Changes marking time

Some things here at the old house in on the island don’t change a lot … the live oak trees, the spanish moss, the way the sandy soil of the yard sinks underfoot.

Other things seem to be in perpetual flux.  The sounds of traffic on the road a few blocks away. The scents that whisper on the incoming breezes…right now, sweet with jasmine and wisteria…or sometimes earthy and salty with the scent of the marshlands.

The changes I mark most  are the ones whose change reminds me that, over the span of time, nothing changes so very much.  Constant changes.  Like the ocean tides. The great horned owls in the hollow of the live oak…mating, brooding, raising their young…and moving on until next time. The anole coming out with the warmth of spring…big dominant males puffing their throats to warn off the small, slender teenagers with their cocky attitudes, and the coy  females who in the end, really make all the decisions.

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Frogs and toads are laying their eggs, and soon that too will signal change as they become tadpoles and tadpoles become frogs/toads and the damps areas of my yard come alive with song.

The pear tree has blossomed already.  There will be fruit before long.  I await the promise of the fig I have so carefully nurtured through all these winters and this spring’s random frosts far too late in the year…. without someone to cover and protect it, there would be no sweet fruit this year.  No promise of tiny baby fig trees to grow and continue into the future.

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Changes that serve as reminders that it is my privilege and my duty to protect this fragile environment around me.  I don’t grow exotic plants.  I nurture the ones nature placed here…and the ones generations past left behind.  Like the ancient azaleas lining the yard and standing in odd circles about the yard where once… decades ago, they surrounded some long ago tree….now lost to the changes of time and the vagaries of weather.  Yet the azaleas remain, reminding us of time past…and changes yet to come.

Immutable change…as constant and unpredictable as my ocean.

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Welcome August

August has come.  I shall miss July.  It was a wonderful month, the heart of my favorite season…summer!  But I look forward to what August will bring with both joy and trepidation.  I love that August here in the Lowcountry is still summer…with a capital S!  

Hot… still in the triple digits and no sign of that changing this week.  Sunny….actually a little more rain would be helpful with this heat, but I do love my sunshine.  And, of course, the joy of long long days and clear nights with star-filled skies.

Downside?  Back to school.  Oh how I hate back to school down here.  This is one of my biggest disappointments with being home in South Carolina.  The school systems bite.  And the worst part is….they don’t even know how bad they are!  It is terrifying and disheartening and…sad.  Especially for my son who is bright, and talented, works hard, and such a wonderful kid to work with (all his teachers agree) and has dyslexia.  So the lovely schools will shove him to the side…off the main track… where he won’t make them actually teach in the way he learns and won’t mess up their illusory competence records.  He is disappointed.  I am disappointed for him.

This isn’t the end.  We have just begun to fight.

Meanwhile, there are school supplies to buy….both for him and for my Little A.  Even more for the Little A as kindergarten requires a lot more supplies than high school.  So this weekend we will begin the shopping.  Uniforms for the Little A… khaki pants and shorts, polo shirts, some play clothes for after school.  Fill a long list of supplies needed.  And clothes for my AJ…shorts, t shirts, cargo pants, sox, underwear, jeans and new tennis shoes.  He grew over the summer!  Nothing fits.

More writing.  More editing.  More days and nights of missing our A and wishing he was home once more with us where he belongs.  THIS is his home.  Nowhere else ever can be.

And more work.  More landscaping, and cleaning.  More gardens and flowers.

More blessings.  More life.   Welcome August.

Everyday miracles

It was another gorgeous day.  If that sounds repetitive…it is.  I am so blessed to live in a place I love and enjoy this much.  I love the sunshine.  The heat.  The sun.  The breeze off the ocean.  The sudden summer rains.  The long summer squalls.

I love wild masses of color from summer flowers and crepe myrtles, the whisper of the breeze in salt grass and pampas mounds.  The hawks that sit atop the posts and watch us below.  The mockingbirds with their myriad of stolen songs.  Peppers in the trees, and anoles on the house.  Everything is bright and blessed here this time of year.

No, we don’t have any money for a ‘vacation’ like normal folks do in the summer.  Someday I want to take AJ on a ‘real’ vacation… he was so young when his dad got sick and died, he doesn’t even remember ever having taken one…  but here we have our own little backyard vacation every day.  We have the ocean.  We have the Angel Oak, the cobbled streets of downtown Charleston, palm trees, and sailboats passing beneath the bridges.

Before he heads back to school we’ll go to the Battery.  We’ll walk around down town.  I’ll even save the money to take him someplace fun and “Carolina” for a special treat.  We will make the memories.

Life is too precious to miss just because you don’t have much.  Every moment we have is a miracle.

Looks like rain

… today didn’t go as planned.  Instead it rained.

Now here in the Lowcountry there is ‘rain’….as in the lovely summer showers which pour for 5 minutes and are gone, and then there is RAIN… which lasts for hours, pours like the someone pulled the stopper on heaven’s bathtub, and floods everything.

Yep.  Today was the latter.  It began overnight, which pleased me no end as my gardens were begging for water and I prefer nature handle that chore as often as possible.  Then it stayed.  And rained.  The streets filled…as streets here do when we have this kind of RAIN.  

Downtown flooded… it always does.  Sometimes worse than others.  At least folks down here know to just roll with it, and enjoy life in the Lowcountry.   

Unfortunately my planned and much anticipated appointment for this morning was also downtown.  And couldn’t get to me because of … oh yeah… the rain.  And the flooding.  And the closed roads.

You know.  The usual.

Maybe next week?  Hope it is sunny.

The Wet Side of Wednesday

Still raining here in the Lowcountry.  Gentle rain. Spotty rain.  Drizzle.  Downpour.  If it involved water from heaven, we tried it all out today.

All in all, however, it was another lovely spring day.  More and more flowers opening.  Huge scarlet camellia blossoms drifting to the ground as the rain washed them free.  It is the end of their many weeks of blooming now, and even as their glory wanes they paint lawns and fences with bright patches of soft color.  Iris are in bloom.  Dogwoods.  Something new each and every day.  Potted a new peony and a yellow rose today and planted sunflowers.

What I need is a lawn mower.  Of course with the rain I can’t actually mow but by the time the rains end this weekend my grass will be knee deep.  You could lose a small dog in there… fortunately I have big dogs…they can mow their own paths.  Not that they necessarily will,  big does not actually equal tough… case in point, our (not) very brave Pitbull, Red.  Red is big, even for a pittie.  Over 100 lbs and solid.  He looks like a tough dog.  Then we came home with the Christmas giraffe last night 😀

A friend gave us a 6 or 7 ft tall toy giraffe that lights up and has a scarf and Santa hat (they are moving and he just wouldn’t fit, lol)  Reesie carried the giraffe to the screen porch not knowing the dogs were out for a run.  Of course, she is shorter than the solid bottom half of the porch door and the giraffe much taller… all Red sees coming is the giraffe’s head.  And he freaks!  Barking and growling, and bouncing backwards like a Chihuahua seeing its first frog.  By now we are laughing hysterically and the dog is having a meltdown as the giraffe peeks in one window after another.  Red is retreating toward the house when Reesie opens the porch door and ‘walks’ the giraffe inside. We thought poor Red would have apoplexy!  Hackles up and can’t find a big enough place for his strategic retreat and won’t turn and run cause heaven knows what might happen if he took his eyes off this strange alien creature.

Giraffe is now temporarily living behind Red’s favorite sleeping spot on the sofa.  They have come to a wary truce, although periodically today he had to growl at the giraffe just to remind it who the brave dog guarding this house really is.  Image result for red nose pitbull

Friday happens…

I have to say it was a gorgeous Lowcountry end to the month of January.  Sunny and blue skies,  not overly chilly (though still a bit nippy for my iguana…where’s my hot rock’…. blood).  The camellias are a thing of beauty and will only get better as the weeks progress.  My reds were first to open, now the hot pink is joining the show.  

In a week or so the multicolored ones will open, followed in quick succession by white, cream, and finally my little yellow.  I love all the colors and how festive and hopeful they look as the final weeks of winter trickle away.

Very thankful for nature’s beauty and hopefulness on days like these, when little else seems to go as hoped or planned.

Thankful also for the kind hearts of friends, who reach out with strength and compassion beyond our own.

But today is also FRIDAY! which means time to put aside the pressures of our everyday world and find a place where adventure abounds, mystery lies beyond the next corner, and both beauty and despair, terror and hope await us.

Let’s see where this one leads us….

Monday and MLK

MLK quote

It is a beautiful sunny Lowcountry Monday.  Peaceful, quiet, dogs snoring on the sofa, and my multiracial multitide of children off about their days… work, games, visiting with friends.  Because my family is such a ‘crayon box’ of hues, sameness and differences, I have a great appreciation for Dr. King and what he gave to our world.

This quote has been repeated a million times.  It deserves to be repeated a million more.  Love is the answer.  It always has been.

Happy Monday.  I wish you love.