- Southern Reverie
Love Wins at Shady Rest on Lake Chatuge, Georgia
We love a good story so finding one of love and kindness within the walls of a beautifully remodeled vacation home nestled in the North Georgia Mountains on Lake Chatuge was a surprise and made a great escape…wonderful.
50 Lakeview Circle in Hiawassee, Georgia was the lake home (and Atlanta getaway) of Joyce and Allan Driskell. They bought the home in 1983 and escaped there together as often as possible, eventually making it their permanent home. Joyce and Allan attended the local Baptist Church where Mr. Driskell has taught Sunday school for over 32 years. Friends and family knew the door to their home was always open and that lake views, fishing, good conversation and laughs, and a welcoming meal was the norm. Highschool sweethearts, it was common knowledge that Allan would do anything for Joyce and Joyce thought Allan could do anything.
Current owners of 50 Lakeview Circle, Barry and Tricia White, were close friends with the Driskells. Allan had known Tricia’s family since 1962 and over the years the friendship had deepened as the families interacted in their North Georgia community. Barry and Tricia came to the Driskells’ home one day and noticed a “for sale” sign out front. Immediately worried, they talked to their friends and found out Joyce had been diagnosed with dementia and that Mr. Driskell needed to sell their beloved lake home to take care of everything her illness would entail.
As they pulled out of the driveway, Barry and Tricia looked at each other and knew what they wanted to do. After contacting Mr. Driskell’s realtor, they arranged to purchase the home under the stipulation that the Driskells would live there for as long as they could rent free.
Mr. Driskell was incredibly grateful for this blessing and the kindness of his friends. He continued to live in the home with Joyce and stood lovingly by her through the difficult days that would follow. Joyce passed away a year later peacefully in her home where they had lived together for 35 years. They had been married for 64 years.
Today, the home has been beautifully remodeled but still holds the memories, laughter, and love the Driskells planted there. Their wood swings still sit in the yard where you can swing gently taking in the lake breeze and view just as friends and family did. Mr. Driskell lived in the home for another year after Joyce died but it was lonely for him and never quite the same. One day he let Barry and Tricia know he had found love again and was getting married to a lovely woman he knew from Sunday School. He still lives in town and if you’re lucky, you will see him heading out early in the morning on his fishing boat, which Barry and Tricia say he can dock there as long as he’s able to fish the lake he loves so much. If you’re extra lucky, he may leave you some of his fresh catch or veggies from his garden.
As a vacation getaway, the home is gorgeous and has been lovingly renovated and cared for by Barry and Tricia. The inviting kitchen and family room open onto a covered deck where you can see a full panorama of the mountains protectively embracing the lake edges. Shady Rest is a place to take an intermission from busy days, to laugh, restore, and enjoy the peace of this lakeside retreat. It is a place where love won.
For information on staying at Shady Rest: