Spending Sunday Afternoon in Prosperity


What have you been doing lately? That’s a question T and I get on a regular basis from our friends, and I stutter around trying to think of something interesting to say but really rarely coming up with anything approaching coherence. What have we been doing lately? Well, let’s take this Sunday afternoon as an example.

Today T said why don’t you go with me to Prosperity…I need to do a few things at the antique booth this afternoon and it’ll be a fun Sunday afternoon ride.

She has an antique booth in the Towne Square Antique Mall in the little town of Prosperity on Highway 176 north of Columbia and near Lake Murray. I’m not usually inclined to go to work with her,  but on a Sunday afternoon who could say no to a ride up the country with my favorite person in the world.

So she packed up her treasures in the black Dodge Dakota pickup, I climbed into the co- pilot seat and off we went. She was right – it was a fun time.

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Towne Square Antiques

(C R Koon Highway, Prosperity, SC)

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Prosperity, SC – love that name

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Unloading – oh, so hot this afternoon

 

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We are behind the antique mall while T unloads her treasures from the back entrance near her booth. We had unexpected company as a customer walked his dog in the blistering heat.

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Aprons one of T’s “weaknesses”

(temperature at least 100 degrees,

but she’s in her element)

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Open for business on a Sunday afternoon

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Zoe prefers shopping in a/c comfort

to walking outdoors in the heat

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T’s business buddy Shelley busy, busy

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Shelley is the Booth Designer while T is the Pricing Guru – they are a dynamic duo!

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Work, work, work…

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Shelley arranges aprons…

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…to perfection

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Hm…where should HOPE go?

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Affordable art by local artists

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Colors galore!

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There will always be books in T’s booth

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Two and a half hours later –

Hooray!

Time to head home to check on what that bad little dog Charly has done while we’ve been out having a good time…and that’s another story.

Deep in the Heart


Whenever I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, I return to my rural southeast Texas childhood at the edge of the Piney Woods in the Sam Houston National Forest. Don’t ask me why – maybe it is the innocence of those times; maybe it is the simple, uncluttered environment that allowed me to spend most of my days outside with a few toys and my imagination.

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Don’t mess with my dog 

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All ball players need a cap

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Don’t mess with my doll, either

(socks and shoes even in the summertime…

bare feet, ugh)

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I got a new wagon for my birthday

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I always stopped to smell the roses

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Ready for church

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What is this white stuff? I love it!

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Me and my dad – best friends

I am somewhat horrified to see the toy pistol I played with in those days in the late 1940s and early 1950s especially after the comments by President Obama in his remarks of condolences yesterday to the families of the five police officers who were shot in Dallas. He said it was easier to get a Glock pistol in our country today than it was to get a computer or maybe even a book. I wept at that thought.

Actually, I cried for almost the entire memorial service for the Dallas policemen who were deliberately targeted and killed last week. The president spoke eloquently as he always does on these occasions and reminded us that he had spoken to far too many families whose lives as they knew them were lost as a result of mass shootings. I shared his frustration at the inability of his, or anyone else’s, words to make a lasting difference in the emotional issues that divide our nation.

Words of peace and comfort fail to bring either, but he continues to hope for change in our own culture – and character – as a united people. May it be so.

As for me, I return to images of a simpler time in a little dusty town in Grimes County, Texas…200 miles south of Dallas…images that provide a respite for me from the daily bombardment of the mess we’ve made of things in my lifetime.

Crape Myrtles Are My One Weakness


This afternoon the temperature gauge in my car registered 100 degrees when I left the post office around 3 o’clock. That is hot, hot, hot…and my air conditioning in the Toyota 4-Runner is out, out, out so the real question was why was I foolish enough to be driving around at the height of the heat. I really do not know.

What I do know is that, while the rest of the planet may suffer from the heat, my favorite tree thrives in it. Crape myrtles are my one weakness. I love the blooms in whatever color and variety they announce themselves to me every year; and the heat seems to make the colors deeper, richer… seems to magnify their brilliance.

I have a favorite crape myrtle tree in Columbia. I pass it on my regular short trips to the grocery store, post office and the little convenience store on the corner where I buy gas.

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In front of the Eastminster Presbyterian Church

Global warming wasn’t just a hypothetical theory today on Trenholm Road.  It was right out there in front of God and everybody.

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An interesting coincidence is that according to the latest NASA research on the galaxies, Mars was once much closer to being like Earth than we had ever believed – perhaps even destroying itself by ignoring warning signs of its own self-destruction. Lordy, Lordy. Why do I read those NASA news bulletins anyway.

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If we are on the way to oblivion, I think crape myrtle trees may be the last to go. At least, I hope so.

Simple Summer Sanctuary


My picture-taking comes in stops and starts and lately, the stops have overtaken the starts. But this afternoon in my own backyard the summer sunlight begged me to run for my camera. And so I did – well, maybe not run.

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T’s bottle tree in her “whimsy” garden

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And then there’s our solitary fickle fig tree…

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They look so innocent. Ha.

The fig tree at Casa de Canterbury here in South Carolina reminds me of the plum tree on Worsham Street in Texas. All hat – no cattle. Totally unreliable.

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Sweet, sweet, sweet aroma

And so today in the midst of Congressional sit-downs over gun control, Supreme Court indecision over immigration, a 2016 Presidential candidate spending a day in Scotland teeing off at his new golf course, a vote in the United Kingdom to determine whether they would continue to be a part of the European Union, and temperatures rising to a hundred degrees outside in our backyard – I took a moment to re-group with a couple of trees, a rose and Charly. Sigh. A moment’s peace.

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Stop the Violence Rally


The Orlando Massacre of June 12th. and the one-year anniversary of the Charleston Mother Emmanuel Massacre yesterday on the 17th. were the inspiration for a Stop the Violence Rally at the south side of the South Carolina State Capitol Building this morning.The grey day matched the somber tones of the music and speakers.

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Flags at full mast today

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Thanks for our security providers

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Getting organized

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We wrap our dreams in symbolic colors…

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…we long for peace…

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…we believe Love will conquer fear and hatred…

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…we stand with Orlando and Charleston…

(and we are thankful with the South Carolina family whose loved one survived Orlando)

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 …but our Hope must be in our children.

The Bible says to bring up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Take a child to a Rally to Stop Violence and when he is old, he will become a peacemaker. May it be so for the next generations.

One-Day Road Trip: Part III – The End


After we left the Poinsett Bridge, Papa Williams led the way to our next destination…Hogback Mountain. We drove up and around and up and around on a very narrow paved road until we ran out of pavement somewhere near the top of Hogback Mountain which is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian range. The sun had sneaked behind some clouds by the time we reached the end of our road, but our group was still stunned by the vistas.

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Not much walking space at the top of the mountain

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Man’s marvels mixed with nature

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Finn brought a walking stick…

and was hoping for suction cups to keep him from falling off the mountain

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The day was perfect for the blue in Blue Ridge

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Looking up from a mountaintop

We didn’t linger too long because we had miles to go to get back to Columbia so we drove down and around and down around and around the winding road leading downward following Daddy Dave on his Harley until we reached ground level and then made another stop where our Hogback Mountain was visible from a distance.

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Tryon International Equestrian Center rises up out of nowhere

(with Hogback Mountain in the background)

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Construction has begun on a world-class equestrian facility in North Carolina

(bad news for Finn – Carousel not operational yet)

(good news for all – restrooms completed)

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Still smiling after a FULL day

Papa Williams left us at the Equestrian Center since it was late in the afternoon and he needed to get home. The remainder of our merry band of intrepid travelers made one final stop, but I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures there since they would have embarrassed us all. We stopped at the Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg, the hangout for Auntie T as a teenager. We had their signature burgers covered by a foot of fried onion rings and french fries on each one. Probably not a problem if you’re a growing teenager, but a little too much of a good thing for middle-aged adults, one senior citizen and one five-year-old with eyes bigger than his stomach. Ouch. We had lots of leftovers.

We waddled out of the Beacon and started home for Columbia singing the songs of Abba together at the top of our lungs in the car and reminiscing about the good old 80s disco days when Saskia was a teenager growing up in the Netherlands. Everyone stayed awake in the car until finally Finn drifted off to sleep in the back seat after 9 o’clock – but not before entertaining us with his hearty Mama Mia rendition which gave me hope for the coming generations.

As he hugged his teddy bear Mr. Brown, Finn said to his mom, “We had a good day in Landrum, didn’t we?” I couldn’t agree more. It was a Memory Maker.

One-Day Road Trip – Part II


We met Teresa’s dad at his home in Landrum in time to eat lunch at Dmitri’s in nearby Gowensville. We needed a break by mid-day and had delicious food to go with passionate conversation. Finn was relieved they served pizza and promptly ordered a pepperoni one. Teresa thought it sounded so good she ordered one, too.

Next stop: the Poinsett Bridge – the original bridge that was part of the road connecting Asheville, North Carolina to Greenville, South Carolina. If you are a follower of this blog, you will remember the past posts about the bridge. I felt like I was visiting an old friend…

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Welcome to the Poinsett Bridge in winter

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Father and daughter share the moment

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Finn and his mother Saskia check out the mountain water

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Beautiful, but brrrrrr…so cold

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The little waterfall that keeps the water flowing

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If these stones could talk

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The adventure of walking under the tunnel!

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Why climb up? Why not?

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Auntie T is joyful at the bridge

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Papa Williams gave his daughters his love of nature

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Finn and his mom loved exploring

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Two dads exchanging admiration and awe at the sights

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Such fun to climb the hill above the bridge

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Thanks to the Daughter of the American Revolution

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Time to say goodbye to the bridge…and move on.

Next stop: Hog Back Mountain.