The Journey — Part Five

One of  the great things about my journey over the past three months is my plans have not been constrained. I challenged myself to visit with the kids/grandkids/great-grandkids and meet and greet with other family and friends — new and old.

Take this leg of the journey. It was to be my last leg, a stop in South Carolina. Yesterday I had “planned” on heading back north with an overnight stay in or around Seaside  Heights, NJ, for First Night Ocean County. As the days ticked down, I was unsure about the Jersey Shore weather. It turns out it will be about 45 degrees, but with the breeze  coming off the ocean at around 10 mph, it will feel like the mid-30s. Not bad — I’ve been there for worse. But I didn’t know the forecast until earlier this week. There was weather chatter about colder, windier and wetter conditions, so I opted for New Year’s Eve fireworks here in 60 degree Murrells Inlet, SC, with the family.

It will cap a 2 1/2 week stay here in South Carolina. I am going to extend it through the weekend, then reverse tracks to Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts (with a side trip to Maine for a routine, annual doctor’s appointment).

South Carolina has been warm and inviting, quiet with a few adventures thrown in. Here are some of the highlights since entering the Palmetto State Dec. 14. It’s motto is Dum spiro spero or While I Breathe I Hope.

Hope is evident here. It showed up at services at Lowcountry Community Church where music and message got us ready for Christmas and the new year. The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service was special. Sundays typically started with all you can eat breakfast at the Beaver Bar ($5), followed by the church service.

Of course, it’s always a blessing to watch a Packer game with my son and/or family, and I got to watch three with my youngest son!

Angelina and I wandered around the marsh walk — a trail connecting the pubs and restaurants in colorful downtown Murrells Inlet. Angelina went on a barking spree with the pirate but let other visitors pet her. Go figure. Blessing was getting out in shorts and interacting with new people (locals — they were bundled up in sweaters and sweatshirts). Despite a driving wind, Angelina and I also made it back to the beach and watched an angry sea for a few minutes before wading back.

The family and I spent a day at the beach … in December … at 70 degrees — watching the waves lap onto shore, people soaking in the sun, kids and dogs playing, gulls wading in the surf, gentle breeze keeping kites afloat.

Angelina and I watched the sun rise (without the sun cooperating) at Belin Church on the Murrells Inlet marsh and Jay and I feasted at funky Hamburger Joe’s.

Speaking of Angelina, she warmed up to the South Carolina canine crew. It took her a couple of days to jump into play time with Huckleberry. It took longer — like almost two weeks — to tolerate Dobbie, a four week old English bulldog. Little Dobbie is quite expressive and Angelina wanted no part of him. She is just now getting around to tolerating the exuberant munchkin.

This entire trip has allowed me to see my grandkids shine. Here, I enjoyed a Winter Concert at Waccamaw High School. Granddaughter Karly was in all three sets — Concert Band, Waccamaw Chamber Ensemble, and Symphonic Band. That’s her on the end playing trumpet.

Nights were awesome (except when it rained). One night I enjoyed a crystal clear star-studded sky when I took Angelina out. All I could say was Wow!

Jay, the kids and I watched some Christmas movies to while away the pre-Christmas nights {and afterwards}. It was a joy watching the family create Christmas decorations and ornaments.

I completed a Christmas story — Yes, There Is a Santa … And I’ve Met Him Personally Many Times. I sent it to my kids to pre-read. It was suggested I film myself reading it and Facebook Live-feeding it to my grandkids {and anyone else who mighgt have been interested}.. They were my beta readers (listeners). Mission accomplished.

I’ve been cooking a meal on my journey, and this segment’s menu included Chicken Kiev for the family (by request)! Turned out pretty good.

Christmas in the South is a little different. People don’t go all out with decorations, but I noticed the Christmas lights on the house across the street. With palm trees, Spanish moss, and temps in the 60s it’s easy to forget the season … and the reason for the season. They helped me stay focused.

I had been getting a message my phone storage was dangerously low. I thought it was my stored photos, but couldn’t figure out how to transfer without deleting. Enter my granddaughter. With a click on an icon, push of a keystroke, and voila! 2,023 photos transferred off the phone and onto my drive without losing a single one.

That’s the latest chapter. I’ll keep you posted about the postscripts!

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. — Eleanor Roosevelt

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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4 Responses to The Journey — Part Five

  1. ‘Twas the pirate, Pegleg Pete,
    looming through the fog
    who did by grave misfortune meet
    Angelina, yes, The Dog!
    She saw right through his craven plan
    of wealth obtained by tips,
    and took the mantle, God made Man,
    and her teeth became the whip
    that cleansed the temple long ago,
    and would scour the shore this very day,
    so Pegleg Pete had better go
    ‘fore doggy teeth had had their way.
    Be warned, ye budding buccaneers,
    Angelina will thus rend your rears.

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