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Perspective: July in north Georgia

Tiffany Stockstill

I spent July in Georgia and yes, it was pretty warm. But I was mostly cold — moving between air-conditioned waiting rooms and the intensive care unit.

My sister had emergency open heart surgery, and there were complications. I learned how closely tied the heart, lungs and kidneys are -- vital interconnections like I have with my sister.

Paula Garrett

The drives between hospital and home in Atlanta traffic made the Eisenhower, and even the godawful Kennedy expressway, feel tame. But once exited, the woodsy, north Georgia roads were filled with crepe myrtles in full, color drenched bloom.

I’ve always been drawn to these trees, having grown up in Memphis, but never recall seeing their splendor in such abundance. Maybe they stood out to me because of their juxtaposition with the colorless hospital interiors full of flashing medical devices.

Originating from east Asia the crepe myrtle, or Lagerstroemia, arrived in South Carolina in the late 1700’s. They seem old fashioned to me - like a crepe paper corsage. When I passed a long line of them on a median strip, I saw an underwater-scape - bouquets of driftwood branches sprouting coral arrays.

I found solace in that suburban landscaping, something I could share with my sister as her organs began to kick back in thankfully.

I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my perspective.

Paula Garrett is a transplanted Southerner and a former WNIJ Blues host. She's passionate about music, travel, research, open water swimming and film.