Archive for January, 2011

My Left Arm

January 26, 2011

This month is my anniversary.

Congratulations, you say!  But anniversary of what? 

Ten years ago, I came home from work, and Mr. X announced that we would need to move.  His sales were drying up and it was time to make a move to a better opportunity. 

He contacted a realtor and put the house on the market.

A few days later, I came home from work, and Mr. X was packing up books from the living room bookshelves.  He had the family Bible, and he said that we should throw it away because we weren’t using it.  I was clearly horrified at the thought of throwing away a Bible, and this was our special family Bible that my mother had given us, and it had family genealogy recorded inside.  I dismissed his comment as a deepening spiral in his apparent mental illness.

We sold the house, we moved hours away, knowing few people there, leaving our home that our children were born into, and started over.

Almost exactly one year later, he announced that he would be leaving, and packed his things and left in 45 minutes.

Today I record for you how Mr. X was like my left arm.

*****

How Mr. X was like my left arm, and indeed I am right-handed:

  • Sometimes it helped out, although it performed clumsily. 
  • Mostly it just hung around waiting on someone else to get the job done.
  • Wanted to be thought of as essential when in actuality its main purpose was to hang around and act important.
  • It’s been around for so long, it seemed like part of me.
  • I could get another one.

How your husband leaving is like someone cutting off your left arm:

  • It hurts.
  • You miss it, if for no other reason than it was a part of you that was yanked from your body.
  • It really didn’t do that much anyway.
  • You look around, the damn thing’s gone, and you go ahead and figure it out by yourself and probably do it better, smarter, faster than before.
  • There’s going to be a big mess to clean up.
  • You can get another one.
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Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, 1/15/2011 (Part 2)

January 25, 2011

 From this spot 150 years ago, this picture was taken of the Rev. John Drayton and one of his daughters.  While those who care for it come and go, over its 300 years of wars and hurricanes, the ever changing garden of Magnolia Plantation seems never really to change. 

ON THIS BENCH, PRIOR TO, DURING AND AFTER THE CIVIL WAR, THE REV. JOHN GRIMKE DRAYTON, THE MAJOR EXPANDER OF MAGNOLIA PLANTATION’S ORIGINAL 17TH CENTURY GARDEN, USED TO SIT IN MEDITATION COMPOSING HIS WEEKLY SERMONS FOR DELIVERY AT ANCIENT ST ANDREWS CHURCH, WHICH CAN STILL BE VISITED AND ENJOYED AFTER 250 YEARS, JUST THREE MILES FROM HERE ON THE ROADSIDE TOWARDS CHARLESTON.  HE CONFIDED TO HIS GRANDAUGHTER, MARIE, THAT AT THIS SPOT HE FELT HIMSELF CLOSER TO GOD THAN AT ANY OTHER SPOT IN THE WORLD.  HERE ALSO, HE SPENT AGONIZING HOURS BEFORE WRITING TO HIS FAVORITE DAUGHTER, ELLA, ADVISING HER THAT HE COULD NOT IN GOOD CONSCIENCE ATTEND HER MARRIAGE TO THE SON OF HIS OLD FRIEND, C. G. MEMMINGER, TREASURER OF THE CONFEDERACY, IN THAT YOUNG MEMMINGER EXPRESSED DOUBTS AS TO SOME OF THE BASIC PRECEPTS OF CHRISTIANITY, ANYTHING LESS THAN COMPLETE FAITH BEING INCONCEIVABLE TO HIM.

Another view of the river from the pathway

 

 

Beyond what is now Magnolia Plantation’s waterfowl refuge, for a century prior to the Civil War, marsh areas such as this provided plantations’ greatest source of wealth via rice culture.  Tidal areas were diked, drained by flood gates and planted.  As rice grew, the field was gradually flooded from reservoirs to provide support for the stalks against storms and to drown weeds.  As the rice matured, the field was drained for harvest.

While lucrative, and the subject of much present day romanticizing, for those whose labor produced the crop, the long days of mud, smoldering heat, swarming insects and numerous snakes made rice growing, in reality, something less than romantic.  The owners’ problems lay largely in periodic hurricanes, and annual migrations of bob-o-links (called “rice birds”) which arrived in clouds to consume the golden harvest.  Though shot and eaten by the thousands, these birds consumed one-third of every crop.

The end of slavery, competition from mechanized upland culture, and finally a series of severe hurricanes in the late 1800s, which destroyed most dikes, ended that era.  Recent efforts have been made toward revival, but the “rice birds” and labor problems again prevailed.  Today, the scant plantings of rice in this area, as here at Magnolia, are not for harvest, but for the benefit of wildlife.

Another flower of spring growing next to the swamp

 

One of many scenic bridges

 

The viewing tower was closed. It was in bad repair and was unsafe to use.

 

Another scenic bridge. What is it about a bridge that calls to you and beckons you to cross over?

 

What's wrong with this picture?

 

It's bamboo! Many varieties grow in the SC and GA coastal area. It can be very invasive, but the sound of the wind in the bamboo is indescribable, sort of like the rustle of a woman's silk dress.

 

A bridge built around a tree growing in a swampy area.

Same tree and bridge, other side

 

Ah, that's better. Tree, bridge, and bamboo in the afternoon sun.

 

This is probably the most photographed bridge that you'll see in reference to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

 

The view from the bridge

 

Why did I take this picture upside-down??

 

Gotcha!

 

A small maze of boxwoods

 

A sycamore that Sugar admired.

 

Y'all are gonna love this. A man is buried in the tree. Honest.

 

See the black spot on the tree? That's an exposed area of the coffin. I don't know if he was cremated or not. Working on it.

 

The glare was really severe that afternoon, and I couldn't actually see the screen on the camera, so I just shot at will. Ready, fire, aim.

This concludes the walking portion of our tour. We stopped for refreshments, and on the way out, we saw this sign.

Give fools their gold, and knaves their power;

Let fortune’s bubbles rise and fall;

Who sows a field, or trains a flower,

Or plants a tree, is more than all.

-Whittier (John Greenleaf)

Beautiful nandina, but this photo doesn't do it justice.

 

More nandina, more better.

 

Historical marker for the Rev. John G. Drayton

Rector of nearby St. Andrews Episcopal Church and owner of Magnolia Plantation before, during, and after the Civil War, he redesigned the plantation’s famous garden, then America’s oldest formal garden, from its original French style of Louis XIV to its present style of English informality, which has brought it international fame.  Reduced from great wealth to extreme poverty by the Civil War, he sacrificed property to erect the existing home upon the surviving first floor of the house burned by Gen. Sherman’s Union troops.

I take issue with the comment that the house was burned by General Sherman’s troops.  Sherman headed from Savannah to Columbia which takes a northerly path.  From Savannah to Charleston takes a coastal easterly path, and Sherman was expected to go to Charleston, which he did not.  Just sayin’. 

And where’s the St. Andrews Episcopal Church?  I sense a side trip on the way home…

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, 1/15/2011

January 23, 2011

The entrance sign for Magnolia Plantation. In this shot, I have pulled off the main road into the entrance road, and took the photo out the window of the car, looking back. Who says you should never look back?

 

The entrance gate. If you will left-click on the photo, then left-click again, you can read the plaque. I'd transcribe it for you, but I've got about 100 photos to upload. Art takes time. Heh.

 

Okay, here I actually stepped out of the car and took a photo of the approach road into the plantation. A lane bordered by trees or bushes is called an allee (ah-lay - it's French - think of our modern-day alley).

 

More of the same. Better sky in this photo, the first beautiful blue sky in a bit.

 

On the approach road to the main house and gardens, I saw this shed off to the left. I stopped to photograph it, Sugar wondered why photograph it, I said I liked the tree and the fence and the rustic look, and then! Look what the shed is all about.

 

A donkey! But not Donkey Ho-tie! They're everywhere!

 

Showing the donkey love to Sugar.

 

The donkey's friends, Ponylicious, Pony Island, PonyUp, and MyLittlePony (not really - I made those names up).

 

MyLittlePony has blue eyes.

 

Now I want a pony.

 

Sorry about that. I got distracted by the ponies. So we drove further and saw... Birds! There's birds. RIGHT HERE! What the heck are they?

 

Holy cow. Are we ever going to get to the gardens?

 We finally made our way to the parking area, then to the ticket window, and we started our self-guided tour.

Here's the schoolhouse for the plantation children. The next two photos will explain what the schoolhouse is all about.

 

This photo was made the first of an experiment of two photos. The next photo was made with a close-up, or macro, setting to see if the photo will be more legible. Sometimes there's not enough light available for the camera to focus on a macro setting.

 

Left-click once to enlarge, then left-click again to enlarge once more. You can do this on any photo.

 

The right side of the schoolhouse. This building looks to be about the right size for a cottage for me.

 

The swamp by the schoolhouse

 

We're on the bridge crossing the swamp.

 

We're on the swamp bridge looking over the railing. There are floral planter-type boxes attached to the sides of the bridge, and there's the same floaty stuff on the water, just like last July 4 when we went into the swamp by boat at the Webb Wildlife Center in Garnett.

 

More swamp from the first of many bridges. The figure on the right bank of the swamp is some sort of statuary.

 

By following the brick-lined pathways, we suddenly arrive at the river.

 

Here's the riverboat "Miss Julianna", a big shout-out to niece Julianna. This shot was taken from the stern. You can see that the steering mechanism is partially missing. The boat rests under this protective canopy.

 

A centrally located fireplace

 

Bales of cotton

 

This little footbridge crosses over a sluice where the swamp on the left flows into the.... (go to the next picture)

 

river on the right. I'm standing on the bridge here looking over the railing.

 

This placard is too difficult to read,, what with all the shade and shadows, so I've transcribed it below.

 

MAGNOLIA PLANTATION WAS ALREADY TWO CENTURIES OLD WHEN ITS OWNER, REV. JOHN DRAYTON, IMPOVERISHED BY THE CIVIL WAR, WAS FORCED TO OPEN IT TO THE PUBLIC TO DEFRAY UPKEEP COSTS IN THE 1870’S.  THUS, IN ADDITION TO BEING AMERICA’S OLDEST GARDEN, IT IS ALSO CREDITED AS BEING AMERICA’S OLDEST MAN-MADE ATTRACTION IN CONTINUOUS OPERATION.

PICTURED HERE, LANDING AT THIS VERY SPOT A CENTURY AGO, IS ONE OF THE PADDLE WHEEL STEAMERS WHICH MADE DAILY TOURIST RUNS FROM CHARLESTON TO MAGNOLIA EACH SPRING.  BY THE EBB AND FLOW OF THE SWIFT TIDE, THE STEAMERS WERE ABLE TO MAKE THE PICTURESQUE 13 MILE RUN IN ABOUT AN HOUR, WHILE THE TRIP BY CARRIAGE OVER BADLY-MAINTAINED DIRT ROADS TOOK ALMOST THREE HOURS.  OTHER VISITORS REACHED MAGNOLIA VIA THE SOUTH CAROLINA RAILROAD, WHICH DELIVERED PASSENGERS ACROSS THE RIVER TO A POINT FROM WHICH THEY WERE FERRIED TO THE MAGNOLIA DOCK.

IT WAS ALSO FROM HERE, UTILIZING THE PLANTATION DOCKS, THAT GENERAL CORNWALLIS’ BRITISH TROOPS CROSSED THE ASHLEY RIVER BY NIGHT IN APRIL OF 1779 TO BESEIGE FROM THE NORTH AND CAPTURE THE PENINSULAR CITY OF CHARLESTON.

Sugar spotted a nuthatch on the trunk of this live oak. Left-click to enlarge the photo for better viewing.

 

Is it spring already? This flower says it is.

 

This sign tells of the British Attack.

 From this riverbank began the final assault on Charleston, as recorded below in the diary by Hessian, Capt. Johann Ewald, recently published at Yale University, beginning March 23, 1780.

“About eight o’clock I received orders to try to get to Drayton’s house.  Towards noon we reached the gardens of Drayton’s plantation (today’s Magnolia) – in the afternoon General Leslie arrived and took up quarters.”

“The 28th.  The entire army assembled at Drayton’s plantation.”

“The 29th.  Before daybreak, the army set out to Drayton’s landing place, where armed ships and flatboats were lying along the right bank to transport troops to the left – at daybreak the troops boarded (a large force of infantry and artillery under Lord Cornwallis).  At about 8 o’clock, the light infantry climbed the left bank at Ben Fuller’s plantation, opposite Drayton’s house.  Some distance away several groups of horsemen and a number of riflemen appeared, who honored us with a few rifle shots, without any damage.”

(Continued on other side)

The opposite side of the historical marker

 British intent to cross here had been obvious.  It was no surprise.  From the landing bluff, a few small cannons could have destroyed the flatboats, or rifle companies could have decimated the assailants on arrival, or even hours later, Charleston’s 7,000 fresh troops could have marched and dislodged the smaller force.  Yet nothing was done!

What happened is history.  The British drew a fatal siege from across Charleston’s Peninsula; their fleet entered the supposedly secure harbor undamaged, preventing water escape, and Charleston surrendered its thousands of troops so needed by Gen. Washington.

This default and defeat caused many patriots to despair; and local leaders toasted His Majesty.  Cornwallis was freed to move north to crush Washington’s weary troops between his and the main British force.  That this DID NOT occur was due only to a storybook reversal of Cornwallis’ Charleston experience:  He inadvertently allowed himself to be cornered on the Yorktown Peninsula and a French fleet arrived unexpectedly to complete the blockade, leaving him no alternative to surrender.

These flags point away from the river toward the house.

 

The house

 

Further along the path, we came to the sign for the boat landing. We didn't take the boat tour today, but we walked down to the landing because we saw all these water birds.

 

Somebody please tell us what these birds are.

 

Here's a huge willow oak. Sugar, a normal-sized guy, lends a hand (heh) to show a rough estimate of the size of this tree. Y'all are looking at your hand now, aren't you?

 

More of Sugar's behind, I mean, hand.

 

The path led to the river where there was a mausoleum. The above photo isn't clear, and I couldn't get a good transcription, but you know what this is about.

 

Each of the four sides of the mausoleum has carved inscriptions and artwork.

 

The view from the mausoleum site. And here's where I take a break from blogging. There's still over 40 pictures left to upload. Why do I do this? Why, for the fame and money, of course.

Longitude Lane

January 22, 2011

We return to our story of our heroes, Sugar and YoursTruly, continued from Saturday, January 15, 2011, after a visit to the Battery in Charleston, SC.  After visiting with the new owners of Sugar’s Cousin Margaret’s house, we headed over to Longitude Lane.  Why, you ask?  Of course you ask.  Let’s stop to remember that Sugar is related to almost everyone ancient and ancestral in SC, especially along the lower coastal area, and you can begin to formulate a clue.

For instance, there’s his multiple-great-grandfather, Thomas Smith of Medway Plantation fame.  If you click on his name here,  Thomas Smith, you will jump back in time to my post about searching out Medway.  But when Tom wasn’t on the plantation, he had a town house in Charleston.  Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!  That’s right, on Longitude Lane.

 

And the sky was Carolina Blue.

The Joggling Board

January 20, 2011

The joggling board in the garden.

 

Did anyone notice the joggling board in Cousin Margaret’s garden?  Didn’t think so. 

Left-click on the photo to enlarge once.  Click one more time to enlarge yet again. 

Now go do an internet search. 

I want a joggling board.  You, too?

A LawtonFest, Of Sorts (Part 2)

January 19, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011, found us on the Battery in Charleston.  Sugar’s cousin Margaret and her mother lived in a house on South Battery for many years, facing White Point Gardens (also known as Battery Park) and the Charleston Harbor beyond.  There’s a promenade overlooking the harbor, and you can circle endlessly around the park in your car seeing the sights, or just park and walk.  There are many memorials in the park, far too many for us to have seen on this particular day, but here are a few.

Moultrie wasn't just a fort, he was a man first.

Here’s a link to more information about Moultrie, a Revolutionary patriot.

The morning sun through the live oaks in the park. The harbor is beyond.

I did a search on WordPress using the words “live oak” to see who else is writing about live oaks.  I came up with only two references.  Me.  I wrote both post about live oaks.  You have got to be kidding me.  It is now my duty to let folks know about live oaks, if only to publish pictures of them.  Pictures of live oaks, not people.

This memorial is for the USS Hobson. A closeup photo follows.

 

You can left-click on any photo to enlarge it.  You can then left-click again to enlarge it once again. 

I took photos of the memorial stones from South Carolina, Tennessee, and New York, since all of my commenters are from those states.  Just showing the love.

This live oak embraces the palmetto tree.

Here are more pictures of Cousin Margaret’s house, or rather the right side of it.  The very back corner of the house was once a sun room and over that a porch.  The sun room was incorporated into the kitchen to increase its size and functionality, and the upstairs porch became an enclosed room.

The pinkish building to the rear is the next house. It was once a carriage house that went with Cousin Margaret's house, and there were also servant's quarters in the back garden area.

Colonel John Ashe owned this property and the two adjoining lots.  He built the impressive mansion with the cupola next door to Cousin Margaret’s.  The cupola is in one of the photos in the previous post.  You can read more about Colonel John Ashe by searching the internet, and you can see photos of his house and also of Cousin Margaret’s house when it had three stories by clicking on this link.

More of the same. The next few photos are very similar to this one, so just bear with me.

 

This side of the house faces east, and is nice and shady in the hot summertime.

 

Charleston is famous for its side porches which take advantage of the sea breezes.

 

Some homes have double side porches with one stacked on top of the other.

 

Sugar has a photo, somewhere, of Cousin Margaret on her porch. He's in the process of looking for it.

 

This house is on the corner of King and South Battery.

You can read more about the Siege of Charleston and other Revolutionary-type stuff.  So everybody do your homework, and come visit, and we’ll all go on a day trip with Sugar as our tour guide.  You won’t be disappointed.

A LawtonFest, Of Sorts

January 17, 2011

Sugar has had a hankering for She-Crab Soup.  So, today Sugar and I headed to Charleston.  Our plan was to go to the Hominy Grill for brunch (can you say She-Crab Soup?), and then on to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.  Charleston proper is about 1 1/2 hours away, and we set out without breakfast, unless you count the peanut butter and crackers I ate from the gas station and the peanuts he brought from home.

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a day off together except for Sunday, and that’s the day we do our exciting PetSmart run and/or Garnett animal rescue project.  We were looking forward to a day trip in Old Yeller.  Then I missed the turn going into Charleston and we found ourselves headed toward North Charleston, which actually isn’t north Charleston, but North Charleston, a city in its own right.  After a few twists and turns and an impromptu tour of the Charleston city, we found ourselves at the intersection of Cannon and Rutledge where probably 20 people were waiting to get in the restaurant.  I ripped another circuit around a few blocks, and found those same 20 people.  Still.  Waiting.  In.  Line.

Sugar was getting a little twitchy, and I think his blood sugar must have been dropping, and I was developing a twitch in my left eyelid.  Charleston was packed, and we circled a few more circuits.  Lots of places were open for breakfast, and they all had lines forming.  He suggested that he stop to discuss what to do, and I said if there were a place to stop, I and my plummeting blood sugar would park in it. 

I found a public parking garage that just so happened to be across the street from Poogan’s Porch. We hadn’t done any homework on this restaurant, and, in the spirit of come-what-may, we made our way inside where we found *She-Crab Soup* and a fried green tomato BLT! For starters the wait staff brought coffee and a basket of biscuits. Before we left, Sugar slid an extra biscuit into his cap, and I tucked one into my glove. Honestly, you’d think we’d lived through the Depression, although we did leave one lone biscuit in the basket.

Sugar suggested that we drive on down to the Battery. 

Sugar rolled down his window to take this photo. Now I've got him doing it.

He got out of the car and got into the spirit of picture-taking. You can see the faint outline of a bridge to a barrier island in the distance.

Sometimes he gets all sentimental, and he wanted to see his Cousin Margaret’s house.  Cousin Margaret died about ten years ago.  Her mother and Sugar’s mother were Lawton sisters. 

He spotted an older couple in front of Cousin Margaret's house, and attempted to get this photo without them.

We pulled up at the stop sign in front of Cousin Margaret’s house right at the corner, and saw an older couple on the sidewalk in front of the gate, acting like they owned the place.  And then we realized, as he tweaked one of the bushes and she went through the gate, that they DID own the place.  I made another circuit around the waterfront, and pulled in again in front of Cousin Margaret’s house, threw the car in neutral and jerked on the emergency brake faster than Sugar could say waitwaitwaitwaitwait, and went up to the gate.  I could see the couple off to the right of the house, and called out, and introduced myself and Sugar, and asked if it would be alright if we took a picture of Cousin Margaret’s house? 

Well, they actually invited us inside the gate and chatted with us like we weren’t looneytunes and let us take pictures of the outside of the house.  Sugar talked about visiting there, and they talked about the renovations, and it was all very pleasant in the garden.

Side porch and the house next door.

Cousin Margaret's house, built about 1825, was once a three-story house until a hurricane blew off the top floor.

 We left there and putzed around a little more, then headed to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, whose post I’ll save for another day, because my internet keeps going out and I took *144* pictures today…

(I keep saying “today” when actually I started this post 2 days ago, which was the same day we went, but the internet here at the Swamped! Plantation and She-Crab Soup Eating Emporium keeps failing.)

Live Oaks & Resurrection Ferns

January 13, 2011

Cousin Tim & his wife were having a little discussion about live oaks.  He commented on the photo of the driveway heading down into the Old House Plantation – “are those live oaks bordering the driveway?”  His wife wisecracked what did he think they were – dead oaks?  Cousin Tim is a smart guy.  He knows that “live oak” is the actual name of the tree, and not because they are alive, but because they do not lose their leaves in the wintertime like other deciduous oaks. 

The live oaks are fairly common here, but generally are planted, like along a driveway.  A lane of oaks around here is called an “allee”.  You can find the origins of the word allee by clicking on this link.  I went to a DAR meeting several years back in a neighboring county, and I had never heard the word “allee”.  I could barely understand what the main speaker was saying.  Her Southern accent was that pronounced, and I had to strain with concentration to catch the gist of the presentation.  I thought that I spoke some kind of Southern, but this lady had me beat, and then she threw out the word “allee”.  It had about 5 syllables. 

There are also ferns that grow on the oaks.  You can read more about resurrection ferns by clicking on this link.  That’s why the tops of the live oak limbs look hairy – they’re covered in resurrection ferns. 

On to the pictures.  (Yes, I took them out the driver’s side window.  No, did not get arrested.)

This house was for sale a few years ago. It's about 100 years old, with a huge corner lot, and marvelous trees. Driver's side mirror in lower right corner adds local color.

 

Same tree as in the previous photo. Hang out the car window a bit and you can see the resurrection ferns.

 

The winter sun at midday accents the Spanish moss.

 

The next house on the same side of the street has several live oaks in front. Not sure what purpose the ladder serves.

 

I didn't get out of the car and climb this tree. But I wanted to.

These trees are about two blocks from my workplace.  Live oaks are a protected tree in this county since about 2007 when a new development plan went into effect.  Unfortunately for some people who were clearing a lot to build a house in the Old House section, they didn’t know about the ordinance.  They took down about 12 live oaks.  Oopsy.  They will have to replant trees at least 2″ in diameter to replace the ones they took down.  The planning department decided not to penalize them with a monetary fee, but it’s still going to hit them in the pocketbook.  Most people, myself included, don’t learn lessons until it affects us financially. 

So there’s your little live oak blog for today.

For Tim Packett

January 11, 2011

By way of introduction, Tim is one of my cousins, not one of my dogs.  He’s a world-famous genealogist, at least in my world.  I’ve known Timmy since middle school, and we graduated from the same high school.  I asked my mother once how Timmy and I were related, and she wasn’t really sure. 

I haven’t seen Tim since high school, but I have been in touch with him for at least ten years by email since I started working on my family tree.  He’s been an invaluable source of information, and has been an active researcher in spite of an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure. 

More recently I’ve been in contact with Tim and his wife via Facebook.  Earlier this year, which was only last week, I posted a picture on FB of one of the waterways here in my little county that is a large percentage of water involving rivers, creeks, swamps, and marshes.  Tim commented that the photo “made his day”.  I leaped right out there by replying that, if that’s all it took to make his day, I would post a photo a day.  You see, Tim is pretty much an invalid.  He hasn’t walked for almost three years, and can only stand for a few minutes a day.  He has spinal stenosis.  I quote here from an email from him:

I have severe spinal stenosis, which is a thickening of my spinal cord. As the discs grow, the space needed for the spinal cord is lessened and the spinal cord can become completely cut off, leading to total body paralysis.

Now my cervical spine is getting worse and the range of motion is low. Like say brushing my hair and teeth are impossible to do, as is buttoning a shirt. There are surgeries they can do to slow this down and help ease the pain, but because of my enlarged heart and congestive heart failure none of the neurosurgeons will do it. They say that they can do a surgery that would use only 3 holes and minimal risk and ease some pain, but as far as they have to go with a couple of years it would crash down on itself requiring major surgery requiring my back be opened from the base of my neck all the way down and my heart would not stand it. I asked all of them if what they were telling me was that I was screwed. All of them said yeah.

*****

So today at lunchtime I went out and about taking pictures of local color and such niceties, and I still made it back to work on time.  There was a brief moment when I stopped the car to take a photo on a bridge overlooking a marsh.  It was perfectly safe.  There was no traffic in sight.  Behind me the view of the road stretched for about 1/2 mile.  I looked into the rear view mirror, saw a sedan coming along, and I moved along myself, albeit a bit slowly.  The horn of a logging truck blasted, I looked in the rear view mirror, and saw him barreling along, coming closer and closer to the car behind me, and I put a little pep in my step and stepped on the gas. 

So here’s a little installment of make-my-day photos for Tim Packett.  Y’all feel free to make Tim your friend on Facebook and send him some of your photos.

The view of the marsh from behind the Old House Restaurant. The restaurant is only open in the evenings, so no one came out to arrest me for trespassing.

 

This particular stretch of road on Highway 462 has many, many ancient live oaks. Here behind the Old House Restaurant, Old Yeller provides scale to this huge tree. The brown beer bottle at the base of the tree. Is. Not. Mine.

 

Betcha didn't know this. A signer of the Declaration of Independence lived RIGHT HERE.

 

Thomas Heyward lived here so long ago that his house was the only house. It was an OLD HOUSE. (Did you get it?) Things can really be simple sometimes.

 

The bridge (where I almost got killed in the name of art) overlooks the marsh by Tom Heyward's place. This photo was taken thru the passenger window. Those specks you see are possibly a year's worth of car grime, although there were some white birds wheeling around in the marsh. I'm glad I didn't take time to roll down the passenger window while the car was blocking traffic on this little two-lane bridge. Small favors and tender mercies.

So if any of you have any positive, happy thoughts to spare, send some over Tim Packett’s way.  And his wife.  God bless her, she needs them as much as he does.

In Which I Manage to Confuse Myself (Again)

January 10, 2011

Yesterday I wrote an interesting post (or so I thought). My usual methodology for posting consists of clicking a certain button in a certain place to get the blank template for writing the post. I saw another box on the opposite side of the page that looked like I could click it and achieve the same thing. So I did. And now I can’t find the post.
Turns out I clicked “new page” not “new post”. I don’t know what a new page is but if this link works you should be able to read yesterday’s post today. Sort of an opposite of tomorrow’s technology today. I think, if this works, that it will be like when you click on a link and it takes you to a page that you cannot access in any other way. I think. We’ll see. By now it might be tomorrow so this will be a link to a page from two days ago, even though I’m still up.
Maybe later I’ll say “Ta-Dah!”
Maybe not.
Try this.