Charleston Bound

Charleston BoundIMG_1480

It was a while ago when the audiobook arrived after a fun author twitter chat in which I won the book. I planned to listen to it on the way from Myrtle Beach to Sanibel and ended up listening to my teenagers choice of music instead.

The gift awaited patiently another month for my return to the road and I grabbed it not sure my driver would approve. I had offered to pack his CD’s and earlier today to grab something to listen to at the thrift store we popped into.

It sat in my Kate purse as we left Sanibel to hit the road to Charleston. When it began In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell it was immediately captivating.

We pulled into Charleston behind in our schedule about an hour and we were on chapter twelve or so on pins and needles with Lakecrest taking hold of Kate. I was trying to plan our late evening stay as we drove the last stretch with my driver losing patience with my choice of hotels as one by one they were booked.

Moments later as we sat on the deck of our swanky downtown hotel the air was thick as a summer night in July, yet it was still April. The deck went the length of two rooms and reminded me of Lakecrest with its sprawling deck wicker furniture and even drapes, deck drapes, fancy.

We just got back from walking downtown to sample bourbon. We arrived just in time for last call after walking there and as the band was packing up. Yes, getting there sooner would have been cool. To me however, that part did not matter we made it here as planned. I could not ask for anything more. A Charleston night.

The last time I was here was with my mom and weeks later my stroke would happen. It has been two years and here I write on the deck of The King Charles Hotel with Kate at Lakecrest locked in her room by her mother in law.

It makes getting in the car for another long day of driving worth it to see what happens next. Will she remodel Lakecrest? Will her and Matt ever get to Africa? What happened to Blanche and Billly?

Well written Elizabeth Blackwell, well written. It has made our journey exciting and our night in Charleston complete.

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Battery Fully Charged

 

I was able to type with my iPad keyboard for the first time since last year’s European vacation. I finally took the time to charge it. It was a feel good moment for me and it took place sitting along the intercoastal waterway, after a day on the island.

Shortly after the sun rose, our morning began with an impromptu photo shoot on my favorite beach.  I quickly did my makeup in the parking lot while my would be photographer, unknowingly waited patiently.  I completed the finishing touches on my makeup by using the car window as my mirror.  My jewelry pieces and props were hurriedly pulled out of the back seat and I made my way to the beach to start shooting.  I’m taking some shots to promote a sustainable travel dress made by women in Madagascar which is designed by my lovely friend Leila from the UK. It is The Ultimate Travel Dress.

My late afternoon office consists of a wood picnic table which overlooks boats, flowers and birds soaring and fishing. Our spirits are raised and secured like the boats lining the canal.  A long year falls between each travel season and yet the moment we arrive, it seems as though we just blinked and we are here again. Time to recharge.

The egrets are our lovely neighbors and everything is in its place as if we just left a moment ago.  Yet we have changed. A year older, a year of taking charge of our own lives.  We can finally see that we are the only ones in control of our choices.

People we love have passed and those moments affect us and yet are reminders that we can only move in one direction, forward. We too have had our challenges and somehow we are still here, still charging on.

The farmhouse I wrote about in Low Battery has been leveled. The castle I love, Chateau de Divonne, had a major fire. The castle is making a comeback as it has for centuries.  It remains to be seen what will become of the farmhouse site, two structures still remain,  the garage and the outhouse. My beloved fence is gone.

Over, Under and Through still stands and is evolving as I begin its second year of bloghood. Upon returning from the beach, my mother, Nan asked,  how the “shoot” turned out.

“You know, I think your blog SHOULD focus on dresses for women of all sizes, most women are a fourteen. I mean some stores now have a 00, but say plus size brands. You should blog about them”, she said.

The fact that my own mother used the word “blog” and has only read it when her kind Sanibel neighbors showed it to her (a year ago) is a win for me. She believes in me and although I wonder why sometimes.

I feel like the Cormorant. We kept seeing this amazing bird swimming while we were birdwatching at the reserve after breakfast.  It spends its time fishing, diving, swimming and occasionally snacking on its catch.  We then had the pleasure of watching one from our makeshift office sunning himself by the shore. He was also recharging after a long day.

While this unhfolds, We are listening to U2’s Songs of Innocence.

“In your dreams everything is alright,” is one line from a song that is playing. How       true. When you charge forward living your life as you intend, everything aligns.  You become what you visualize. You get to enjoy the sun, after fishing, drying your wings and planning your next flight.

Here’s to year two and may you once again come along for the ride or even start to put your own words on paper. I bet someone at some time in your life has told you, “You should write a book.” Maybe you should, keep me posted if you do.

Tea on the Porch

 

Tea on the Porch

The ocean is my horizon as I look to my right just slightly being able to see the beach umbrellas royal blue tops one by one like the top of cupcake frosting swirls. The pool is closer in my line of sight dotted by pool chairs.

Window pane style garage doors waiting to be open as the sun continues to rise over the ocean. The Porch Southern Kitchen and Bar is where the Blogaversary Tour 2017 finds itself today in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Conversations have grown as a large group of firefighters are here. I know I am in good hands while giggling to myself. Years ago at a girls day a lady came to read our palms. She had us keep notes and the word “firefighter” was at the top. It came second to “You hate your marriage.” This was after holding my ring, was it that obvious. I really loved my marriage, the idea of it, just not us in those moments when you know it’s over and you are thinking how will you find the strength to go.

My ex came across my reading notes and I’m sure he thought I was having an affair with a firefighter. It is moments like this being surrounded by them that I am filled with pure joy as this is right where I am suppose to be on my path.

Ah the first pane behind the bar is open as I glance up to see the palm trees just past the open window and the firefighters. Georgetown City Fire Dept one shirt says. When you travel with your snowbird and your assistant, aka teenager, through the back roads it can be fearful at times.

It is these signs that keep appearing or I notice them, either way I am grateful for this moment. The blog reaching the one year mark and being able to celebrate it with all of our new readers, loyal followers, friends and family. This idea of being out there with my writing is only possible with your support.

The song at the end of the movie Moneyball is one of my favorites. The scene with the dad driving away.  He listens to his daughter’s song after all that happened and the choice he made to stay in Oakland with his daughter and not take the Boston offer. When it came on as I sipped my morning signature unsweetened ice tea with lemon tears came over me. I have never heard it on the radio before now, thanks for the sign dad.

The choices are ours and ours alone, yet they take those we love the most with them. Our son will be choosing a college and our hearts will go with him, but the choice is his. We walked the grounds of UNC the day before and we both felt the same feeling as excited as we are for him to go we are grateful he has two more years at home.

The Blogaversary Tour 2017 with Nan and my son road tripping is in full swing.  We are meeting great people, hearing their stores and making memories of a lifetime. My hope for you is to get your stories on paper for those you love and enjoy the choices you have made while processing them.  Grab your tea and hit the road!

Godspeed to you and your family.

Thank you for a great year.