There's a mountain lake in northeast Georgia that is truly like heaven on earth. Lake Burton flows around the valleys of what was once Burton, Georgia. The little town was vacated, a damn built, and water from Wildcat Creek, Dicks Creek, Moccasin Creek, Timpson Creek, and the Tallulah River filled up the spaces between the mountains. The waters of the lake remain steely blue and clear to this day.
Beautiful old homes and charming lake cottages sprung up all along the shore, each with a fishing dock and boathouse. The dense forest was left right up to the water in most places with a little clearing left for children to wade into the water. The tradition of putting up the flag on the dock let everyone know you were at the lake, so friends would stop by while out cruising on the water.
One cozy old white clapboard place with green shutters that sat out on a point was named Honey Hill. It got the name from the beehives stacked up out back by an unpainted shed. The bees got nectar from the stands of sourwood trees on the hills and made the most delicious honey. The sourwoods were always the first trees to turn in the fall...a shiny claret red that could be seen dotted between the towering pines. But Honey Hill was surrounded by stoic oak trees and a neat lawn. We passed it on the way to church every Sunday that was held in an outdoor shelter by the fish hatchery. Something about it just said,"Home." Today I have a Maxfield Parrish print in my home that looks very much like Honey Hill. His glowing sunset colors are what I see in my minds eye every time I remember that old home place, with a smile.