09 November 2011

She is off!

Charleston, S.C.
My plane isn't until 3:30ish but I might as well go to the airport now. My mind is buzzing and I can't sit still. Woohoo. This is so exciting.

I've talked about bits and pieces of my story but this is the short version. My father was a school teacher in Canada who decided to go to north east India in 1963 to serve as headmaster of a little elementary school that was sponsored by his church. My mother had been a nurse and although she primarily helped teach in the school she also set up a first aid shop in our living room. I was seven years old and the third of eight children.

Actually I was the third of seven children at that time. My mother was pregnant when they moved and she didn't tell anyone. My father delivered my youngest brother Jim during a wild windy night in the room next to me. My parents tossed us all in the local school barefoot with little chalkboards to write on. I sharpened my pencils with a straight razor and we hiked to the rivers on the weekends to wash clothes and bath.

Meghalaya is a beautiful part of India, tribal and hilly. Most years it is the rainiest place in the world.  The British used to call it the Scotland of the East. The Khasi tribe is matriliniel with the youngest daughter inheriting and the children take the mother's name. When it came time for high school we walked three miles into Shillong to St. Mary's High School which was taught in English. As we each finished high school we were at a bit of a loss and one after another came back to Canada or the states to fend for ourselves. I landed in Toronto for Nursing School with waist length braids, dorky glasses and everything was new and fresh. Everything.

My brother Jim came back at the age of fourteen and years later after a trip back to visit he decided Shillong was where he felt most at home. He married Val, a Khasi wife and they have three adorable boys. They lead adventure eco tours of remote areas and that is where I am going. I am taking my daughter back to see what I have been talking about all these years.

We will meet up in Newark, fly Newark to Delhi (15 hours....help me...) where a lovely lady I have only met on Facebook is going to pick us up for a quick overnight. The next morning we fly to the northeast. Jim is to pick us up and we head immediately to a village which is holding a drum festival. Beside visiting my childhood haunts, we will go to Arunachal Predash the furthest north state close to China and visit Buddhist villages. The finale before heading home is the elephant safari in Kaziranga. Back to Charleston on Dec 1st.

I doubt I will have much internet access so other than quick messages I will shut down but I'll be back!  Keep the place looking nice, no feet on the coffee table. Pick up your socks. Have a great thanksgiving and know that I am so thankful for you - all the folks who drop by and leave a friendly comment. You make my life a treat!

08 November 2011

Hampton Park

Hampton Park, Charleston, S.C.
A couple more photos from Hampton Park. I took them at the AIDS walk on Saturday morning but they weren't necessarily related. I'm not sure the couple on the picture were even at the walk but I liked that way they walked together so lovingly and even dressed alike.

I need to get packing! I have everything tossed in the general direction of my suitcase on the living room floor but the pile is looking significantly larger than the container. Time to decide what I don't need. 

07 November 2011

Monday Hodge Podge

Folly Beach, S.C.
While I was shivering at an outside wedding overlooking the marsh on Saturday, across the street surfers were wading into the water. I am such a baby about being cold it isn't a sport I'll be taking up but I can watch them forever. Photographer Kathy Hare was a little further down the beach catching this incredible shot of a kite surfer in front of the lighthouse. Wow.

What else is going on? I've been a little slow grabbing a photo of the new business on King St. People Matter is going to renovate this building and move in. Exciting times for upper King St. People Matter is a Human Resource company that will eventually bring over 250 jobs to the area. It will be nice to follow this with an "after" shot after the renovation.

When Andra Watkins asked people for suggestions for gifts for her parents, I gave my standard answer - buy them a Shingles shot. Crazy? Not so. I am not a person who ever recommends medications or interventions but I personally know so many people who have had a miserable case of painful shingles that in this case I do. Since insurance doesn't always cover it it really is a good gift. Until recently it was only recommended for people over sixty but I've heard the age has dropped enough that I might be ready to get one myself. My understanding is that physician's offices direct you to a drug store and for the first time I spotted this sign at Rite Aid. Shingles Vaccinations Today!

Wonder what Kolo kolo mlynsky is doing in my Lowcountry Blogroll? Julia is from the lowcountry and lives in Czechoslovakia with her adorable family. I love her photos and am delighted that she is actively blogging again.

Finally, a perfect leaf heart imprint. You know me and my pavements.

I am off to cram a few more things in my suitcase. It is unbelievable to me that I will be on a plane to India on Wednesday. How on earth do I occupy myself on a fifteen hour plane ride? Fifteen hours! Colored gel pens to doodle, sticky putty, books.....what else can I do?

06 November 2011

Before I Die

Before I Die, St. Philips St., Charleston, S.C.
What is on your bucket list? The Before I Die project at Redux Studio invites you to add your goals to their list in chalk.
Redux Contemporary Art Center is proud to present, Before I Die…, the 6th mural to go on the facade of the building. This project was organized by Nicole Diefenbach and inspired by Candy Chang’s Before I Die… project in New Orleans. We will transform the side of the Redux building into a giant chalkboard wall. The community is encouraged to visit Redux any time of the day and write their dreams and aspirations in chalk. Before I Die… is an interactive public art project where we can discover the ambitions of the people around us.
The mural will be unveiled at the end of Redux’s 2nd Annual Professional Development Day, lead by visiting artist Susan kae Grant. This informational and inspiring workshop focuses on seven strategies that Grant believes are crucial for preparing yourself for a successful and satisfying career as an artist. At the completion of the workshop, participants will have the first opportunity to write their goals on the blank chalkboard.

05 November 2011

Here Comes the Bride

Here comes the bride, Folly Beach, S.C.
Having a best friend who is also a Deacon gets me to some of the best weddings in town. This little darling was flower girl for Brian and Tiffany as they got married overlooking the marsh on Folly Beach this afternoon. They are probably still partying at Rita's right now! Brian is Bar Manager at Blossom Restaurant so congratulate him next time you stop by, and Tiffany is a nurse at MUSC. Congratulations!

AIDS Walk Charleston

Roller Derby skaters at the AIDS Walk
I got up on this crisp and windy morning and stopped by Hampton Park for the AIDS Walk sponsored by the Ryan White Program. Goodness! It was chilly out. People needed to walk two miles just to warm up.

Check out the Roller Derby gals. They whipped around the park in no time flat. Have any of y'all gone to the Roller Derby event? They have one more in November when I am away and then begin in February again. I think it might be a hoot.

Thanks to all the brave souls who got out to support the Ryan White program today. More photos here.

04 November 2011

Windy Friday

Joggling Board, Charleston, S.C.
I missed the recent Design Sponge book tour evening in Charleston. I had downloaded tickets but was double booked that night so was happy to see the posted photos of Asheville, Durham, Charleston and Savannah. I am fascinated by what catches a visitor's eye in a familiar place.

I am going to bed with a car parked directly in front of my driveway. It doesn't need to be. There is space in front of and behind it. Hopefully it is a visitor who will slip away in the night because I am supposed to be up and out early to get to the AIDS Walk at Hampton Park. Should leave a wake up call with a tow truck?

Wow, it is wild and windy out this evening. I am glad to be snug and warm in my home. G'night kids!

03 November 2011

A Walk Interrupted

Two Boroughs Larder, Coming St., Charleston, S.C.
I open my door starving every day. No matter what time I get home from work, I walk in sniffing around the kitchen for food. Driving home aware of tasty leftovers in the refrigerator is a treat. Normally I make a quick and easy meal, crash for a break and then head out walking. Unfortunately time slips by if I let myself relax after a chaotic work day and I'm often perking up and going out for my walk quite late.

As it gets dark earlier I've been trying to make myself do my walk as soon as I get home but it isn't so easy walking on empty now that gourmet grocery stores are popping up all over the peninsula. Caviar & Bananas on George St., Two Boroughs Larder around the corner on Coming St., Bull St. Gourmet down King,  Ted's Butcher Block on East Bay. They are all on my regular walking route and self discipline is required to resist the magnetic pull as I march by their doors. Pork belly, fresh hot soup, salad caprese, roasted vegetables, duck confit sandwiches, giant coconut macaroons drizzled with chocolate. Even more dangerous these are places I can enjoy solo with something to read and on occasion get a glass of wine with dinner.

Aren't I supposed to get home from a walk weighing less than when I left? What is a hungry girl to do?

November Blossoms

South Battery, Charleston, S.C.
I love it that we still have blossoms even though the weather has been cooler.  I rented the little kitchen house behind this home the first year I was in Charleston. It has been renovated since then and looks beautiful. It wasn't quite so fancy when we were there but we enjoyed living there very much.

I hosted thirty some eager students interested in learning about physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy as careers this evening. These career sessions I started a few years ago have become so popular kids compete to sign up as soon as they are announced and by the day after they are posted there is a waiting list. Our success has done us in. Thanks to the staff for opening the Rehab Gym at St. Francis and getting all the kids involved. It made for a long day but according to all the smiles, well worth it.

SCRUBS U Rehab Career Night at St. Francis Hospital

01 November 2011

Blossom Gate

Meeting St., Charleston, S.C.
Do I have to stop posting Halloween pictures? They were so much fun. I only had three little visitors at my door last night but I had the greatest time hanging out on Facebook looking at all the photos of kids of all ages and pets in costumes. It was almost as good as seeing them at my door.

I spotted this blossom decorating a gate on Meeting St. on Saturday when I was out hunting Halloween scenes. Isn't it gorgeous? It was propped there like a gift waiting for me.

Play it again, Sam.....I mean Joe

I heart Joe
When I first came to town and had a slightly more Canadian accent than I do now, I was bewildered to hear my co-workers talk about someone named "Maralee" attending so many events. Reporting on weekend activities someone always seemed to say, "Maralee was there!"

It didn't take me too long to figure out that Miss Popularity "Maralee" was actually the Charleston pronunciation of Mayor Riley. Joe Riley was mayor when I arrived and after 36 years of leading Charleston he is running for what he promises to be his last campaign on Tuesday.

I'd love to get the flooding fixed, I'd like to see cruise ships kept manageable, but I have seen Charleston flourish and grow during the time I've lived here while many towns have not. I'm up for giving him four more years. Play it again, Joe.

Get out and vote, kids! Here is link to the State's article: Riley's Last Hurrah