30 April 2016

Charleston Strong

Charleston Strong, Rutledge Ave., Charleston, SC  
Heading to a spot for my morning walk I was trying to dodge special event crowds. I headed up the peninsula to avoid the March of Dimes walk and I ended up in the lap of the Boat Show at Brittlebank Park. Ooops!

I've often driven past the Charleston Strong mural but this is the first time I walked along that stretch of flying doves painted after the shooting at the Emmanuel AME church last year.
To prepare for the Charleston Strong mural, the twelve foot high, 293 foot long wall lining the college’s former baseball field along Rutledge Ave., was repaired and given a double basecoat of paint. The first elements of the mural were painted by cadets who attend fine arts classes at the college, to enable members of the community to paint their doves around it.“The Nine Doves image is over ten feet tall and dark Citadel blue with the words "Charleston Strong" painted next to it in red,” said Tiffany Silverman, director of The Citadel Fine Arts Program. Silverman created the mural concept, then engaged the college’s Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics to help move it forward.  “Doves are not only a sign of peace but also a symbol of hope. We hope that the mural will be a powerful, visual reminder that the spirit of Charleston Strong will continue no matter what challenges lie ahead,” Silverman said.  See more at: http://www.citadel.edu/root/charleston-strong-mural#sthash.hD7drmtX.dpuf
I went to the Lowcountry Voices concert this evening and then out to dinner with my son at Lola's the recently opened Cajun restaurant in North Charleston. The weather was perfect to sit outside and enjoy a late dinner. So far so good on my weekend! Hope yours is going well.

29 April 2016

Weekend Planning

If you don't have your weekend planned and enjoy Gospel music I can vouch for this group. It's part of the North Charleston Cultural Arts Festival tomorrow evening and tickets are $10. My friend Jackie will be singing her heart out. 

27 April 2016

The Pelican Inn

Pelican Inn, Pawley's Island, SC
I grabbed a quick shot of the historic Pelican Inn on Pawley's Island as we drove by and couldn't even tell for sure if it was open for business - but it is! There is an active web reservation site with pictures of all the room. What a grand place to stay. 

26 April 2016

Church photo in lieu of attendance - vehicle

Sam Rittenburg Blvd, Charleston, SC  
Well, this person is declaring their religious beliefs on their vehicle! No doubt about it. 

25 April 2016

Signed with a paw print

Please Close Gate, Charleston, SC   
Signed with a paw print no less. 

I just finished planting thirty five white caladium bulbs in the dark. Couldn't see what I was doing and came in filthy. We will discover what I did when they pop up. Speaking of which, I've already checked to see if they are growing. I am a very impatient gardener. 

24 April 2016

Looking for Alice

Alice Flagg grave marker, All Saints, Pawley's Island, SC  
I appreciate that churches must get very weary of ghost seekers in their graveyards. I was there for a respectful visit - photographing the church and touring the cemetery but I couldn't resist keeping my eye out for the grave marker of Alice Flagg and taking a few pictures while I was there. Alice is frequently mentioned in any collection of lowcountry ghost stories. Coins, flower petals and token rings were left on the stone. Here is the version from Myrtle Beach Online
Alice Flagg, whose brother Dr. Flagg owned Wachesaw Plantation, was raised in wealth and grandeur along the Atlantic Ocean. She fell in love with a poor, young man and they maintained a secret affair, and later an engagement.Once Dr. Flagg found out about the lovebirds, he quickly shipped Alice away to a boarding school in Charleston.While there, Alice grew ill with fever and a broken heart. She returned home and, while being prepared for bed, Dr. Flagg found her engagement ring on a chain around her neck. Consumed with bitter rage, Dr. Flagg tore the ring from Alice’s neck, marched out onto the marsh and threw the ring into the muck.With each day Alice grew sicker, but she never forgot her precious ring. She died, begging with her last breath for her ring. She is believed to be buried in the Waccamaw Cemetery, underneath a plain, white stone marked “Alice.”To this day, many people claim to see Alice wandering around her grave, searching for someone or something. Some have reported a slight tug or spin on rings worn around fingers and on chains. Legend has it that walking backward around Alice’s grave on a certain night of every year causes the ghostly white figure to appear, searching for her lost love.Source: “Tales Along the Grand Strand of South Carolina” by Blanche W. Floyd

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - All Saints

All Saints, Pawley's Island, SC  
I had a few spots marked to visit on yesterday's day trip to Pawley's Island and this beautiful church was a highlight. We explored the historic cemetery and peeked in the windows and then walked across the street to the other chapels.
The land of All Saints Church goes "way back" in the recorded history of this Low Country region. In the early 1700's, our property was owned by Percival Pawley and his wife Ann, who transferred the title to their son, Thomas George Pawley, and William Poole as trustees for "the people of the Waccamaw Neck" in order to build an Anglican church on the site. Our "old church" adjoining the cemetery is actually the fourth church building on that site. The first was built in the 1730's, the second in 1816, the third in 1843, and the present church in 1916. Access by the early parishioners to these early churches was gained in two ways—by land and by sea! On the south side of the All Saints property is a wetland drainage basin, which forms the small creek which crosses Kings River Rd. This creek winds behind the Rectory, behind the cemetery and Old Church, where it becomes a larger body of navigable water known to this day as "Chapel Creek". Chapel Creek runs out to the Waccamaw River. Many of today's residents of the Waverly neighborhood have boats behind their homes in canals which run into Chapel Creek. "Back in the Day" owners of Waccamaw or Pee Dee River Plantations might have been sailed or rowed to church in high style, navigating up Chapel Creek to a landing at the back of the Old Church.

23 April 2016


Atalaya, Huntington Beach State Park, SC    
I am fascinated by how extremely rich people chose to spend their money but when they are smart and talented it is even more interesting. Atalaya at Huntington Beach State Park just above Pawley's Island was the winter home of Anna Hyatt Huntingon and her husband writer researcher Archer. I had already seen many of her incredible sculptures at Brookgreen Gardens but this is amazing to see where her studios were and live bears, monkeys and horses roamed. A wedding party was being prepped for as we were leaving.
Atalaya (AH-tuh-lie-yuh) means "watchtower" in Arabic, as in the real Atalaya Castle in Spain. The house is dominated by a square tower, which housed a 3,000 gallon water tank. Rising nearly 40 feet (12 m) from a covered walkway, it bisects Atalaya's inner court. The inner walls of the main courtyard were covered with creeping fig vines, Sabal palmettos, the South Carolina state tree, and other palms.The living quarters consist of 30 rooms around three sides of the perimeter, while the studio, with its 25-foot (8 m) skylight, opens onto a small, enclosed courtyard where Anna Hyatt Huntington worked on her sculptures. Pens for animal models, including horses, dogs and bears, are situated adjacent to the open studio. The building also features hand-wrought iron grills designed by Mrs. Huntington, which cover the exteriors of windows. These and shutters were installed for protection against hurricane winds.
Transition: During World War II the Huntingtons vacated Atalaya and provided it to the Army Air Corps for use from 1942 to 1946.The Huntingtons last used Atalaya as their winter home in 1947. Most of the furnishings were sent to New York City after Mr. Huntington's death in 1955. The studio equipment was moved to a new studio at Brookgreen Gardens just across U.S. Route 17, which cut through the Huntingtons' former contiguous property.

21 April 2016

Waterfront Mural

Cherry Point Seafood, Wadmalaw, SC   
This evening's pictures are of Cherry Point Seafood dock from a recent drive to Wadmalaw Island. There wasn't much action while we were there but this is what the Charleston City Paper has to say:

People from Kiawah, Johns Island, and Seabrook flock to the Cherry Point Seafood dock to watch ships unload hundreds of pounds of shrimp, tuna, mahi, swordfish, and redfish. The packing house staff ices freshly caught seafood, packages it, and sends it around the world. Customers buy product directly off the boat at the retail store in Wadmalaw, and whatever isn’t sold to locals and restaurants like Rosebank Farms Café and the Fat Hen gets shipped as far away as Japan. Cherry Point Seafood has been in business since 1933, and current owner Micah LaRoche inherited the operation from his father. Local Rockville fishermen supply Cherry Point with all the fish and shrimp they sell. Cherry Point also carries wreckfish, tasty bottom feeders that are difficult to catch but worth the trouble.
In the bottom image, it appears my ship finally came in and it ain't good news.

20 April 2016

Pink on peach

Charleston, SC    
Groundhog Day is on tv. So you know what we are going to do. We are going to settle in and watch a movie until past bedtime.

This is the time of year when winter camellias run over into spring blooming time. And we like it that way.

Yawn. I am home late after hosting a student career evening on Emergency Medical Services careers. How many students can you fit in the back of an ambulance for a ride? A lot of them!

18 April 2016

Dream Weaving

Avenue of oaks gone wild!
Months ago my son shared a link to this Deep Dream generator web site that altered images but at that time it was new, overloaded and too slow. I tested one of my pictures this evening and it was such a wild result I couldn't stop. I've been uploading one picture after another to see what happens. Fun stuff! Click on the image to get the full effect and try one for yourself.

Now, I am off to my own dream generator. G'night kids!

17 April 2016

Good morning!

A curve in the fence line
Slithering through to say Good Morning!

16 April 2016

14 April 2016

Broad St. colors

Broad St., Charleston, SC
Fun new satire site poking fun at the Lowcountry: Fauxcountry News.

I am just the messenger. :)

13 April 2016

What the heck I do.

Volunteer Week, Charleston, SC  
It's Volunteer Week and a good time to clarify what the heck I actually do. 

We are fortunate in this country to have so many people willing to do unpaid work supporting the causes they believe in, that we actually need people to coordinate their efforts. That would be ME. I am the Director of Volunteers for Roper St. Francis Healthcare and I coordinate the day to day program at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital. Think of me as the Human Resources Director for unpaid staff. 

I have over 450 active volunteers between the ages of 14 - 96 in our facilities in any one month. Last year our volunteers served over 91,000 hours. Amazing. 

Health care is so regulated and the processing is so complicated I am lucky that I have any volunteers at all. 

If a hospital employee is required to go through safety, infection control, privacy training, health screenings, backgrounds checks etc. to keep our patients safe, why wouldn't we have to do that for someone who is working for free? We do. 

My life is processing. I am constantly orienting, placing and training a rolling roster of volunteers of all ages who come to serve. These amazing folks make an great difference in the service we offer and many do it because someone helped them when they most needed it. I am spoiled. I work with the most amazing group of people. 

Volunteers welcome and greet, help with clerical support, fill water pitchers and help feed, make rounds on patients, push wheelchairs, help in the nursery and drive golf carts. I have a singing volunteer, a couple of clowns and pet therapists whose trained dogs wear official hospital ID tags. We regularly get letters and phone calls grateful for the kindness of this cast of incredible characters that have gathered determined to make a difference. 

We have a great reputation for helping students on career tracks and the hospital is well staffed with young professionals who started in my office. I have student "SCRUBS" mentoring programs, career evenings and a summer camp. I am fortunate to work with a wonderful staff who welcome and teach students interested in health careers. 

It's Volunteer Week! Volunteers are working all over this city adding to our quality of life in ways we can't imagine. I hope I say it every day, but thank you, thank you, thank you volunteers.

12 April 2016

On the road - Aiken, SC

Aiken, SC  
I enjoyed a day trip to Aiken, SC this weekend. It is the perfect distance for a bright and sunny Saturday drive - especially when I am the lazy passenger.

We parked (free parking - thanks Aiken!), had a tasty lunch at Betsy's on the Corner, wandered through a few antique stores (tried to buy some some soup bowls but they were part of a set so free shopping - thanks Aiken!), and walked through beautiful Hopeland Gardens (free - thanks Aiken!).

11 April 2016

Bull St. gate

Bull St. gate, Charleston, SC   
I was determined to reduce my cable bill this year since it has been gradually increasing to a point that doesn't make sense for one person living alone. TV shouldn't be one of my highest monthly expenses. I called to cancel tv cable and was talked into stepping back to basic cable to reduce the bill. Now I have no idea what will be working when I turn my tv on. Sheeesh. I can't record anything or view any of my previously recorded shows but most cable channels still seem to show up for awhile. Then I get no signal. Then I do. I reckon I am in the punishment stage. Thanks Wow!

Today's feature is one of my favorite gates on Bull St. I squirm around trying to make the statue the centerpiece of the image.

Bedtime! Off you go. Turn the lights out. No more stories, no more water. Get to sleep kids. 

10 April 2016

Afternoon in the garden

Charleston, SC  
She is a sweet senior citizen with aching joints but she was enjoying an afternoon in the garden. "Sister" owns my friend Jerry Lee and I first met her as a frisky pup making fast friends of everyone in the hair saloon.

I've had a good weekend and would like one more day please. I enjoyed a day trip to Aiken and then an overnight at Lake Marion. Arrived home to a dead car battery and am grateful that Firestone has Sunday hours since I caught them just before they closed. Here is hoping my car starts up and gets me on the road in the morning.

08 April 2016

Spring garden with wisteria

Rutledge Ave., Charleston, SC  
I had hinted that my friend Jerry Lee on Rutledge Ave. shouldn't be surprised to find a trespasser in his garden when his wisteria bloomed - that I would only be taking pictures. He went the extra mile and invited me over for dinner on his piazza overlooking this scene last night. Isn't this glorious? We can't resist the show this year. I kept slipping away from the table to take another picture.

I am not the only one capturing the purple blossoms. Check out the Cotton Boll Conspiracy blog for some lovely photos.