one.

Even after the Chapel sessions end, participants connect with each other to offer support. For information and to find out how GriefShare can help you, contact Debbie Grimes at dmgrimes@windstream.net.

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Bring a little floral fantasy into your home

Information and photos submitted by Terry Farr

What started at a neighborhood Christmas Craft Party 30 years ago has blossomed into a thriving floral business for Big Canoer Terry Farr. Her artistic talents go under the name Primitive Pines & Floral Designs, a business that touches all seasons, including the traditional wedding season. Terry uses silks, dried and some fresh florals for her creations, accented with ribbons, burlap and deco mesh.

Terry and her husband Patrick moved to Big Canoe from Maryland a year ago and Terry jumped right in designing beautiful decorative accents for folks here. She works from her own home workshop and is self taught, finding she really did have an artistic bent after that neighborhood party 30 years ago.

Primitive Christmas trees are a favorite thing to fashion and are always uniquely one of a kind. After Christmas creating, fall designing follows close behind. Terry works hand in hand with her clients to make sure every design detail is perfect.

To enjoy Terry’s floral designs, visit the Made in Big Canoe Facebook page or Terry’s personal Facebook page, Primitive Pines & Floral Designs.

Bring a little beauty into your life!

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Hikers wander where the wifi is weak

Photos by Steve Papke

It’s been plenty warm these summer days, which is why Big Canoe hikers always carry water as they march along some of the prettiest trails in Georgia. Nobody is surprised on these well-planned hikes because there’s often an experienced tribe of trekkers who explore new trails and report on the difficulty and quirks of the terrain before heading out as a group. If a trail is too tough and challenging, there’s always the next month’s hike to enjoy. Hikes cover all levels of endurance.

Recently the club hiked Red Top Mountain, a place with striking views and heavy shade to keep bodies cool. The fall season is most splendid with colors only Mother Nature can flaunt. When temperatures drop and leaves boast their finest blazes, it’s the perfect time to enjoy our mountains.

If you’re interested in joining the Big Canoe Hiking Club, contact Laura Smith at lauramcsmith@gmail.com to learn more. As one unsung hiker once mused, “Hiking is the answer, who cares what the question is?”

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Lit Lunch getting ready to turn pages

Information submitted by Vivian Sheperis

Big Canoe Lit Lunchers have been reading short stories all by their lonesome since the pandemic stopped the readers from flipping pages together. But that may soon end as plans are being made for Lit Lunch to resume again on October 2, putting all social distancing and mask-wearing protocols in place.

The lunchtime meeting would be held in the Club Room so distancing is easily managed.
If you’re interested in short story discussions that bring our your literary genius, shoot an email to Vivian Sheperis at vsheperis@gmail.com to get on the roster.

The short stories chosen are available online so no need to spend a dime to get your fill of great literature. Some stories are humorous, some thought-provoking, but all are great reads.

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Ridgereaders Book Club disbands after 22 years

Ridgerunners would like to recognize the Ridgereaders Book Club that has decided to dissolve after 22 years of reading together. The book club started in 1998 with Mary Ann Parker as their secretary. The best to all Ridgereaders members. Keep reading!

For early autumn reading as days grow short, here are some good books to keep you turning pages.

Blue Stockings: The Nickel Boy by Colton Whitehead
Godivas: Great Small Things by Jodi Picault
The Noveladies: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson
Viewpoint: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson
Leaf Turners: Planning month
Book Belles: No meeting
Chapter 13: No meeting
Sworn Sisters: Nerves of Steel by Tammi Jo Shultz
Divine Readers: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery
Woodland Readers: No meeting
Page Turners: No report
Between the Lines: Educated by Tara Westover
Novel Ideas: The Last Castle by Denise Kidman
Between the Covers: Endurance
Happy Bookers: There is No Me Without You by Melissa Faye Greene
Who Picked This Book?: The All Girl’s Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Papyrus: Holy Envy by Barbara Brown Taylor
Hooked on Books: One Thousand Women by Jim Ferguson
Adventure Bound: No meeting
Women, Words, and Wine: American Dirt by Jeanine Crummins
Between the Wines: My Dear Hamilton by Dray and Kamoie
Chapter Chics: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarity

Submitted by Susan Eanes
Ridgerunners Book Clubs Chair

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Ridgerunners offers monthly online video presentations

By Christine Flaherty

Are you starved for something to do that’s meaningful and enjoyable? Are you wishing you had saved some of that stuff that didn’t bring you (sufficient) joy as you channeled your inner Marie Kondo? Have you attempted to cut your hair only to emerge looking like someone who’s suffered a serious and traumatic life event? Oh wait, we have!

In spite of all that, if you’ve turned the corner and are no longer mixing multiple Quarantinis nightly, you’ll want to join Ridgerunners on Tuesday, October 13, at 10:00 a.m. when we hear from our own Wayne

Crawford on the subject of wine.

This first presentation of the 2020-2021 season (there won’t be a September meeting) will take place via Zoom. The good news is Ridgerunners will also be able to view this and future presentations at their convenience online. The plan is to return to gathering in-person as soon as possible.

A resident of Big Canoe, Wayne is a POA board member, author and senior judge of the Georgia Wine Challenge. He will take us back to the 1733 arrival of precious vine cuttings to the coast of Georgia, later brought to our area by James Oglethorpe. Wayne will guide us around the state as he describes the varied character of each of its regions.

For those who have maxed out on Quarantinis, Wayne has promised to share the names of some of his favorite Georgia wines. So if you’re looking for a way to feel fulfilled while hunkering down at home, just add “drink wine” to your to-do list. It’s sure to provide a real sense of accomplishment when you cross it off.

Informative, entertaining programs planned

Continuing on November 10 we will hear from Roger Tutterow about the unforeseen impact of COVID-19 on our economy. A festive holiday gathering is planned for December 8. On January 12, Jan Murphy will describe the history of Native Americans in Big Canoe.

We will hear from Dr. Brad Fain of Georgia Tech on February 9 about how technology is likely to impact our daily lives. On March 9 Seth Hopkins of the Booth Western Art Museum will discuss the museum’s western art collection, as well as its exhibition devoted to past US presidents. A delightful spring gathering will take place on April 13.

The 2020-2021 brochure outlining monthly presentations, activities and events planned for the coming year is available at the postal facility. Membership for the Ridgerunners year is $18, and is open to all women over 21 who are residents of Big Canoe. Online sign-up instructions and information for membership by mail are detailed in the brochure and at bigcanoerr.com.

Books and bridge

Members continue to enjoy book groups, meeting virtually or at a physical distance, usually outdoors. Contact Susan Eanes at skmeanes@gmail.com if you’d like to join a group. Bridge is now available online throughout the week. If you want to be added to the email invitation list, contact Donna Monroe at dm.monroe@yahoo.com.

This will be a year like no other, but there are events sure to engage and entertain. We hope you will join us. Ridgerunners is Big Canoe’s largest women’s social and educational organization. All women residents of Big Canoe over the age of 21 are invited to join. To become a member visit our website at bigcanoerr.com. Ridgerunners events are open exclusively to members.

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The photographic art of thinking small yet big

Article and photos by Steve Carlisle

It’s been a long hot summer, but fall is almost here! What a great time to take pictures of nature in North Georgia. Colors abound and flora and fauna are still active. For observers equipped with cameras capable capturing a buck with impressive antlers or a wild turkey fanning puffed tail feathers to attract the ladies, these memorable scenes can be preserved as Kodak moments.

The well-equipped Big Canoe nature photographer may not have the professional glass Mark Green or David Akoubian use to capture the magic they do day after day with precision and accuracy, but if I carried my Nikon in my daily routine, instead of the iPhone X I always end up using, I’d have a lot better pictures.

I’m one of those part-timers, I guess. Taking pictures always seems to be a planned trip to Gibbs Gardens or to the butterfly garden at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. My iPhone pictures are okay for social media since I won’t be making large prints for display at the Georgia Nature Photography Association show at the Art Center in Alpharetta.

When I want to try my best to bring home the artistic bacon, I arm myself with a Nikon D850 and 28mm – 300mm zoom lens. With the zoom ring set to a 28 mm wide-angle setting, I can capture a field of sunflowers at Fausett Farms with the Appalachian Mountains in the background and bright blue sky above. If I see a Monarch butterfly approaching a flower, I can zoom in on him.

I might hold the shutter button down and let the camera’s motor drive take a series of shots, allowing me to pick the one I like best as I edit the day’s session. Like many shooters I prefer Adobe LightRoom to help sort and rate my favorites from the myriad of images captured in a typical shoot. I can then “develop” my digital files and bring out the best in each file before I share it with the world.

I have always been drawn to close-ups and the exciting world of macro photography. I love to get up close and personal with my subjects and use my special macro lens to record textures and the unique designs of nature. Mine is a 55mm Micro-Nikkor and it can focus much closer than a typical lens. It opens another world only the camera can help me explore and I can’t seem to get enough of it!

It’s always fun to end up with one or two outstanding shots, even though I might take dozens, maybe hundreds of pictures. You learn to love those odds because that’s just the way it is; the more you shoot the better you get. It’s a sport and an art at the same time. The best part is it’s really fun!

Members of the Big Canoe Photography Club love to share their work and get both praise and criticism, which is how you learn and grow as an artist. These days the group’s Facebook page is where this happens, but regular meetings will resume one of these days.

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Still Young at Heart ladies have giving hearts

Information submitted by Sherry Evans

The crazy parties the 500+ card carrying gals of of Still Young at Heart (SYAH) may be on hold, although there’s still hope for their annual Halloween bash, but that doesn’t mean this posse of partiers aren’t getting together – socially distanced, of course.

Helping surrounding communities has always been a purpose the ladies embrace enthusiastically like the Energizer Bunny. When school started and teachers were faced with a new set of problems and guidelines as kids marched to the school bell peal, SYAH decided teachers needed a break, right from the start.

Soon plans were made to bundle bins of treats, soft drinks, healthy snacks, school supplies and more to put in the teachers’ lounges to show these hardworking academics how much they are appreciated. Since schools are staffed with more than teachers, the treat bin was expanded to include bus drivers, custodians, librarians, nurses, support staff and anybody and everybody else involved in helping our kids get educated.

The call went out to the membership for treat donations or for funds supporting a trip to Costco to buy carts filled with goodies. Two schools were selected to be “binned,” Robinson Elementary in Dawson County and Tate Elementary in Pickens County.

On September 3, the “Commissioners” of SYAH opened their hatchbacks and loaded a hefty haul of goodies. Not only that, but over $300 was collected for that massive Costco shopping trip. The treats will be delivered soon and may be an ongoing effort, stay tuned. Three cheers for the ladies of SYAH and their generous giving spirit.

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