Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yemassee Shrimp Festival Extraordinaire

The 22nd Annual Shrimp Festival lured us to Yemassee this weekend, a small South Carolina Lowcountry town built by early families of shrimpers and the railroad that came through after the Civil War.

We loved it!


First stop: a vintage Air Stream trailer turned into the Silver Bullet Cafe with "shrimps," shrimp fried rice, fish nuggets, tilapia, whiting, and many other temptations on the menu.






The cafe seating was taken ...

but that was okay. We always travel prepared with all we need for a tailgate picnic.


We had barbecued ribs, shrimp 'n grits, and barbecue hash which is nothing like hash as I know it (that is, leftover potatoes and roast beef chopped up with some onions and fried together). This was spicy barbecue sauce, pork, corn and other vegetables made into soup. Very tasty.


Dessert came from this vehicle, once a utility trailer, now a homemade vehicle for ice cream and slushies sales.

Behind it you can see a hay wagon made into another food truck. A big vat was boiling onboard to cook crabs and they were served by the two men from a big cooler.

Other families set up hot dog stands, popcorn tables, and pig roasters right along the highway. There were obviously no health inspectors or safety inspectors, no vendor permits required, just home cooking.

The hottest items at the shrimp festival were golf carts being rented out for rides from someone's front yard. The carts were loaded up with families and teenagers driving all the folks they could hold all over town with great exuberance, laughter, and noise.

We didn't rent a golf cart and here's what we didn't eat. (Although now I kind of wish we had!)

There's always next year!











There were a few small rides, a big gospel concert, people selling homegrown apples and a few crafts, and the band was setting up for a street dance. That bright light you see above the Yemassee water tower? That's the moon.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fields of Gold

My time at home in Minnesota has come to an end. I have enjoyed family and friends, gained three pounds from all the birthday celebrations and restaurant dinners, and talked until I am hoarse. I have indulged in my favorite coffee shop just about every single day and on one day, In complicity with my sister, twice! I have been hugged and kissed by sticky little hands and faces, dried tears, babysat, raked, mowed, weeded, visited the doctor, the dentist, and the best massage therapist on the planet.

Golden Days

Today I took a little drive to see some of my favorite countryside because next time I see it, it will be white with snow.

The fields are golden in the sun that still blazes down with the last heat of summer.

As I approached a deer bounded down the grass verge and into the woods beyond.



A few of the farmers have begun to cut corn and dust rose on the horizon where the tractors kicked it up.

One of my littlest grandson's favorite words and toys is "combine." His mama works as a lobbyist in Washington, DC and St. Paul for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.


Corn against the sky, and goldenrod


Golden corn and Holstein cows crossing the hill in a line, heading home for evening milking


Like the cows, I'll be heading home tomorrow, to my other home, in South Carolina.



Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ho Hum!

My daughter sent me some photos this afternoon. They have four boys age 6 and under including a set of twins. This morning they were on their way to their annual camping holiday in Wisconsin Dells with a car full of camping gear and four very excited little boys.



But he soon lost the battle and couldn't hold his eyelids up a minute longer.














Sunday I will be returning to Minnesota to spend 10 days with them and I can't wait!

I haven't seen them for five months and I have missed them so much.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Yemassee, South Carolina, USA, Pop. 1027

Give me that old time religion

Give me that old time religion

Give me that old time religion

It’s good enough for me

- Negro Spiritual


"After emancipation, black churches became virtually the only place for African-Americans to find refuge.

"Services fused African and European forms of religious expression to produce a unique version of worship that reflected the anguish, pain, and occasional elation of nineteenth-century black life in the United States.

"Church buildings doubled as community meeting centers and schools until permanent structures could be built, and during Reconstruction they served as political halls.

"Ministers ... who stirred their congregations to strive for a more profound faith and more righteous way of living in a world of adversity provided spiritual guidance for a people whose faith and capacity for forgiveness was tested daily. For these people the black church was indeed 'a rock in a weary land.'"

-from The Black Church: a brief history

Some things haven't changed.

There are still thousands of these tiny churches In the towns and along the rural roads.

On Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings

the sandy unpaved parking lots welcome carloads of women and little girls

wearing their best bright dresses and fancy hats,

and men and little boys in shiny shoes, suits, and ties.