You know this retired history teacher is happy when simply crossing a bridge on Highway 17 yesterday morning ( Harriett Tubman Bridge) heading towards Beaufort had my memories spinning with the important role Tubman played in local South Carolina and Beaufort history, as well as American history!
Today we associate Tubman with the Underground Railroad but that was only one of her many daring feats during the Civil War.
In 1862 Tubman decided to go to the South Carolina sea islands to help alleviate the suffering of abruptly freed slaves who were in desperate need of basic necessities-she would remain for three years-till the end of the war.
In Beaufort Tubman served the Union army in many capacities-scout, spy, nurse, and recruiter… all the while running an ” eating house” and ” wash house” … helping Union soldiers by washing, sewing, and feeding the troops.
But it was the famous Combahee River Raid ( when she freed over 700 slaves) that titled her as the only woman to lead a military operation in the Civil war.
When Tubman died in 1913 ( at the age of 90) she was buried with military honors.
Today in Beaufort money is being raised for a statue to this amazing woman who gave so much to Beaufort South Carolina and freedom everywhere!
So until tomorrow… we arrived safe and sound… no rain as predicted and have had a wonderful day visiting historical sites and downtown shopping. Will fill in with all the pictures tomorrow… the internet is off… work out the kinks later!
Impromptu, last minute get-always are one of my favorite things to do… especially when one starts the New Year with one of multiple virus ” bugs” going around that spreads throughout the neighborhood… and not just mine but Brookie has had her share of recent ” upsy-daisies” too.
So today ( in spite of another Noah’s Ark rain) Brooke and I are celebrating our ( finally) Social Security increase… largest one in ( well-forever) … we are in the ” Fourth Wednesday of the month SS girls ” category to get our always welcome SS check!! Retired school teachers love you Social Security!
But there was also another reason for ” getting out of town” for a couple of days…( especially for Brooke living in Walterboro) – the infamous Alex Murdaugh trial started Monday with jury selections.
Local, national, and even international news reporters and stations have flocked to little Walterboro, SC. Just getting around town will be a challenge for locals. A mini-break from it all was perfect timing! So to beautiful Beaufort we go … where beloved movies like the Big Chill, Prince of Tides, and Forrest Gump were filmed.
Historically Beaufort is the second oldest city in SC after Charleston and shares many similar scenic backdrops… another charming sea town that is all about storytelling and southern comforts. For Pat Conroy… Port Royal Island on which Beaufort is located ( the largest of several smaller sea islands) became his real life home while starting his teaching career on a nearby smaller sea island… later memorialized in his first bestseller ( turned into a movie-The Water is Wide-Conrack.)
Rain today or not… it doesn’t stop one from eating and Beaufort is known for its southern cuisine… we hope to hit some seafood restaurants and local favorites known for fried chicken and pimento cheese sandwiches. ( Beedos) off the Sea Island Parkway!
So until tomorrow… Make every day an adventure at home or away… life is too short… not to…!
Today is my favorite day… Winnie the Pooh
We usually think of ” nine months” as the gestation period for a little baby… but look what nine months of braces did for Jake! ( now will just be on a retainer)
You know how much I love learning new words and their definitions, especially beautiful words to pronounce and match memories from one’s life… and the first memory I associated with ” querencia” evolved out of the trip I took to Ireland with Anne back in 2014.
I had just come off a medical crisis in my oncology procedures and switched to a new ( still somewhat experimental) drug combination that did not include chemo.) But to my oncologist’s relief and mine… it seemed to be keeping everything at bay better than it had with earlier chemo procedures.
So when the opportunity to go to Ireland ( a lifetime dream) became available with Anne I knew intuitively it was then or never. And the trip was the best medicine I ever took! I felt so at peace in Ireland… like I was coming home. I felt exactly what querencia means.
But by now in my life… I have accumulated enough hindsights to realize that there have been many diversified moments that have provided that sense of belonging to this world… in the form of ” People, Places, and Things.” I will share some of mine…
( St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope-Trust, NC- The Chapel of Hope literally changed the direction of my life and after following the spirit found within ( Beverly Barutio) I began to follow my dream and write the on-going blog post begun fourteen years ago!
So until tomorrow… think about the meaning behind the word” querencia” and take a minute to pause and think where you were the last time you felt completely at home in the universe!
All my life I have always dreamed about my secret hiding place ( that I would create one day) where I could escape the stresses, strains, and plaguing problems of ordinary life.
When I came across the title photo by accident yesterday… I wanted to scream with joy… it WAS the secret happy place ( or as close to as humanly possible) that I would ever visibly see … it was my perfect ” utopian” escape!
When we get glimpses into our personal parallel lives… we feel it before we see it…that deja vu feeling… that there is another me inside this one… a freer, more unrestrained ” being” longing for that ” Neverland” … open to all our wildest dreams and fantasies!
In order to keep returning to ” Neverland” we have to have maintained that child within us who was open to wonder and curiosity… the child who set no barriers or restrictions on the imagination dwelling within.
In our parallel life… we are not hindered by such mundane restrictions as chronological age, financial or societal tiers, gender, physical, mental, or emotional abilities or even interests and passions. We are simply ” beings” who are wide-open to life and the next opportunity hiding around the bend.
If you need a starting point to enter your parallel life… revisit some of your childhood dreams that turned into adult fantasy/reality locations- -for me… it is miles and miles of flowering fields.
What a fun afternoon and I didn’t even have to leave my recliner… no tickets or passports or immunizations or waiting lines… your parallel life is always there for you.
Saturday night Tommy texted me and said Pip had been staring at him for twenty minutes non-stop… didn’t want anything -just wanted to stare at him… Tommy looked it up and discovered a heart-warming explanation.
So until tomorrow… Take time to leave home and travel through your imagination… stimulate your creativity… and envelope the universal ” being” of being alive!
Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh
Add warmth… and turn a cold, rainy day into a cozy relaxing one!
January should also be filled with fun items that make you laugh and say thank you for life!
As we look toward the future this month… we must make time to remember the people, to date, who have served as our guide and mentor, keeping and steering us over to the right path.
As we reminisce on the special people in our lives, we must also honor our heritage and past family tree ancestors …best by how we the treat the living well. And sharing stories of those we lost is how we keep from really losing them.
Helen Keller once remarked…” So long as the memory of certain beloved friends live in my heart, I shall say that life is good!” ( And I think this goes for grandchildren too! ) Becky Dingle
When I came across this original idea I loved it… ” Make a home for yourself in your own head – then furnish it by memory, trusted friends, lifetime learning, and love of life. This way you share your ” home” wherever you go.”
So until tomorrow… Life doesn’t define us by the obstacles we encounter but how we handle them with grace, fortitude, and unity.
I love curling up on the sofa in the den upon waking each morning…and reading texts and emails… scrolling through FB looking for friends and family photos. But my most favorite time is when the first early morning rays start filtering across the den and dining room. It is like someone is adding light to the everyday palette of the rooms’ scenery.
As I was reading texts yesterday morning… a light caught my peripheral vision coming from the dining room. It was so bright that I , initially, thought I had turned on the dining room ceiling chandelier but instead it was the slanted rays of the early morning light coming through the blinds … just beautiful!
The surprise morning delight took me back to a magazine article I once read in the oncology waiting room years ago ( before coronavirus prevented magazines from being available to waiting patients.) I really miss not having articles to read… some of them gave me great ideas for post themes.
It was a Charleston architectural magazine, filled with gorgeous pictures of homes and fun ideas on enhancing different rooms within. The designer and author of the article was describing one of her favorite couples who taught her a lasting lesson while planning their home design.
They had gotten to the potential location of their personal bedroom… the designer… was suggesting the best outdoor scenery locations… some creeks that surrounded the exterior of their property… but to her surprise the couple asked instead where the first early morning sun’s rays fell and the ” route ” they traveled across the room.
Surprised… the designer offered to take pictures of different rooms in which the early morning light faithfully filled the room. A few days later… the couple had made their selection.
Curious the designer admitted that most people want the bedroom dark to sleep longer if possible. The couple looked at each other and smiled. The husband reached behind him to pull out the plaque they had selected to go over their front door entrance to their home, JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING
The wife further explained that soon after they married in their first little one bedroom cottage… the sun coming in each morning and crossing their faces did wake them but it became a symbol of their happiness that they awoke to the light of another day together.
The other day I walked into my den as a young actress was telling her ” American Dream” story of going from rags to riches … and when asked how she kept her dream alive ( against all odds) she responded that her lifetime verbal compass summed it up in three words… ” No Matter What!”
Determination! Collins dictionary defines the expression ” No matter what” as ” in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles a person is definitely going to achieve his/ her goals … they are going to do it!”
A survey asking movie-goers (from different decades )what movie they would most like to re-see… Gone With theWind…took top honors… and the one scene most wanted repeated was Scarlet O’Hara’s famous scene…many movie goers could still recite from memory.
Scarlet’s famous line that she would never give up… and ” After all tomorrow is another day!” In other words ” No Matter What” she would prevail. No one in the theater doubted it for a minute.
Take a moment today… and think about the strong relatives in your family tree… who prevailed against herculean obstacles -who set the example for you to keep picking yourself up and getting back in the race.
Mother, of course, was my example… Her memorable adage to me and my siblings… ” No matter what life throws at you… you can overcome it!”
Outside family or friends… give this topic some thought… think about the figures we study throughout history as heroes who never gave up… the George Washington’s, Lafayettes, Alvin York’s, Dolittle Raiders, Churchill’s, FDR’s, the soldiers in our families who fought and died for democracy, … they are all eternal members of the ” No Matter What” club.
So until tomorrow… everything that will comprise our life as it is defined by others at our end … comes down to one word. CHOICES. Life is about the choices we make… so ” No Matter What” make your choices count towards achieving your personal goals… and never give up!
I remember the last time I rode through the “It’s a Small Small World” Disney ride… I left with tears in my eyes… there is something so touching about listening to the children sing while watching all the adorable child-like mannequins from different countries. I would be perfectly content to stay seated in the ride and travel around the world repeatedly. If only the real world had this same innocence of acceptance for the world’s people inhabiting our planet.
I think historians will look back at 2020 when the Deadly Pandora Box was opened and released the ” Coronavirus” spreading throughout our entire planet – as a change agent that upended cultural customs and daily life routines for each country’s citizens …like nothing we had experienced on such a monumental scale.
There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide and as recent medical reports have explained… this stubborn mutant virus doesn’t seem to want to disappear now that it has arrived…so it just keeps transforming itself. It has made most countries want to close the doors and throw away the key… turning inward. But as history repeatedly shows… that never works!
(As our own country has learned) …we are tied to the rest of the world for essential trade and economical bartering … if ” No man is an island” … then no country is completely self-sustaining. We have to find a way to help each other in order for everyone to survive.
And the more we study history… the more we realize that most of us grew up with a rather skewed image of it…geared towards bragging rights for our country’s achievements… while leaving out important achievements that other countries had forged ahead … long before America entered the picture.
For example… we all grew up celebrating Christopher Columbus and memorizing the little ” ditty…” In the year 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” We were lead to believe he was the best explorer around… he founded America and then other European explorers jumped in the game …the” giants”of snatch everything you can” explorations. It took awhile to admit that these ” explorations ” were destructive to the cultures who initially welcomed them before realizing they were there to take and control… not give or live in peace.
But 75 years prior to the European ” Age of Explorations” Chinese explorer -Admiral Zheng He lead a series of seven spectacular voyages to the West. The little known explorer makes Columbus look ” small-time.” He commanded a fleet of 300 vessels … nearly five times the size of Columbus’ ships ( size of a soccer field today)
His ships were served by 28 thousand men ( as compared with 90 men on the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria.) Unlike European expeditions, Zheng’s voyages were not in search of treasure or trade, but to show off the might and power of the Ming Dynasty… historians think Zheng might have sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, Europe, and even the Caribbean…. almost a century before European explorers.
Today the European explorers get credit for voyages because a new political party comprised of conservative Confucian scholars convinced the Chinese emperor that these voyages were too costly and China should turn inward and isolate itself from the rest of the world…. keep building the wall and write off Admiral Zheng’s accomplishments from the official record. So as Europe began broadening its horizons and sending explorers across the globe… China was closing its doors.
Two interesting tidbits… Admiral Zheng brought back exotic animals for the emperor’s zoo. The first giraffe came to Beijing in 1414. ( The Chinese were convinced it was a legendary animal from their folklore, the ” chi-lin.” It was believed to be an omen that the heavens favored them.)
I know Eva Cate and Jake’s favorite part of visiting the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo was always feeding the giraffes!
So until tomorrow… If the world could just remember one adage and everyone adopt it as their mantra through life… ” Be kind, Be kind, Be kind”… what a beautiful world we could create together. ( A real small small world) ” No matter what” follow the Golden Rule. Let’s dust off and bring ” integrity ” back into our daily vocabulary… especially when we make choices for leadership positions! Who can our children look up to… they desperately need strong moral examples… the new heroes of tomorrow!
Today is my favorite day… Winnie the Pooh
Yesterday I had a craving for pizza… I always get a big one to divvy up the slices among the neighbors… there is the nicest lady who runs the Pizza Hut… and she always has the ” kindest ” signs out… changing them periodically.
Every time I get in my ( still ” Mr. Clean”) car… I immediately smile because my Bohemian steering wheel cover of love is based on a Bohemian flower arrangement entitled ” LOVE.” What better way to travel than to be steered by love?
Happy Birthday to my nephew Lee and Mollie’s mother -Marcia! Don’t forget… take time today to have a popcorn party… since it is National Popcorn Day!!! Cards heading your way!
Yesterday was my scheduled oncology appointment… you would think by now I would be used to it after all these years… but when you are living with cancer … one knows that things can turn on a dime. It is just the nature of the ” insidious” ( my radiation doctor called it) disease.
And of course change never stops when it comes to losing doctors and then changing oncologists and locations… which is always initially unsettling. It certainly has happened to me… and I am sure many of you readers can relate. It is like having the rug pulled out from under you… or maybe a towel.
Like the title picture says… we have to simply keep going… While I was getting my bloodwork done… that same sign had been added to the wall beside my chair. Great mantra.
Meet Dr Jeter… my present oncologist after my first one retired a few years back. As it turned out… I taught her husband, as well as, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law! And her mother-in-law is a good friend and fellow Alston Middle School teacher co-hort. Small world! *** I think the older we get… the younger our doctor should be so they don’t retire on us.
Overall a good status quo report yesterday -keeping an eye on a few spots but got a steady white cell count and I will take that ” to the bank” these days.
When I got home… I started listening to a new medical testing result that stunned many in the medical field… I just smiled to myself. There were more premature deaths for adults who exercised and worked out moderately than the subjects who had close friends to talk to and share with… with no planned exercise programs.
Barbara Streisand was right all along… ” People … People Who Need People … are the luckiest people in the world.” ( And apparently live the longest… close friends can’t be replaced by exercise. ) Good to know! And surprise outings and gatherings just add heightened anticipation! Something to look forward to…
So until tomorrow… ETC. ” A study of 300,000 people reveals the one secret to living a longer healthier life. It’s not supplements, a certain diet or a fancy exercise program that leads to a healthier life. Instead it’s something we can all use: good friends! 😉 ( And I am so blessed in that department!)
Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh ( Psst! Winnie told me to share this mantra for 2023 … I agree!)
One last ” free school ” student day for Charleston County students yesterday- Mandy and Jake planned a picnic in the park by the Ravenel Bridge! Mid-Winter delight!