22 Feb 2009

Family in Carolina

Posted by Sam

Dear Friends:

Once again, the Georgia tornados missed us. Savannah had a fairly wild thunderstorm but it went through quickly. I couldn’t help but notice how we have become used to the tricky weather: we were only inconvenienced by the TV interruptions and the weather alarm going off all night.

We have finished our second park here and will move inland to Statesboro tomorrow. We took a week off and met the kids in South Carolina, a great if belated celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary.

Myrtle Beach, SC is a great vacation spot on the Atlantic Coast. Unfortunately a lot of places were still closed for the season and the weather was iffy. Still, it’s the first time our family has all been together in five years and it was wonderful. Kevin rented a huge, beautiful home with decks off three of the five bedrooms, completely furnished. Morgan and Shelly taught the kids card games, Jamie led the march to the beach every day (“like herding cats”), we had a rousing game of mini-golf (I have my own putter), Jason remembered Valentines Day with roses and candy, Kevin taught Xander how to eat crab and drink like a man, and Jason took us to the Dixie Stampede.

Dave and I went to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede three years ago at a company meeting inn Orlando and all we could think of was “Oh, I wish the kids could see this!” It was a dream come true to have the 11 of us there, with fantastic seats for the show. The Dixie Stampede is set us like a Roman coliseum with room between the rows for waiters to deliver a 5-course meal. The arena is filled with colorfully costumed program of spectacular horsemanship and magic and hokey jokes (and one small pig race). The trick riders were young and flashy and the master of ceremonies was a southern baritone. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and it was truly memorable for us. I guess it’s the kind of pageantry the South loves. The patriotism displayed in the finale was set off by the riders doing a fast drill, blinking in the dark, the MC’s shirt lighting up alternately red, white and blue. I have to admit it made me laugh out loud at the time; it still makes me smile.

For a change we were (I was) able to let the kids go without tears, and drove back south. We didn’t have the motor coach and went through Charleston wandering around enough to know we really would like to spend some time there. We found a motel with 100 watt bulbs, had world class ribs at d.d. pecker’s wing shack and thought we’d died and gone to heaven.

It has been cold in the southeast. We have had to unhook the water many nights this past month. It’s getting warmer, though. The days are soft. I love the humidity. Those little icky age-bumps you get on your skin just rub right off.

I continue to be fascinated by the graveyards in the South. They can be found anywhere, noticeable because they all have headstones, no matter how crooked and crude. The local obituaries run long, with pictures and platitudes aplenty. No matter how old you are when you die in the South, you have been taken too soon.

We’re feeling strong and happy and send love to all.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Browse

  • Categories