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Thoughts of a quality Fayette lifestyle

Bonnie Willis's picture

Each morning I wake up to the simple sound of birds chirping as the sun breaks through the trees that stand outside my bedroom window. I open my eyes and know what it means to live a “quality lifestyle.”

As I drive from my home to go to work, I look out on our lawn and am blessed to see a squirrel chasing another squirrel, a deer hiding in the brush, and a falcon perched high on a pine branch. I close my eyes for a moment and smile and know what it means to live a “quality lifestyle.”

I drive through the back roads, and I see a home nestled by a family of trees, an open field of grass with grazing cows and horses, and nicely manicured lawns that surround beautiful homes that are as different as I imagine the people that live in them are. I think of these sites as I-not-so-quickly-drive by them and know what it means to live a “quality lifestyle.”

As I travel into the city, I look out on the skyline. I marvel at how each day the same sky can look so different with its varying shades of blue or grey, orange or pink. It is always stunning, beautiful, and perfect. Then I hit traffic.

Streams of cars begin to crowd me. The traffic signs and billboards begin to bombard me. The tall buildings begin to envelop me, and I feel my shoulders tensing as I put on my blinker to hopefully reach my exit without incident. As the buildings consume me, I find myself longing for the “quality lifestyle” of Fayette County.

When my family and I first moved to Fayette County, I remember seeing the motto, “Where Quality is a Lifestyle,” and wondering what it meant. I don’t think one can truly define what it means. You just have to experience it.

And I do, as I go about with my family, and even during my daily commute. I am so thankful for the simple life I have here in Fayette County. Each city in Fayette County has its own unique balance of suburban and rural living. It’s this balance that allows my family to have the conveniences of modern life while always having natural landscapes that aren’t too sculpted, and remind you how wondrous God’s creation truly is.

With the development of Pinewood Atlanta Studios impacting 290 acres of the county, along with other development projects, I wonder how all this will affect our “quality lifestyle.”

Like most residents, I welcome their arrival because our county desperately needs the economic infusion. However, with the arrival of something new, it is inevitable that our county will change.

Those who have lived here long enough to remember when Fayette was mostly rural countryside would probably argue that we’ve already gone through some significant changes. With each change, we’ve seen parts of the county transition from a rural to a more suburban feel and some suburban parts transition to a more urban feel.

Maybe with the development of Pinewood Studios, we’re experiencing a new phase in the socio-economic evolution of our county. No one knows for sure.

What I do know is that I don’t want to lose that feeling I get when I drive home and drive down Ga. Highway 74 and then make that sublime left turn onto Tyrone Road. There, my car is engulfed by a tunnel of trees, and I can feel the hustle of a long work day leaving me.

I breath in deeply, take a long sigh, and I know this truly is a “quality lifestyle.”

[Bonnie B. Willis is co-founder of The Willis Group, LLC, a Learning, Development, and Life Coaching company here in Fayette County and lives in Fayetteville along with her husband and their five children.]


Robert W. Morgan's picture

Of course, going to Atlanta is not something I'd want to do every day, but it must feel so good to get back home.

Changes from Pinewood? Not much that I can see. We have always had dire predictions of doom and gloom when something new is introduced to our little bubble (usually referring to just PTC, but all of Fayette is in its own bubble). There has been terrible angst over 4-laning roads (access for criminals), Wal-mart (target for criminals), The Avenue (traffic), the industrial park (pollution and dangerous chemicals), dog park (smell), poor water quality (google Dennis Chase) and my two all-time favorites:
- the convenience store at Robinson and Parkway - the concern was very real that it was too close to the elementary school and we would have first and second graders walking over there after school to look at the porn magazines.
- the conference center (now Dolce) where the big concern was that all these unsupervised, young males attending conferences would entertain themselves by wandering the cart paths and molesting our young high school maidens.
Yes, people actually said stuff like that in a public meeting and in each case the head agitator was a military officer (2 different ones). Makes you wonder how the military mind works.

Live free or die!

If we didn't enjoy it here, we wouldn't debate these things so much. I enjoy my commute home each day from the city and feel much better when I pass Sandy Creek on Hwy 74 heading to PTC.

I used to enjoy taking the Sandy Creek route home with my out of town guests. Showing off the landscape, the beautiful home of Rev. Dollar and others in the stately manors, the dueling neighbors with their Christmas displays, the farms, and fields and ponds. It was a great road to travel.

I am just afraid that Pinewood will change the landscape. Pinewood will shine bright at night with their parking lot lights brightening the sky. We can expect 24/7 activity as the film crew wraps up each night and the cleaning crews come in to work alongside the set builders bringing in the next days scene for the early morning arrival of makeup artists and hairdressers getting the actors ready for the shot. One would expect the comings and goings to be non-stop.

The stars will travel north on Sandy Creek to get back to ATL for their stay at the St. Regis and enjoying the fine dining in the city. The crew will head east on Hwy 54 to grab a late bite at the Waffle House. The traffic study done (lol) will hopefully allow for the increase in vehicles to move swiftly thru the light at Hwy 54 and Sandy Creek.

Guess we will all have to wait and see.

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