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Once a Year

IMG_0649I am in Charleston, SC this week. Well, technically Seabrook, but I get to the city once before going back home. I love the Old Exchange and the downtown area. There is so much history here. Is it sick that I love walking and visiting the old cemeteries? The old iron gates, intricate and so worth the picture taking. I love the doors on houses, the gorgeous flower boxes, and the water with all the masts clinking back and forth. Everything.

Today was a bit hot as we traversed through the shopping area. King Street was busy with tourists, and the horse and carriages were streaming through every five minutes. The drivers belting out the history of the old city and kids hanging out at all the candy shops, sticky and happy. It was a lovely day in the city. One of my favorite days of vacation. IMG_0650

We will spend the rest of the day on the beach relaxing. The winds have been really gusty this trip. The first day we couldn’t open our mouths without gritting sand. It’s died down a bit, but there’s always a breeze to cut the sun’s severe rays. Shamefully two boys got a bit burned. It’s so hard to reapply when they’re so busy splashing and carrying on. I even managed to get a red nip on my shoulder. Murphy’s law is that there will always be that three inch spot that the lotion doesn’t manage to grace!

IMG_0651It’s half-way through the week…time to think about returning home. Why is it that vacation weeks fly by and work weeks crawl? 🙂

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Are You Safe?

safe-place_transpngI remember a time when I was a little girl and I heard on the news about a crazy person going into a restaurant and opening gunfire on innocent customers. He killed at least a dozen. There were no pictures, no live coverage; I just recall imagining the victims and what it all looked like. One minute you’re waiting on your hamburger and the next, you’re staring at the end of the gun barrel and a deranged set of eyes. The whole thing freaked me out so much that I told my mother I wanted to go through the take-out window every time we went out. The incident had created a phobia that spanned a few months of my life, robbing me of a normal childhood. Thoughts about insane people plagued me wherever I went. Slowly, the memory faded and I became trusting again.

I took my daughter shopping a few weeks ago and we were in the dog food section of Target. I was lugging this 40 pound bag of chow into my cart, when I glanced at a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, three brands down. He seemed to be reading the label on one of them. No big deal, I thought, and proceeded to the bedding department. I had my hand on a set of sheets when I saw the same guy across the aisle, touching a shirt on the display rack. I quickly looked for his cart, but there was none. I immediately thought, who goes to the dog food section, handle the bags and not have a cart to put it in? I quickly took my daughter by the arm and puffed out my chest like a messed-with momma bear. “Come one step closer and I’ll punch your lights out, mister,” I shouted inside my brain.

Then I saw it, and stopped dead in my tracks.

The heart that once fluttered like a undefeated boxer in my chest had turned into a panting panther, racing to find shelter. He was wearing a side arm. Yep, it was a gun, alright. And, with that knowledge to my little, over-processing brain, I grabbed my daughter and cart and flew down the aisle and hid at the end of it, waiting for him to leave.

In light of what just happened in Charleston, the city I just returned from last Saturday, I have to ask you, are we safe anywhere? People can’t even go to their church and worship in safety. I would figure if I knew one of them, I would worry possibly about their car ride over to the church, would they be hit by another driver, or maybe even be concerned they might get mugged a few streets down from it; but IN the church? DURING service? By one of the people you shared seating space with? Looked at, talked to, and probably welcomed them to the study?

What is this world coming to? Are we safe anywhere?

 

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Seabrook Island

I am fortunate and blessed to have been able to return to Seabrook for our third year in a row. It was by chance that we first visited. My husband’s job took us to Charleston and we fell in love with the city. When we returned home, I told my mother all about it. She got on the computer and we found a few different St. John’s Islands. After seeing the pictures and reading the descriptions, she settled on Seabrook for our next family vacation. (side note: THE NOTEBOOK, by Nicholas Sparks was inspired by the island)

It is simply magical. The low oak trees bending over the roads, dangling moss, make it feel as though you are on a different planet. Walking to the beach down the long wooden pier make it feel like a coastal oasis. It’s simply a wonderful place to visit. Tomorrow we venture to the city.

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My favorite trees
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Each year we take this picture. One day they will be shoulder to shoulder:)
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Our lovely walk to the beach
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Morning roost for me!
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A day at the beach…before the slight burn!
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Countdown to Vacation

caribbean-packing-travel-tips-tropical-suitcase-fullThere’s so much hype that goes into packing for vacation. You go to the store and buy a new bathing suit, tiny bottles of shampoo, and maybe a new beach hat or shoes. But, let’s face it, when it comes down to it, you don’t need any of it. After it’s all over, you feel like you spent only a minute away from home. The new beach hat? Sure, you wore it one day, but it’ll go into the closet the second you come back. And those tiny bottles of shampoo, you could’ve saved yourself some money and a trip to the store and just taken the half bottle you have in your shower now. So, really you didn’t need one thing that you didn’t already have in your house. Let’s not forget the bathing suit…it’s depressing to try them on, they’re expensive, and unless you have a pool in your backyard, the only time it’s coming out to the sunlight is maybe five times a year. Just wear the one you got last year that was only worn four times because you swore it made you look like a beached whale. (You’ve lost a few pounds and it’s broken in. It’ll look better this summer!)

Still, it’s so exciting to pack…and exhausting. There’s so much bubbling of expectation. You’re leaving!! The kids are jumping around. It’s time to go to the beach!! Then the car ride begins and the crankiness rears its ugly head fifteen miles into the mission. (Seriously, you travel further to take them to school each day.)”How much longer?” “When is lunch?” “Are we eating inside?” You suddenly think how glad you are that this only happens once a year, in fact.

We travel to South Carolina every summer, so it’s about a day’s drive for us. Just long enough for leg cramps and a bit of hysteria. We end up at Seabrook. It’s beautiful there. There’s water on one side and marsh on the other. I could stare out at the swaying tall reeds all evening. Charleston is a forty minute car ride from there. It’s rich in history and the architecture is stunning on the old houses. It’s been a wonderful vacation for our family. This year our usual extended family members all backed out last minute. Everyone had their own sob story as to why they couldn’t go. So, we’re getting a large house all to ourselves. If I’m not mistaken, we might all get our own room.

I’m looking forward to it AND trying to contain my anxiety about leaving things behind, all at once. I know whatever I forget I can probably do without or buy there. My biggest problem is my small dog. Everyone I’ve used before doesn’t want to endure the agony of watching her again. It seems she’s a bit of a nervous barker when I’m gone. I guess I’ll try my luck and ask my darling brother in law. It’s only for seven days. That time will fly by for me, no doubt. But, it might be an eternity for him!