30 November 2016

Health Care Heroes

Molly Merryman, Charleston, SC  
One of my favorite events in Charleston is the annual Health Care Heroes recognition event at the Francis Marion Hotel sponsored by the Charleston Regional Business Journal where professionals, nurses, volunteers, engineers and physicians are honored for their extraordinary acts of service and heroism. A couple of years ago they added the Pet Therapy category and this evening Molly our star took the award home.

Molly and her Pet Therapist/owner Jim Merryman go on volunteer rounds at three different hospitals in Charleston. A few years ago the CEO at Mount Pleasant Hospital at that time, came looking for her and led Molly into the Intensive Care Unit - not on the usual route for a therapy dog. Completely out of character for Molly she jumped up on the patient's bed and started licking her face. The patient who had been unresponsive woke up laughing. Well done Molly!

Edit: sorry for all the grammatical errors, kids. I was typing sleepy.

28 November 2016

King St. blues

Quarters on King, King St., Charleston, SC  

I have a blue issue. I wear it, eat off it, sit on it. If I am not dressed in blue you know I've exercised very deliberate self control. I can't find a thing in my closet because it is all either blue or black. Naturally this pretty new shade of blue on King St. caught my eye. Hello there! That renovation woke up the corner in a very fine way.
It is the Quarters on King newish boutique hotel. Browse their rooms. Lovely. I expect it costs an arm and a leg but it certainly is attractive and convenient.

27 November 2016

A perfect day for a pig roast

Johns Island, SC   
We have had the most glorious weather for our Thanksgiving weekend in the lowcountry and I've had a lovely mix of peaceful relaxation with family and social time with friends. I have much to be thankful for.

Saturday afternoon I was fortunate to be invited to a pig roast on a slice of heaven on Johns Island. Along with many good friends the attendees included writers, photographers, artists, physicians, astronomers, chefs, all sorts of fascinating people and lucky ME. Besides the roasted pig there was a long table full of rice, beans, macaroni and cheese and too many tasty treats to fit on my plate.

Now, the only thing wrong with a four day weekend is that it isn't a four day weekend. Boo.

26 November 2016

The hood left me, I'm leaving the hood

33 Woolfe St., Charleston, SC  
I read about the planned move for this historic house on Woolfe St. and walked up to see it for myself. The lonely old house built around 1840 has been gradually surrounded by tall new apartments and hotels. It has been raised on pilings and is ready to hit the road and settle in a more hospitable neighborhood on Amherst St. That would be a sight to see. Sadly I am usually cooped up at work when these interesting things happen during the day time. Happy travels little house!
The house was up on steel beams this week ready for transport. A contractor has agreed to move it to 14 Amherst St. and restore it, King said. He said the land was sold and the house given to somebody who would relocate it. Those plans couldn't immediately be confirmed with the contractor this week.“It looks a lot worse than it is,” King said of the two-story wooden residence. “The frame is so substantial. The materials were so high quality.”neighborhood, he said. Amherst is several blocks east of Meeting Street, near East Bay Street.

25 November 2016

We have fall color

Audubon Swamp Walk, Charleston, SC  
We have fall color, who says we don't?

The only thing better than a three day weekend is a four day weekend - yipee! I love waking up without an alarm clock even when I still wake up before the alarm goes off. That way I can lay there and enjoy it not going off.

I started my day at the Arts & Craft festival at Magnolia Plantation to visit my friend Leah's photography booth. Check out her amazing photography here. Then I headed to walk through the Audubon Swamp. I have an annual pass about to expire and need to milk a few more days out of it before I spring for a new one. I spotted a few small gators, ibis and turtles enjoying the sunny day.

23 November 2016

Heart walking Folly Beach style

Folly Beach, SC   
I always find happy surprises at the Edge of America. This was on the walk on the far east end towards the Morris Island lighthouse.

Happy Thanksgiving folks! Picture me blowing kisses to all of you!

21 November 2016

Picnic time

Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Charleston, SC  
Years ago the miniature ponies ran free in the yard at Magnolia Plantation. My children were little when we had a picnic in this same spot and the ponies came up, tilted our cups over to drink. Their faces were at the level of the table and it was so surprising and delightful to be interrupted by such cute ponies. 

20 November 2016

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - St. James Santee Brick Church

St. James Santee Brick Church, Wambaw, SC    
Sometimes I found myself in such amazing situations that I have to pinch myself to make sure it is all real. This evening, thanks to my friend English, I was in this lovely historic church in the woods, with windows and doors flung open listening to four talented gentlemen singing to us. How lucky am I?

The group is called The Charlestones and English's brother William Purcell is one of the singers so we felt we had assumed permission to record some of the performance and sneak towards the door near the end to get better shots. I was kicking myself for not bringing my regular camera and had to make do with my cell phone. They were quite amazing and sang everything from early religious music, spirituals, Broadway and country. Thank you!
About the Brick Church at WambawAlthough Wambaw Church stands alone on the old King’s Highway among the pines and oaks of the forest, it was once the center of a busy and prosperous community.  North and south along the Santee River were rice plantations whose Carolina rice became famous all over the world and the prosperity of the planters is reflected in the beauty and proportions of Wambaw Church.  The body of the church was built of brick imported from England, but the columns of   the portico were constructed of local wedge-shaped bricks.  The pews were made of hand-pegged cypress, the flagstone floor has withstood the  ravages of two wars and the vaulted ceiling still retains the original plaster work. 
The building had identical porticos until 1852 when the north one was enclosed to form a vestry room.  The Palladian window on the east marks the original chancel which was moved to its present location after the Civil War. Although the pews were removed at that time, they were not damaged and the church was closed until it could be repaired. 
By 1768 when St. James Santee's Wambaw Church was built, many descendants of the original French refugees had intermarried with English settlers.  St. James Santee, though, has always been closely associated with the Huguenot immigrants who first settled the area and has been known variously as “The French Church” and as the “church of the Huguenots.” 
Now, I suppose it is time for Monday? Grrrr.

19 November 2016

Lighthouse Hunters - Morris Island

Morris Island Lighthouse, Folly Beach, SC   
I've been checking the lighthouses up and down the coast of South Carolina and Georgia off my list and had neglected to get updated shots of the two in our own backyard, the Morris Island Lighthouse and the one on Sullivan's Island. I took care of that today. Two for one!

We started on on Folly Beach, going to the end of East Atlantic and walking the rest of the way, about 1/4 mile in to the closest beachfront to see the lighthouse. It is a beautiful area with dramatic driftwood and clearly a popular fishing spot. The Save the Light organization is dedicating to preserving and restoring the lighthouse and recently worked to have the light actually lit to celebrate it's 140 anniversary. 
Built in 1767 at the southern entrance to Charleston, the original tower was destroyed during the Civil War. The new tower, built in 1876, stands 161 ft. with 201 steps leading to its top. The beacon was extinguished in 1962. The red and white striped tower is visible from James Island as well as Folly Beach.
Looking across the harbor we could see the Sullivan's Island lighthouse blinking at us and headed there for the afternoon and a luncheon date with a dear friend. A worthwhile day indeed!

17 November 2016

Charleston doors

Charleston doors, Nunan St., Charleston, SC 
I believe I have enough images to do my own alternative Doors of Charleston poster. These finds are on Nunan St. I love the textured blue in the shot above and below is one of Shepard Fairey's images.

16 November 2016

Sad tree loss

Adam Bennett tree down, Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, SC   
I had read about the loss of this grand tree during Hurricane Matthew but it hit me fresh when I had to walk around it on a recent visit to Magnolia Plantation Gardens. Here is the story as told by the Post & Courier:
Magnolia Plantation lost the Adam Bennett tree, a huge oak near the Drayton family tomb in the center of the garden. The tree is 4 feet across and snapped off near the ground, according to Tom Johnson, the director of gardens. Fortunately, it didn’t fall on the tomb. Adam Bennett was a slave who oversaw the gardens. He stayed behind when the family fled to Flat Rock, N.C., as Union troops approached. According to the stories, soldiers tied him to the tree and threatened to hang him when he refused to tell them where the family silver was buried. They let him live and burned down the house. Supposedly, he walked all the way to Flat Rock to tell the family the news.
Mr. Bennett walked from Charleston all the way to Flat Rock, North Carolina to let his slave owners know their silver was safe from the Union troops. By my calculations he walked 245 miles.

I do admit to sneaking a look around the uprooted stump just in case any forgotten silver had been buried there. No luck.

12 November 2016

St. Francis of Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Charleston, SC    
It is a crisp and cool day but perfect for a walk. The Horticultural Symposium was in progress at Magnolia Plantation this weekend and after exploring that I walked through the gardens. The azaleas and camellias made a colorful show.

St. Francis has always been tucked away in a peaceful spot but the little structure behind him is new and caught my eye.

11 November 2016

Cards for Heroes

Cards for Heroes, Charleston, SC   
Each year I order 1,000 and spread them out around our hospital facilities. Employees stop and write a holiday message for active duty service members and the cards are delivered to the Red Cross to be distributed at the holidays. Everyone seems willing to participate and it is very moving to read some of the heartfelt messages. Thank you to all our veterans and service members and to my volunteers for staffing the table and making the projects work each year.

10 November 2016

Teeny, tiny houses of Charleston

Stoll's Alley, Charleston, SC   
This may not be a genuine tiny house since on second glance it appears to be attached to the main building but it is close enough to count today. Truthfully with everything that has been going I haven't felt inclined to post so I'll stick to a sweet little house image and a sign that I spotted shortly after taking this shot.

Meanwhile, be nice to each other, kids.

06 November 2016

Charleston Fountains - Allan Park

Charleston Fountains, Allan Park, Charleston, SC  
I parked on Huger St. to meet my friend English for brunch at Harold's Cabin and then walked off the feast by roaming the area. We can continue the recent series of fountain images with this lovely one in tiny Allan Park. This isn't a bad feature to have in your neighborhood and I discovered that Allan Park has it's own facebook page full of information about park activities.
In contrast to nearby Hampton Park, the city’s largest park on the peninsula, Allan Park is one of the smallest. The parcel of land was donated to the City of Charleston by Mrs. Amey Allan, the widow of James Allan and the developer of most of the eastern half of Hampton Park Terrace. City Council had accepted the gift on March 23, 1920, but it was not recorded until August 16, 1921, and includes a term calling for its reversion to the family if ever not used for a park. The first reference to the park appeared in the 1922 City Year Book in a report from the Parks Commission. That year the following report was made:The ground out of which this park was formed was given to the City by Mrs. Jas. Allen (sic), for whom it is named, the physical outline of the Park was proposed by the Supervisor, the actual work was done under contract by the Simons & Mayrant Co., at a cost of $780.00. The Light was donated by the Rubin Electrical Co., which has added much to the beauty of this little Park, which is very much appreciated by the residents in the immediate neighborhood, and makes a very nice spot where children play.\