Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween!


Boats in the harbor are "spooked up" for the holiday

See the parrot skeleton on his shoulder?



Daughter Anna and Mason at Mason's preschool Fall Party (schools can't call it a Halloween party because some parents don't approve of celebrating Halloween).

As long as he has a cookie, I don't think Mason cares what you call it!




I haven't heard what his big brothers are going to be, but Mason has been wearing his costume since they bought it.

So here is Captain America (I think) out for a burger with his dad yesterday.

Mason recently turned 3.











Daughter Sarah is on the left in the Big Bird costume at a Halloween party. Her friend is Oscar the Grouch.

Crazy girls!











We are looking forward to having trick-or-treaters at our door. It will be the first time in a long time I have lived in a place where I've had more than a handful, some years none, and our neighbors tell us we might have 70 here! We are prepared with small treats for 85. When those are gone, we will turn off the lights!


"From ghoulies and ghosties

And long-leggedy beasties

And things that go bump in the night,

Good Lord, deliver us!"

Y'all be careful out there!


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Celebrating Health

The beautful natural beach which is part of a state park reopened yesterday for the first time since the hurricane. Pawleys is still closed and a big mess; no predictions as to when that will be open. (All of the beach in South Carolina is theoretically open to the public but parking space is rare. There are No Parking signs everywhere and tickets are handed out to violators.)


Anyway, when Huntington Beach reopened yesterday morning, we were among the first to hit the beach.

Oh, it felt good to be back!




The dunes have been reduced significantly and there is plenty of debris, driftwood, and even some nice shells (although this area doesn't have such pretty ones as, say, Florida). It felt wonderful to be walking on sand again.


Lots of these little guys scurrying everywhere, ghost crabs smaller than my thumb nail. This one had a good look at me and let me take his photo before disappearing down one of the many holes he has built.

Ghost crabs are transparent. That is the sand you are seeing through his body.







We often see monarchs flying along the beach and wonder how something so fragile and light can stay so steady in the wind, why they aren't blown out to sea.

This one didn't make it through the storm.


You can see how hard at work park employees have been during the three weeks since the storm. This is all damaged walkway decking from the dunes, broken up by the force of the water and piled in the parking lot, waiting to be hauled away. There are also many, many large downed trees, cut up just enough to remove them from roads and paths, throughout the park.



We had been cooped up in the university hospital in Charleston for two days while The Writer had a "little problem" with his heart worked on.

We were so happy to be out of there, back home, and back at the beach.

Happy, relieved, and very, very grateful.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An Autumn Hike

It was such a perfect day Saturday we put everything aside to explore and do things we can only do now that the weather has cooled off. We were also checking out places that my daughter might enjoy when she comes to visit next month -- our first visitor!

We brought our picnic lunch to Hampton Plantation and enjoyed the wildflowers birds,

including a pileated woodpecker, while we ate.

We are waiting to tour the plantation house when Sarah is here but we found a new and interesting trail just off the picnic area.

It is a trail through the area of the slave homes near the plantation house and the rice fields where they worked along the South Santee River.

All the slave homes are gone, but you are encouraged to use your imagination to recreate what it was like 175 years ago as the slaves went about their lives and their work.


"As you travel this path you will walk where a community of enslaved men, women and children lived and worked. These slaves were the majority of Hampton's residents and much of the plantation's activity--both social and economic --occurred right here.

"Research suggests that at any time from the mid-1700s through early 1800s, roughly 100 slaves lived on the grounds of Hampton, growing crops, tending livestock, and manufacturing goods.

No above-ground traces of their lives remain but archaeological work is underway."

As you walked through the woods some of the buildings sites were marked with a display like this.



When you looked through the glass, the slave house seemed projected onto the forest.


It wasn't hard to imagine the women cooking over a fire in the yard, scrubbing laundry over a steaming cauldron, children running around laughing and chasing each other.

Beyond the homes were the rice fields along the river where the slaves worked under the "task system". Overseers set an amount of daily work for each slave to complete. A typical task was to hoe or weed a half acre of rice. When he finished, if he had energy left he was then allowed to grow food to provide for his own family.

It wasn't hard to look out over the rice fields and imagine women walking in the cold water in the spring, bent over row after row, 12 to 16 hours a day, planting the rice.



A plowman breaking up the drained soil in the spring before the fields were flooded.








Women planting.










Women harvesting the rice.













A slave community consisted of workers trained to do everything the isolated plantation needed. They were skilled workers -- blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters, masons, shoemakers, blacksmiths, seamstresses, cooks, nannies, farmers, potters, housemaids.

Walking this trail, alone, through the woods, it wasn't hard at all to imagine a village of a hundred slaves going about their lives here, loving their families, nursing wounds inflicted by cruel masters, worshiping, sweating in the heat, crying over their aches and pains after long days of work, missing their African homes, celebrating births, burying their dead.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Falling in Love With Wooden Boats

As I said in my last post, half of the boats at the Wooden Boat Show last weekend were in the water.


There are always a lot of pretty boats moored here in the Georgetown Harbor and it's a lovely place for a stroll any day.

We came to see the wooden boats early Sunday morning to avoid the crowds. It worked, too. It wasn't crowded at all.

In fact, some of those living on their boats were just getting up to their first cup of coffee.

Here are a couple of my favorites.

Felicity is a schooner, built in 1968.


Made from cedar carved planking with a white oak frame, from Charleston


27 feet, built in 1930.




White oak keel and ribs with juniper planking.

Mahogany cabin.

Everything you need, right? -- kitchen with a sink and one-burner stove, living room with comfy chairs, deck on the water, wine hammock, and bedroom below.

I could live here!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Something to Celebrate

The show must go on, as they say.

Even if the main streets of town are still flooded at high tide, organizers decided that the 27th annual Wooden Boat Show in Georgetown would proceed as planned last weekend.

Parking was at a minimum because of water and downed tree debris but a whole lot of people found a way to make it downtown.

We all needed some fun after a long week of cleaning up after Matthew left us.

Half of the boats arrived from up and down the East Coast on boat trailers and were displayed on the street and half arrived on the water and were displayed in the harbor. I'll show you the boats on the water next time.

Sweet Potato, a classic outboard, was built in 1943 and restored this year. It doesn't look like much until you get up close and look inside ...


Look at that gorgeous wood! Sweet Potato is made of mahogany.


The 1940s motor and gas can are also authentic.







Don't you wonder what the old gentleman leaning on the boat was thinking?


This Grand Banks dory was displayed with a letter from its previous owner.


The writer says her name is Rascal and she was a tender for a Tancook Whaler. He expresses his "great sadness" at having, due to "circumstances", to abandon her with a neighbor when he had to leave North Carolina. He goes on to tell the new owner how to handle her quirks and use her strengths to his advantage, as well as to thank the new owner for taking on her restoration.

Grand Banks dories were used since the 1850s as fishing boats in Newfoundland so I am wondering if Rascal began her life there before making her way south to become a tender. A Tancook Whaler was a 3-masted working sailboat used in Nova Scotia beginning in the 1850s.



My dad was a woodworker and he would have loved the craftsmanship on some of the handmade boats displayed. This is a kayak and every join was a work of art.





The Evergreen is a motorized canoe built in 1910. A luxury canoe decked out all over with brass and upright caned seats.

In a canoe!










The huge motor.

In a canoe!

Can you imagine how heavy it is?







More beautiful wood and workmanship

I'll be back with more photos of the boats on the harbor.